Turns out Ireland tried more long balls at Euro 2016 than the hugely disappointing 2012 Euros

UEFA's technical report also had other stats and conclusions

Ireland, Martin O'Neill

Manager Martin O'Neill ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

A couple of months on from the end of Euro 2016 and UEFA have released their technical report on the tournament.

Former Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner was a technical observer for the tournament, reviewing games and briefly spoke to Newstalk's Team 33 about his role last week ahead of the publication of the report. Alex Ferguson headed up the panel of experts.

"My remit was to watch every team at least once if I could. Some teams I watched maybe twice," Bonner told us. 

But what does the overall report say about Ireland's tournament beyond the results?

When looking at passing trends, the Boys in Green were ranked third in terms of the percentage of long passes played, with 21% being long. Only Northern Ireland (28%) and Iceland (22%) ranked higher in that regard.

And despite the fact that Ireland's Euro 2016 was far more successful than Euro 2012, this year's tournament saw Ireland go for more long balls than the previous European Championship - despite the fact that long balls are sometimes stereotyped as non-progressive.

At Euro 2012, 19% of the Boys in Green's passes were long - two percent lower than this year.

Ireland were just about in the Top 10 for the success rate with crosses - exactly in 10th from the 24 teams as it happens - with 24.7% of crosses reaching their target. Iceland led the way as the team with a cross success rate of more than 30%.

The Irish team were also bottom of the 24-team table when it came to average distance covered, with 103,192 metres clocked. Italy covered just over 114 metres on average.

And of course, UEFA pointed out that Ireland were one of just two teams without a squad player eligible for the Young Player of the Tournament award, given that all of Martin O'Neill's 23 were born before January 1994.