Marco Tardelli has questioned the Republic of Ireland's tactical nous following their heavy Euro 2016 defeat to Belgium.
The former Italy international, who served as Ireland assistant coach under Giovanni Trapattoni from 2008 to 2013, says that Irish players "struggle to tactically manage a game" and believes that is the reason why they lost so comprehensively to the Red Devils on Saturday.
"[They made] too many mistakes in a row, always for the same reason: they struggle to tactically manage a game," Tardelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"They struggle to understand that football, when you're in trouble, it's a matter of brain, not only physicality.
"They conceded two goals on a counter-attack. It looks like a paradox, but to them it's normal keep on playing without stopping and thinking about what to do properly."
After defeat to Belgium and a draw against Sweden, Martin O'Neill's team now require a win in their final Euro 2016 Group E game against Tardelli's native Italy.
One player the Boys in Green will want to make an impact against Antonio Conte's side is Shane Long, who has yet to find the net at the tournament.
Tardelli revealed that Long was his favourite Irish player and said that the Southampton striker's goal against England in 2013 was one of his "best memories" from his time working with the team.
"He was my favourite player. Sometimes he misses easy chances, because he works so much for the team and he may be tired when he strikes," said the former Juventus midfielder.
"But when he scored with a powerful header against England I was very happy. It was one of my best memories from Ireland."
Ireland take on Italy in Lille on Wednesday June 22.