2012 News Archive
names twenty three man Ireland squad...26/09/2012
Giovanni Trapattoni has this afternoon confirmed his twenty three man Republic
of Ireland squad, for the upcoming Group C 2014 World Cup qualifying contests
against Germany and the Faroe Islands. The contrasting performances and personnel
in the two most recent outings against Kazakhstan and Oman had raised the level
of interest in this selection which is likely to be a yardstick of what the
future really holds. One's immediate reaction is one of bitter disappointment.
The retention of several players unable to command starting positions at lower
level clubs or their selection for roles with which they are unfamiliar and
unsuited, however much they try (and we afford no criticism of the players,
who no doubt give their all), continues to begger belief. The exclusion of Meyler,
O'Brien, Pearce and Brady, albeit the latter is on standby, is bitterly disappointing.
The position surrounding Ciaran Clark, is also one that really demands a more
definitive explanation that the oft repeated but essentially slipshod excuse'
we keep an eye on him'. Perhaps that particular eye is closed at present.
three man squad - football or fiscal decision?...26/09/2012
Two World Cup qualifying contests in five days, the second involving an arduous
journey into the North Atlantic prompts the question - why only a twenty three
man squad?. Injury almost inevitably impacts upon a squad before assembly and
in all probability the opening contest with Germany will generate some further
casualties. Rather than the piecemeal summoning of replacements, why not name
an extended squad from the outset, enabling greater familiarity, knowledge and
integration into the playing system?. Historically, this manager has picked
extended squads and one wonders if the current fiscal position has impacted
Hughton suffers more North East disappointment...23/09/2012
Chris Hughton brought his Norwich City side to St James Park to face the Newcastle
United club he led to promotion just sixteen months ago. The then and still
unfathomable decision to part company with the amiable Hughton remains a mystery.
Despite the encouragement of a multitude of well wishers, the muxch desired
success was not to be as the hosts scored the only goal early in the first half.
While his hopes of a belated call to the senior international ranks may now
be very slim, midfielder Wesley Hoolihan, who played the full ninety minutes,
still remains a skilfully talented footballer. Fellow midfielder Anthony Pilkington,
who may yet receive a call to the senior ranks, was an unused substitute following
his recovery from injury.
Henderson in loan move to Coventry City...22/09/2012
No sooner do I plug the potential presence of twenty one year old midfielder
Conor Henderson in Barclays U21 League action for Arsenal on Friday evening,
than he goes and drops me in it. Conor signed a three month loan deal for new
manager Mark Robins at Coventry City yesterday and has been introduced from
the substitute bench after just twenty three minutes at home to Carlisle United
in League One this afternoon. This move should, and hopefully will, prove beneficial
to both parties.
Dunne injury concerns continue to mount...20/09/2012
Our interpretation a week ago, concerning the negative injury position of Richard
Dunne continues to grow wings. With the crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier against
Germany now just three weeks away, the availability of the Tallaght man is looking
less and less likely. Sidelined now for, in excess of seven weeks, the most
recent update from Villa Park offers no real crumbs of comfort concerning his
return to training, never mind serious competitive action.
about London on Saturday afternoon Giovanni?...20/09/2012
A swift trip to Upton Park on Saturday afternoon could prove informative for
Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni. Hosts West Ham United
are expected to have Joey O'Brien in their starting eleven
while goalkeeper Stephen Henderson is likely
to be on the substitute bench. For visitors Sunderland, John O'Shea,
in central defence, and James McClean are expected
to start while David Meyler may feature from the bench. Sadly,
Keiren Westwood looks set to again be on the substitute bench.
If London is too hectic, how about the South Coast?. Southampton play host to
Aston Villa, who have this left sided centre back chap Ciaran
Clark in their ranks. Worth a more concentrated and considered look
quintet in Next Gen action for Aston Villa...20/09/2012
The European Under 19 competition, introduced last year, has commenced for the
2012/2013 season with Aston Villa fielding five Irish underage internationals
in their two one victory over Glasgow Celtic at Villa Park last night. Defenders
Daniel Devine and Derrick Williams, midfielders Samir Carruthers, who scored,
and Jack Grealish together with striker Michael Drennan all started, while teenage
striker Graham Burke was excluded, an indication perhaps that he will continue
to be part of the first team squad this weekend.
week countdown to Germany at the Aviva...14/09/2012
Four weeks from this evening, Ireland will face Germany at the Aviva Stadium
in World Cup 2014 Qualifying Group C, followed four nights later by the trip
to the Faroe Islands. Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has pretty much confirmed
that he will revert to the status quo in terms of team selection for the Dublin
encounter. While perceived logic would suggest that the tried and trusted (at
least by the manager) is the sensible course of action, one wonders if some
element of enterprise might not bring it's own rewards. The mid-week assertion
that errors were made by some of the younger brigade (over ambitious passing
attempts, for example), is correct, but even a brief analysis of previous encounters
involving the regular crew, highlights a similiar, if not greater, level of
inaccuracy. Is not the repeated skyward launching of the ball from goalkeeper
and defenders in previous contests a recipe for similiar profligacy?. How great,
if at all, is the difference between the current straight jacketing of our regular
senior players and the fresh, perhaps fearless enterprise shown to be the forte
of several of the younger brigade?.
Dunne injury doubt for Germany encounter?...14/09/2012
With the crucial 2014 World Cup qualifier against Germany
just four weeks away, there must be growing doubts concerning the availability
of defensive lynchpin Richard Dunne. The Tallaght man has now
been sidelined for more than six weeks and as yet, there are no positive murmourings
emanating from Villa Park surrounding his return to fitness and action. The
ramifications of utilising an unfit player, evidenced by his club colleague
Shay Given at EURO 2012, are potentially serious and could prove a risk too
on Tuesday evening by the Thames...13/09/2012
While in reality the Thames side encounter with Oman on Tuesday evening was
little more than a stroll in the park, it nevertheless offered some insight
to the future and indeed more pertinently the present. The younger brigade of
Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, James McClean and Marc Wilson have been on the
fringes for some time and all of them provided evidence that their involvement
could, perhaps should, be greater. The debutants, Robbie Brady, David Meyler,
Alex Pearce and Darren Randolph each gave positive auditions that augur well
for the future. There are others who, for whatever reason, were not invited
to the 'party'. Perhaps a late summons may still be on the cards for Ciaran
Clark, who we are told 'still has much to learn' . Would not the student learn
more as part of the class rather than being confined to the schoolyard?.
promising quartet waiting in the wings...13/09/2012
However 'friendly' the contest on Tuesday might have been, it nevertheless highlighted
the technical ability of a number of our younger Irish footballers, which rather
discredits the too often repeated managerial assessment that no such quality
exists within the Irish ranks. In addition to the youthful element on show earlier
this week there are others who have just exited the Under 21 ranks and offer
further hope for the future. Given our difficulty in the left back position,
I firmly believe that three times capped Greg Cunningham should
be elevated to the senior squad. Three others, Conor Henderson,
Sean Scannell and Aiden White all offer huge
potential and could lend further quality to the senior ranks.
at Wembley set for Wednesday 29 May 2013...12/09/2012
The FAI has this afternoon confirmed that the Republic
of Ireland will meet England at Wembley Stadium
on Wednesday 29 May 2013 as part of the host nation's 150th
Anniversary celebrations. A return contest is also provisionally scheduled for
the Aviva Stadium on Tuesday 18 November 2014.
defeat Oman in young gun auditions (1)...11/09/2012
Ireland scored a comfortable four one success over Oman in this evening's friendly
encounter in London. Twenty year old Robbie Brady, one of four
debutants on the night, certainly caught the eye during his seventy minutes
of game time. Deployed wide on the right, Brady terrorised his opposing full
back with both technical quality and excellent pace. The former St Kevin's Boys
star also took command of attacking free kick situations, and to what effect!.
After seven minutes, his excellent free kick beyond the back post was headed
into the danger area by Sean St Ledger and then headed to the
net by Shane Long. Fifteen minutes later Brady collected the
ball on the edge of the box and found the bottom corner of the net for his first
senior international goal. On thirty six minutes, another free kick, this time
out on the left hand side of the pitch was whipped at pace by Brady and finished
to the net by Kevin Doyle. There were a couple of ambitious
passes that were intercepted but his immediate reaction, to challenge and redress
the situation spoke volumes. This was one hell of an introductory first half
from the youngster.
defeat Oman in young gun auditions (2)...11/09/2012
Tonight was not just the Brady Show, there were others who certainly caught
the eye. Arguably, the man of the match was Shane Long, who
apart from his goal was instrumental in most of Ireland 's attacking play. His
pace, aerial prowess and indeed predatory instinct for his goal, all qualities
he has been displaying in the Premiership for some time, beg the question, why
has he not been an automatic starter for Ireland?. Long linked well with old
Cork City and Reading team mate Kevin Doyle and this duo certainly
sent out a positive message. Of the three other debutants, midfielder David
Meyler completed the full ninety minutes and displayed much promise.
His tackling may require some honing but his energy and industry are eye catching.
Reading defender Alex Pearce made his debut for the second
half and capped a commanding defensive display with the fourth goal, a trademark
header from an Aiden McGeady corner, five
minutes from time. Goalkeeper Darron Randolph could not be
faulted for the goal he conceded and made one spledid save in an otherwise quiet
second half debut. Another youngster James McCarthy, was again
prominent in midfield where he displayed football nous of the highest calibre.
and best wishes to Robbie Brady...11/09/2012
RISSC (London) extends heartiest congratulations to Robbie
Brady who is set to make his senior international debut this evening.
Longer serving RISSC members may recall that the then eight year old Brady was
a member of the St Kevin's Boys side sponsored by this Club from September 2000
for the following eight seasons. We would also like to say a big 'hello' to
delighted parents Maria and Shay who will
be in Craven Cottage this evening.
knocks for some players but what if?...11/09/2012
The introduction of several new faces for Tuesday evening's
friendly against Oman is welcome. Many will have their own
thoughts on what could and might have been and I am no exception. Andrew
Keogh is a smashing lad who has and will give his all for his country.
I have no doubt that if asked to don the gloves, he would. Andy however is not
a winger/wide midfielder and he himself, and his scoring record at Millwall,
will tell you he is a forward/striker. Why oh why therefore, does our right
side lineup tomorrow evening not comprise of two players who fill those specific
positions for their Premiership clubs, say, Joey O'Brien
at the back with Seamus Coleman in his familiar midfield position?.
The inclusion of Stephen Kelly in central defence is, I believe,
less contentious. Stephen played much of his underage career in central defence
and I do feel that in many ways, not least technical application, he is more
suited to that position.
Ireland Under 21s blow out the lights in Italy...10/09/2012
Ireland completed their 2012 UEFA Championship
programme with a glittering performance against Italy in Casarano this afternoon.
Debutant Sean Murray opened the scoring with a magnificent thirty yard lob from
wide on the right after twenty three minutes. The hosts equalised twelve minutes
later and within seconds disaster seemed to have struck Ireland as debutant
centre back Derek Williams conceded a penalty which
resulted in his dismissal. Monaghan man Aaron McCarey, starting for the first
time, saved the penalty and kick-started a magnificent Irish response. After
the restart the ten men played with a composure belying their years and after
twelve minutes, lone striker Aaron Doran sped through the middle of the Italian
defence like a hot knife through butter and was calmness personified as he restored
the lead for Ireland. One minute later it got better, as Conor Henderson struck
a glorious thirty five yard shot to the top corner to extend the lead. The lights
went out almost immediately resulting in a ten minute stoppage. Following the
resumption, Ireland continued to be extremely disciplined in their play and
thirty minutes in, the irrerepressable Doran again sped away from his marker
and replicated his earlier composure to score Ireland's fourth. The final fifteen
minutes were somewhat frenetic with the hosts bombarding Ireland, who stood
fast. The dismissal of Anthony Forde for a second yellow card offence reduced
the ranks to nine, but the nine were good enough to complete the task. Another
power failure and lights out, and a late Italy consolation goal did nothing
to deflate Noel King and his magnificent charges.
Noel King with eyes vey much on the Under 21 future...10/09/2012
Head Coach Noel King has his eyes very much on the future when Ireland complete
their current Under 21 campaign against Italy in Casarano at 5.30pm this afternoon.
The starting eleven includes four debutants, Carruthers, Doherty, Murray and
Williams together with Forde, who made his debut as a late substitute last Thursday.
Those five together with starters McCarey and Egan are all eligible for the
next campaign, as are substitutes O'Sullivan and Smith. Leeds United regular
Aiden White will skipper the side for the first time in his tenth and farewell
appearance at this level.
Henderson called into senior squad...09/09/2012
West Ham United goalkeeper Stephen Henderson is another late
call up to the senior international squad for the Oman friendly
on Tuesday evening. He replaces Keiren Westwood
who has been released to his club Sunderland.
defender Alex Pearce receives senior call...08/09/2012
Twenty three year old Reading centre back Alex Pearce has received
his first call up to the Ireland senior international squad for Tuesday's friendly
encounter with Oman. Five players, Darren
O'Dea, John O'Shea. Glen Whelan, Jonathan Walters and Robbie Keane have been
permitted to return to their respective clubs.
19s draw with Latvia in friendly this afternoon...08/09/2012
The single preparatory encounter with Latvia which ended one
each in Riga this afternoon was far from ideal preparation
for the upcoming UEFA U19 Championship qualifiers in Luxembourg
and Head Coach Paul Doolin's task was made more difficult with
the injury withdrawal of Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.
The squad assembled earlier this week and one must hope that the coaching
team has had sufficient preparation time to implement their ideas and processes.