Irish players getting consistent football
Recently Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni has been bemoaning the lack of Irish players playing consistently at their clubs. We here at Greenscene decided to examine this belief and see if there was much truth in it. The following could be the Irish team if it were selected based completely on games played for their club.
Goalkeeper: Keiren Westwood – Coventry
15 league games played this season. Very much a Premiership keeper in waiting. Rumours that Everton were interested in him during the summer. His contract situation at Coventry will no doubt increase rumours of a Premiership move. Essential player form Coventry
Right Back: Kevin Foley – Wolves
13 league games played this season. Made the right back spot at Wolves his own this season, and has looked quite assured. Seems quite assured of his starting spot at Wolves, while first choice Irish right back John O’Shea seems to no longer be first choice right back at his club, having fallen behind Rafael.
Centre Back: Sean St Ledger – Preston
15 league games played this season. Had quite a difficult start of the season, but has steadied the ship in recent weeks. However Preston are struggling this season and St Ledger may need a move in the future. Rumours of a move to Liverpool and Aston Villa in recent weeks
Centre Back: Richard Dunne – Aston Villa
10 league games played this season. The real Irish captain on the pitch is still an essential player for Aston Villa and is the first name on the teamsheet for both club and country.
Left Back: Stephen Ward – Wolves
12 league games played this season. A regular Premiership player in a position that is quite a problem position for Ireland. Some decent performances but seems to have some silly mistakes in him as well.
Right Wing: Aiden McGeady – Spartak Moscow
7 league games played this season. As well as his 7 games for his club, McGeady has played 4 times for Ireland this season. Been an almost ever present since his move to Russia and has been arguably Ireland’s most consistent player this season.
Centre Midfield: Paul Green – Derby
16 league games played this season. Yes, some Irish fans may have serious reservations about Green given his recent performances for Ireland, but he is a very important player for Derby and has been having an excellent season for the Championship side.
Centre Midfield: James McCarthy – Wigan
9 league games played this season. An ever present in the League until his ankle injury at Bolton. One of only a handful of Irish players who, up to his injury, was performing consistently well in the Premier League.
Left Wing: Liam Lawrence- Portsmouth
12 league games played this season. Having a terrific season since his loan move to Portsmouth and was a major catalyst in their rise up the table.
Forward: Kevin Doyle- Wolves
12 league games played this season. While his lack of goals this season may be a worry, his work-rate, effort and performance are certainly not. Has become such an essential player for Ireland in the past year.
Forward: Anthony Stokes- Celtic
12 league games played this season. His career has been revitalised since his move back to Scotland, and he is in great form for Celtic. Surely cannot be overlooked for Ireland much longer if he continues to play and score consistently.
Paddy Kenny, having a simply excellent season for QPR and has been an ever present.
Seamus Coleman, nailed down a starting position for Everton in recent weeks. In fine form
Eddie Nolan, Plays in the problem left back position for Scunthorpe, and has played 17 times
John O’Shea, Looks to have lost his position for Man Utd in recent weeks but should regain it soon
Wes Hoolahan, A very important, creative player for Norwich. Played 15 league games.
Keith Treacy, Having a good season, and a player Trap has a lot of time for. Played 16 times
Keith Fahey, Struggled for games at the start of the season but has fought his way back into the Birmingham team
Shane Long, 16 games played for Reading this season, and looked impressive in his stints with Ireland.
Conor Sammon, having a fantastic season with Kilmarnock, with 11 goals in 16 cup and league games. Sitting top of the Trapattoni Index for forwards.
Adam Rooney, like Sammon, having a great season in Scotland with Inverness Caledonian Thistle. 10 goals in 14 cup and league games.
One could argue from looking at this squad, that there are plenty of players getting consistent football that could be considered for selection. To this list there is also a couple of more players that can be added. Stephen Hunt has just returned from a bad injury and will hope to get plenty of Premiership football in the coming weeks. Ciaran Clark has really taken the opportunity given to him at Aston Villa and could be in for a great season, and Greg Cunningham has settled very well into his new surroundings on loan at Leicester. Judging from Trapattoni’s comments, its appears that it is more a case that players he likes to pick are not getting much first team football. Shay Given, Glenn Whelan and Robbie Keane has all fallen completely out of favour with their present managers. Kevin Kilbane is never getting selected at left back for his club, and Andy Keogh is struggling to make an impact on loan at Cardiff. Are Trapattoni’s comments fair then? Perhaps it is more a case of not enough Irish players getting consistent Premiership football.