Irish Abroad – 20th -22nd December
In the Premier league, Shane Long was the stand out Irish player. Excellent throughout in Southampton’s demolition of Everton, Long received a standing ovation when substituted late on. Just what was needed to boost his confidence. Coleman was the only Irish player in the Everton side.
Ciaran Clark was again excellent in the heart of Aston Villas defence. Given the arduous task of keeping Falcao and Van Persie quiet, Clark looked assured throughout.
The most notable Irish story from Hulls defeat to Swansea was the fact that Paul McShane was not in the squad. McShane has found himself on the wrong side of Steve Bruce recently and has found himself having to train with the under 21s. With Roy Keane watching from the stands,
Jon Walters battled hard but have very little but scraps to deal with. A couple of good crosses but was well managed by an impressive Chelsea defence. Only note worthy issue was when he caused an injury to Hazard who had to be taken off. Whelan and Wilson were both unused subs.
John O’Shea was again part of a Sunderland defence that kept a clean sheet and continued their fine recent record against local rivals Newcastle. O’Shea played the game at left back.
After a shaky start Richard Dunne played well for QPR. instrumental in one of Austins goal when his powerful header rebounded off the crossbar to give Austin an easy finish.
In the Championship, Jay Tabb was the unlikely Irish hero for Ipswich town. The other scorer in their victory was Daryl Murphy who continued his fine season.
Harry Arter found the net for Bournemouth as they destroyed Blackpool.
Elsewhere, some other notable Irish scorers were Darren Potter in MK Dons 7-0 victory, Conor Hourihane for Barnsley, Conor Henderson for Crawley, John Egan for Gillingham (Jimmy Ryan scored in the same game) and Sean Maguire for Accrington. Moving to Australia and Andy Keogh found the net for Perth Glory.