After Irelands 1-1 draw with Poland last Sunday night the focus of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane will return to Premier League and Championship action. With Irish starters like Glen Whelan, James McCarthy,Marc Wilson, John O’Shea, Seamus Coleman all pretty much certain starters for both their Premier League sides and the national side. We will look at those that are in and around the starting teams of both their Championship sides and there Premier League sides but not certain starters for the Republic.
After hitting the ground running in the Premier League when Martin O’Neill signed the Derry man for Sunderland he has since fallen from Premier League starter to Championship relegation threatened Wigan. Although still a big part of O’Neills plans, McClean is not a definite starter for the boys in green.
The Bournemouth midfielder has turned many heads this season after a brilliant season this far with the team lying second in the Championship. Arter got his first call up to the national side for last Sundays qualifier against Poland and is sure to be part of Keane and O’Neills plans should he and Bournemouth get promoted to the Premier League.
Hoolahan was named man of the match against Poland and seems to becoming a key component of O’Neill’s set up. The Norwich man is that spark of creativity that Ireland have lacked in recent years and should he continue the form that he produces for Ireland he will attract Premier League interest this summer.
The Hull winger which started the Poland game at his more unfamiliar position of left back is having a good season at Hull. However, Ireland fans and the management set up may feel that the Poland game may have been a little too much for the Dublin lad, but still young at the age of 22, Brady has many more Ireland caps in him and if started in a more familiar position as a left winger could become an integral part of the Irish set up especially with his set piece specialities.
David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy
The Ipswich duo have starred this season for Mick McCarthy and Murphy is the Championships top goalscorer.Both McGoldrick and Murphy must be in with a shout in the Irish set up especially with the distinct lack of quality options upfront for Ireland.
Everybody knows the merits that Shane Long has. He runs and runs and isn’t a half bad player. His equalising goal against Poland will do his hopes of starting for the Republic the world of good but his lack of first team opportunities at Southampton may continue to scupper his chance of being a regular starter for the boys in green.
Aston Villa’s young starlet is one of the biggest up and coming talents in the Premier League. In need of a loan to a decent Championship side, Grealish however is not a dead cert for Ireland as Grealish could represent both Ireland and England. His talent is clearly there and would be a huge loss to the Irish set up if he was to pull on the Three Lions shirt
The Derby captain has been a main stay for Steve McClarens side, his chances for the national side has been limited to friendlies but should the Rams get promoted it would definitely put Keogh in contention for a centre half spot.
Here are some people in and around the Irish set up, we will continue this list next week.
Photo: INPHO/Cathal Noonan