With his move to Chris Hughton’s Brighton sealed this week, Richie Towell will have his eyes set on a first team slot and a possibility of breaking into the Ireland squad for Euro 2016.
A penalty miss by Robbie Keane meant Ireland failed to beat ten-man Costa Rica in Philadelphia after Kevin Doyle had given Martin O’Neill’s side a 19th minute lead.
Temperatures are plummeting in Stockholm and news of Trapattoni’s starting eleven has met a frosty reception among Irish fans. Much of their ire is directed at the inclusion of Paul Green in midfield but amidst the clamour to condemn the manager, Trapattoni has named possibly his most adventurous team since taking charge of the Republic. He’s also pulled off something of a transformation of the Irish squad that failed so badly in Poland. Ahead of the crunch tie with Sweden, here’s ten key talking points.
James McClean and fellow members of the Irish football squad, Kevin Doyle, Glenn Whelan, Stephen Ward, Keiren Westwood, Paul McShane and Shane Long took on Today FM’s Shave or Dye charity challenge ahead of the friendly with Poland at the Aviva Stadium
The list of nominees have been announced for the FAI International Awards but it’s likely to be a short ceremony. There won’t be many highlights to play back reviewing a year to forget for the senior team.
This time last year, there were high hopes of transfer movement for Irish stars struggling at club level. A European Championship loomed on the horizon, a competition Marco Tardelli said could serve as a shop window for the Republic squad. The demand for our stars failed to materialise and Poland saw the shop bankrupt. This time however, it’s form players and old reliables that are attracting attention.
They’re the men who will fly the flag for Ireland at Euro 2012, our first major finals for ten years. Póg Mo Goal takes a look at the Boys in Green. Here’s the strike-force who could make it a tournament to remember.
Foley-gate may be no more with Giovanni Trapattoni firmly drawing a line under the subject but there are a few more faces in the Irish squad who could face tough conversations with the manager after Monday’s final warm-up game with Hungary. Players like Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt have some work to do in Budapest or they may find themselves down the pecking order come the showdown with Croatia just six days later.
After Wolves’ relegation, James Clancy asks what lays in store for the considerable Irish presence at Molineux and will Giovanni Trapattoni be able to call on some of them as Premier League players next season?
The Boys in Green won’t be the only ones representing Ireland at Euro 2012 following the news that Mayo referee Damien MacGraith has been named in UEFA’s panel for the finals. What are the chances he gets a France game?