It’s been a massive end of season for the Boys in Green. Three World Cup qualifying points, positive displays against England and Spain, the emergence of Wes Hoolahan, and the growing statures of Coleman and McCarthy have whet the appetite for a real crack at toppling Austria and Sweden for a play-off berth. However, for some, criticism of the team and manager remains entrenched. Here’s 10 talking points.
Ireland put in a battling display against Spain at New York’s Yankee Stadium early this morning. A depleted Irish side held the world champions scoreless until the 68th minute and had a goal from Sean St Ledger ruled out for offside before Juan Mata made it 2-0 in the dying minutes.
Jeff Hendrick earns his first start for Ireland as Trapattoni names his side to take on Spain in New York. Seamus Coleman starts on the right wing while Sammon partners Keane in attack.
While Irish fans try to wipe the mauling by Spain from their memories, Tuesday’s opponents in New York still talk about the support of the Green Army in Gdansk. La Liga football writer and editor of Madrid Atléticos, Garreth Nunn gives us the view from the other side ahead of the Republic’s final match of the season against the world and European champions.
A depleted Irish squad heads for New York to take on world and European champions Spain, almost a year on since the heavy defeat in Gdansk. Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football Show, looks ahead to the clash and considers who might feature for a new-look Ireland.
“The FAI have committed to playing Spain in New York and we must go. It’s about respect, and respect for the Irish people who want to see these players. They’re paying for tickets but not to see the second team”
Giovanni Trapattoni has named his provisional Irish squad for the upcoming bumper four match series involving the World Cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands and the glamour fixtures with England in Wembley and Spain in New York. Norwich’s Anthony Pilkington is included but is due to be married in the middle of the packed two-week schedule.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s mobile bill is set to soar this summer as he’ll need to name a bumper Irish panel to cater for a gruelling four matches in two weeks. There’s sure to be room for squad hopefuls and possible recalls as Ireland prepare for a historic meeting with England in Wembley, a World Cup qualifier, and a reunion with Spain in New York.