Spud Watch – Stop The Press

STOP PRESS: Let’s get sensible for a minute

I had written a critique of Giovanni Trapattoni’s original squad selection yesterday for next week’s clash with Wales. However, earlier today I was handed a revised squad update here at Spud Watch Towers and I’ll be f*cked if you think I’m gonna go back and re-edit all the nonsense and garble.

But what has been handed to me is is the most exciting looking Irish squad in 5 years….

McShane, Kelly, Keogh, are banished. Sadly for Foley he too goes, albeit through injury. Stephen Hunt, Aiden McGeady are out and most importantly KEVIN KILBANE. This is good news. Glenn Whelan keeps his place even though Stephen Hawkins has kicked more ball than him since Christmas. Still no place for Keith Fahey and Tony Stokes sadly as they are put on standby. No place for Gary Waddock. He’ll be gutted again.

Ciaran Clark has proven he can play at left-back for Villa and do a superior job to his central midfield peers in the Irish squad. A vastly superior job.

James McCarthy may indeed be injured and he is still learning the game. Indeed he may turn out not to live up to the billing we have given him. People say that one should never make wholesale changes from one sqaud to the next. England are now picking their best young players who are in form; building for a future that also includes a speckling of mature proven talent following in the footsteps of Germany’s model, but would anyone really be upset if Marc Wilson or Keith Treacy were dropped from the Irish squad?

James McCarthy is back, albeit in a limited capacity for Wigan at the moment. But he is getting there. Why is he named in the the U21 squad? The mind boggles. If he’s unfit then fair enough. But if this is the basis Trap is going on then why are Stephen Kelly, Paul McShane and Sean St Ledger included?

STOP PRESS: the mind no longer boggles, James McCarthy is included in final 22 and Fahey is in for Treacy

With Paul Green now being deployed at right-back having proven that he’s human excrement in the centre-midfield position; with Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson being largely uninvolved for Stoke – this was the perfect opportunity to at least make an attempt to rejuvenate an area of the pitch which, barring 90 minutes against what has now proven to be a very poor French team, and a long range shot from Glenn Whelan against Italy, has largely contributed zero in the two years Trapattoni has been in charge.


Bill Murray – Ground Hog Day (probably)

STOP PRESS: Trap heeds Bil Murrays advice

Andy Keogh is not in form and was not getting games for Cardiff. In fact he had to to resort to a move to Bristol City for this reason.

Conor Sammon is moving in the other direction, to the Premier League with Wigan.

One can laugh but I would pick Andy O’Brien at Leeds on-form ahead of Sean St Ledger.

And Stephen Carr should be offered a role where he only has to turn up for full internationals, perhaps with a token friendly just to reinstate him initially, like when Roy Keane came back a few years ago under Brian Kerr. With limited resources we need to think outside the box. People argue then that this isn’t fair on the players who are being left out and playing regularly for their clubs, who turn up for every single international. Yes, in the case of Kevin Foley and Ciaran Clark, that’s fair enough but quite frankly – Stephen Kelly, Paul Mcshane, and to a lesser extent, Darren O’Dea, are not playing football at all at the moment.

STOP PRESS: I genuinely do not know what club Darren O’Dea plays with. I used to think it was Ipswich or Celtic but now I’m not so sure. I think he just floats around hustling for games like Woody Harrelson in “White Men Can’t Jump.”

Consistently picking Kevin Kilbane is worse than anything Brian Cowen’s Finance Department ever did. In fact, it’s on a par with war crimes committed by Slobodan Milošević.

STOP PRESS: Kevin Kilbane has been dropped from the final squad. Slobodan Milošević has just rang Spud Watch towers and resents comparisons to Brian Cowen.

Unless we have a manager that is more dynamic in his selections – and in fact I would go so far as to say it may be too late – we could run the risk of a generation of pretty ok players missing out or leaving at the end of this campaign.

STOP PRESS: This rant is now looking a little defunct as Trapattoni seems to be stumbling across the best available Irish players through forced injuries from the usual sh*te-bags.

You see my friends, relationships are about compromise. And in order for us to maintain a healthy relationship with the manager, and for the FAI to justify charging silly prices for sh*tty friendlies, I believe Trap has to at least meet us half-way and give us a smidgen of hope, just a smidgen that Glenn Whelan and/or Paul Green may not be in that team when Ireland line up away to Russia and Macedonia. It’s only a smidgen mind you and at least, at the very least, we’ll get to see some real talent on display now in Seamus Coleman as Gareth Bale and that big softie Craig Bellamy have pulled out through injury.

“This just keeps getting better and better” as Alan “Dutch” Schaefer said to Major George Dillon in Predator.

The CIA had Dillon pushing too many pencils then. So let’s hope the FAI stop Trap pushing pencils and that this is the way things are going to be in future with regards to the Irish team squad selection. As I said before, I’m optimistic for the first time in his tenure that this is genuinely the most exciting looking Irish squad in five years.


Ciaran Clark to score his first Irish goal in the first 20 minutes if he starts on Tuesday night. I’ve just seen Keith Gillespie in Ladbrokes putting his house on it.

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