Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 13.9.10




THERE were games for: John O’Shea, Liam Lawrence (with his new club Portsmouth), Robbie Keane (20 mins), James McCarthy, Stephen Kelly 90, and for the Wolves contingent – Ward, Foley, and Doyle, with their former teammate Andy Keogh getting the full 90 at Cardiff.

Sean St Ledger had a bad day at the office away to Burnley – he and his Preston North End defence conceded four.

Former Spuds:

Andy O’Brien (remember him – he came on for Petrov and Bolton in their 4-1 hammering by Arsenal and yes, he is still shite)

Stephen Reid (West Brom) 20 mins,

Stephen Carr was man-of-the-match versus Liverpool and gets my Outstanding Potato of the Weekend Award even if he is in international retirement. The performance from the excellent Carr on Sunday combined brilliant defensive play with ever-willing forward runs. The tenacious full-back got up and down the wing like he used to this time nine or ten years ago. Maybe the lure of a major competition might tempt Carr, but it seems that being an international is a double-ended sword as players get older. They would miss out on a much needed break or family-time otherwise. Credit where credit is due though for the 34-year-old as this time two years ago he was practically unemployed. Carr decided to call retirement to football at all levels but Alex McLeish took him in, on a month’s contract in January 2009 and he hasn’t looked back. Let’s hope he reconsiders his international availability.

Shane Long and former free-kick great Ian Harte both scored penos for Reading. Darren O’Dea was replaced by former Irish wing “wizard” Mark Kennedy. Colin Healy, the man who famously lost out on a place in the 2002 WC squad because of Saipan,  got a minute in his debut for Roy Keane’s Ipswich – incidentally Ipswich had no less than FIVE spuds on their squad list – Brian Murphy (Waterford), Damien Delaney (Cork), Ronan Murphy (Mayo) on the bench and the aforementioned Healy and Kennedy.

Elsewhere, Dubliner Keith Treacy (debut against Algeria in May) continued his impressive start at Preston North End. The former Blackburn man got his name on the score-sheet in his side’s 4-3 defeat by Burnley.

Three to four spuds left to play on Monday night: Aston Villa players Richard Dunne and the blighted-potato that is Stephen Ireland (he even looks likes a sick potato). They take on Stoke and new signing Marc Wilson will be expected to be make his debut for his new club at some point. Likewise, Glenn Whelan, who hasn’t got much game-time this season, will take what he can get.

These are worrying times for the Irish national team as many players are struggling for action i.e. Robbie Keane, Shay Given, Paul McShane and Darren Gibson.

On a brighter note, Seamus Coleman got another 25 minutes for Everton and again looked useful. Coleman now has more game-time already this season in the Premiership than many of our players and must, surely, be considered for the first team. He is our great white hope, our Golden Wonder.



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