SPUD Watch returns after the international break – and it’s been another poor showing for many of our current crop with a notable few exceptions, James McCarthy, Ciaran Clarke and Seamus Coleman whose time seems to have arrived….
Seamus Coleman, who turned 22 a week ago, started Sunday’s Merseyside Dderby on the right side of midfield. Coleman thrived and was more than a handful for Paul Konchesky all afternoon, creating the first goal and numerous other chances through his sheer tenacity and pace. With the exception of perhaps McGeady, pace is something severely lacking in the Irish squad right now. Liam Lawrence runs like that lad who plays Jaws in Happy Gilmore and Duff isn’t as quick as he used to be and seems to be physically ageing horribly like Judy from the Richard and Judy show and Twink’s bikini line.
Shay Given – Man City – 0 minutes
It’s a sad sad sight seeing Shay Given on the Man City bench. What a terrible waste. The word superfluous comes to mind. It’s like when you are watching one of them Trocaire ads after having a huge feed and you’re forcing dessert down on top of it just for the sake of it, because you don’t really want it but you eat it anyway and then you get a horrid pain in your gut and a dose of the trotts that pushes your sewage system to the max.
Shay sits there every week. With every ball that comes in on top of Joe Hart he prays for him to drop it. With every shot he prays for him to spill it or fumble it. He prays for a leg break. He prays for him to do something bad. And that is all he can do, live in hope. Back in the 80s when I was in Primary School I used to send a letter every year to Optimus Prime from The Transformers, asking him to come to my school instead of Eugene Lambert’s Safe Cross Code roadshow (where we learned the safe cross code from a sock puppet called Judge who looked like Judy from the Richard and Judy Show and was a proper, cantankerous c**t). After many years of sending these letters I realised that Optimus Prime was not a real person and was never going to reply to my letters (I should stress that this was after I repeated senior infants 6 times), or come to my school. Shay needs to accept that Optimus Prime is not real and that he can’t stay sitting in senior infants forever hammering springs and drooling, as this is not good for a man’s spirit or indeed his prospects of getting out of primary school before his 18th birthday. Shay needs to move on now.
Robbie Keane – Spurs – 0 minutes
Poor ‘oul Robbie. He spent all of Saturday on that Spurs bench again when he could have been at home watching Airwolf. Robbie sang his repertoire of favourite Aslan and rebel songs in an attempt to intimidate Harry Redknapp. He would have been better off down the canal with 13 cans of Stonehouse and pissing all over his shell-suit and his 20 Rothmans.
John O’Shea – Man Utd – 0 minutes
Another worry. Sheasey sat the whole game out. Luckily Fez from that 70’s show or Rafael as he likes to be called, was fairly ropey so “Josh” can expect a return to action next time round. Perhaps Fergie had one eye on the Champions League and gave him a rest after two-touch work-outs for Ireland. I really hope so because at this rate we are going to have to start picking players from our under-17 women’s team.
Darron Gibson – Man Utd – 48 minutes
Wasn’t involved in helping to create any of United’s goals and wasn’t involved in helping to prevent any of United’s two goals. The great illusionist Matt Holland would have been very proud.
James McCarthy – Wigan – 90 minutes
Our second hottest prospect in our relatively small pot of boiling potatoes is James McCarthy, who has played more minutes in the Premier League than any of other our players. Involved in one of the goals and is a real physical presence in the middle of the pitch. A presence – which is something which Gibson/Green/Whelan/Andrews are not. Quite simply, if he is not in the next Irish squad – then I am not going to the next match. To be honest I’m not going anyways, as Elton John is on in the O2 that night. Might see Sheasy there.
Kevin Doyle – Wolves – 90 minutes
In the usual battering-ram role for Wolves- at least they pay him £20,000 a week to do it – at Ireland Doyley has to make do with a Harry Ramsdens and cuddles from John O’Shea.
Kevin Foley – Wolves – 90 minutes
Had a decent game until he ruined it by very foolishly giving away a soft penalty. Surely he is a better option ahead of Kilbane/Mcshane?
Stephen Ward – Wolves – 90 minutes
Surely he is a better option ahead of Kilbane/Mcshane?
Stephen Kelly – Fulham – 48 minutes
Surely he is a better option ahead of Kilbane/Mcshane?
Stephen Reid – West Brom – 0 minutes
People have been calling for Reid to return to international football, but the reality is he isn’t faring much better than Glenn Whelan in the game-playing department.
Ciaran Clark – Aston Villa – 77 minutes
Richard Dunne – Aston Villa – 13 minutes
Dunne went off with a knackered foot but luckily his replacement was the new Irish recruit Ciaran Clark who played the remaining 77 minutes. Don Givens assures us that Clark has declared his allegiance to Ireland. One suspects that this feat would be due more to Richard Dunne’s persuasion than Givens’ who strikes me as having the diplomatic and managerial skills of a trout. Let’s hope Clark is part of Trap’s new frontier for the Norway friendly next month. Let’s hope Don Givens gets his old job of minding the lego box in the FAI crèche.
The Stoke crop
Glenn Whelan – Stoke – 4 minutes
Whelan came on after 86 minutes, a strange number that, Tony Pulis – not 80 or 85 – but 86 minutes has been the time Whelan has been introduced 5 times this season. Either way it’s pathetic and Whelan contributed zero in this time. I wonder how long until the alluring spud factory/spud rejuvenation camp that is Ipswich Town, come a knockin.
Rory Delap – Stoke- 90 minutes
Trap says Glenn Whelan and Paul Green offer a defensive shield – but they haven’t – so effectively they offer nothing – so what has he to lose bringing Delap back into the fold? Through a freak of nature he is Stoke’s de-facto playmaker ,albeit in the NFL Tom Brady mould and not the Lionel Messi one. So why don’t we play him instead? We don’t lose anything by dropping Whelan/Green/Andrews/Gibson. Delap scores the odd goal too. I used to collect Subutteo when I was a younger man. For those who don’t remember it – Subutteo was a game where you flicked plastic figurines at a ball which was completely disproportionate to the size of the player figurines, so when you got a throw-in, a special giant figurine had to be used to take it. This giant figurine could not contribute in normal play because he was effectively a spring which could just fling the ball into play and so was redundant for the rest of the time. I believe Delap has modelled himself on this device.
Jon Walters – Stoke – 86 minutes Don Givens assures us Walters is in the bag also – it’s a shame the striker didn’t manage a single shot on goal in his 86 minutes. The only mild plus was that he made way for Glenn Whelan which is kind of counter-productive in the spud-developing front.
Marc Wilson – he’s having some laugh on that Stoke bench. Hasn’t played now in a while. It’s times like this I bet he wished he was a bin man.
Stephen Carr – Birmingham – 90 minutes
Brums ex-spud may have been at fault for Arse’s winning goal but he was still their best defender getting forward as often as possible. Form-wise, he is one of the best right backs in the Premier League – No longer available for Ireland but Trap should consider calling round his house and serenading him with a bouquet of roses and a few Dean Martin standards like Amore.
Keith Fahey – Birmingham- 77 minutes – hard for the lad to impress in a rare start away to Arsenal. At least he’s playing.
Paul McShane – got a half for Hull then was subbed. To be honest, I don’t really care anymore.
Kevin Kilbane – got less than 15 minutes. Was playing in the middle. He’s a utility man as this stage. But still good enough for Ireland? In fact if he came on the pitch and had a shite, I reckon Trap would still pick him at left back – he would probably fit the shite in somewhere in the back four also, pushing John O’Shea out of his natural position to accommodate the aforementioned shite. Which brings me on to…
….Sean St Ledger. His Preston defence shipped 3 goals against a Paul-Green-less Derby team who seemed to thrive in the absence of the counter-productive Green. One of our promising spuds, Keith Treacy, was shown the line for Preston. He’s a bad apple that fellow or is that spud? That’s the last spud pun. I’m all out.
Liam Lawrence – featured in Pompey’s 3-2 home win.
Shane Long – wasn’t able to get on the score-sheet as his Reading team lost at home.
Andy Keogh – or Andrew as he now likes to be called, got a minute for Cardiff as the blight of the subs bench seems to be spreading to the Championship now.
Wes Holohan – is doing well for Norwich these days. Remember him? He’s 28 now. Where do the years go? I feel sad now. His Norwich side are in third, well inside in the play-off places.
Roy Keane’s Ipswich Town lost at home and are now down to sixth. Credit though to Keane, as there are about 15 fairly ordinary Irish players on his books at Ipswich, who at least are earning a wage abroad in England and would otherwise be back home here in Ireland living on scratch and watching Loose Women with Amanda Brunker and The Afternoon show, with that Lesbian nun from Big Brother.
Monday night’s Premiership clash, Blackburn and Sunderland, was spudless – no Andy Reid or Keith Andrews. Not even on the bench. Terrible is too small a word.
In Scotland, Celtic’s Tony Stokes continues his barren run. He couldn’t score with his d**k out in a brothel at the minute which is a worry considering how bad the Scottish League is and how taking your d**k out in Glasgow is a mating call.
Aiden McGeady continues to get his game with Moscow and will expect to start in the Champions League for them during the week.
I could tell you how Cillian Sheridan is doing in Bulgaria but I’m afraid I’d be lying. Last I heard he got thrown out of a brothel for taking his penis out, bad habits from Glasgow catching up with him.
All in all, things could be a lot worse. Potentially Trap could pick a very vibrant squad comprising of McCarthy, Coleman and Clark and a few other spuds bubbling under at the moment. All is not lost yet for Trap, but he must get the shovel out and delve into the soil, doing what every potato farmer does.
And I’ll leave you this week with a list of some of the songs currently on the ipod of the Irish players and manager(s)
“Keep on runnin” – Spencer Davis Group “The best around” –Karate kid soundtrack, “Get Back” – The Beatles
“Train in Vain” – The Clash, “Another Chance” – Roger Sanchez, “This is” – Aslan
“Save me” – Amie Mann , “Sitting here in Limbo” – Jimmy Cliff, “A Change is gonna come” – Sam Cooke
“I’m the invisible man”- Queen, “Nowhere man” – The Beatles, “When will I see you again” – the Three Degrees
“Stuck in the middle with you (Glenn Whelan?) – Steelers Wheel
“Eat it” – Weird Al Yankovic, “I want Candy” Bow wow wow
“Insane in the brain” – Cyprus Hill, “Bonkers” – Dizzie Rascal, “Crazy”- Patsy Cline
“Back for good” – Take That, “Come back, baby come back” – Eddy Grant
“Fallin” – Alicia Keys, “Without you” – Mariah Carey
“The End” – The Doors, “GO NOW” – The Moody Blues
“Can’t stand me now” – The Libertines, “Bad” – Michael Jackson
“Back in the USSR” – The Beatles, “Can I kick it? No I Can’t” – A Tribe Called Quest
“I cant get no satisfaction” – Rolling Stones, “When the goin gets tough (the tough get goin) Eddy Grant, “Walk Away” – Cast, “If you Leave me now” –Chicago
“Shadapp you face” – Joe Dolce, “Help!” – The Beatles, “Road to Nowhere” –Talking Heads