Posts Tagged ‘ Euro 2016 ’

Grealish Rejects Call Up For Crucial Games


Martin O’Neill has named a provisional 33 man squad for Ireland’s upcoming Three International Friendly against England in Aviva Stadium on Sunday, June 7, and UEFA Euro 2016 Group D qualifier against Scotland in Aviva Stadium on Saturday, June 13.

Today’s provisional squad announcement sees the inclusion of Brentford’s Alan Judge and Aberdeen’s Adam Rooney however Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish has opted to remain omitted from the squad until further notice. Continue reading

O’Neill Names Ireland Squad For Upcoming Games


Martin O’Neill has named a provisional 36 man squad for Ireland’s upcoming games against Scotland and USA.

Starting away, Scotland host Ireland in a EURO 2016 qualifier on Friday, November 14 at 7.45pm, before Ireland take on the USA in Aviva Stadium in a Three International Friendly on November 18.

The squad will be shortened ahead of meeting up on November 10. Continue reading

O’Neill Era Begins With Comprehensive Win


Ireland’s new managerial partnership of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane got their reign off to the best possible start last night as the boys in green beat Latvia 3-0 at Aviva Stadium.

Ireland got off to a solid start when the reinstalled James McClean, a firm favourite of O’Neill during his time at Sunderland, went close with a volleyed effort.

Former Celtic manager O’Neill was keen to employ a quick pass and move tempo and in doing so proved that this Irish team are more than capable of playing the beautiful game. Continue reading

The Self Imposed Exile Of Darron Gibson

dgHeard the one about the talented Premier League ace whose self imposed exile has all but ended his international career?

You may be forgiven for asking which one, for if you are an Irish supporter you’re not exactly spoiled for choice.

First there was the notorious grannygate scandal enveloping Stephen Ireland, followed by Kevin Foley’s pre Euro 2012 heartache and more recently Darron Gibson’s anger at a lack of playing time at the forgettable competition.

The case of Aston Villa star Stephen Ireland is well documented and still to this day media reports link him with a return to the Irish fold.

In September 2007, Ireland was at the centre of controversy when, in the immediate aftermath of an Irish game and days before a crucial game against the Czech Republic, manager Steve Staunton informed him of a telephone call received from his girlfriend reporting the death of his maternal grandmother. Staunton quickly consented to Ireland’s compassionate leave on these grounds.

However the media quickly discovered that Ireland’s grandmother was not dead, at which point Ireland backtracked and announced it was his paternal grandmother who died but yet again this revolving tale of dead grannies was far from finished. Reporters discovered that Ireland’s paternal grandmother was also still alive and her relatives even went as far as threatening to sue one newspaper that reported her death. Ex Man City midfielder Ireland changed his story again, saying one of his grandfathers had divorced, and it was his second wife who had died. Hardly surprising that was also quickly discovered to be untrue.

Ireland eventually came out with the truth, admitting he had invented a reason to leave the Irish team in order to visit his girlfriend in Cork, who, he claimed, had a miscarriage. “I decided at that stage that I must tell the truth and admit I had told lies,” Ireland said. “I realise now it was a massive mistake to say my grandmothers had died and I deeply regret it.”

Irish manager Staunton was furious at Ireland, a player who was seen as having the potential to lift what was a sinking ship. Stan’s mood wasn’t helped by the fact Ireland lost 1–0 to the Czechs in a game which effectively ended their hopes of qualifying for the Euro 2008 championships. Ireland said his girlfriend had miscarried and that “caused us to panic.”

His wave of lies has split Irish opinion, many would gladly accept a player of his ability but then there are those who feel his antics make him unfit to wear the green jersey again. But while the media continue to link the Villa ace with a return to the Irish side, it’s not exactly a topic that many fear will come to a resolution any time soon. Not that many care for such a resolution anyway.

Rather it’s the more recent case of Everton midfielder Darren Gibson that has Irish fans crying out for a swift resolution.

The ex Manchester United star is one of the most prominent Irish players in the Premier League, so it comes as no surprise that fans are longing for his return.  Gibson has not featured in an Ireland squad since Euro 2012, having requested some time off following the disappointment of being an unused substitute in all three games in Poland.

Many cite Gibson as the latest victim of the Giovanni Trapattoni era. Poor communication and a no nonsense attitude has put an end to the international careers of Andy Reid and Stephen Reid, to name but a few. Shane Long and James McClean are two of Ireland’s brightest stars, both feature regularly in the Premier League yet run ins with Trap have re-signed them to limited roles, although Gibson’s case is more severe.

Derry born Gibson finds his opportunities in the Irish set up incredibly limited, lining up behind Keith Andrews, Glen Whelan and James McCarthy in the midfield pecking order. One could also place David Meyler, Paul Green and Wes Hoolahan above Gibson.

Trapattoni has revealed that Gibson has assured him he will be ready to return to the Irish squad for February’s friendly with Poland, but how often has Trap spun us a tale, only for the player to reveal the truth sometime later. If, and when Gibson returns, will he remain in the fold for the foreseeable future, as he is arguably further down the pecking order now than he was before his self imposed exile.

One thing that seems certain is that Gibson won’t enjoy a fruitful international career while the Italian remains in charge. The Everton midfielder would have been glad to see the back of Trap after the Faroes Islands game, only for the FAI to grant him a stay of execution.

Darron Gibson won’t be a key player at the 2014 World Cup, who says we will even make it to Brazil. The 25 year old does however have time on his side and it’s fairly safe to assume that he will be a prominent member of the Irish team who will be battling to reach Euro 2016, under the guidance of a new manager.

Whether Stephen Ireland will feature alongside him in that team is a question of much debate, but it’s not too far from reality to foresee it happening.