Out with the old, in with the not so new for Ireland
There are a couple of very big names missing from the Irish soccer squad for the upcoming friendly with Serbia and the new faces that will be replacing them aren’t exactly fresh either.
Following the incredibly disappointing performance of the Boys in Green at the Euros, there had been calls for a radical revolution in the Irish squad, but those hoping to see the likes of Wes Hoolahan, Ciaran Clark or Anthony Pilkington are likely to be sorely disappointed.
Captain Robbie Keane, Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Keith Andrews and Stephen Hunt are amongst the established names conspicuous by their absence from the squad, but rather than looking to include some fresh faces, Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni has instead recalled a host of players who have featured in the squad in the recent past.
Andy Keogh and Keith Treacy are amongst those to benefit from what appears to be a typically conservative approach from Trap, although the presence of Marc Wilson, after an apparent falling out with the manager, and James McCarthy, after the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his exclusion from the Euros, is very welcome indeed.
It could be that there are few alternatives out there or that Trap is simply unwilling to take risks, but on paper there doesn’t seem to be much to get excited about and the initial reaction on Twitter has certainly been along those lines.
Ireland take on Serbia in Belgrade on 15 August.
Ireland squad: Westwood, Forde, Randolph; Wilson, O'Shea, St. Ledger, O'Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane; Whelan, Gibson, McCarthy, Green, Coleman, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Treacy; Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.