Dumb it down
Who is the mystery Irish player that is going to miss the Euros?
It has emerged in recent days that one mystery Irish squad player is set to miss the Euros. We look at the possibilities.
So, where has this story about a mystery Irish player and their absence come from?
From the one and only Giovanni Trapattoni, of course. During his meeting with the press are at the weekend, Trap revealed that one squad player would have to miss the Euros, tying it in to the news that James McClean was now pretty much Poland bound.
Did Trap expand on it at all?
No, but FAI head honcho John Delaney did, saying that the manager made him aware of an issue regarding a player earlier in the day.
And what do they mean by ‘issue’?
Ah, this is where things get tricky. As you have probably noticed, Trap’s comments are hard to decipher at the best of times. Some have taken his comment to mean someone is carrying an injury that will keep him out. Others have taken it to mean there is an as yet unknown off-field issue affecting a player.
Without getting too grubby, have we any idea what that off-field issue might be?
A quick scan online reveals nearly every player linked with some personal reason that might keep them out, all of which we can probably take with a pinch of salt. Sean St Ledger, speaking to the press today, also confirmed that there was an issue for an unnamed player, confirming it wasn’t him, joking: “Isn’t it a midfielder?”
So it’s a midfielder then?
We have to assume so and that makes sense regarding McClean. But there are a few lingering injury concerns in our midfield ranks.
Well, Birmingham’s Keith Fahey seems the most likely to us. The Dubliner has a groin injury and he has been rested in recent weeks by Chris Hughton in a bid to have him fit for the Blues play-off push. It is possible that Fahey just needs an op this summer, meaning he misses out on the trip to Poland.
Other contenders are Stephen Hunt, who is just back from a similar op, Everton’s Darron Gibson, who has been subbed off recently by David Moyes, and then there’s Paul Green. The Derby man has confirmed he is leaving Pride Park, and tellingly he spoke to the BBC regarding his future today, saying: "I would love to get things sorted out before the Euros - if I do go."
So Green out, McClean in, happy days?
Yes, but then there is the continued conflicting stories emanating from Russia regarding Aiden McGeady’s form with Spartak Moscow. He seems to be either playing and scoring or getting fined for lack of effort in training. It seems all is not 100 per cent for the Irish winger there but unless there is something major we don’t know about, he is surely Poland bound.
Any chance it is an out-of-sorts striker like Kevin Doyle?
Again, it is possible, as the Wexford man has been a shadow of himself lately, but we will put that down to Wolves' struggles and we think Trap will forgive him those.
As exciting and all as this late squad drama is, when will know for sure?
Trap is set to name the 23-man squad, plus a couple of stand-bys, at 3.30pm next Monday, May 7, so we won’t have long to wait. We hope if someone does miss the trip, it’s nothing too serious and that they will be back in the fold for the World Cup qualifiers.