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10th Sep 2013

Austria v Ireland – Player Ratings

On another bitterly disappointing night for the Boys in Green, here’s how we thought the Irish players fared in Vienna.

Conor Heneghan

On another bitterly disappointing night for the Boys in Green, here’s how we thought the Irish players fared in Vienna.

David Forde: 6

Pulled off a couple of decent saves in the first half, looked steadier than he did against Sweden on Friday night and couldn’t have done anything to have prevented Alaba’s winner. Doesn’t inspire absolute confidence between the sticks but worth his place ahead of Westwood on current form.

Seamus Coleman: 7

In our opinion, Coleman was Ireland’s best player on the night and his performances have been the most promising aspect of a very disappointing qualification campaign. Threw himself in the way of two consecutive goal-bound efforts early in the second half as well as making a number of purposeful runs down the right-hand side. The Donegal man has gone from barely making the squad to a key player in a very short space of time and will be a fixture for years to come.

Seamus Coleman jumps with  Aleksandar Dragovic and Christian Fuchs  10/9/2013

Richard Dunne: 6

Built on Friday night’s display with another reasonably solid showing here and it wasn’t his fault that the Irish defence became more and more under siege as the second half wore on. It’s not going to matter in terms of qualification at this stage but you’d worry for Ireland without Dunne away to Germany next time out.

John O’Shea: 5

The booking that ruled him out of the Germany game was harsh and his night went from bad to worse when he had to limp off with an ankle injury early in the second half.

O’Shea hasn’t been at his best in a green jersey for a long time but the Irish defence looked shakier in his absence, even if that was more down to Austria upping the tempo rather than any influence the Sunderland man was wielding at the back.

Marc Wilson: 5

Probably had more efforts on goal than anyone in the Irish team but his contributions going forward were overshadowed by the very weak clearance that presented Alaba with the opportunity to score the winner.

Anthony Pilkington 6

The Norwich winger was the subject of some criticism after Friday night in light of the circumstances he came into the side, but there were plenty of reasons for encouragement in his first half-display. Was keen to get on the ball and fired an effort narrowly wide before fading in the second half. Worth another shot in the future and the more we see of that immaculate beard, the better.

Paul Green: 5

The reaction in social media circles to Green being named man of the match was vociferous to say the least but he wasn’t the worst player in a black jersey; far from it. Worked his socks off as expected and didn’t give the ball away as often as we’re used to, but like his midfield partner, he paled in comparison to David Alaba, by far and away the best player on the pitch.

James McCarthy: 5

A second mediocre performance in succession from the Everton midfielder, whose occasional failure to impose himself on proceedings was in evidence once again. Did very well to clear a ball off the line when Austria were battering the Irish goal, but overall he’ll be disappointed with a rather limp display in the centre of the park.

Jonathan Walters: 4

Nearly got on a dangerous ball across the box in the first half but that aside he was virtually anonymous and was probably lucky to stay on the pitch when both Pilkington and Long were replaced in the second half.

Robbie Keane: 4

Showed once again on Friday why he’s worth having on the pitch but he showed once again that, at this stage in his career, that his influence on general play is minimal to say the least. Fizzed a dangerous ball across goal in the first half and snatched at a half-chance late on and that about sums up his contribution to proceedings.

Shane Long: 5

Long does so much well that you almost feel bad pointing out his failings but it is on nights like this that his lack of subtlety and composure in the act of scoring and creating chances is exposed.

As usual, he proved a right pain in the arse to play against and he almost set up a goal for Walters in the first half but any chances that came his way were snatched at and he cut a frustrated figure when coming off with ten minutes left.

Shane Long and Christian Fuch 10/9/2013


Ciaran Clark: 5

Unfortunate in that Austria noticeably upped the pace and Ireland wilted almost as soon as he came on and it was understandable if he looked a little uncomfortable in the wake of an opposition onslaught. If he thought that was bad, however, just wait until he plays in a weakened defence in Germany next month.

James McClean: 5

Made a couple of decent runs down the left without producing much in the way of a final ball and the selection of Pilkington ahead of him along with the emergence of Robbie Brady and the return of Aiden McGeady means he’ll have a fight on his hands to make the starting line-up in future.

Conor Sammon: 5

Barely noticeable after coming on as a late replacement for Shane Long.


Giovanni Trapattoni: 3

Judged by tonight alone, his selection of Paul Green in a game that Ireland needed to win was fairly baffling and his refusal to try and adjust the midfield to cope with the huge influence Alaba was having on the game was costly in the end. Again, it would have been nice to see Hoolahan try to make an impact, but we’re sick of banging that particular drum at this stage.

Judged in a wider context, his time is up and he knows it. Ireland need a new voice and the comments of some Irish players, particularly Marc Wilson, in recent days, suggests that even the players are a little fed up of his methods at this stage. When he does go, it should be remembered that Trap was responsible for a lot of good days, but for now it’s time to say Arrivederci.