England 1-1 Ireland. Ireland Player Ratings
There were some very good individual displays from the Boys in Green tonight and some not so good ones. Here’s how we thought the Ireland lads got on.
David Forde 8
Excellent yet again. Very comfortable under the high ball and did well to stop a number of efforts, particularly from Theo Walcott and a late effort from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Speaks volumes for Forde that Kieren Westwood’s name is barely mentioned and that there doesn’t seem to be much clamour for a Shay Given return.
Seamus Coleman 9
Man of the match and by some way the best player on the pitch on the night. Put in a brilliant delivery for Long’s opener, coped well with the threat of The Ox on the wing, looked dangerous every time he went forward and did brilliantly to stop Ashley Cole scoring what would have been a winner in the second half.
Outstanding display to cap an outstanding end to his season.
John O’Shea 6
The most seasoned campaigner in the Irish defence didn’t have a whole lot to do to be honest, but he looked pretty comfortable whenever he did.
Sean St. Ledger 5
Hadn’t played in the Irish defence for a while and it showed early on when he should really have done better to prevent Frank Lampard’s goal. Recovered pretty well afterwards but he’s had and will have better nights than this.
Stephen Kelly 6
Had difficulty dealing with Theo Walcott on a number of occasions and most of England’s threat in the first half came via Walcott or the advancing Glen Johnson down the right hand side. Better in the second half but England weren’t displaying the same urgency after that.
Jonathan Walters 6
There’s no doubting that Walters can do a job out wide but tonight just wasn’t his night. It was Coleman who was doing all the attacking down Ireland’s right and although Walters’ industry allowed the full-back to get forward, the game seemed to pass him by a little.
Glenn Whelan 5
Unconvincing and that’s not the first time that label has applied to Whelan in an Ireland shirt in recent times. It’s not easy in a four-man midfield but Whelan seems to struggle with the pace of the game at times and with McCarthy now the main man in the middle, he might struggle to keep his place going forward.
James McCarthy 8
Very, very good. Proved a constant thorn in the side of Lampard and Carrick in England’s midfield and used his boundless energy to act as a dominating influence going forward for Ireland. Comfortable in possession and starting to impose himself in a green jersey as he has been doing for Wigan for some time.
On the evidence of the last few games, it is he and Coleman who represent the future for Ireland for many years to come.
Aiden McGeady 6
As ever, a mixed bag from the Spartak Moscow man. His twinkle toes bamboozled Glen Johnson at times but there was very little end product and nothing here to change the minds of the many Irish fans who find McGeady a talented but often hugely frustrating presence.
Robbie Keane 5
Robbie should be commended for his efforts to make himself available but just as he was on the plane across the pond, he was a passenger at Wembley. I’m struggling to remember any huge contribution of note and his removal just after the hour wasn’t a huge surprise.
Shane Long 8
Another of Ireland’s excellent performers on the night. Took his goal extremely well and as he has a habit of doing, proved to be a nuisance for the opposition rearguard. He also did a very god job of pressing Michael Carrick in particular and once again proved that he is the man to lead the Irish attack.
Simon Cox 5
Managed to get himself offside for Ireland’s best opportunity in the second half and didn’t do a whole lot besides.
James McClean 5
Decent effort at a free-kick but didn’t really threaten otherwise.
Not on long enough to be rated.
Not on long enough to be rated.
Giovanni Trapattoni 6
Whether it was his influence or that of the players themselves, Ireland were certainly up for this one and they were more than a match for England for the first hour or so.
It’s not Trapattoni’s prerogative to pander to the wishes of the Irish fans, but it would have been nice to see Wes Hoolahan appear instead of Cox and Sammon given that he offers something completely different to everyone else in the squad.