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19th Nov 2013

Poland v Ireland Player Ratings

A much tougher night in Poznan for Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane's men, and here's how we thought the new-look side got on.


A much tougher night in Poznan for Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane’s men, and here’s how we thought the new-look side got on.

So, after the euphoria of thumping Latvia, facing a very determined Polish team, at home, was a different story. Ireland made a lot of changes, and the game was played at a pace closer to a qualifier than a friendly, so this was perhaps a better indication of what MonKeano’s side will play like when under pressure.

They bent, but didn’t break and considering the absence of the likes of Dunne, Keane and Coleman, this side can be proud of nabbing a hard-fought 0-0 draw.

David Forde 7

Another confident display by the Millwall man. Made a few good saves, most notably with about 20 minutes left when he dived smartly to his left to keep the scores at 0-0. A few too many long punts but the Poles were pushing up so had little option

Stephen Kelly 6

Had a decent chance to score in the first half but headed his chance into the ground and over the bar. Defended capably throughout.

Sean St Ledger 6

Off after just over 30 minutes through injury, he was a physical presence until forced to leave the fray.

Marc Wilson 7

An excellent defensive display by the Stoke man. Asked many more questions than he was on Friday night against Latvia, he coped well and this may be his best position for Ireland.

Stephen Ward 6

Defended well and produced our first shot on target on the hour mark. Started off a bit shaky but calmed down and did wonders for his international reputation.

Jon Walters 7

Captain for the night, he was tireless on the right and had a few decent flick-ons that Robbie Keane would have appreciated, if he had been there of course. Defended well when required and still found time to make an impact at the other end.

James McCarthy 6

Sitting deep with Green, the Everton man did roam forward a bit more and picked out a few more passes than his partner but we would still like to see him take a game by the scruff of the neck and dominate it. Didn’t play badly but we just want more from him.

Paul Green 7

A more than decent showing by the much-maligned Green, who protected his back four manfully. Never going to ping 60-yard passes to spilt defences but tidy, effective and hard working.

Aiden McGeady 7

Not given as much room as he was on Friday  but McGeady was bright, tricky and popped in a few decent crosses to boot.

Anthony Stokes 5

With Ireland playing much more direct, the front pair were feeding off scraps and Stokes struggled to get into the game.

Shane Long 6

The better of the front duo, Long never really looked like scoring bar just missing a chance from a McClean cross midway through the second half.


John O’Shea 6

On early for the injured St Ledger, O’Shea’s first act was to handle the ball and get a booking. With Ireland under pressure in the closing stages, he steadied the ship.

Kevin Doyle, Alex Pearce, Wes Hoolahan, James McClean and Glenn Whelan not on long enough to be rated

Manager 7

Seeing as many players as possible across the two games was the goal for Martin O’Neill and that was achieved. More encouragingly, they all seemed to want to impress the new gaffer and while the Latvia game was highlighted by fine interplay and an attacking verve, this game showed defensive grit and endeavour.

Getting the draw was deserved and it is great to see the spirit instilled back in the team.