Posts Tagged ‘Trapattoni|FAI|Premier League|soccer’

The new wunderkid of Irish football is set to make his grand arrival in the friendly match against Brazil next week after James McCarthy was included in the Republic of Ireland squad for the trip to the Emirates Stadium.

It may have taken quite a while, but this is a player that Irish fans that truly get excited about. Forget Stephen Ireland, this 19-year-old is the playmaker that Giovanni Trapattoni can rely on.

McCarthy, like Aiden McGeady, was born and brought up in Scotland, but qualifies for Ireland through family ties. He was recently approached by the Scots to switch back, although he turned them down.

The creative midfielder clearly has a passion to make his mark with Ireland. By naming him in the 23-man squad to take on Brazil, Trapattoni has signalled that the Wigan Athletic player is very much part of his long-term thinking.

After some top class performances in the Premier League this season, it would have been a massive shock had McCarthy not been added to the squad list that was read out at Abbotstown on Monday.

Now for something different

For those that have yet to see McCarthy in action, they are in for a real treat. He operates best when playing as part of a three-man central midfield, but can also play on either wing or as part of a duo in the middle of the pitch.

Just like Andy Reid, he can ignite counter attacks and set up scoring opportunities with a deft flick or precise pass. Unlike Reid, he can cover a lot of ground, track back and tackle and also hold up play to get his team-mates involved.

Some may view him as the direct replacement for Stephen Ireland, who still refuses to budge from his self-imposed international limbo, but the difference with McCarthy is that he is eager to impress and wants to fight for his place in the squad.

Ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifiers in September, Trapattoni may have just found his 'difference maker' as the US media like to label a player that can turn a game around with their individual brilliance.

Good news and bad news

The good news, at least for two others, is that Marc Wilson (Portsmouth) and Greg Cunningham (Manchester City) also got called up for the very first time.

Both should add competition for places in the backline as Wilson can play right-back or centre-back, while Cunningham is a young left-back with plenty of potential.

There were some established squad members that missed out and they will be left wondering if their chances of making future squads have been seriously dented. Amongst those are Eddie Nolan, Damien Delaney, Steven Reid, Liam Miller, Anthony Stokes and Daryl Murphy.

And then there are the players who might have been expecting a call from the FAI, but it never came. Stephen Ward, Keith Fahey and Jonathan Walters certainly fall into that category, although they might feature in the summer friendlies against Paraguay and Algeria.

Overall though, it is a strong squad with three new faces and that is a real positive. McCarthy is the pick of the bunch and his inclusion makes the Brazil game somewhat interesting now.
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