1. Reflects a severe lack of creative quality
“Why isn’t Wes Hoolahan playing? He should be playing from the start and for as long as he’s fit. We’re carrying Glenn Whelan. I love Wes Hoolahan like my own child”
Not exactly verbatim but along the lines of what Eamonn Dunphy has said plenty of times in the past. Even Liam Brady seems to have joined the ‘Wes Hoolohan’ fan club recently. All it took was a night of ‘anti-football’ in Georgia to convince him. While it’s clear Hoolohan is comfortable on the ball, it’s a sad state of affairs when you’re relying on a 35-year-old who can’t get a game for a Norwich team stuck at the bottom of the Championship.
2. No kids coming through
We previously wrote about young Irish players that could make a break through soon. However, they’re perhaps a couple of years away from making their Irish debut. Martin O’Neill has not blooded many kids during his time in charge. It’s a worrying state of affairs. Glenn Whelan (32) is normally the Irish captain, Meyler is 28, while even baby-faced McGeady is 31. McClean is probably still considered one of our younger talents at 28. O’Neill and Keane aren’t exactly putting a plan in place for the future. Hoolahan will continue to be our go-to guy when some creativity is needed. At Euro 2020, he’s going to be 38 years old.
3. Managerial conservatism
We were unlucky in our defeat to Serbia but the damage was done in Georgia. Starting with Whelan and Artur in midfield was O’Neill’s conservative side coming through. They didn’t stand a chance against a technically gifted, but limited Georgian side. Why would you not play a creative midfielder like Hoolahan in that case? Meyler, who is a great passer of the ball, didn’t even get on the pitch. While Conor Hourihane, a player who should be starting more games in green, also didn’t get a sniff.
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