Football

EirSport Panel Make Compelling Case For Wes Hoolahan To Be Dropped For Austria

EirSport Panel Make Compelling Case For Wes Hoolahan To Be Dropped For Austria

Prior to Ireland's impressive 3-1 win over Uruguay at the Aviva, Denis Irwin, Richard Dunne and Keith Andrews all made a case for Wes Hoolahan to start in Martin O'Neill's XI to take on Austria next weekend.

Afterwards, poor Weso had been dropped from their ideal starting XI, such was the impact they believed Harry Arter to have made in Ireland's midfield.

Arter's all-round proficiency added some much-needed solidity to Ireland's centre, his presence allowing Jeff Hendrick to get into the areas in which he proved so dangerous during the Euros. The Bournemouth man's passing ability, too, was conspicuously superior to those around him, and a constant threat to the Uruguayan defence.

And while Eamon Dunphy presumably wept, the EirSport analysts quickly admitted they had changed their tune on Ireland's best team to face Austria on Saturday, with all three concurring that Arter should start, and Lionel Wessi should not:

Irwin: Absolutely [Arter should play] now, after that performance. He's [the type of] player that we've not had for quite a while. He's very comfortable on the ball. Our ball retention has been very, very poor probably for the last four or five years, Keith? And we need a player of that ilk that's comfortable on the ball, can spot a pass quicker than anybody else - I think - in the team, and keeps the game going. He fits in there alongside Glenn Whelan who'll obviously do the more defensive side of things. He played very well tonight. Of course, I'm fairly certain now that he'll play next week.

Andrews: You'd imagine so, wouldn't you? We were speaking before a bit off camera, and we were saying Wes and Harry Arter probably both don't get into the team. You'd imagine all the rest will, on what they've done so far. I think [Martin O'Neill] set his intention out: that was the midfield three that he's more than likely going to go with. You'd imagine Robbie [Brady] will be to the left, and James [McClean] to the left, if that's the system that he wants to play. Certainly, after today's performance, there's no reason to be changing that.

Dunne:Yeah [I'd start Arter over Hoolahan]. The reason for having Wes in is probably because we lack that little bit of creativity, but we've seen today with the energy, and Jeff Hendrick in particular getting forward so much, that we have got other options in terms of going forward. So, Harry Arter, he can't NOT play next week. He was outstanding today.

Irwin:I thought with Jeff Hendrick playing in [Hoolahan's position], he was able to get past [Jon] Walters as well. He's got the legs to get past Walters. And you see McClean with his goal as well, he's got the legs to get in behind defenders. There's good variation in there now, and probably the front six is nailed on for next week.

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SEE ALSO: The Spanish Commentary For Jon Walters' Peach Against Uruguay Was Outstanding

Gavan Casey
Article written by
Former handwriting champion. Was violently bitten by a pelican at Fota Wildlife Park in 2001.

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