Football

Ireland Player Ratings After A Disheartening Victory In Gibraltar

Ireland Player Ratings After A Disheartening Victory In Gibraltar

Well, what can you say about that? Ireland have three points on the board from their opening Euro 2020 qualifier, but it was not a good night for Mick McCarthy's men.

Say what you want about the pitch or the wind, but Ireland were very poor. Against one of the true minnows of European football, there was not as big of a gap between the sides as many would have assumed.

With Georgia coming to town on Tuesday night, the signs are not good.

Darren Randolph - 7

Was a passenger in the first half, with absolutely nothing to do. Came up big right at the beginning of the second period, producing a world class save to deny the hosts the lead. Could have been a vastly different outcome had that one found the back of the net.

Launched the attack that led to the goal too.

Seamus Coleman - 6

Advertisement

Formed a strong partnership with Doherty down the right, the wing that was the source of all of Ireland's attacking play in the opening period. Almost forced an own goal with a dangerous cross, before McGoldrick failed to tuck away another one of his deliveries.

Had far less of an impact in the second half, offering none of the attacking outlet that you would have hoped for. Perhaps that was linked to the withdrawal of Doherty, with Brady doing very little as his replacement.

Shane Duffy - 6

Easily sniffed out any of the balls played up field by the Gibraltar defence, and was never really troubled. Duffy got the ball down and tried to play out from the back at times, something rarely seen in the Martin O'Neill era. Some of that may have been down to the opposition, but encouraging nonetheless.

Missed a golden opportunity at the end.

Advertisement

Richard Keogh - 6

Much like Duffy, had very little to do in the game. Gibraltar were limited to long range efforts, and the defensive pairing could not be blamed for a lacklustre offensive performance.

Enda Stevens - 5

Had nothing to do defensively, but did not really display that trademark cavalier style we have become accustomed to seeing at Sheffield United. Gibraltar got some space down the left in the closing stages, which was not helped by McClean's uncharacteristically porous nature in front of him.

Matt Doherty - 6

Struggled to link up with Coleman in the opening few minutes, but grew into the game as the opening half went on. Showed some nice touches down the right flank, and tried to drive Ireland forward.

Advertisement

Was reasonably quiet at the start of the second period, before being strangely withdrawn after 55 minutes despite playing quite well.

Jeff Hendrick - 6

Made the telling contribution to the match, but was average overall. Never really dictated the game, failing to get in between the lines when Ireland tried to play out from the back.

The Burnley man burst into life at the start of the second half, providing the finding touch on a well-worked Ireland move to give his side the lead. Took his goal very well, but did little else.

Conor Hourihane - 8

Advertisement

The Villa man was at the epicentre of everything good Ireland did. Came deep and tried to get the side playing, often in vain. His set piece delivery was incredible all afternoon, and probably should have had a couple of assists in the first half. Was the architect of the opening goal, with a wonderful ball to find McGoldrick.

Ireland's brightest player on a disappointing day, and looks to be the type of player we have been missing in recent years.

James McClean - 5

Worked hard down the left, but was largely starved of possession. Did not do much when getting on the ball either. As has been the case at club level as of late, a poor performance from McClean.

David McGoldrick - 7

Advertisement

Was a strong option for Ireland up front, consistently making himself available to be found down the flanks. Was unlucky when his goal-bound flick from a Coleman cross was blocked by a defender.

He provided the assist for the opener, finding Hendrick well with a tidy pullback. A decent reintroduction to the international scene.

Sean Maguire - 5

Was a non-factor in the match, struggling to make any real impact on the game. Played Coleman through with a nice reverse pass, but was otherwise poor.

Given the chance to cement his place in the team, it was nowhere near good enough.

Substitutes

Robbie Brady - 5

Drifted in from the right wing upon his introduction, but failed to make much of an impact. Clearly not back firing yet after his recent return from injury.

Harry Arter - 6

Playing in an unfamiliar position high up the pitch after his introduction, Arter put himself about. Made a couple of nice interceptions, and worked hard on and off the ball.

SEE ALSO: Carey, Martin, Gorman Too - The Ballad Of The Irish Moonlighters

Gary Connaughton

You may also like