James McClean has been the undoubted hero of Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign so far.
He has been directly responsible for two of Ireland's victories, getting the winner in Vienna on Saturday and also a double against Moldova to ensure ithe win.
The West Brom winger is beginning to show substantial maturity. That was shown by his decision to come off during the game against Austria fearing that his back injury, which he thought was starting to affect his game, would lead him to become a liability.
Such has been McClean's development, Martin O'Neill was asked about the possibility of the 27-year-old captaining Ireland in the future. The manager's jovial response (which you can listen to on 98FM.com) showed a real affection for the player.
For James? Oh I think you're going far too far up the road now for James to be captain of the side - he's a lunatic!
I think Coleman would have a lot to say about that at the moment. He's grabbed that captaincy and has excelled in it.
When James is the captain, I'll be long dead by that time.
O'Neill's answer drew howls of laughter from the media. He added that McClean does have the qualities required to be Ireland captain but that it may yet be a while before he pulls on the armband.
I'm quite sure it'd be in his nature and has he got the drive and determination to do all those things? Absolutely. But that would be down to road when he's about 40.
Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE