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James McClean Believes His Reputation Is Unfair, And He Has A Point

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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What do you think of when you think about James McClean's playing style?

For most, you think of maximum effort any time he pulls on an Irish jersey, but inevitably thoughts of tough tackling, physical play, and being a bit hot-headed creep into the thought.

There's no question that James McClean brings an element of energy and physicality either when starting or when introduced from the bench, but while his tenacious work-rate is celebrated by Irish fans, it seems to be what is holding him back when it comes to starting regularly in English football.

The idea of McClean being a "hot-head", or as he described himself when speaking to Cian Treacy of Independent.ie in an interesting interview conducted before Ireland's clash with Georgia, a "loose cannon" is widespread among Premier League fans, but if he was such a bad tempered player then why has he only been given his marching orders on two occasions, one of which was later overturned?


That was what James McClean argued when he revealed that he thinks the reputation he holds in unfair.

I think if anything I have a bit of an unfair reputation.

I've been sent off twice in my career; one was rescinded. I think that's not bad for someone who seems to be a loose cannon running into tackles. I think I have an unfair reputation.

It's always been my game do you know what I mean? As the saying goes, it's all or nothing. I just give my all. That's all you can do. Play as best you can and the manager seems to be pleased. I'll not change anything.

Look, it's been going like that for a long while. It doesn't really matter. There on Saturday I got booked late on and straight away I was taken off. The manager said with the crowd there and how hostile it was, that I might get sent off. Things like that, sometimes it does seem a bit unfair.

At the end of the day, I'm not going to change. It's got me this far.

Thankfully, he won't be changing anytime soon.

One might argue that as he is often utilised as a "super-sub" then there isn't much time to pick up two bookings, but considering he has played in six Premier League games, starting five of them, so far this season and has picked up exactly one yellow card, that doesn't hold much weight.

The reality, as far as we are concerned, is that McClean's all-action style of play is something that is sorely needed. Give us a winger who refuses to pull out of a challenge over someone who shirks defensive responsibility every day of the week, especially in this Irish team.


We will admit that we had thought McClean had been shown a red card on more than just two occasions, so we have to admit also that he has a point.

You can read McClean's interview with Cian Treacy in full over on Independent.ie where he also discusses his GAA background and how it shaped him as a player.


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