'If Mark Noble Had Come Into The Squad, I Would Have Snapped Him In Half'

'If Mark Noble Had Come Into The Squad, I Would Have Snapped Him In Half'

Earlier this week, it emerged that Liam Kelly had turned down a chance to be part of the Ireland squad for the friendly against Turkey on Friday evening.

The Reading midfielder had been called up to the provisional squad but subsequently did not return calls from Martin O'Neill. He later relayed his decision to O'Neill via text message.

The Ireland manager had been under the impression, following a conversation with his agent, that Kelly would be open to pulling on the green jersey. 22-year-old Kelly, whose grandparents are Irish, has previously represented Ireland at under-19 and under-21 levels.

Speaking on Off The Ball's Keith Andrews Show, the former Ireland international said that he has no time for players like Kelly who are unsure regarding their commitment to Ireland.

"He's keeping his options open, he's weighing it up. He doesn't want to commit yet," said Andrews.

I don't want us to be plan B. If we're plan B, do one. I genuinely feel that. I'm not [OK with] six months, 12 months time if he goes on [and decides he wants to play with us], not for me.

During Andrews's time as an Ireland player, there had been suggestions that West Ham midfielder Mark Noble could declare for Ireland. If he had, he would not have received a kind welcome from the Dubliner.


"I'll tell you what, I've been in squads before where there's been this type of talk. Such and such has an Irish granny and he might consider Ireland now. What do you mean, 'might consider Ireland now?' That's nonsense.

"If Mark Noble had come into the squad, I would have snapped him in half."

To be fair to Mark Noble, he has said in the past that he did not want to declare for Ireland as he felt there would be young Irish-born players more deserving of a cap and who would appreciate it more than he would have.

"So for me to turn up to play for Ireland without it having been a dream of mine, and there’s an Irish kid out there who might miss out when it’s their dream to play for Ireland. I couldn’t do that," Noble said on Graham Hunter's Big Interview podcast last year.

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PJ Browne
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