• Home
  • /
  • Football
  • /
  • 'I Rang Him And I Asked Him If He'd Retired And He Said, No, He Hadn't'

'I Rang Him And I Asked Him If He'd Retired And He Said, No, He Hadn't'

'I Rang Him And I Asked Him If He'd Retired And He Said, No, He Hadn't'
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
Share this article

Glenn Whelan was one of the surprise names in Mick McCarthys 38-man provisional squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia.

Last November's friendly against Northern Ireland at the Aviva had been billed as a farewell for the midfielder. However, it seems Whelan was retired by others rather than making the decision himself.

"I rang him and I asked him if he'd retired and he said, no, he hadn't," said McCarthy on Thursday.

He's playing very well. He's playing with Conor Hourihane as well. So there's a bit of a partnership there. At least there is some understanding of playing together with those two.

I wonder about our squad of midfield players, about someone who can do a specific role as a sitter - he certainly can and whether he ends up in the final squad remains to be seen of course. I've been impressed with him.

James McCarthy has also been included in the squad. The Everton midfielder is yet to play a competitive game for the Premier League side since recovering from a double leg fracture suffered in January of last year.

"I've spoken to him a couple of times," said the Ireland manager.


"I was hoping he'd go out on loan in the January window but they wouldn't let him go or he couldn't go for whatever reason. He's not started a game for a long time but I think he's one of our best midfield players. The best midfield players who don't play, they're not the best midfield players, you need people who are playing games, who are battle hardened.


"I'd love to have him back and I've stressed that to him. The last time I was in touch, I was talking about him playing with the U23s because if he got some game time in there, he would have had that 90 minutes and I can't stress [enough] how important that is.

"Never in my time, [with] someone who has been out that long, would I just let them go straight back into the first team - they would have had to play in the reserves or the U23s or the U21s."


Strikers Padraig Amond and James Collins were two of three players to receive their first senior Ireland call-ups, the other being goalkeeper Mark Travers.

"Both have them have scored goals at their respective levels, wherever they have been," said McCarthy.

Padraig Amond, of course, has been brought to the attention of everybody by his goals in the FA Cup. He scored goals all season for his club.

James Collins, we used to watch him when he was in the reserves at Aston Villa and I was at Wolves. He's always been a competent player, a goalscorer.

McCarthy has also been in touch with Daryl Murphy about the Nottingham Forest striker coming out of retirement.

"He's at an age where he likes to have that time off when the international breaks come. It will benefit him in terms of his club career. I did say that 'If I need you and I called you..' and I think the final answer was 'We'll see' so it wasn't a no. Who knows, there might be a game that I need him for."


Picture credit: Sportsfile

Watch: Gary Neville's Giddy Post-Match Interview With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer


Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com