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The Player Ratings From Ireland's Stroll Against Oman

The Player Ratings From Ireland's Stroll Against Oman
By Gavin Cooney
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The boys from Oman stopped being relevant oppositon quicker than you can say Ahmed Hadid Thuwaini Al-Mukhaini.

Ireland played 4-3-3, with Westwood given a start in goal, Robbie Brady at left-back and Ciaran Clark and Marc Wilson at centre-back.Robbie started up front, and he got his goal in style. Here are our player ratings, allowing for the lack of opposition.

Keiren Westwood - 8

Actually had to make a save in the first-half at 0-0. Sang the national anthem. He usually doesn't do that. Evidently getting serious abut nudging Randolph out of the shirt.

Cyrus Christie - 8

The 'let Christie take it' gags were more appropriate for Keane in the early stages, so willing were his teammates to allow their captain to score. Bombed up and down the right, with his crossing a mixed bag.

Ciaran Clark - 8

Lost  his man at an early corner to allow Oman's best goalscoring chance 0f 2016 (probably). Otherwise untroubled.

Marc Wilson - 8

Had nothing to do. Got on the ball a lot, and did some decent pointing. His passing was not always perfect, mind.

Robbie Brady - 9

Euro 2016 taught us that Robbie Brady was probably wasted at left-back for Ireland. He played there tonight, however, and promptly went about making the Aviva his own. One gorgeous free kick, one precise whipped assist for Jon Walters' forehead and further proof of the nonsense he's not in the Premier League.


Glenn Whelan - 8

Whelan was turned a couple of times in midfield in the first half, and may have been out-pointed by Marc Wilson. Expect him to be playing in Belgrade.

Stephen Quinn - 8 

Quinn was tidy in midfield: he knitted things together nicely whilst wearing some very red boots. He may be disappointed with an 8: we gave  him 10 when he came on as a sub against Italy. (We were winning when he came on).

Harry Arter - 9

Yes Harry, yes. Arter was a big miss at the Euros (a fit Arter in the midfield three against Belgium may have been preferable to a half-fit McCarthy) and after a slightly rusty start, he found his luxuriant passing range within a few minutes, and should have won a penalty in the second half. Rusty in patches, but that assist was delightful.


Jon Walters - 9

God, imagine what we could have done with a fully fit Walters in France. Here he was in rampant mood: scoring twice and hitting the post with the kind of front-post move and flick that Olivier Giroud has carved a full career out of doing. Also won the free-kick that led to the first goal. And gave up a goal to allow Robbie Keane try and score, which we will agree was a nice thing to do.  Also, we're not sure if there is another Irish player better suited to playing with a bandaged head. Hey, Serbia: Johnny's coming over the hill.

Shane Long - 6


Long was shunted out left in the first half, and consequently, was very quiet. But he's now the highest scoring Irish international still active, with just 52 goals to go to catch up to the great man.

Robbie Keane - 68

Good night, sweet prince.


Second-Half Substitutes 

Darren Randolph - 10

For what he had to do: sit on the bench, get changed, come on, stand around and smile, he did it perfectly. He kicked it long in the final ten minutes to remind us he had once set up a goal against Germany.

Stephen Ward - 8

Had nothing to do. But he may well start in Serbia.

James McClean - 7

Caused a the comedic moment of the night when two Oman defenders collided in the penalty area, fell over and contrived to lose the ball. He was his usual busy self, but will be disappointed not to have offered more of a goal threat.


Jeff Hendrick - 8

Hendrick is so, so good on the ball. He sealed a Premier League transfer to Burnley earlier today, and brought a great save out of the Oman goalkeeper in this game. That first international goal will come soon enough.

Wes Hoolahan - 8

Wes was the man who replaced Robbie, showed teasers of that wand of a left foot. The next man to wear #10 for Ireland?

Callum O'Dowda - 7

O'Dowda is highly exciting, but didn't make too much of an impact on this, the occasion of his Aviva debut. But Ireland ended the game with Hendrick, Arter and O'Dowda knocking the ball around. While Robbie's departure is poignant, we've got some proper footballers coming through.


Honourable mentions

Eunan O'Kane - 10 

Sealed a move to Leeds United while sitting on the subs bench. A decent night's work.

Hudson Keane - 10 

The lad's showed great hunger there, Clive.


Unto Belgrade we go.

See Also: Watch: Robbie Keane Gives Emotional Post-Game Interview Upon His Farewell To Ireland

See Also: Watch: Robbie Keane Gets Magnificent Ovation As He Leaves International Football Forever

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