Seamus Coleman has never disappointed when playing for Ireland. While many players can struggle to replicate their club form on the international stage, the Donegal man has never had such issues.
He has consistently produced, regardless of the form of the team, or the manager in charge at that time. He seems to be the type a player that has a level of performance that he just does not drop below. And yet, he himself will tell you a very different story.
Coleman went through a bit of a sticky patch with Everton earlier this season, and for a time it looked like his place in the starting team could be under threat. Of course he would soon come out the other side of that period, and has been in fine form ever since.
Some claimed that had been the first time the defender had experienced a difficult spell during his career, but he said this was not the case.
He was left out of Ireland's squad for Euro 2012 under Giovanni Trapattoni, a decision that was widely derided at the time. Speaking to the media yesterday, he admitted that his down spell at the turn of the year was not the first of his career, and a similar lull cost him a place in Poland seven years ago.
People still talk about the Euros in 2012 and how did I not go – I didn’t deserve to go. I remember I was terrible for Everton that year.
I think to come back from the injury I had and have a sticky spell was probably down to the injury but when I was wasn’t playing well before that it was just I wasn’t playing well.
No, I’ve had up and down years at Everton. Yeah, it was a tough time and maybe the pressure from the media and the fans was a little bit more than it had been but I always say we get paid very well to do our job and that comes with the job. But I’ve definitely had sticky spells for Everton.
Coleman plays gets himself out of those lean periods by the most honest means necessary: hard work. As he put it: "the harder you work sometimes the luckier you get", but you get the feeling there is little luck involved with his successes in the game.
As for the next generation coming through, it has been claimed that many lack the type of work ethic that players such as the Ireland captain have made their name on.
Coleman has seen this first hand in the Premier League, where young footballers are handed unbelievable pay packages before they even kick a ball in the first team. It is something that does not sit all that well with him.
The game’s changing. Look, there are so many different personalities but I do think that drive probably isn’t the same any more in kids. Probably because they’re getting rewarded for not really doing quite a lot. They can be sorted for life before they even played 10 Premier League games.
I think that’s wrong. I don’t think that’s fair on the young players. They’re not going to turn it down and you wouldn’t blame them.
The whole idea of being a footballer for me is to play in the Premier League. It’s not to have a nice car or have a nice watch. That comes with it if that’s what you’re in to. But it’s to be a Premier League footballer, to be as good as you can be.
There will still be some young kids who have that desire but I do think they are given far too much too soon. And it doesn’t help them because even if you don’t play on a Saturday you’re still picking up a nice wage and living a nice life. For young 18, 19 20 year olds, for me it’s not ideal.
SPAR Better Choices ambassador and Republic of Ireland Captain, Seamus Coleman launched the new SPAR Better Choices Low Fat Protein Milk and Mega Milk.