Football

Sheffield Wednesday Coach Thinks Martin O'Neill Needs To Reevaluate Goalkeeping Situation

Sheffield Wednesday Coach Thinks Martin O'Neill Needs To Reevaluate Goalkeeping Situation

Since the 44th minute of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Germany 16 months ago, Darren Randolph has been number one for Martin O'Neill.

In that time, Randolph hasn't really set a foot wrong at international level. He has also established himself as first choice for West Ham after Adrian's form took a dip in mid-Novemebr.

However, Andy Rhodes, who is the goalkeeping coach for Sheffield Wednesday, feels there should be more of a debate about who should be first choice Ireland keeper.

Speaking to the local Sheffield paper, The Star, Rhodes said he's surprised that Wednesday keeper Keiren Westwood has not played more for Ireland.

I’m surprised Keiren hasn’t featured more internationally. He has done really well for us.

Darren Randolph played in the summer and is a terrific goalkeeper. He is a very talented boy. Is he better than Keiren? That’s up for debate. I have got my own opinions on that.

Westwood's last game for Ireland was a friendly against England in June 2015.

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He was, a little bit surprisingly, part of Ireland's squad at Euro 2016. That surprise was not due to form but rather what were perceived as Martin O'Neill's personal preferences. It was presumed David Forde would be Ireland's third choice keeper at the tournament.

Rhodes added that he thinks the 32-year-old Westwood is now reaching the peak of his abilities.

I have known Keiren since he was 14 and worked with him at Manchester City. He’s fantastic. In terms of his decision-making, game play and match tempo, he is probably heading into his peak and where he wants to be.

Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

PJ Browne
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