Football

Irish Midfielder Explains Why It's 'Easier To Get Into The England Squad'

Irish Midfielder Explains Why It's 'Easier To Get Into The England Squad'

When Martin O'Neill names his bumper 40 man squads, many of us like to think of the poor individuals who lie outside that extended bubble. The likes of Simon Cox are named almost every time with no chance of making the final squad and every time we ask what the hell the point is.

And that's particularly the case for those lying outside the magic 40. We joke that Martin O'Neill has named every Irish qualified player in the Premier League and the Championship but that's not entirely true. One man who is often referenced when it comes to the forgotten few (and we do mean few) is Birmingham's Stephen Gleeson.

As a youngster at Wolves, Gleeson was one of a number of fringe players to get the call up to the very memorable US tour in 2007. A spate of withdrawals saw Steve Staunton turn to, most famously of all, Joseph Lapira but Gleeson is perhaps one of the most intriguing of that group. An international cap may be a nice thing to have but it did little for the Dubliner's early career and a spate of loans followed before he settled at MK Dons.

A move to Birmingham last season saw him return to the Championship and his form this season has seen Gleeson being mentioned for another crack at the Ireland set-up. However, according to the player himself, that seems unlikely to happen judging by the repetitiveness of Martin O'Neill's squad selection.

Speaking to the Herald, Gleeson has said that while he's not giving up hope of forcing his way into O'Neill's plans, there appears to be a key difference between Ireland and England when it comes to giving the fringe players a chance to impress. And while Gleeson is certainly not complaining, he may have a point.

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It's probably easier to get into the England squad than the Irish one right now as Roy Hodgson is trying out so many players.

Martin and Roy have a squad, those players have done the job over the last two years so I can't knock anyone. The next Ireland game is March so all I can do is hope that some of the new faces get a chance, then it's up to the players to take that chance

Glesson pointed to the emergence of his former MK Dons teammate, Dele Alli, on the England scene as proof of Roy Hodgson's willingness to experiment but O'Neill has suggested he's open to changing his mind ahead of next summer. With that in mind, we may yet see Gleeson turn into one of these bolters we keep hearing about.

See also: Roy Keane Highlights Three Players In Danger Of Missing Out On Euro 2016 Squad

See also: Spectacular Strike From Dele Alli Puts England Ahead Against France

 

Gary Reilly

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