Even by normal standards, it's been a baffling week for fans of the Ireland team. What should have been a dawdle of a preparation for the vital match in Skopje has devolved into total farce. Depending on what side of the bed you get up on, you now have to believe that either a) Trapattoni and Tardelli are borderline incompetent at the job of getting a team to Dublin and have many lost their young players or b) Some of the best talent in the next generation of Irish players are so indifferent about wearing the green jersey they barely do anything at all to inform the FAI and management about injuries. And yes, it is possible to be of two minds on this situation. The McCarthy situation is especially mind-boggling because he has recent in terms of not making the journey to Dublin on top of a legitimate excuse to want to stay in Wigan for the week, ie the tons of abuse he'd take from Scottish fans. No one wants to see him seriously injure himself, so some clear communication about that injury, were it legit, would have put the issue to bed Sunday night.
So who can separate the truth from the lies if no side seems plausible?
Sky's Enda Brady has waded into the discussion via Twitter tonight to inform people on the McCarthy situation. His news is that McCarthy's ankle is still bruised, that he's staying in Wigan for the week and that he has no fear of playing in Scotland. Brady also confronted the Indo's Dan McDonnell on Twitter yesterday - who in our opinion, is the best reporter covering the Ireland team beat and seems to have reputable sources within the McCarthy camp - for fanning 'negativity' over the McCarthy issue.
So, if you take the word of Brady - a well-sourced Sky journalist and a passionate Ireland fan - we've all been too cynical about McCarthy. No one's doubting his injury. But it's hard to question the FAI medical staff's reading over that bone scan. Ultimately, McCarthy's made his own bed here. It'll be interesting to see where the consensus lies if/when Trap shows him up.