John Giles: James McCarthy has to want to control the game

McCarthy came in for some criticism for his performance

BY Cian Roche 20:00 Thursday 16 June 2016, 20:00 16 Jun 2016

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

Ireland will have felt disappointed following their 1-1 draw with Sweden on Monday evening and now go into their clash with Belgium without the impact of Jonathan Walters.

Some players did step up on the big stage, Wes Hoolahan and Jeff Hendrick most notably were Ireland's best players during a good performance for the Irish squad.

James McCarthy, meanwhile, came in for some criticism.

"We can’t go on with James McCarthy doing nothing in midfield. He strolls around like a traffic cop, pointing here and pointing there but doing nothing. He got his manager sacked at Everton this season. He is a waste of space, there is no other word for it," Eamonn Dunphy said after his performance against Sweden.

Speaking on tonight's Off The Ball, John Giles spoke of the need for him to demand the ball in midfield and become more of a leader on the pitch.

"I think McCarthy has the talent to do it, but he doesn't have the ambition to do it or the will to do it," he said.

"He has the equipment to do it but you need that and the will to do it. I don't think Whelan has the ability to do it because he's a worker but I think McCarthy could do it.

"I don't know whether Roy Keane or Martin O'Neill have had a word with him or showed him on video. There's either two things, they've either shown him on the video or they've shown him and he isn't going to do it. But he's got good passing ability and good control. But that's no good unless you use it." 

He explained that the need for him to take up a bigger role in demanding the ball in the middle of the park and being able to settle the team when they are under pressure, akin to the pressure applied by Sweden when they fell behind.

"The game can pass you by very, very easily. If the fullback is on the ball, his head is full of what he's going to do on the ball. But if you really demand it, you shout loud enough to frighten him, and then you get the ball.

"If you don't do that he doesn't know you're there... A lot of times I've seen McCarthy play, he's pointing to the fullback to pass it somewhere else instead of demanding it himself... I think if he hasn't done it by now that he isn't going to do it."

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