Player Ratings: James McClean adds sparkle to an otherwise flat Irish performance

Here's how we thought the Boys in Green got on this evening during a 1-0 win over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium

BY Newstalk 21:54 Thursday 6 October 2016, 21:54 6 Oct 2016

Republic of Ireland team ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Just like the two last competitive fixtures against Georgia, Ireland made hard work of it but eventually picked up a win thanks to an individual effort.

Once it was Aiden McGeady. Another was Jeff Hendrick to set up Jon Walters and this time Seamus Coleman's charging run eventually led to the goal that broke the deadlock.

But how did the Irish team perform overall? 

Darren Randolph - 5

Very little to do. Once or twice kicked the ball out of play, but otherwise a solid performance. No mistakes really to report and gathered a late volley during some nervy moments in the Irish defence.

Seamus Coleman - 6

Shaky start. Communication with Randolph wasn't the best that it's ever been and his decision making at times was questionable. However, a strong second half including a goal which showed more determination than you could wave a stick at absolved him from any first half errors. One of Ireland's most consistent performers, Captain Coleman. 

Shane Duffy - 5

Continuously fouled the goalkeeper when going up for freekicks and corners. Nothing major troubling the Irish defence, as far as chances went he kept things fairly under wraps. Tendency to hoof, but then again so do a lot of the Irish players. Found his passing boots in the second half.

Ciaran Clark - 5

Like Duffy, didn't have anything major to deal with. Nervous moments when the Georgians hit the bar twice in the space of a few seconds but again, not the most inspiring performance. Clean sheet all the same.  

Stephen Ward - 5

Another of the good Irish performers, he looked eager to get forward with at times to support James McClean. Passing was good, not great. Looked to work from the back and feed McCarthy and Brady however.

James McCarthy - 6

A risk to bring him back in with such little match practice, but he looked tenacious in the tackle. A player with a point to prove and while he may not have done it on the night, shined when others tended to fade. One of the few stand out players from the performance and even saying that he wasn't massively impressive.

Jeff Hendrick - 5 

Anonymous up until the second half. Never really looked settled into the game and didn't take on the role of either creator or someone who was going to break up Georgian play. Didn't really know himself what he was at until the last 35 minutes. Can do better, must do better.  

James McClean - 6

Had a header ruled out for offside on the hour but overall lacked end product in the first half. Almost caught out the goalkeeper with a speculative shot on 65 minutes, although that was more of a goalkeeping error than anything else. But it was a sign that he was one of the slightly better performers in a poor team showing. 

He came even closer in stoppage time as his header thumped against the crossbar.

Ireland's Jonathan Walters with Solomon Kvirkvelia of Georgia ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Robbie Brady - 5

Set the tone early on as he chased back and won the ball back twice in the early minutes. He wasn't able to get into the game in the first half from his No 10 berth.

Suffered a clash of heads with a Georgian defender while challenging for a header on 75 minutes and after lengthy treatment, had to be stretchered off the field of play as he was unable to continue.

Jonathan Walters - 5

Came close with an over-head effort on 37 minutes with his back to goal but sent it over. 

Shane Long - 5

Worked hard as always off the ball and also ran the channels. He wasn't a goal threat however and failed to connect properly with an aerial effort on 57 minutes shortly after Coleman's goal.

Picked up a knock in stoppage time which will be a worry with Moldova to come in a few days.


Glenn Whelan

Came on for Robbie Brady with 10 minutes to go.

John O'Shea 

The veteran defender was brought on in the third minute of stoppage time for Shane Long to shore up the defence. 


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