Dan McDonnell of the Irish Independent joined OTB’s Joe Molloy on The Football Show this evening, dissecting Ireland’s 1-0 loss to France as well as just what it is that captain Séamus Coleman brings to Stephen Kenny’s side.
Ireland may have narrowly missed out on a share of the spoils when they took on France at the Aviva Stadium this week, but one thing many onlookers did take away was the evident ever present nature of captain Séamus Coleman.
“I didn’t think he was done in an Irish context but I certainly thought the idea of him being a starter all the time was probably gone. I’m not convinced he’ll start every game this year but I certainly came out of there going that yeah, I probably bought into that a little bit too soon” says Dan McDonnell of the Irish Independent.
“The only Irish outfield players who will play, every week, are probably Coleman and Evan Ferguson. Nathan Collins isn’t playing regularly for Wolves he’s coming off the bench.
“It’s not just because of his presence or experience or whatever, on form there’s big arguments for Coleman to be involved for the rest of the year.”
Following his prolonged comeback from injury the Donegal man continues to impress for both club and country.
“Kenny has said himself he’s probably overcome the injury problems that inhibited him last year…I’m looking at this now going, and I’m not sure how long he’s going to go for but I think it’s unfair to suggest this is his last crack at a major tournament” McDonnell continues.
“He has that real sense of desperation, that sense of want, but he also has that experience of winning international games which not a lot of that team do.”
“There are players playing in that Irish squad who’ve never played in the Premier League and Séamus Coleman may not be the player he was but he’s still playing in the Premier League and that counts for a lot.”
While many of his “contemporaries” such as Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick, Darren Randolph and Shane Long to name a few have been “phased out” of the current crop over time, Coleman continues to be a big player both in the dressing room and on the field explains McDonnell.
“I’m sure there has to be a part of him when he sees all of his contemporaries who have sort of been phased out… not necessarily down with a knife one day and that’s it, but it’s been steady and Coleman is still going” he says.
“He’s still there and he’s a big presence.
“I was struck by him vocally the other night…I’d say Ogbene’s performance was influenced by Coleman behind him because they were in a big debrief walking off at halftime and it just points to saying that you know what, when it comes to these big games this year you want to have him there.
Now if he’s not playing for his club you can’t justify someone being there based on presence, but the form argument is there for him.”
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