Live

Off The Bench

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Off The Bench
'He's more all-rounded than Ho...
Soccer

'He's more all-rounded than Hourihane' | Cunningham's midfield alternatives for playoffs

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

02:25 19 Nov 2019

Mick McCarthy has four months to prepare for the two playoff matches that will decide whether Ireland reach Euro 2020.

While Ireland's team for the 1-1 draw against Denmark on Monday didn't feature many surprises, McCarthy's best team could look very different by the time March's crunch play-offs come round.

By then, Ireland's midfield anchor Glenn Whelan will have turned 36 while Jeff Hendrick and Conor Hourihane are not always guaranteed club playing time.

Speaking on Tuesday's OTB AM, Kenny Cunningham made the case for McCarthy to consider his midfield personnel as the position most open to change ahead of March.

The former Ireland captain made the case for Josh Cullen, Jayson Molumby and Alan Browne to be considered as real candidates to take the current trios' jerseys.

Josh Cullen

"He's probably very similar to Glenn [Whelan] in terms of having a good all-round game. He's very comfortable sitting in there behind the ball, seeing danger, just moving the ball efficiently around the pitch. He's more of an all-rounded central midfielder [than Hourihane] and potentially he'll get his chance before the summer.

"I understand timing is everything. There's a massive game coming with huge pressure and it would be a calculated risk throwing him in, I understand that, but I like what I've seen from that young fella.

"He uses the ball very well. He maybe hasn't got Conor's passing range but he uses the ball very efficiently and he can actually get ahead of the ball when he wants.

"When he sits in that central midfield area, I think you can trust him in terms of sliding across and engaging people. He doesn't go to ground too often, I didn't see him jumping into too many tackles off his feet doing desperate stuff, that's what happens when you don't see danger quickly enough.

"Those central midfielders who read the game well, they don't have to do so because invariably they are in the right position early, they just need to be shifting five or 10 yards constantly."

Jayson Molumby

"Jayson Molumby is another player for me, with the u21s and he's playing for Millwall at the moment. Potentially he's a little further down the road but he has that energy, physicality, aggression to his play which we haven't got in too many other of our midfield players.

"Maybe that's a little further down the line but those are the kind of options that Mick will be looking at."

Alan Browne

"I think he's another for an argument as a midfield two, just because of that leg power he has, the athleticism, his ability to go box-to-box. He's more of a traditional midfielder. He gets into the box too he's got the legs for it and he's got a great goalscoring record for Preston so I think there is a case for him.

"So, it's not just about Josh Cullen going forward, I think there's an option for throwing Alan Browne in there, too."

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Read more about

Conor Hourihane Euro 2020 Qualifiers European Championship Qualifiers Glenn Whelan Ireland Jeff Hendrick

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

Off The Bench

Off The Bench

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

Up next

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Newsround

LIVE: Newsround

07:00 PM-07:30 PM

Share

LIVE: Off The Ball

LIVE: Off The Ball

07:30 PM-08:00 PM

Share

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

LIVE: Monday Night Rugby

08:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

LIVE: The Football Show

LIVE: The Football Show

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster

Repeat: Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster

10:00 PM-11:00 PM

Share

Repeat: Off The Ball

Repeat: Off The Ball

11:00 PM-12:00 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

07:00 AM-07:30 AM

Share

LIVE: OTB AM

LIVE: OTB AM

07:30 AM-09:30 AM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

09:30 AM-10:00 AM

Share

Repeat: OTB AM

Repeat: OTB AM

10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Share

Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster - Season 2

Leaders Questions with Stuart Lancaster - Season 2

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on