Irish player ratings against Scotland

Back Page Football podcast pundit Ger McCarthy rates each of the individual Republic of Ireland players’ performances following Friday night’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Scotland.

 

David Forde

7 out of 10

Another competent performance between the sticks from Ireland’s established number one goalkeeper. Comfortably dealt with a series of high crosses and long range shots as well as clearing his lines whenever the opposing attack broke clear. Unsighted for Maloney’s goal and could do nothing to prevent the Scottish midfielder’s curling finish.

Seamus Coleman

6 out of 10

By his own high standards, this was a fairly subdued performance from the Everton full back. Had his hands full with Anya all evening and was rarely afforded the opportunity to bomb forward as in his previous appearances. Coleman is not long back after a long-term injury so should improve as the campaign progresses. Booked in the second half.

John O’Shea

7 out of 10

Apart from failing to prevent one or two half chances, Irish Captain John O’Shea did a fine marking job on his Sunderland team mate Steven Fletcher. Solid from set pieces and kept inexperienced Richard Keogh in check in the face of intense pressure. Slow to close down Shaun Maloney (like the rest of the Irish defence) for Scotland’s goal.

Richard Keogh

8 out of 10

The Derby County central defender produced a composed 90 minutes in the heart of the Irish back four. Keogh kept things simple throughout and proved a more than able replacement for the injured Marc Wilson. Failed to track substitute Chris Martin for one of Scotland’s best chance of the evening but can be pleased with his display.

Stephen Ward

6 out of 10

Ireland’s experienced left back found himself on the back foot for the majority of Friday night’s qualifier. Agricultural in his clearances but made zero impression in the opposing half and offered little help whenever Ireland broke from defence.

Aiden McGeady

6 out of 10

McGeady was booed incessantly from the opening whistle resulting in a silly yellow card. Guilty of unnecessary showboating deep in his own half at times but settled into the game and brought the best out of David Marshall with a fine half-volley. Produced a couple of dangerous crosses but overall, not enough end-product from one of Ireland.

 

Jeff Hendrick

6 out of 10

It proved an unsatisfactory night for the Derby County midfielder. Hendrick was cautioned in the opening half following an ill-timed lunge on Steven Whittaker and that appeared to stifle the Irishman’s willingness to get forward. Replaced by Stephen Quinn in the second half.

Darron Gibson

5 out of 10

Anonymous display from the Everton central midfielder who has just returned from injury. Tucked in alongside Jeff Hendrick in the centre of the park and saw a dipping effort from the edge of the penalty area force David Marshall into a comfortable stop early in the first half. Faded badly after that and was replaced by Robbie Brady.

James McClean

6 out of 10

Raced up and down the wing all evening but made little impact on proceedings. McClean was in defensive mode for the majority of the qualifier and his honest endeavours helped close down Scottish forays into the final third. Plenty of heart but not enough creativity.

Shane Long

7 out of 10

Got the nod ahead of Robbie Keane up front and looked lively all evening, linking well up front alongside Jon Walters and producing a succession of neat flicks that had the Scottish defence reeling every time the Southampton striker was in possession. Won a series of free-kicks and ran the Scottish defence ragged without ever threatening the opposing goal.

Jonathan Walters

8 out of 10

One of Ireland’s few effective players in Celtic Park and formed a decent combination up front alongside Shane Long. Worked the goalkeeper on a couple of occasions and produced a typically barn-storming display. What Friday night showed is that Walters is a more effective player in the green of Ireland when playing as a striker in a 4-4-2 formation.

 

Substitutes

Robbie Brady (69 minutes)

5 out of 10

Whipped in a couple of decent corner kicks and a free kick that a Scottish defender headed onto their own crossbar late in the game. Lively and honest but not on long enough to influence the game.

Stephen Quinn (69 minutes)

4 out of 10

Booked for a stupid lunge in the dying embers of the game. Made no impression whatsoever moving forward and the Hull City midfielder will be disappointed to have fallen down the pecking order behind Darron Gibson.

Robbie Keane (78 minutes)

5 out of 10

Ireland’s record goal-scorer arrived onto the pitch too late to make a difference. As ever, threw himself into every tackle and attack. Sent a couple of dangerous crosses into the Scottish penalty area but too ineffectual to make an impression.

Author Details

Ger McCarthy

Author of the book entitled 'Off Centre Circle'. Champions League correspondent for Back Page Football, contributor to the Hold The Back Page football podcast, also a contributor to the Irish Examiner Newspaper, SetantaSports Satellite TV Sports Network, NewsTalk National Radio station, Shoot! Magazine and Dangerhere websites.

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