Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Shiels back in the squad as GAWA hit Glasgow

Progress of a sort as Nigel Worthington has selected the majority of his best available players for Northern Ireland’s friendly in Glasgow next Wednesday. Michael Duff had been unavailable through injury and his return will provide a boost in defence. Dean Shiels omission has long been a mystery, and he will be hoping to get a chance to impress.

Unfortunately Peter Thompson, who has decamped to Stockport for a couple of seasons before he returns in failure to the Irish League, has once again found his way into the squad at the expense of Grant McCann. Another notable absentee is Ivan Sproule who fails to make the 20 despite Worthington’s complaints about a lack of wide players.

Although I’m a bit sceptical about the figures, it’s rumoured that 8,000 of the Green and White Army will be marching on Scotland for this fixture. Hopefully they’ll not all be on my sailing. That should allow for quite an atmosphere for a friendly match though.


Anonymous said...

Thompson has become marginally more acceptable now that he has left the filth. Bit concerned that with each passing day, Healy is slipping further down the pecking order at Fulham and won't get much game time - he needs to leave and join a good Championship club where he would be playing on a regular basis. He's still our main man though so maybe less games will mean he's fresher for OWC games!

Hernandez said...

I agree with you about grant mccann, but I don't feel Sproule is up to it at international level. Remember the last group game against Spain? Sproule was lost.

I worry a lot about Healy. How long will he be able to keep producing rabbits out of hats? I like Lafferty a lot but not convinced he will score regularly. Ditto Feeney and Paterson.

Chekov said...

Sproule may not be the finest player Northern Ireland have available to them, but he offers a lot of pace from the bench, which scares defences. Lafferty will be ok. He's the real deal when he's allowed to operate up front. Height, skill and an eye for goal. He's already scored a few and whilst he may not be finishing his career with 30 goals, he'll take some of the burden off Healy. Of course McCann is one of the few players in recent years to weigh in with a few goals, in contrast to Thompson who claimed an own goal when we were 3-1 up and has done absolutely nothing otherwise.