by Leighton Cullen
After a shocking Euro 2012 Giovanni Trapitonni has named his 23 man squad for the friendly against Serbia in Belgrade in August 15. Trap has decided to rest his senior players so this is the first squad in a long time that will be without Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, Stephen Hunt and Robbie Keane all of whom featured heavily in Pokraine. The main five may well return for World Cup qualifiers but for Stephen Hunt the writing is on the wall.
Sadly after Trap said he planned to bring in new faces to the squad…well he hasn’t done that at all. There are no new players called up and it’s a case of the same old players getting another shot at a run in the Ireland squad. In comes Marc Wilson, James McCarthy, and Seamus Coleman who all arguably had strong claims to start at the Euros but they are the only allusion to the sweeping changes that most of us forlornly hoped for.
There is no room in the squad for Wes Hoolinhan, Pilkington and Stephen Ireland despite all three players either hinting or outright declaring their desire to fight their way back into the squad in recent months. Up front sees Trap once again over-looking Anthony Stokes who will be playing Champions League football for Celtic this season favouring instead Simon Cox and Andy Keogh. I don’t know what Stokes has done wrong but quite plainly Trap doesn’t like him. Meanwhile Kevin Foley’s refusal to accept his call-up to the camp in light of his last-minute snubbing prior to the Euros illustrates Trap’s poor man-management skills and inability to mend bridges.
I find it hard to believe that Trap hasn’t taken a risk and called up some young players to the squad even if it’s just to gain experience and acclimatise them to the international set-up. Manchester United starlet Robbie Brady might count himself a bit unlucky to miss out after his successful loan spell at Hull last season and I fail to see why Trap is going back on old promises and not changing things around. This has got the feel of when McCarthy quit the job during the Euro qualifiers and I honestly think the same thing will happen here. Trap is too old to be trying to deal with all these young players coming in. He is too set in his ways. As this selection proves it’s a case of out with the old and in with the old reliables and it is immensely frustrating to see him waste such an opportunity to freshen things up, inject some optimism back into a flat set-up and make a statement.
An Irish squad should contain the best players available and to se them omitted through stubbornness is nothing short of head wrecking.
Republic of Ireland squad:
Keiren Westwood Sunderland AFC
David Forde Millwall FC
Darren Randolph Motherwell FC
Marc Wilson Stoke FC
John O’Shea Sunderland AFC
Sean St. Ledger Leicester City FC
Darren O’Dea Unattached
Stephen Ward Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
Stephen Kelly Fulham FC
Paul McShane Hull City FC
Glenn Whelan Stoke City FC
Darron Gibson Everton FC
James McCarthy Wigan Athletic FC
Paul Green Leeds Utd FC
Seamus Coleman Everton FC
Aiden McGeady Spartak Moscow FC
Andy Keogh Millwall FC
James McClean Sunderland FC
Keith Treacy Burnley FC
Kevin Doyle Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
Shane Long West Bromwich Albion
Simon Cox West Bromwich Albion
Jon Walters Stoke City.