Saturday 23 September 2017

'I think they paid the penalty' - Could Sean Maguire have bolstered Ireland's aging attack?

16 July 2017; Sean Maguire of Cork City waves to the supporters for his last appearance with Cork City following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bray Wanderers and Cork City at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Co. Wicklow. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
16 July 2017; Sean Maguire of Cork City waves to the supporters for his last appearance with Cork City following the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Bray Wanderers and Cork City at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, Co. Wicklow. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Conor Neville

The League of Ireland relegation race is hotting up with Galway United and Sligo Rovers now scrapping for the points that will lift them above the likes of Limerick, Finn Harps, or potentially even St. Patrick's Athletic.

However, Ireland's dimming prospects of reaching the World Cup in Russia naturally hijacked some of the discussion on this week's episode of LOI Weekly.

Worse again look the prospects for the future beyond Russia. Ireland now have an ageing side, almost as old as the one which returned from USA 94.

Dan McDonnell acknowledges the FAI's financial imperative of reaching tournaments and the remit that incoming managers are handed.

This remit make managers hesitant about handing starts to young or untested players.

"You look at the age profile at the moment. You're talking about Wes who's 35, Jon Walters who's 33, Daryl Murphy who's 34,and Shane Long who's 31 in January. They are your front four, your attacking options who are all over 30.

"There is the Sean Maguire point. I'm just saying he should have been in there. You can be perceived as just looking to bang the drum there.

"But I think they paid the penalty for not looking at Maguire earlier in the year. On Tuesday when they were down to ten they didn't have another striker to turn to.

"Having three strikers on the pitch hurt them."

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