Wednesday 22 February 2017

On the pitch Ireland put five past Northern Ireland

What a farce
FAI dispute seriousness of McCarthy injury
Martinez says player needs a month of rest
FAI admit player made contact on Sunday
Another player goes AWOL ahead of game

Published 25/05/2011 | 05:00

Irish fans at a sparsely attended Aviva Stadium last night as the Republic of Ireland ran out 5-0 winners against Northern Ireland.
Irish fans at a sparsely attended Aviva Stadium last night as the Republic of Ireland ran out 5-0 winners against Northern Ireland.
Robbie Keane celebrates

The biggest win of Giovanni Trapattoni's tenure as Ireland manager has been overshadowed by a remarkable dispute with Wigan over the absent James McCarthy and an apparent no-show from Stoke's Marc Wilson.

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McCarthy's international future is in jeopardy after the FAI said that, after receiving details of a scan, their medical department feel that the 20-year-old's ankle "showed no evidence of significant injury".

They believe that the player should have been able to report for duty ahead of last night's stroll to victory over Northern Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

After suggesting on Monday that there had been no contact, the FAI have admitted that Wigan texted the Irish team doctor on Sunday evening to say that the player would be going for a scan yesterday.

Roberto Martinez said that the scan revealed grade one ligament damage -- which, in his opinion, would mean three to four weeks on the sidelines, thus ruling McCarthy out of this week's Carling Nations Cup games and next week's Euro 2012 qualifier in Macedonia.

However, after viewing the results, the FAI medical team disagreed with that verdict.

The FAI subsequently asked Wigan when McCarthy would be reporting for duty, and claim there has been no correspondence from the Premier League club since an email exchange on Monday evening.

This contradicts comments from Martinez yesterday, which said that the Irish medical team were "very, very aware" of the extent of McCarthy's problem.

Another headache emerged for Trapattoni ahead of the destruction of Northern Ireland, with FAI sources indicating that Wilson -- an intended member of the starting XI -- failed to report for duty as scheduled.

Wilson, who was born in the North but declared for Ireland, was set to make his first start.

As it happened, his replacement Stephen Ward opened the scoring on his debut in a comfortable success.

Robbie Keane scored twice against a dreadful North team to give his confidence a much-needed boost ahead of Macedonia, although the Irish skipper was unhappy to be taken off with half an hour remaining as he had moved to 48 goals, one short of Bobby Charlton's total of 49, the record for a player from these islands.

Irish Independent

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