Saturday 27 December 2014

Pictures: Ireland player ratings v Greece

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David Forde 6/10

Called in on the day of the game with Keiren Westwood ruled out by a groin complaint, and the ex-Derry City man made a commendable stop from Sotiris Ninis just before Holebas produced an opener which he could do little to stop. Had precious little to do in the second half.

Seamus Coleman 8/10

Was bright from the outset and was Ireland's main attacking outlet when the opportunity presented itself. His combination with Brady was effective and cross for Cox deserved better. Enlivened the second half with purposeful dashes into opposition territory. He must stay at right-full.

Stephen Ward 6/10

His first-minute delivery should have resulted in a penalty kick after a Greek handball, but the Wolves man was more restrained than Coleman and was eluded by Ninis before Forde saved. Flapped at a late chance to equalise, and has more to do to win his place back from Marc Wilson.

John O'Shea 6/10

The Waterford man was in the right place to make one fine first-half interception, yet he was implicated in the Greek goal as he stood off. Mopped up when necessary as the second half developed into a laboured search for an equaliser. With Coleman shining, his future should be in this area.

Ciaran Clark 7/10

No shortage of confidence in the early minutes, with an accurate interception and clever through ball for Long. Not blameless in lead-up to Greek opener and then almost cut opponent in half as he blocked a counter attack. May have done enough to overtake Darren O'Dea.

Glenn Whelan

Robbie Brady 7/10

Trapattoni loves the manner in which the Manchester United youth looks for the ball and has the belief to try the unexpected. He was always bright until a knock ended his night early, taking control of set pieces and getting a couple of shots away. There were times, however, when he made things too complicated.

James McCarthy 6/10

Ireland enjoyed 56pc possession in the first half and the tidy play of the Wigan lad contributed to the statistic. That said, he switched off on occasion and lacked conviction in a tackle before Holebas broke the deadlock. Unlucky not to score his first Irish goal in a decent spell following the restart. Still more to come.

Shane Long 6/10

A mixed bag from the Tipp lad during his 45 minute showing with a key role in some useful breaks and good hold-up play. On the flip side, a few loose touches and a sloppy foul punished with a yellow card. Withdrawn at the break which will please club ahead of weekend outing against Chelsea.

Simon Cox 5/10

The Nottingham Forest attacker began proceedings up front and completely misjudged an early header which should have put Ireland ahead. Slightly peripheral thereafter and relocated to the left flank in the second half. Alas, an injury only gave him 15 minutes to shine in a berth he has mixed views on.

James McClean 6/10

Was prominent but had varied success when it came to actually doing something with the ball. Assumed greater responsibility in the second half when sent to the right, and a lot of inswinging crosses presented the Greek rearguard with difficulty. Some poorly advised shooting decisions took gloss off.

Giovanni Trapattoni 6/10

This was not the kind of defeat to plunge his future into doubt again, as his experimental team acquitted themselves reasonably well and arguably had reason to complain about the match officials. We'll see how much of this is relevant when he selects his team to face Sweden in March.

SUBS

Keith Andrews 710
Some nice touches and one through ball would have won plaudits if it had been converted.
Kevin Doyle 6
Tough shift for the Wolves man who was sometimes isolated. Worked hard minus reward.
Wes Hoolahan 7
Always keen to get on the ball and comfortable in possession. Must get another chance to grow into this set-up come February.
Andy Keogh 5
One deflected effort almost created an equaliser for Ward.
David Meyler 5
Hardly on long enough to warrant rating. Industrious.

By Daniel McDonnell

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