Euro 2012 Diary
Life without Duff
Damien Duff will miss his 11th competitive Ireland match in the past three years when he is absent from Yerevan on Friday -- and the stats in his absence don't make for encouraging reading.
The Dubliner has been particularly unlucky when it comes to September double headers after being absent from the encounters with Slovakia and Czech Republic in 2007 and the Trapattoni openers against Georgia and Montenegro 12 months later.
Ireland did at least win against Georgia, though, the only one of the 10 qualifiers without Duffer that has ended in victory for the Boys in Green. Eight of the others were draws.
The full list is:
Slovakia (a) 2-2 Sept 07,
Czech Republic (a) 0-1 Sept 07,
Germany (h) 0-0 Oct 07,
Cyprus (h) 1-1 Oct 07,
Wales (a) 2-2 Nov 07,
Georgia (a) 2-1 Sept 08,
Montenegro (a) 0-0 Sept 08,
Bulgaria (h) 1-1 March 09,
Italy (a) 1-1 April 09,
Italy (h) 2-2 October 09
Westwood's busy schedule
Keiren Westwood was an absentee from training yesterday, with another landmark in his life coinciding with an international window.
You might remember that Dean Kiely walked away from Ireland duty in May of last year, after being told that Westwood and Shay Given would share goalkeeping responsibilities in the friendly meeting with Nigeria -- even though the former was set to miss the qualifying trip to Bulgaria that followed because of his wedding.
Trap gave Westwood permission to skip that game on the basis that his walk down the aisle was arranged in advance of his ascension to the international scene.
The Coventry 'keeper, who is out of favour at club level as he mulls over a new contract, missed the beginning of this week because the aforementioned bride -- Danielle -- has just delivered a baby.
Number of the day
4 The time difference in hours between Ireland and Armenia, meaning that the 8.0 local kick-off time in Yerevan on Friday spells a 4.0pm start for television viewers in Dublin.
Quote of the day
"I only tell Fergie when they're supposed to win. It keeps me in the team!" -- John O'Shea jokes about the extent to which he discusses the well-being of his horses with his boss back at Old Trafford.