Thursday 23 November 2017

Ireland player ratings: Ciaran Clark and James McCarthy have a game to forget

Republic of Ireland players pose for a team photograph before kick-off
Republic of Ireland players pose for a team photograph before kick-off
Aidan Fitzmaurice

Aidan Fitzmaurice

It was a very disappointing afternoon in Bordeaux for the Irish. Here's how the Irish players fared in the 3-0 defeat to Belgium.

Darren Randolph

Showed his alertness to get a hand to a de Bruyne effort in the first half and stayed alert when it was 3-0 to keep the score down,  not much he could do about Belgium's goals as he was left exposed on all three occasions. 6/10.


Seamus Coleman

Knew he was in for a busy night when it was clear he'd face up to de Bruyne, Coleman contained the Belgian No. 7 at times and started well but faded, de Bruyne won the battle and the night. Lack of an attacking edge and concentrations lapses were a disappointment. 5/10.


John O’Shea

Was up against Lukaku, a man 12 years his junior, and despite a bright start, this was a tough day in Bordeaux for O'Shea and the defence. He stayed with Lukaku for the second Belgium goal and did his job, unlike others who left Witsel clear to score. 5/10.


Ciaran Clark

Had a good first half, looked composed and put in a vital block to deny Lukaku late in the first half but second half was a worrying dip, Clark's awful attempted challenge on Hazard on the half-way line in the build up to the third goal enough in itself to see him lose his place. 4/10


Stephen Ward

Big call from the manager to reinstate Ward into the defence and the Belgians tried to identify our left back as a weak link, hard to fault Ward too much with basic errors from Clark and McCarthy as Belgium scored their second and third goals. 5/10.


Jeff Hendrick

Tried his best in midfield and could be pleased with his first half output but Hendrick was outclassed in the second half by the likes of Carrasco, no way for the Derby man to match his contribution in Monday's draw with the Swedes. 6/10


Glenn Whelan

Spent most of Monday's game tracking Ibrahimovic and he was needed to shadow Lukaku for much of yesterday but, like his team-mates, was worn down by that Belgian onslaught in the second half and it's worrying how a tired-looking Whelan was simply nudged off the ball by Benteke late on. 5/10.


James McCarthy

Question has to be asked if McCarthy is fit. He looked off the pace against the Swedes, even more so against the Belgians. Was left standing as Witsel rose to score the second goal, did very little right and his place in the side is in danger. 4/10.


Robbie Brady

Frustrating day for Brady after he was moved from his left back slot into midfied, he gave away possession too quickly and cheaply too often, no impact from set pieces as opponents like de Bruyne and Hazard gave a masterclass in how to use possession. 5/10.


Wes Hoolahan

Physically-draining day for the 34-year-old, Hoolahan was the one Ireland player who always looked hungry for the ball and wanted to be in possession, but like so many other white-shirted players, final ball was poor and not a day he will want to remember. 5/10.


Shane Long

Thankless task for the Tipp man for long spells, finding himself all alone at the end of a Route One approach from an idea-free Ireland, had little to deal with and will be a frustration for him that in his 78 minutes on the field he never troubled Courtois even once. Marks for effort and work-rate but sadly no impact on the game. 7/10.



James McClean

Brought on when the score was still 'only' 2-0 with a slim chance of rescuing something, the best McClean could offer was a weak header which barely caused keeper Courtois to break sweat and his 84th minute free kick effort was truly awful. 4/10


Aiden McGeady

Was given 18 minutes to make an impact when he came on but nothing happened for McGeady, second sub appearance of the tourament but no payback. 5/10


Robbie Keane

On as 78th minute sub for Shane Long when his side were 3-0 down, Keane touched the ball only a handful of times. Possibly his last appearance for Ireland, not how Keane would have wanted to bow out. 5/10



The boss will point to the loss of Jon Walters to injury in mitigation. The decision to play Ward instead of Brady at left back was not the game-changer and O'Neill can't plan for poor decision-making by McCarthy and Clark but substitutions were strange and conservative, odd that McGeady was given another chance while Quinn stayed benched. 5/10

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