Sunday 21 January 2018

John Giles: Mark Noble would go straight into the Ireland team

Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

West Ham midfielder Mark Noble would get a place in the Irish team if he declared for Martin O'Neill's squad.

That's the view of Republic of Ireland midfield legend and media pundit John Giles.

Giles, speaking at the Dublin launch of the Westport sea2summit adventure race to be held on November 8, also believes that it's time for James McCarthy to fulfil his promise and be the boss of the central area of the pitch for Ireland.

As a player, Giles was always cool, calm, and collected, and he brought that clarity of analysis to the subject of Mark Noble and U-21 player Jack Grealish who have yet to commit to wearing the green.

Noble, 27, qualifies to play for Ireland but has displayed a reluctance to make the leap of faith required to end his hopes of a call-up for England.

Giles wouldn't hesitate to avail of Noble's services if he decided to join up with the Republic squad.

"When I was the Irish manager, I would have picked anyone that would improve the team once you are obeying the rules.

"I would take Noble tomorrow, as he would improve our team. He's a good Premier League player, and we don't have many good Premier League players. I think he would get into the team straight away.

"Young Grealish has a decision to make and I can understand it.

"Most of the lads I know who were raised in England want to play for England, it's just natural for them. There are greater rewards and greater exposure playing for England than there is for us and that's just the honest situation," said Giles.


Of the players already in the Irish camp, the former Leeds United star puts James McCarthy under the spotlight.

Giles doesn't question McCarthy's talent, but queries whether he has the personality to stamp his authority on the midfield area, and assertively demand the ball more than he does at present.

"He has the ability, and I've seen him in matches in good positions, but he doesn't demand it. You have to demand the ball. He has to impose himself more than I've seen him do up to now.

"Some lads are natural at demanding the ball. Wes Hoolahan has that attribute, in fairness to him," he said.

Another former international, Kevin Kilbane, is training hard for the sea2summit race series.

Kilbane is taking part to raise funds for Down Syndrome Ireland and the John Giles Foundation, the charity beneficiaries of the event.

Kilbane said: "It's going to be tough, but it's for a good cause."

Irish Independent

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