Wednesday 17 January 2018

How Robbie compares

Robbie Keane's inactivity at club level this season is in contrast with the other strikers in the Irish squad who are looking to be involved against Macedonia on Saturday.

Kevin Doyle has suffered sporadically with injury, but is a part of the furniture at Wolves when he is available, and will be central to their attempts to avoid the dreaded drop.

Shane Long has racked up more appearances than any of the other contenders as a key component of a Reading side that are used to playing two games a week in the Championship, and also embarked on a noteworthy FA Cup run before running into Manchester City.

Jonathan Walters kicked off his season with Ipswich and then landed a move to Stoke after an acrimonious parting with then boss Roy Keane. Tony Pulis likes his versatility and Walters has established his place in the Potters set-up.

Andy Keogh has had a frustrating season, yet has still been involved in plenty of games between his loan stints at Cardiff and Bristol City.

There are other options who aren't present here that have enjoyed more time in the limelight. Leon Best, who dropped out with injury yesterday, has got a proper taste of regular Premier League action at Newcastle.

Noel Hunt has recovered from injury to strike up a profitable partnership with Long at Reading, and must be knocking on the door. Conor Sammon has also emerged, lighting up the SPL with Kilmarnock before a January move to Wigan.

Kevin Doyle (Wolves)

Club starts: 26

Sub appearances: 4

Goals: 8

Shane Long (Reading)

Club starts: 40

Sub appearances: 1

Goals: 20

Jon Walters (Stoke)

Club starts: 27 (1 for Ipswich)

Sub appearances: 10

Goals: 8

Andy Keogh (Wolves)

Club starts: 17 (13 for Cardiff)

Sub appearances: 10 (5 for Cardiff)

Goals: 3 (2 for Cardiff)

Irish Independent

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