Eamon Dunphy gives his verdict on whether Seamus Coleman should be Mick McCarthy's starting right-back
Eamon Dunphy believes Wolves' Matt Doherty should replace Seamus Coleman has Ireland's starting right-back if the Donegal native loses his spot in the Everton starting XI.
Coleman has lost his place in Marco Silva's team in recent weeks to Jonjoe Kenny and it has led to calls that he should be replaced in the Ireland team by the Dubliner.
Doherty has been in fine form this season and was named PFA Player of the Month for September.
Despite being largely frozen out by previous manager Martin O'Neill, Doherty's form has given Mick McCarthy a big decision to make over who fills in at the right side of his defence.
Eamon Dunphy feels that Coleman should retain his place in the Ireland XI but only if he can break back into the Toffee's team.
"If Mick McCarthy was picking an away tie to start off his second spell as Ireland manager, Gibraltar would be top of the list or very close to it," Dunphy wrote in his column in the Irish Daily Star.
"It's a game where he can ease himself into the job and where three points can be bagged.
"But that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a big decision to make.
"Seamus Coleman has lost his place at Everton and Jonjoe Kenny looks like getting a run of games from manager Marco Silva.
"Coleman is one of the few regulars over 30 and it's pretty obvious that Silva favours younger players.
"But, if Coleman was playing at the level that he was before his leg break, his age would be no issue. He lost his place at Everton because he was struggling badly for form.
In big games against Manchester United and Tottenham, it was notable that he was targeted as a weak link.
"Guts, character and a great attitude took Coleman a long way in his career but he was never as technically proficient as some top class full-backs.
"If he can't get his place back at Goodison park, Matt Doherty has to start ahead of him for Ireland."