Tuesday 24 October 2017

Ireland diary: Carsley gone and finally forgotten

LEE CARSLEY was given his obligatory mention at Giovanni Trapattoni's press conference in Malahide. Regular observers of Trapattoni are used to the retired midfielder's name being dropped into discussion.

The genesis is the questions that surrounded Carsley's absence from the manager's first squad in 2008. Since then, his name is referenced as an example that he always has players in his mind, even if they aren't necessarily involved.

"We not forget Carsley" has become a familiar refrain, but Trapattoni acknowledged yesterday that perhaps it's not the best example.

"I don't forget Carsley," he said, in response to a question about the options in his squad, before admitting, "Ok, so Carsley is now on a pension."

Subsequent references to Steven Reid and Stephen Hunt suggest he may have found an alternative option – bad news for the latter seeing as he wants to force his way back into the manager's plans.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

161 The position of Faroe Islands in the current world rankings. They are level with Malaysia and one spot behind Sao Tome And Principe, a Portugese-speaking nation off the western coast of Central America. Heady company.

LENNON TO SHED LIGHT ON IRISH BHOYS CHANCES

NEIL Lennon is in town today to launch the upcoming friendly between Celtic and Liverpool at the Aviva Stadium on August 10, and he can expect to be drawn into questions about the Irish side.

Anthony Stokes, who created two goals in Celtic's Scottish Cup final win over Hibernian, is sure to come up in discussion. He's been out of the Irish picture since he was amongst the controversial withdrawals from the Carling Nations Cup squad in 2011.

Stokes has endured mixed fortunes under Lennon, but finished the season on a high. Lennon can also expect to field questions about various Irish players he has been linked with during his tenure, with Kevin Doyle, Richard Dunne and Shay Given likely to come up in discussion.

Sean St Ledger was mentioned as a potential Celtic target at one point, but reports in Yorkshire suggest the central defender is on the verge of joining Sheffield Wednesday.

MURPHY EXTENDS STAY WITH QPR

FORGOTTEN man Brian Murphy has signed a two-year contract extension at QPR. The Waterford 'keeper was part of the Ireland squad for the World Cup play-off with France in 2009, a call-up that came at the end of his successful spell with Bohemians.

Murphy then joined Ipswich, where he was given a run in the side under Roy Keane before dropping out of favour.

A lucrative switch to QPR followed in August 2011 but he was clearly signed as understudy and has made just one League Cup appearance in two seasons, a disappointing return for a player who once said he would only be happy returning to England if he played regularly.

Irish Independent

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