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Sunday 15 December 2019

Ireland vs Turkey - Ireland Player ratings

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell rates the Ireland squad's performance against Turkey.


Sacrificed his stag-do in Vegas to make himself available, but was down on his luck as the lead goal caught out the Newcastle stand-in at his near post. Didn't get a chance to redeem himself through shotstopping, with most of his later contributions coming with his boot.


Ireland's outstanding Premier League performer this season is well watched by international opponents and he was quite subdued again. It was only in the dying throes that we saw glimpses of his Everton form, but that's forgivable after a long and punishing campaign.


The only squad member who lined out regularly at left-back for his club this season and he's evidently in with a strong chance of starting the campaign in September. Hard to draw firm conclusions from this encounter. Turk opener came from his channel, but harsh to apportion blame.


Almost snatched a rare Irish goal in the opening exchanges, with a smart act of goal-poaching denied by a clearance off the line. The manner of the Turkish winner will anger the entire Irish rearguard, but he didn't do a whole lot wrong and spent large part of second half as a quarterback.


Deservedly given a start after an outstanding season at Crystal Palace, but will be disappointed that Turkish midfielder Ozek managed to slip into his territory to nod home the opener. Not really overworked thereafter and did throw his body bravely in the way of one second-half Turk effort.


Pushed up from centre-half to centre-midfield and sprayed the ball around with typical confidence from what was still quite a defensive berth. He was perhaps too deep at times, though, and no surprise when he reverted to the heart of defence during a round of subs.


Coming off the back of a decent season with Stoke, Whelan was surprisingly sloppy in giving the ball away twice in his own half in the opening quarter. There was far more urgency from him in the second half as he implored his team-mates to press on a little and put some pressure on the Turks.


The Everton recruit was Ireland's brightest player in the opening minutes, having said during the week he is desperate for more games after an interrupted season. He created opportunities for McClean and was generally busy before the break, but ineffective after the interval until he was withdrawn.


His first full game in a while and understandable that he wasn't exactly foot-perfect. Nevertheless, he was still seeing passes that others couldn't, and it was his vision that created Ireland's consolation. His selection impacts on the style of play and the adjustment period is ongoing.


O'Neill likes his directness and the Derry lad posed a few problems for the Turks in the first half, twice latching onto crosses from McGeady and sending in a few of his own. Overall performance marked up for his relentless energy and desire which almost set up a late equaliser for Murphy.


Desperate to add to his tally at international level and squandered a close-range chance to put Ireland ahead before Turkey struck. He'd also had an earlier shout for a penalty and generally gave the red shirts a few headaches, but he won't reflect on his 66-minute contribution too fondly.


Went with the same shape as his previous games and didn't radically alter personnel, so clear he is trying to bring this group along with a view to getting it right in September. The lack of competitive spark complicates that challenge, but he now knows the scale of the task he has inherited.


JON WALTERS (7) for LONG (66mins)

Livened up the stadium with a brilliant run, touch, and finish to give the punters some excitement for the final minutes.

DAVID MEYLER (6) for DELANEY (66mins)

Made one important defensive intervention at the very end, although he was ponderous in a couple of promising attacking positions.


Certainly succeeded in posing the Turks with a few difficulties, but his touch let him down more than once and then his header from McClean's cross was saved.


Not on long enough to rate.

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