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Poll: Who was the Republic of Ireland's best player in 2017?

2017 ended up being one to forget for the Republic of Ireland.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

2017 WAS A year to forget for the Republic of Ireland team.

After such a promising start to their World Cup campaign, Martin O’Neill’s charges failed to qualify for the tournament in Russia next year.

We started off with wins against Georgia,  Moldova and Austria to give us a strong platform at the beginning of the qualification process.

The aftermath however, saw Ireland slip into a gradual decline which ultimately resulted in a 5-1 demolition effort at the hands of Denmark to put us crashing out of the tournament.

In truth, Ireland’s grip on the ticket to Russia started to loosen in that 0-0 draw against Wales in the Aviva Stadium back in March.

It will be remembered primarily as the night when the campaign of our captain and leader Seamus Coleman was brought to an abrupt and violent end.

The physicality stakes of that game were already at a worrying level when Wales defender Neil Taylor launched a badly timed tackle on Coleman, resulting in a double leg-break.

Coleman’s recovery is ongoing and although he is expected to make a return early in the new year, his absence was keenly felt throughout most of 2017.

Following that home game against Wales, we also drew against Austria and Georgia  before suffering a major 1-0 setback against Serbia.

Victory against Moldova got us back on track before redemption against Wales earned us a play-off against Denmark courtesy of an incredible James McClean strike.

Victory would have sealed our spot in Russia, but the Danes had other plans.

Shane Duffy gave us an early lead through a header, but we unraveled thereafter and Denmark mercilessly dominated us and took the win.

We needed leaders to compensate for Coleman’s loss, and with all that being said, who was Ireland’s best player in 2017?


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