For a rare change, this was a very impressive weekend for the Irish players over the weekend, with James McCarthy particularly proving his undoubted talent.
James McCarthy Wigan
Ran the show for Wigan and they look a much stronger outfit since his return from injury. His first goal was well taken from a tight angle, but his second strike was top-class.
He took two lovely touches on his right foot, before crossing the ball over onto his left foot and finding the bottom corner of the net in a goal that will remind everybody of Dennis Bergkamp.
This performance should nail McCarthy’s position in the engine room of the next Irish team. Should Green and Whealan be preferred, then Irish fans will want some serious answers.
Leon Best Newcastle
An eventful afternoon for Newcastle’s only fit striker. Four down at half time, the Magpies fans were beginning to turn on Best.
In the second half the fight back began, firstly with Best winning a penalty after a poor attempt at a tackle from Koscielny. Best followed this up with a well-taken goal that was then wrongly disallowed for offside. However Best did not let this get to him and he found the net a few minutes afterwards. Unfortunately he pulled out of the Irish squad after this epic 4-4 game finished.
Kevin Doyle Wolves
A disputed goal, but his workrate and effort throughout the game cannot be argues with. Doyle was simply sensational throughout and was deservedly awarded man-of-the-match.
The Wexford man never gave up and was determined to get Wolves back into the game after conceding early from a Nani effort. Hopefully this will be the goal to reignite Doyle’s scoring form.
Elsewhere, Clark and Dunne continued in defence for Aston Villa, while Damien Duff was taken off after 67 minutes in Aston Villa and Fulham 2-2 draw.
Seamus Coleman was again impressive in causing Blackpool serious problems in Everton’s 5-3 victory. Andy Reid stayed on the visitors’ bench for the 90 minutes.
Stephen Reid will be disappointed to have given away a penalty in West Brom’s 3-0 loss to Man Ciy.
At the Britannia, Rory Delap‘s throws as usual caused serious problems to the Sunderland defence. Jon Walters came on after 66 minutes. Marc Wilson and Glenn Whelan remained unused subs.
Keith Andews, who is recovering from injury, failed to come off the bench for Blackburn as too was tge case with John O’Shea for Manchester United.