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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 23 February, 2018
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Player ratings: how the Irish senior footballers got on for their clubs this season

It’s been a mixed year for the Boys in Green in England.

Seamus Coleman has had a mixed season with Everton.
Seamus Coleman has had a mixed season with Everton.

N.B. ONLY INCLUDES PLAYERS who are currently in the Ireland squad or on its fringes

Keiren Westwood: Considering that he was without a club after being ditched by Sunderland, Westwood has had a remarkably good season, attracting interest from Liverpool and earning a place in the Championship team of the season for his performances with Sheffield Wednesday. 9/10

Shay Given: Positive on the whole for Given, who played more games than many would have expected him to for Villa, in addition to regaining his spot at international level. However, he was disappointing in the concession of six goals against Southampton, so it would be perhaps no surprise to see rival for the number one jersey Brad Guzan back in goal for Villa’s final game this weekend.  7/10

David Forde: Though he wasn’t entirely to blame for his troubles, it was nonetheless a difficult season for Forde. Not only did he lose his place in the Ireland team but his Millwall side were relegated from the Championship. The 35-year-old therefore surely needs to be playing at a higher level than League One if he hopes to regain his place in the Irish side, though Derby could be willing to offer him a way out if recent reports prove correct. 5/10

Darren Randolph: A solid Championship goalkeeper who has featured regularly for a Birmingham side that are expected to finish 10th, whether Randolph can perform as well at a higher level remains to be seen, but he was linked with a Celtic move last December, so we could find out soon enough. 8/10

Rob Elliot: Had a brief spell in the Newcastle side owing to Tim Krul’s injury, only to suffer a thigh problem himself. So a handful of games apart, the 29-year-old has largely watched on from the sidelines this season, and was unsurprisingly absent from the latest Ireland squad as a result. 5/10

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Derby County - Molineux Stadium Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

(Cyrus Christie and Derby endured a disappointing end to the season)

Cyrus Christie: Started off the season promisingly, earning an Ireland cap in the process, but injuries and a lack of form saw him ultimately lose his place in the Derby side. 6/10

Richard Keogh: A decent year personally that saw him win a first competitive cap for Ireland against Scotland and gain recognition for his performances with a place in the Championship team of the year. However, a dramatic collapse saw his Derby side narrowly miss out on the Championship playoffs, having been there or thereabouts for much of the season. 8/10

Marc Wilson: A decent season for Wilson who has made 26 appearances for Stoke while consolidating his partnership with John O’Shea for Ireland. 7/10

Alex Pearce: A regular presence in the Reading side that sometimes struggled in the Championship, 26-year-old Pearce remains one of the league’s better defenders. 7/10

Paul McShane: A difficult season for McShane who appeared to be on his way out at Hull around Christmas time, but the Wicklow native has since won his place back in the side. Nevertheless, he hasn’t been able to stop their slide towards relegation. 6/10

Stephen Ward: Another player who has been significantly hampered by injury, Ward made just seven Premier League starts for Burnley. 5/10

John O’Shea: Has mixed some solid performances with a few below-par displays, but overall, O’Shea has been one of the best of a bad bunch at Sunderland. 6/10

Damien Delaney: Delaney has come a long way after at one point contemplating quitting football at Ipswich, he is n0w a key member of Crystal Palace’s side, making 28 appearances this season. At 33, the former Cork City defender may yet prove useful to the Irish side. 7/10

Seamus Coleman: Like Everton in general, Coleman never quite hit the same heights as last season, nevertheless, he remains a key player for Roberto Martinez’s side, and rumours of a potential summer move to Man United persist, with Bayern Munich also linked with the Donegal native. 7/10

Shane Duffy: Seemed to be establishing a bit of momentum with Blackburn after joining from Everton in the summer, however the 23-year-old centre-back suffered a season-ending injury back in February to halt his progress. 7/10

Joey O’Brien: Injuries haven’t helped what has been a frustrating season for O’Brien. The Dubliner has made just six league starts during the campaign and last played in March. 5/10

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Sunderland - Goodison Park Source: Peter Byrne

(James McCarthy has been impressed for Everton this season)

James McCarthy: Despite an injury-interrupted season, McCarthy has impressed during his 27 league appearances for Everton, particularly in the 3-0 win over Man United. His performances drew acclaim, with Martinez, in particular, paying tribute to the 24-year-old central midfielder. 7/10

Paul Green: Struggled to retain a first-team spot in a Rotherham side that narrowly avoided relegation from the Championship. In addition, at 32, his Ireland hopes appear to be fading. 5/10

Darron Gibson: Very difficult to rate given how rarely the midfielder played due to injury (just three Premier League starts in total), the opportunity at Goodison Park is there with Gareth Barry not getting any younger, but Gibson needs a big season next year. 5/10

Jeff Hendrick: Another decent season for Hendrick in which he featured for Ireland competitively and managed an impressive nine goals, though like his Derby teammates, it was undermined by the side’s dismal collapse amid the end-of-season run-in. 7/10

Glenn Whelan: Though it’s unlikely to silence his detractors, Whelan continues to play regularly and perform solidly for a mid-table Premier League side — something few other Irish squad members can boast of. 7/10

Ciaran Clark: Like Villa in general, looked rejuvenated under Tim Sherwood, before suffering a season-ending injury against Tottenham. However, with young Irish centre-backs few and far between, it may not be long before Clark enjoys a sustained run in the Irish team provided he can maintain his pre-injury form. 7/10

Aiden McGeady: Though Roberto Martinez insists he is intent on keeping McGeady at the club, it’s been another troubled season for the player, who has failed to meet expectations at Goodison Park, partially owing to a succession of injury problems. 5/10

Alan Judge: Had a disappointing playoff campaign like the rest of Brentford’s team, but will surely be satisfied overall with his role in a side that continually punched above their weight in the Championship. 7/10

Harry Arter: A lively presence in Bournemouth’s midfield replete with considerable goal threat, Arter has fully earned his recent call-ups to the Ireland squad, as his influential performances helped inspire the club to an unlikely Championship success. 9/10

Anthony Pilkington: The winger features in Ireland’s squad to face Scotland, but he has endured a relatively forgettable season, often struggling to start in a Cardiff side that failed to make much of an impact in the Championship. 5/10

James McClean: On the one hand, McClean made a superb cameo for Ireland as a substitute against Poland, in addition to impressing in the Germany game. That said, the Derry native faces the prospect of playing League One football next season after Wigan were relegated. 6/10

Robbie Brady: Despite impressing sporadically, it’s been a disappointing season overall for the youngster. He was culpable for the first goal, having been put in a somewhat unfamiliar left-back position during the Ireland-Poland game. Moreover, he has coped reasonably in a Hull side that has invariably looked short on confidence, though injury problems have meant the Dubliner has been restricted to just 16 starts in the league. 6/10

Stephen Quinn: Like Brady, Quinn has started just 16 times for his club and seems set to be playing Championship football next season. It’s a shame, as the ex-Pat’s man has shown some touches of class, particularly for Ireland, this year. 6/10

David Meyler: Another player who has lacked consistency, the Corkonian has struggled to break up the midfield pairing of Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone at Hull, and has often been required to play out of position on the wing. 6/10

Soccer - Sky Bet League Championship - Charlton Athletic v Norwich City - The Valley Source: EMPICS Sport

(Wes Hoolahan has been a key figure in Norwich’s promotion bid)

Wes Hoolahan: Considering that he was seemingly on his way out of Norwich last season, Hoolahan has recovered terrifically, becoming a key figure as the Canaries bid for promotion. 8/10

Robbie Keane: Probably the hardest player to rate given that Keane’s season does not coalesce with everyone else on this list. While his Ireland form has been largely disappointing (the Gibraltar game aside), for LA Galaxy, he has excelled when fit. 8/10

Shane Long: Given the £12million Southampton spent on Long, it hasn’t been the best of seasons for the Tipperary native, who has made more appearances from the bench than starts. That said, he appears to be finishing with a flourish, as evidenced by his influential recent display in his side’s demolition of Villa. 6/10

Daryl Murphy: Scored a phenomenal 27 goals this season and must now be considered a viable contender for a spot in the senior side, though his campaign ended in heartbreak, as Ipswich were dumped out of the playoffs. 9/10

Jon Walters: Managed an impressive 10 goals for Stoke this season, including seven in 27 Premier League starts. The fact that the attacker isn’t easy on the eye means he often struggles to endear himself to fans, but Walters is undoubtedly effective at what he does, and could be an important player in Ireland’s upcoming qualifiers. 8/10

Kevin Doyle: A season to forget for Doyle, who was largely ostracised at both Wolves and Crystal Palace. He will be hoping to have a better time in the MLS with the Colorado Rapids. 5/10

Anthony Stokes: Has made 21 league appearances in Celtic’s title-winning campaign, scoring just seven goals — 13 less than he managed last season in Scotland. 6/10

Simon Cox: Scored eight goals for Reading, but the last of them came back in December, as his side finished a disappointing 19th in the Championship. 6/10

Conor Sammon: Somewhat incredibly, Sammon played for three different teams in the Championship this season, but still could only manage four goals, and never really made the desired impact at Ipswich, Rotherham or parent club Derby. 5/10

David McGoldrick: Was linking up well with fellow Irish striker Daryl Murphy at Ipswich, but a bad injury effectively ended his season at the beginning of February, though he did return as a substitute in the playoffs. 7/10

Adam Rooney: The season couldn’t have gone much better for Aberdeen’s Rooney, who scored 28 goals, earning himself a player of the year nomination and gaining an Ireland call-up in the process. 9/10

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