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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019
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5 selections we hope to see at Trap's squad announcement

The Italian is due to hold a press conference at Abbotstown this afternoon.

Hoolahan.
Hoolahan.
Image: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

AFTER EXPECTING TO be relieved of his duties as Ireland manager, Giovanni Trapattoni finds himself still in a job.

It has barely been two weeks since a 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands followed the country’s biggest competitive home defeat at the hands of Germany but it’s back to business.

This afternoon, Trap will be at FAI headquarters in Abbostown to name his squad for what looks like being a particularly low-key international friendly against Greece on November 14.

Due to the opposition, the association would probably struggle to attract a full house in normal circumstances. And with some fans claiming they would make their feelings heard by staying away from future games when it was announced that the Italian was to continue, the game could well be played in front of a half-empty Aviva Stadium.

Trap agreed to John Delaney’s wishes and has been spotted at two Premier League grounds in the last fortnight. Whether those visits will have a genuine impact on his selection, we won’t find out until 3pm.

Here are some changes we would like to see:

1. Bring in Wes Hoolahan

Trapattoni paid a visit to Carrow Road for the meeting of Norwich and Arsenal the weekend before last. He has complained about going to games only to discover that the players he had hoped to watch were not playing in the past, so will have been glad to learn that both Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington started for Chris Hughton’s Canaries.

While Pilkington was industrious on the winger and could suit Trap’s system, it was 30-year-old Hoolahan who stood out behind Grant Holt. The Dubliner then followed that performance up by being awarded man-of-the-match in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday. Trap doesn’t see him as fitting into a traditional 4-4-2 formation but he deserves to be given a chance nonetheless.

2. Kevin Doyle is fit again

Ruled out of the last two qualifiers with a thigh injury, Wolves forward Doyle has since returned to club action and scored two goals in the draw with Bolton last Tuesday. He may find himself down the pecking order but is still one of the best strikers the country has to offer and is expected to be recalled today.

3. The return of Kevin Foley

Full-back Kevin Foley, frustrated at being initially picked for Euro 2012 only to lose out to Paul McShane, has seemingly indicated that the disappointment of the summer has passed and he could be ready to return to the international fold. In the past couple of months, Seamus Coleman has seized his opportunity with a number of defenders out through injury and Foley will have to be happy as back-up but he is worthy of a spot in the squad. If he does, in fact, want it.

4. Pick Ciaran Clark

Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark only received a call-up for the Germany and Faroe games after it emerged that Sean St Ledger and Glenn Whelan would play no part.

He didn’t feature in either game but should be given an opportunity to prove his Premier League pedigree and with Marc Wilson out for up to four months with a broken leg, will be a valuable addition as he can play in a number of positions across the backline.

5. Leave Robbie Keane out

Is there really any need to fly the Ireland skipper 5,000 miles for a non-competitive game? Surely not. It would be much more beneficial to try out a Jon Walters/Shane Long partnership than add one more cap to the 122 the 32-year-old already has. Yes, he is the country’s all-time record goalscorer but he was poor again against the Faroes and it is time to plan for the future.

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Ben Blake

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