[Frontpage]Armenia v Ireland Player Ratings

Shay Given - 6 Looked less than comfortable with the basics early on. Spilled an early shot and fumbled a through ball that he recovered but improved as the game went on and dealt with their long shots with no hassles. There was nothing that required anything other than professional competency but there were enough efforts on goal to force a mistake if he was less than assured and he wasn’t caught out.

John O’Shea - 7 A little tentative at the beginning of the game where he was caught out by some straightforward passes in behind but this was possibly more a reflection of his lack of games since Christmas than any poor attitude. He was conspicuously better as the game wore on and was unerring on the ball and in his defensive work. His understanding witht he centre halves was evident in his positioning which meant what Armenian threats there were, came from the other flank. A very important player in this setup.

Richard Dunne - 8 Dunne was imposing at the back throughout the game. Won everything in the air that came his direction, one scare with a potential own goal being the only worry in that respect. He covered runs in behind without difficulty throughout and never looked threatened.

Sean St Ledger - 7 Not quite as influential as his centre back partner but St Ledger was another who was never in danger of getting caught out by any crosses or through balls that came his direction. His positioning, particularly in the last quarter of the game when Kilbane was exposed, was first class and he made a number of important clearances without ever looking overly ruffled or panicked.

Kevin Kilbane - 4.5 Kilbane was vulnerable in the first half but never really tested and as a result contributed postively in an attacking sense, albeit mainly through decoy runs. Got on the ball a bit more in the second half and his touch betrayed him time and again. Far more concerning was his inability to deal with diagonal balls and his failure to block crosses which caused problems in the second half. He was beaten for pace early on in both halves and, perhaps sobered by that lesson, appeared reluctant to get tight on his winger from then on which allowed an abundance of crosses and through balls to be delivered from his area.

Liam Lawrence - 8.5 Had a brief spell at the beginning of the second half when his touch went awry and he was posted absent for a small time afterwards but it was only the excellence of his contribution at other times that highlighted this period. He was a willing worker throughout, despite obviously tiring as the game went on, and more importantly he took on possession at every available opportunity and rarely lapsed in his execution or his decision making. Made one vital clearance near the end despite his fatigue and was part of a very solid flank defensively after one early scare. Great work in the build-up to the goal and might have been involved in a couple more if others were as accurate.

Glenn Whelan - 5.5 Willing as ever to cover as much ground as possible and never shirked from tackles or tracking runs but found the going tough in the middle of the park with Armenia enjoying greater numbers. He was competent in possession but didn’t contribute as much as he has done in recent games.

Paul Green - 5 A workmanlike but ultimately less than satisfactory competitive debut. His early touches were heavy which betrayed a nervousness. Flew into tackles which showed enthusiasm but also a touch of naivety and although he settled as the game progressed he still made a number of critical errors that better opponents would have punished. Had one or two nice moments, including settling the ball down to allow the goal to be created, but more is expected of a central midfield player in international football.

Aiden McGeady - 7 Quiet beginning but heavily involved 15 minutes either side of half-time when afforded license to play more advanced. Had the beating of his full-back and managed a couple of shots and crosses that yielded nothing but caused problems nonetheless. Hasn’t played a game of any description yet this season and was always likely to be replaced. Can be reasonably happy with his contribution while he was involved however.

Kevin Doyle - 9 Doyle was a handful for Armenia from the first minute to the last. They never coped with his heading ability and many of the chances he created were from straight long balls to him that favoured the defender. His touch on the ground was equally effective. His workrate was superb as usual but this was a performance that reflected his ability more than his effort.

Robbie Keane - 6.5 Missed two straightforward chances that a top striker would be expected to score but otherwise he was very effective. Crucial role in the goal also and his constant movement between the centre halves kept Ireland in the ascendancy and always threatened to produce chances.


Keith Fahey - 7 One contribution but that one involvement of note was a very tidy finish.
Andy Keogh - 6 Harmless but willing.

<object width=“425” height="355]<param name=“movie” value="http://youtube.com/v/zbiGoqfTIgs]<param name=“wmode” value="transparent]<embed src=“http://youtube.com/v/zbiGoqfTIgs” type=“application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=“transparent” width=“425” height="355]

didnt see the game but kevin doyle gets a 3 from me- no technical abiliy & an inabillity to score are his failings

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Given 6 - Couple of uncharacteristic mistakes early on but is a class act and woulnd’t really worry me ahead of Tuesday
O’Shea 7.5 - Caught in behind early on but looked solid as game went on. Great hunger in his Irish displays in past couple of years
Dunne 8 - Did basics very well. Very solid. Has put on few kilos which he could do with losing. Think a change of club and new challenge would do him good from an Irish perspective unless Aston Villa can appoint someone who can really motivate Dunne like MON did
St Ledger 7.5 - Read the game well. Did well
Kilane 4.5 - Poor in defending and very poor in possession.
Lawrence 8.5 - Used ball well at times and great determination saw him win some battles. Love his attitude
Whelan 5 - Wasn’t as effective as usual in breaking up play and didn’t use the ball well
Green 4.5 - Had good first couple of minutes but disappointing after that. Over eager and a bit indisciplined
McGeady 7.5 - Another who grew into the game. Lovely run in first half and excellent piece of skill to get in a dangerous cross in the second. Was huffing and puffing throughout which ain’t surprising
Keane 6 - Battled very well and was effective but he should have put away at least one of those chances. Should have had a peno
Doyle 8.5 - Did very well in the air and was always a handful. Good in possession mostly but could release the ball a bit quicker outwide

Fahey 8 - Excellent composed finish
Keogh 7.5 - Run up the flank near the end was all he really did but was a relatively important input at that time

Kenny Cunningham 8 - Welcome addition to commentory slot. Not moany for the sake of it like you get with others but critical when needs be

The RTE lads were creaming themselves about him after the match but he doesn’t score enough goals for me to be considered a top striker.

I thinkTrap should tell Kilbane to give it up like Capello/Becks scenario.

Ah he was excellent yesterday. Ireland based their whole gameplan on him and he was a constant threat. Nearly everything positive we did went through him.

And to be fair his goalscoring record isn’t bad considering the teams he’s been at. He scored relatively well in the Championship when he was there - obviously it’s a lower standard but they were also the only times in his career in England when he was playing in teams that had an attacking outlook.

Not doubting that he was good yesterday but the RTE lads went overboard if you ask me. I know a lot of his game is being the target man but has he even broken the 10 goal mark for Ireland?

Just checked there - Doyle has 8 for Ireland, Morrison has 9.

Of course I would have Doyle ahead if Clinton and he is vital to us but he needs to score more if you are talking about him as being a top player.

Why, Kilbane mightn’t be the world’s greatest footballer but he has never ever given anything other than 100% for Ireland, considering the lack of depth in the squad it wouldn’t be a very wise move to tell our first choice left back to give it up, especially as there are fuck all proven alternatives

I’d like to see him score more as well but sometimes statistics can hide the truth. He had a 0% scoring record yesterday but created two wonderful chances for Keane, got the assist for the goal and was excellent from the first minute to the last. I wouldn’t assess his whole career on the basis of that performance but neither would I dismiss his efforts on the basis of the stats you’re referring to. If he played that well every game he’d be every bit as good as the pundits were suggesting he is - goals or not.

Hard to argue with that.

So I won’t bother.

Did he actually get the assist, rocko…Looked to me that it was the defender that played the ball not Doyle, even watching the replay from the side angle I don’t think Doyle was trying to play in Fahey

I thought Doyle got the touch and was trying to play in Fahey.

Looking at the replay it is hard to tell, but looking at the angle in which the defender comes in and the way the ball moves it looks as though he got the touch


That second replay looks like he got the touch to me. It’s probably inconclusive alright but he played very well regardless.

I thought Liam Lawrence was our best player yesterday. God, I love that man and his blond highlighted hair.

I agreed with Paul Green’s selection yesterday but he was very disappointing, especially in the first half. A home game to Andorra is probably the type of game to give Gibson another start to see if he can thrust himself into a regular role. There won’t be a better game for him to try to establish himself in the team.