[Frontpage]Slovakia v Ireland Player Ratings

A much improved Irish performance over the horror show against Russia produced a merited but unsatisfying 1-1 draw in Slovakia tonight. The players played with more confidence and composure in much the same system but some of the better elements faded as the game went on and a draw wasn’t an injustice to either side.


Given 6 - not much to do but lacked conviction in what he did. Needs to take on more responsibility in defensive organisation from set pieces. Uncertain clearing his lines but never in danger of being beaten from the numerous long range efforts Slovakia fired at him in the second half.

O’Shea 7 - solid defensively and his use of the ball was generally productive throughout. One important defensive header to deny Durica and linked up well with Fahey.

Dunne 6 - nervous in his clearances. Fortunate with one back pass to Given that he left a few yards short. Won his usual fair share of headers but his organisational skills were lacking and he’s not assuming the role of defensive leader. Needs to be more authoritative.

St Ledger 7 - shared one or two of the nervy moments with Dunne in that there were a few opportunities to clear danger that weren’t dealt with efficiently enough. His covering was better however and he read the danger quite well. Took his goal very well.

Kilbane 6 - competent defensive effort where he played as narrow as usual but Slovakia’s efforts to exploit him by playing Weiss there delivered nothing. His use of the ball was poor however and he didn’t get a single cross in all night despite getting on the ball a few times in reasonable areas.

Fahey 7.5 - an excellent first half on his first competitive start. Delivery from set pieces was first class and he was tidy in possession and fearless in getting on the ball in a crowded midfield. Very encouraging start. Had faded by the time he was withdrawn after 70 minutes but a promising display.

Green 6.5 - withdrawn in the first half after a typically robust display punctuated with frustrating sloppy passes. Robbed the Slovak midfield of the ball on numerous occasions and part of a midfield that was very much on top while he was on the park. Needs to be more effective on the ball to make a positive impression at this level however.

Whelan 6.5 - disappointingly familiar hesitancy for the Slovak goal when he was caught on his heels and out of position on their corner. Acquitted himself reasonably well in the centre of the park for much of the game without ever looking incisive or particularly creative with his range of passing.

McGeady 8 - quiet first half only really livened up by winning the penalty at the end with a good run onto a through pass. Important role in the second half as the game drifted away from Ireland as he was one of the few to retain possession of the ball consistently and caused problems by running at defenders on the break. Showed the threat he can be when the ball is given to him quickly.

Keane 5 - a lively performance that will unfortunately be remembered for the chances that get away. The narrow miss from Long’s first half cross was certainly forgivable, the penalty miss was very disappointing. Frustrating miss at the death when an excellent first touch to create a chance was undermined completely by a poor finish that betrayed a lack of confidence. A night to forget.

Long 7.5 - another performance that delivered more than might have been expected. Showed for the ball well from start to finish and wasn’t afraid to take on the centre halves with his pace or simple strength. A couple of decent crosses and some intelligent hold-up play put Long way ahead of other candidates to replace Doyle or Keane.


Gibson 6 - lacked power in the tackle and allowed two shots goal early in the second half through being muscled off the ball. His passing was generally accurate but rarely inventive. Should have done better with a half chance after making good ground on the break when played in by McGeady.

Keogh - not on long enough to rate

Foley - didn’t put a foot wrong.

Would agree with most of that, thought Green was battling away and looking to be positive in midfield, shame he is so technicaly limited, would also have Whelan a point or two lower, poor for the goal and was anonymous for most of the second half

Generous marks for O’Shea and Whelan. Thought Gibson in on goal was more than a half chance.
Other than that I’d give your ratings an 8.5. Good quality and consistentcy if a little ponderous.

Agreed. O Shea looked dodgy enough at times tonight and Whelan was pure muck altogether.
Whatever about Whelan who, in fairness to him, was never much to begin with, there appears to be serious shakiness creeping into our defense and that as much as Keane’s evident decline has cost us dear in the last two fixtures

whats is the point of .5’s . pretty ridiculous carry on

given 5
oshea 6
st ledger 7
dunne 7
kilbane 6
fahey 6
green 4
whelan 5
mcgeady 7
keane 4
long 7

gibson 6
keogh 6

Obviously it’s hard to know what the plan was in terms of marking up for the corner but I’m not sure about giving both centre halves 7 when we leave their aerial threat at the back post marked by a little lad. Whelan should have made that clear but you’d expect Dunne or St Ledger or O’Shea to take ownership of that situation. They also had an awful lot of efforts on goal in the second half.

I think 4 for Green and 6 for Gibson is odd considering the game turned soon after Gibson replaced Green and they took over in midfield.

Thought Keane was rubbish. 4 was generous.

I had a big argument here before when I said Keane was shit. Point proven again tonight. Been very critical of McGeady on here before aswell. Was better tonight but stil did a lot of stupid shit definately improved though. Whelan and Green midfield are unbelievably limited. Gibson is actually worse

Are you actually serious?


That is the worst post of the night.

Keanes 2nd miss was not forgiveable, it was terrible technique, the blinkers are firmly on with robbie i see again.

first time i’ve seen mageady play in a good while…thought he has really developed physically and
looks hungry for football again…was impressed with his second half display…Shane Long huffed and
puffed and unsettled the centrehalves by leaving the boot,knee, elbow in but offered fcuk all…
not worth man of the match…he was gamey at best…thought Keane and Given really looked
like 2 men going through the motions on the pitch…both badly need regular football

Not giving up on qualification just yet but who are the viable replacements for Keane and Given in the qualifying campaign for next World Cup?

Keiren Westwood looks like a very good goalkeeping prospect to me and he’s the current understudy to Given. He plays for Coventry but is in the last year of his contract and will probably move on either in January or at the end of the season. I certainly think he can play at a higher level than them.

I think Keane’s successor is a concern because we don’t appear to have anybody who can step into the breach and score regular international goals. Doyle, Long, Keogh and Sheridan were the striking options in this squad. There’s also the likes of Anthony Stokes, Daryl Murphy, Leon Best and Caleb Folan and I don’t think any of that group of players has the game intelligence and clever movement that Keane possesses.

I’ve just seen the game highlights from tonight and Keane should obviously have tucked away the penalty and hit the target with the late chance (brilliant first touch to sucker the defender in) but I don’t think we should have short memories either. It’s not as if he’s on a massive drought - his last international goal was Friday and his previous one was the game before that. He needs to be playing regularly to be at his best though and might be advised to go out on loan in January again.

Shit I thought for some reason that all second placed teams went through but only the best one does. Anyway it was two points dropped really. We had three great chances to win it. Can’t remember Slovakia having a chance similar. I don’t go along with this a point away from home is a good result. I don’t see us being particularly better at home against Slovakia. Home wins against Macedonia and Armenia are far from certain too under Trap we struggled against similar sides at home. Definitely can’t see us getting 9 points from those games. Hopefully we will get 7 away but Skojpe has not been a happy ground for us in the past.

We badly need our main players back in form for March.

Westwood is the obvious goalkeeper as Bandage has pointed out. You wouldn’t rule out the likes of Joe Murphy being competent either - was too error prone when he was younger, as most keepers tend to be, but he seems to have settled into a more consistent player. Westwood is way ahead though and looks the real deal.

I think Stokes will be the best of the attacking alternatives. More all round skill than the rest of the alternatives and he can finish. For all Long’s good work in the last two games he lacks that little bit of class and isn’t a prolific scorer. He may be an option for when Doyle is injured but even then probably not long-term. Folan, Sheridan et al are just lesser versions of Doyle too. Murphy is a bit of both but not brilliant. There’s nobody else knocking in goals with any sort of regularity unfortunately.

minor point, but did kilbane provide the cross for keane’s last chance?

and how does gibson get 6 and green 4, if the game turned on his introduction?
(I presume you mean the midfield slipped away from us once green went off)

I don’t rate any of these players.

He gave Green 6.5 rather than 4 though. I’m quite confused by all of this. I think Kilbane did put in the cross for Keane’s late chance.

Yeah I didn’t give Green 4.

I do think the game changed (for the worse) when he was replaced. I don’t think it was a coincidence.

Didn’t realise that was Kilbane crossing late on. 6.1 for him so!