Player ratings How Traps Ireland squad got on for their clubs this

first_imgNon-Premier League based players: Robbie Keane 9/10, David Forde 8/10, Darren Randolph 8/10, Aiden McGeady 8/10, Sean St Ledger 6/10, Damien Delaney 8/10, Richard Keogh 9/10, Conor Sammon 7/10, Darren O’Dea 6/10, Paul McShane 7/10, Robbie Brady 8/10, David Meyler 8/10, Paul Green 7/10, Simon Cox 7/10, Jeff Hendrick 8/10, Anthony Stokes 7/10, Kevin Doyle 6/10, Stephen Hunt 5/10, Keith Andrews 7/10, Stephen Henderson 7/10, Andy Reid 9/10, Stephen Quinn 9/10, Paddy Kenny 8/10, Stephen Ward 6/10.N.B. Players who are not available for selection, such as Damien Duff and Darron Gibson, were deliberately omitted from this list. Richard Dunne missed the entire season through injury and was consequently also discounted. Others such as Stephen Quinn and Andy Reid were mentioned on account of their fine seasons, irrespective of the fact that they’re nowhere near the squad at present.TheScore.ie Premier League 2012/13 quiz>Pilkington withdraws from Ireland squad to undergo treatment on knee> Keiron Westwood: Could barely have gone any worse. Westwood spent the entire season on the bench, as Simon Mignolet consistently impressed for Sunderland. The Belgian goalkeeper has been regularly linked with a move to a bigger club, and Westwood must be praying it happens so he gets a chance in the first team. Rating: 3/10John O’Shea: O’Shea has had better seasons, though he’s also endured worse ones. Sunderland’s poor form ultimately meant they finished just one place above the relegation zone, and as captain, the defender must take some responsibility for this dire performance. However, he did at least play in almost every game, and it was Sunderland’s attack rather than their defence that invariably let them down. Rating 6/10Joey O’Brien: Bafflingly overlooked more often than not by Trapattoni, O’Brien has enjoyed a fine season with West Ham, playing in nearly every game. He’s very much the forgotten man of Irish football, but they undoubtedly appreciate him at Upton Park. Rating 8/10Marc Wilson: A long-term injury meant Wilson could only play in half of Stoke’s games, though he made the most of the limited time he had on the field, usually showing good composure on the ball and looking solid in defence. Rating 7/10Enda Stevens: Made seven appearances for Villa, though it was only due to an injury crisis that he played, and generally found first-team action limited. Rating 5/10Ciaran Clark: Stood up well in what was a difficult season for Villa, and was even made captain despite his young age. Injury unfortunately limited his involvement in the last few matches. Rating 7/10(Aston Villa’s Ciaran Clark celebrates scoring against Tottenham – David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images)Alex Pearce: Has been largely ignored by Ireland, and was frozen out by Reading following his refusal to sign a new contract, though he was impressive enough that he was being linked with a move to Liverpool at one stage. Rating 7/10Seamus Coleman: Surely his finest season yet, Coleman was routinely excellent in both defence and attack and must surely now be one of the first names on the teamsheet when Trap picks the Irish team. Rating 9/10Stephen Kelly: Will have been disappointed at his failure to nail down a place in the Fulham side, but has at least found first-team action easier to come by since joining Reading. Rating 6/10Glenn Whelan: Another solid if unspectacular season from Whelan. Tony Pulis clearly trusts him, as he played in 32 of their matches, and it would have been more, were it not for a late-season injury. Rating 7/10James McCarthy: His season was dampened by Wigan’s relegation, though he impressed nonetheless, featuring in every one of his side’s games. A move to a bigger club is surely on the horizon. Rating 8/10(Wigan Athletic’s James McCarthy celebrates as he scores against Swansea – Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images)Anthony Pilkington: Like Norwich in general, Pilkington’s season encompassed moments of real quality, which included scoring the winning goal against former club Man United, as well as some ordinary enough displays. He can be very happy with his contribution overall though. Rating 8/10James McClean: A hugely disappointing season in comparison to the previous one. McClean lost his form and seemingly his confidence too, as Sunderland struggled. It’s been so bad that some are even speculating that he may move to a lower division club in the summer, though Paolo Di Canio has at least started him in most of his games as manager. Rating 5/10Shane Long: In stark contrast with former teammate Kevin Doyle, it’s been a great campaign for Shane Long. Though he has perhaps been outshone partially by fellow strike partner Romelu Lukaku, the Tipperary native has still made a significant contribution to West Brom’s laudable 8th place finish. Rating 8/10Jonathan Walters: Like Stoke, Walters had a hugely impressive first half of the season, followed by a less distinguished second half. He kept plugging away nonetheless though and chipped in with the odd vital goal too. Rating 7/10Wes Hoolahan: Perhaps not quite as consistent as his most ardent supporters would suggest, but it’s been a good year overall for the playmaker right up until the last game in which he again caught the eye, with the Canaries securing an impressive victory against Man City. Rating 8/10Noel Hunt: As ever, Hunt gave his all whenever he played for the Royals. However, two goals in 23 appearances suggests he isn’t quite up to Premier League standard. Rating 5/10last_img read more

Fianna Fáil to examine if free votes should be given more often

first_imgFIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has said his party is attempting to devise a system where its TDs and Senators will be permitted to vote as they see fit on certain major issues.Speaking exclusively to TheJournal.ie this evening, Martin said a committee would be set up to try and identify red-button topics where personal opinions were too sincerely held to be comprised by a party vote.The Fianna Fáil leader was speaking after a meeting of his parliamentary party had decided not to impose a party whip on any votes relating to the forthcoming abortion bill – allowing members to either approve or oppose the legislation as they see fit.The decision marks the first time in several years that a major party will have allowed its members to participate in Oireachtas votes without any direction on how they should act.Though Martin said the whip system did have value as a tool to ensure a government’s work was not unduly disrupted, he said there was a balance to be struck “between governance and parliamentary representation”.Asked what subjects might be considered thorny enough to warrant a free vote among Fianna Fáil members, Martin pointed to recent examples in Australia where MPs were given a free vote on matters like abortion, euthanasia and the death penalty.The former minister said the protocol would try to identify a “narrow range of issues” upon which the whip would not be applied – but insisted that politics would “evolve” so that more major parties would allow TDs to vote with their conscience on divisive social matters.‘I didn’t want to lose people’Though he believed Fianna Fáil was going through “a period of renewal”, Martin acknowledged that FF could have lost some of its more experienced Oireachtas members if it had enforced either a supportive or opposing stance to the Protection of Life in Pregnancy Bill.“I didn’t want to lose people,” he admitted, saying there were “people of calibre” who would now feel safe to contribute to the party.There had been roughly a 50-50 split among Fianna Fáil’s 33 parliamentarians when the substance of the legislation was first discussed about a month ago, he said, explaining that many members had problems with allowing the risk of suicide as grounds for an abortion.“Others, like myself, felt the Bill was restrictive,” he said, outlining that a woman at risk of suicide does not currently need to undergo a mandatory psychiatric assessment before being put forward for a termination.“Others are worried about the impact down the line, and I respect that.”Read: Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators to have free vote on abortion billlast_img read more