5 Ireland Euro 2012 Fringe Players
The likes of Richard Dunne, Robbie Keane and Shay Given are viewed as indispensable players to Trapattoni because of their talent and experience, but there are several talented players on the fringes of the squad who may miss out because of their lack of experience. With Giovanni Trapattoni set to name his squad for Euro 2012 tomorrow, here are five players whose place on the plane to Poland is anything but certain.
Despite Trapattoni's musing that James McClean was 90-99 percent certain to make the squad for Euro 2012, the Italian's occasionally garbled messages have long been a source of confusion, and Ireland fans will not be satisfied until they see the Derry-born Sunderland star boarding the plane.
Twenty-one-year-old James McCarthy has been in terrific form for relegation battlers Wigan Athletic this season, but he has yet to establish himself in the Republic of Ireland team under Giovanni Trapattoni. When late call-up Paul Green was introduced as a sub in the Czech Republic game, it sent out a message to Ireland fans that McCarthy had fallen down the pecking order.
Twenty-two-year-old Aston Villa utility player Ciaran Clark declared for Ireland in 2011 but, despite being a regular in the Premier League, has rarely featured under Trapattoni and has earned just two caps. He has played alongside Richard Dunne at Villa but, unfortunately, the best that the Harrow-born defender-cum-midfielder can hope for is a place on the standby list.
Like James McClean, former Sligo Rovers right back Seamus Coleman had an excellent breakthrough season for Everton in the English Premier League. However, this season he has been plagued with injury and his form has suffered as a result. A terrible cameo performance in the FA Cup Semi-Final will not have helped the 23-year-old's case for inclusion.
Shane Duffy was called up to the Ireland squad in February 2012 as a replacement for Richard Dunne, but despite Trapattoni's promise to the media that he would play, the Everton youngster was an unused substitute. A key member of the Ireland under-21s, Duffy has featured alongside Johnny Heitinga for the Toffees this season, but Trapattoni sees Duffy as one for "the next future".