Knowing that the honeymoon period is well and truly over, after an abysmal Euro 2012 campaign and a nevertheless embarrassing result against Kazakhstan, Trap’s army is under serious pressure to get at least four points out of a possible six from the two games.
James McClean has avoided the fate that many feared following his foul-mouthed Tweet after the Kazakh game. The Sunderland starlet took to the social-networking site to vent his frustration of being left on the bench while the team under-performed before him. "Delighted as a fan we got the the win.. Personal level #fuming #f****njoke #embarrassing.", fourteen words and three hashtags that could’ve seen the Derryman forced into international Siberia, though he would’ve been kept company by Andy Reid and Stephen Ireland.
Worryingly for the Republic, defensive stalwart Richard Dunne has been labelled fit enough only to make the standby list for the two games, prompting worries that the energetic German team could inflict the sort of damage the Russians managed at the Aviva, rattling three past Shay Given before half-time in the Euro 2012 qualifier. Dunne is struggling to recover from groin surgery which has kept him sidelined since the summer. With the Villa defender being essential to Ireland’s slim chances of getting something from the German game, Trap and Tardelli have both been heavily investing in rosary beads for the coming weeks.
Somewhat predictably, Trap has declined to include Robbie Brady in the squad, the Manchester United youngster only making the standby list due to his inexperience. Many considered Brady to be a possible wildcard for the upcoming qualifiers, considering his accomplished and mature performance on his debut against Oman recently, capping his international bow with a goal and two assists. His place is taken by players such as Birmingham’s Keith Fahey, who has managed just 143 minutes for the Championship outfit, and Andy Keogh, who stars for Millwall on a regular basis. Illogical, but that’s Trap for you.
The squad in itself contains no major surprises, just minor worries for all connected to the team. Trap’s refusal to trust in up and coming players would suggest Simon Cox will once again start on the left wing, while zimmer-frame bound Robbie Keane will lead from the front. Coleman, McCarthy and McClean should see limited match time, the Germans will roll over us quicker than Czechoslovakia, and the Faroe Islands might call a national holiday when they thrash us 4-0. The joys of being an Irish fan.
Irish squad in full: Keiren Westwood, David Forde, Darren Randolph; Stephen Ward, Stephen Kelly, Marc Wilson, John O’Shea, Seán St. Ledger, Paul McShane, Darren O’Dea; Séamus Coleman, Aiden McGeady, Keith Fahey, Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy, Keith Andrews, Andy Keogh, James McClean; Simon Cox, Robbie Keane, Shane Long, Kevin Doyle, Jonathan Walters.