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McGeady brace gets Ireland off to a flyer

by | 07/09/2014  Comments (62)  jump
Blues winger scores late winner in Tbilisi
Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Aiden McGeady were all named in Martin O'Neill's starting XI for the Republic of Ireland's opening Euro2016 qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi this evening.

The Blues trio were hoping to help propel the Irish back to the European Championships Finals and make amends for what was a disappointing showing at Euro2012.

Darron Gibson, who fell out with ex-Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni after he failed to play a minute of any of his country's matches in Poland and Ukraine two years ago, is among the substitutes.

He successfully came through 70 minutes of last week's friendly against Oman, his first competitive action for 11 months.

It was McGeady who gave the Irish the lead in the first half, slotting McCarthy's pass past the goalkeeper but the Georgians quickly levelled through Okriashvili to make it 1-1 at half time.

McGeady restored the lead with an even better striker in the second half, though. He nimbly turned on a sixpence just inside the Georgia penalty area before placing a beautiful side-foot finish past the goalkeeper to make it 2-1 in the closing stages.

Meanwhile, Steven Naismith played 82 minutes for Scotland in their qualifier against Germany and the in-form forward almost equaliser Thomas Muller's opener but grazed the post with his effort early in the second half.

A second Muller goal was enough to edge it for the Germans, though, as the match ended 2-1.  

Reader Comments (62)

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Chris Wilson
1 Posted 07/09/2014 at 16:32:46
Good luck, lads. Represent and come back to us in one piece.
Jamie Barlow
2 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:26:24
Good start for our lads.
Frank Wade
3 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:28:14
Great assist by McCarthy for a well taken goal by McGeady, Naisy style !
Ajay Gopal
4 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:30:32
Well done, McGeady & McCarthy.
Jon Ferguson
5 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:56:00
McGeady is having a strong start to the season. He scored a cracker in the opener, played the key pass to put Coleman through for Mirallas's goal at Chelsea and then got the assist for Naismith's goal. He's scored again today, I think it will add to his confidence and he'll play a big part this season.
Tommy Meehan
6 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:49:23
Brace for McGeady
Chris James
7 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:53:04
Two for McGeady with assists from Coleman and McCarthy... Everton 2 - 1 Georgia! ;-)
Brian Cleveland
8 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:56:50
Could McGeady be another Naismith? A slow start but gaining in confidence and fitness, ready to take on a bigger and more important role for us? How fast we judge players...

How fickle are football fans?

(How fickle are TWers?!)

Tony Hill
9 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:58:56
He's had little or no support from us in truth, there has been a cheap prejudice against him which we would do well to correct. He was not fit when he joined and he is the sort of player who will take risks and give the ball away. He is though a game changer and the sort of talent we should be encouraging, not whining about.
Chris James
10 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:03:02
To be fair McGeady has blown very hot and cold. I got to watch him up close in the Arsenal match and he was frankly pretty shocking - gave the ball away, didn't really tackle back (maybe the latter was an instruction) and seemed to lose his rag and let his head drop at just the time we needed calm professionalism.
Not trying to pin that result on him I stress but he was about as much use as Osman in the last 15.

That said flair players can be a bit like that and very few can be relied upon to shine every game (Barkley, Mirallas and Pienaar have all been just as guilty) and maybe he will go the way of Naismith and become a cult hero. The latter has certainly been a revelation over the last 12 months, he always gave his all to the team of course, but since he's actually been played regularly in his preferred position he's been our most dangerous attacking player.
Be great if Nessi can follow his colleague's leads and notch a goal or two tonight - all good for confidence against the baggies!

Eugene Kearney
11 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:10:29
Great result lads, well done - and keep up the good work - in blue as well as in green!!! ;-)
Shane Corcoran
12 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:11:46
Awful stuff and I have major worries over OÂ’Neill although some of the players were woeful.

Fair play to McGeady for probably ignoring instructions and going behind the front man for once to get on the ball for the goal.

Shane Corcoran
13 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:14:11
Also, Giles proven correct on McCarthy. Completely anonymous.
Colin Metcalfe
14 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:14:55
McGeady has his faults, as posted above, but the more I see of him, the more I am impressed and I think he will get better!

I can't think which player said it but on the official website he stated McGeady was one of the most skillful players at the club; I am starting to believe it.

Gavin Johnson
15 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:11:14
Personally I always reserved judgement on Naismith until he was given the opportunity to play in his favoured position. Saying that, I did the same with Bilyaletdinov and with the benefit of hindsight I think he'd have still been crap if he'd have been given a run in the Cahill role behind the striker.. which many thought would suit his strengths more than out wide.

I'm still not sure about McGeady. Even when he was getting all the plaudits at Celtic, many of their fans would say that he'd sometimes flatter to deceive, beating men but running down blind alleys and frustrating with some of his final balls. Having watched him a few times now I'd say that was a fair assessment.

Although he's a useful player and he offsets some of those criticisms with moments of class, like the Leicester goal and the assist for Naismiths goal against Chelsea. Overall I think he's a good squad player and we can't grumble with the fee we paid.

Chris Sillett
16 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:31:23
Superb second goal by McGeady, he's got that bit of magic in him and if we support and encourage him when h'es playing for us, then he can produce it like he did against Leicester!
Jim Knightley
17 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:44:22
Incredible second goal by McGeady. He is a useful squad player, and has the potential for magic which football fans love to see. Long may his form continue, and hopefully he will kick on this season.
James Hill
18 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:45:44
Shane Corcoran what game were you watching. I missed that one.
Shane Corcoran
19 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:47:25
Unfortunately, anyone that saw the game tonight will know that McGeady was just the usual McGeady; frustrating but with magic to win the game. If only that happened every time he drove you mad.
Shane Corcoran
20 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:54:58
James Hill, what part are you disagreeing about? Did Ireland play well? Did McCarthy?
James Hill
21 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:53:20
Shane, no disrespect, mate – give credit when is due, both McGeady and McCarthy had good games. In my opinion, Giles is talking through a hole in his arse.

Qualifying isnÂ’t about pretty football anyway especially away from home.

Shane Corcoran
22 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:57:40
James I respectfully couldnÂ’t disagree more.

WeÂ’re not kids, the end doesnÂ’t justify the means. Outside of the two goals what did either do?

Are Liam Brady and Eamon Dunphy talking out of their holes too? They also highlighted their points with examples.

I struggle to understand your point on McCarthy in particular. I focused on him and he just jogged around in circles 10 yards ahead of Whelan whenever Whelan had the ball.

Your last point is right out pundit cliche-land. Teams generally try to play their best in order to get the win. IÂ’m delighted we won but we wonÂ’t win many playing like that.

James Hill
23 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:02:12
Shane perhaps your seeing what you want to see and yes your entitled to your opinion as the cliche goes.

I guess Ireland did well to win with 9 men then. Anyway what ever the tactics they seem to work.

I think they did okay and donÂ’t give a shit about what the pundits say I make up my own mind on what I see.

As for McCarthy running round in 10metre circles maybe that what he needed to do to protect the middle off the park.

Great game football everyone see it different. Now thatÂ’s a cliche.

Jamie Barlow
24 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:17:01
McGeady is the Naismith of 2 years ago. Gets far too much grief on here.

He can be fantastic as his 2nd goal showed today and with a little more hard work, could be a very useful player this season.

Shane Corcoran
25 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:27:17
Why would I want to see IrelandÂ’s player play badly? YouÂ’re really mystifying me tonight.

McCarthy was running away from the ball ahead of Whelan when we were in possession. YouÂ’re right about opinions though.

Craig Fletcher
26 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:50:19
Just watching Scotland v Germany now. Naismith seemingly playing as a lone striker... he would be more effective playing behind someone like Steven Fletcher.
Anthony Burke
27 Posted 07/09/2014 at 21:10:00
Just seen McGeady’s 2nd goal what a finish I’ve still got my doubts but hopefully he will prove the doubters wrong – including me.
Keith Glazzard
28 Posted 07/09/2014 at 21:45:00
Ireland saw the best of Aiden McGeady tonight – his first goal was well taken, his second was superb. And I think we will gradually see more of this. The quality is there.

Scotland were a very mixed bunch, but about one thing there was no doubt. Steven Naismith had the World Champs resorting to fouls which could have produced two red cards.

Andy Meighan
29 Posted 07/09/2014 at 21:52:41
I havenÂ’t seen McGeadyÂ’s goals but by all accounts his 2nd was a gem. I watched Scotland and in the 2nd half they were superb. Naismith was once again full of selfless running and desperately unlucky not to notch with one that just grazed the post but one he blazed wildly.

Scotland ran the World Champs really close and well deserved a point.

Danny Broderick
30 Posted 07/09/2014 at 22:19:53
McGeady is a good squad man. He'll never be a consistent player playing 90 minutes every week. But he has been a useful addition to the squad. His finish at Leicester was outstanding, as was the winner tonight.

If he can get 6/7 goals this season and a few assists, maybe coming off the bench, he'll be a good asset. For what we paid for him, we can't have any complaints. Credit where it's due. He will frustrate at times, but so do all proper wingers.

Colin Williams
31 Posted 07/09/2014 at 22:08:27
How anyone can say McGeady has done "NOTHING" except score two goals tonight! Well! What game were "YOU" watching? (Strange, very strange!)

Man of the Match, by far the best player on pitch.

Also, Macca had a solid game, did what he was told. Top team player.

Peter Warren
32 Posted 07/09/2014 at 23:04:51
Didn't know much about McGeady til he joined us. He is extremely skilful with two good feet. I totally get why Roberto bought him, I think he fits perfectly with our style of play.

Before we signed him, people talked about him going up blind alleys but from what I see he loves cutting inside using his skill and threading balls through as opposed to beating a man as whipping a cross in. Just excited about our squad and looking forward to what we deliver this season surely all our players are getting better year on year.

Trevor Lynes
33 Posted 07/09/2014 at 22:59:03
I think that McCarthy has been a good acquisition for Everton but he is not a top class midfielder. He is a pretty good Premier League midfield player but he does not take games by the scruff of the neck. For some reason he is never blamed for mistakes he makes, yet some fans make scapegoats of others in the side who make mistakes.

Collectively we have defended pretty poorly so far this season, and I include McCarthy along with the rest. I just wish fans would watch matches carefully and not have favourites. So far this season, the best players on show have been attackers which is a big change from previous seasons.

I just hope that we get back to being the best defence in the division, but that includes every player in the team working as hard as Naismith. Goals will come with the forwards we have and it is about time McCarthy and company chipped in with a couple. Baines has dried up of late and I reckon he badly misses Pienaar playing in front of him.

Tim Greeley
34 Posted 08/09/2014 at 01:11:44
A goal like that to win a qualifier... that is impressive. DidnÂ’t see a second more than the ESPN highlights, but two real nice goals from Aiden and a tremendous goal from the southern belle Georgian player.

Georgia – what a country!! Skitishvilli this and Shkrotishvilli that. Right there next to Krasnodar too. The powerhouse Albania beat Portugal too.

Anyway McGeady has looked solid to me this season, he is another weapon and will be really important in the secondary competitions – the Europa League and the domestic cups. Plus at the moment he stays healthier than Pienaar.

Dave Clark
35 Posted 08/09/2014 at 07:39:19
If there has been anyone this season I don’t want playing for us, it has been McGeady. Except for his goal at Leicester, he’s been a total disaster. I hope he does a Naismith and proves me wrong but I’d rather play Atsu – in fact, anyone but him.

Btw, I totally agree with the comments about McCarthy: he doesnÂ’t command the midfield at all. As I live abroad I can no longer get to the game but just count how many times heÂ’s mentioned touching the ball in a game, itÂ’s like heÂ’s not there.

My friends tell me his coverage of the field off the ball is superb (which you donÂ’t see on TV); fine, but he has a long way to go to be a top notch midfielder. IÂ’m actually glad comments where made about him from Giles, it might make him improve.

Shane Corcoran
36 Posted 08/09/2014 at 08:25:12
Colin #31, what do you mean how can I say it? He did nothing positive but score the two goals. Simple.

"Macca" (McCarthy) did what he was told? Fair play to your sources. What was it he was told to do exactly? What did he do? IÂ’m still waiting to be enlightened as to what McCarthy did last night.

Chris Leyland
37 Posted 08/09/2014 at 08:32:56
Shane, 'he did nothing positive but score the two goals'.

But weren't the 2 goals he did score that won your country the game enough for you then? Did you want him to do some positive mazy runs, maybe a couple of positive somersaults and a nice positive dance too?

It reminds me of the "what have the Romans ever done for us?" Monty Python sketch.

Shane Corcoran
38 Posted 08/09/2014 at 09:10:58
Chris, come on. At that rate thereÂ’s no point in analysing the game. Just look at the score and the scorers and itÂ’s a black-and-white issue.

Did you think MGeady had a good game against Leicester? He gave the ball away an awful lot but hey, he scored. And if Leicester had won the game, would that have made McGeadyÂ’s performance worse because his goal didnÂ’t matter?

ItÂ’s bizarre having to make these points. McGeady put in poor cross after poor cross last night. He also ran the ball out of play on two occasions. He looked completely frustrated with his own performance.

Of course his two finishes were top drawer (even if the Â’keeperÂ’s touch on the last one probably made it look better than it was), and his overall performance should be judged with this in mind but spare me the "he scored = he performed well" stuff. This is where we need the "Like" button that is being discussed on the other thread.

MIke McLean
39 Posted 08/09/2014 at 09:30:41
There aren’t all that many good players in the Irish team. Maybe this contributes to what some may see as under-par performances by our two.

Although it’s interesting to note that Messi can be anonymous for 89 minutes, score a great goal and be labelled a genius.

Shane Corcoran
40 Posted 08/09/2014 at 09:36:36
Interesting point on Messi, Mike. His World Cup performances were generally average I thought, again saved by a few moments of genius.

ItÂ’s noticeable already this season that his work-rate has returned under Enrique. None of this standing around waiting to be fed. HeÂ’s gone back to the closing down to win the ball that was evident when Guardiola was in charge and itÂ’s great to see.

Richard Parker
41 Posted 08/09/2014 at 10:28:44
Cracking 2nd goal from McGeady. Technically a really good player, with great feet.

I haven't seen much of him to give a rounded view of how much he contributes, but we don't have many players at Everton who are as technically gifted as him.

Derek Knox
42 Posted 08/09/2014 at 11:38:44
My only concern with Aiden, when he plays for us, is his propensity to give the ball away, too often, too easily, and does not seem to have fully grasped the dropping back aspect,
to assist the defence, when under attack yet.

I have every faith that given a fair run and regularly sharing playing time with Atsu, for different dimensions in the games ahead, he will become better.

It is refreshing also, that we have no fewer than four Internationals who play for the same side, and all tend to feature regularly,(well, Gibson will too after he resumes full fitness) and can only benefit us, as to players understanding each other's game on the field of play.

Barry Morrison
43 Posted 08/09/2014 at 13:59:20
Shane, McCarthy was asked to play in a more advanced, creative role by O'Neill to accommodate Whelan.

Now I'm a great advocate of McCarthy and think he has been a fantastic addition to the Everton team, but anyone who knows anything about his game would know that he would struggle in such a role. If he's not defending the back four, he really shouldn't be on the pitch, and maybe that's why he seemed a bit out of place.

Maybe if Gibson (how big is this 'if'?) was fit he could play slightly more advanced, but not McCarthy; and the fact Martin O'Neill doesn't recognise this worries me.

Shane Corcoran
44 Posted 08/09/2014 at 14:10:51
Barry, thatÂ’s exactly how I read it. Why he didnÂ’t have the two of them sit deeper I donÂ’t know and the words "accommodate" and "Whelan" shouldnÂ’t be used together.

IÂ’m not going to criticise OÂ’Neill just yet but I am, and always was worried about his appointment.

Norman Merrill
45 Posted 08/09/2014 at 14:24:00
It was good to see the Republic get the result last night, as well as Northern Ireland, sadly Scotland failed.

As for tonight, well I just hope the Everton lads come through unscathed, as we need to start getting some wins under our belt.

Colin Williams
46 Posted 08/09/2014 at 15:42:53
Shane # 36, " He did nothing positive but score" yes, two goals and won the game for them! In case you forgot, "goals win you games" championships and world cups!(ffs)

"What else did he do" I could go on all nite about his role in the game. Couple of things he was excellent at: worked we’ll with his f/b in offensive and defending play, continually creating space on the left flank by coming inside, causing huge problems for opposition f/b and holding m/f players. Linking with central players to create overload and create space for others.(constantly drifting around the park finding pockets of space to receive the ball to create overloads)

Excellent positional play in last third of pitch, receive ball out wide and dragging two players to him and also consistently

Beating his f/b creating chances etc etc....

Many players are given specific roles to play especially
Away from home. Macca, it looks like was given various instructions about his role. He played much higher up the park to link more with the offensive play and create more pressure towards the opposition’s back 5 with his positional play. His offensive role worked considering he assisted the first goal.
Defensively, he filled holes, pressed players all night, always available to receive or deliver a pass. His role was different last nite but very effective.

Shane, that,s how I seen the game, slightly different to your view.

Si Cooper
47 Posted 08/09/2014 at 17:33:54
I didn't watch the whole game in detail but McGeady also worked another decent shooting opportunity for himself but didn't get his effort on target and put in a great cross on the diagonal to the back post but both attackers made the same run to the front post. How does a goal keeper's touch make a goal look better? The shot wasn't perfectly placed but the footwork that gave him the opportunity to shoot was exceptional.

I really haven't noticed him giving the ball away in particularly dangerous positions for us this season. If you are trying something a little more adventurous then you are going to be dispossessed more often than if you just stick to the safe options. I have seen him working to close defenders down but he doesn't get deep in defence very often - perhaps he is under instructions to try to keep himself up-field as much as possible?

He seems popular enough with his team-mates (which you don't get to be if you are (a) a waste of space or (b) a slacker) going by the celebration for his second goal. Okay, some of the joy will have been because it was the likely winner in a tough away game but there was a definite focus on McGeady as worthy of a group huddle. Couldn't make out what Seamus was so keen to get across but it definitely looked like something along the lines of "That's showing them what you are about!"

Shane Corcoran
48 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:13:05
Great to see a couple of counter-arguments to my point of view rather than "he played well" and "he scored ffs" although Colin felt the need to tell me that bit.

I've already said that McGeady's goals were important although it hardly needs saying. I said both goals were excellent.
Si, small point in relation to the goalkeeper's touch; I meant the initial shot wasn't as accurate as it seemed on first viewing as it ended up in the side of the net due to the 'keeper's touch. Exquisite skill to set it up though.

I disagree generally with Colin's comments on his performance overall but maybe I'm expecting more from a player with such obvious talent. His biggest flaw is his final ball which I think is still the case.

Si, after the Leicester game, despite his brilliant goal, which we need to point out earned us a point (!), many posters on TW referred to his giving the ball away which I agreed with.

Anyway, I've made my point and I've received opposite opinions. Hurrah for that at least.

Dave Lynch
49 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:23:48
International footy is shite to say the least and has no bearing on his performance for Everton, we know he's got talent but whether he is prem class is another matter.Highlight of the week was the Tipp v Kats final, awesome sporting spectacle...
Shane Corcoran
50 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:30:13
Dave, I was going to post that maybe the Ireland game coming immediately (literally 1 minute) after the hurling final finished could only make the football look bad. Such was the gulf in everything good about sport between the two matches.
Dave Lynch
51 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:33:48
They where poles apart as a sporting spectacle mate. The hurling had everything international football doesn't. Passion, drama, intensity and the skill factor of those lads was to be seen to be believed (If you know what to look for that is).

I for one hope the replay isn't a let down. C'mon Tipp...

Brian Furey
52 Posted 09/09/2014 at 16:20:38
Being a winger is a tough task and often a thankless one. They all depend on pace and a large chunk of luck a lot of the time.

Often confidence plays a big part and some of the negative OTT comments on here would almost make you think you want him to fail. He's already scored three good goals this season and set up more.
Wake the fuck up!!!

Tom Bowers
53 Posted 09/09/2014 at 17:15:29
The likes of our Irish contingent are good club players who can bring a lot to Everton this season under the guidance of RM.

Yes, it hasn’t been a great start to the season thanks to glitches on the defensive side but I am sure that will be ironed out.

With Nessie hitting the net good style, along with McGeady who is settling in nicely, there has to be optimism that the squad will come through with the results.

Dave Lynch
54 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:12:32
He's scored 1 goal this season. Do you think the other 2 count toward his Everton tally?
Tommy Meehan
55 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:30:40
Dave, there is nothing like hurling when you see it in full flow. The fastest ball game in the world, in fact. Hard to imagine that the players have regular full time jobs and train for nothing on their own time. I think some of them might get travel expenses, but that's about it.

I second your shout for Tipp for the replay. .

Frank Wade
56 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:31:22
We have probably talked the Irish match to death at this stage but... I tend to agree with the points made by Shane on our lads. McCarthy's positioning was puzzling. Just wondering if it was an attempt by O'Neill to use his running and closing down powers to stop the Georgians starting moves from deep in midfield and force them to move it wide to full back areas. McCarthy looked like a fish out of water, when Ireland had the ball in forward positions.

I agree with Dave and Shane, trying to watch a football game right after that Hurling final was difficult. Replay of the hurling is on Sky on Saturday 27th after the derby. Well worth a watch for those not familiar with the game.

Dave Lynch
57 Posted 09/09/2014 at 21:00:25
I love the game, Frank, and I'm English born and bred, was introduced to it by my wife who's from Offaly and always try to take a game in when I'm over.

My brother-in-law took me to the Offaly ground and I tried to hit the slither (sorry for the spelling) and couldn't believe how difficult it was and I played cricket to a decent standard.

Frank Wade
58 Posted 09/09/2014 at 23:29:35
Dave, I was lucky to grow up playing the game in Marino in Dublin, 20 minutes walk from Croke Park. Fantastic game when played by the best and the Sky deal is bringing the game to a wider audience now. Sunday's game was the best I have ever seen. Hope replay can deliver another spectacle. Loved watching Offaly back in the Joe Dooley days.

Apologies for talking Hurling on here.

Brian Furey
59 Posted 10/09/2014 at 07:17:53
He is an Everton player who people used to complain about running into blind alleys and no end product.
Maybe that's was true sometimes but for God sake he and Naisey have turned it around so far so rather berate them and see the bad, why not praise the good.
Which is more important? You being right to call him shite or the lad proving you wrong and scoring goals and assists.
All I'm saying is, its early days but he has scored three good goals for his own confidence to flourish and for you to say ah only one was for Everton shows your bias.
Trevor Lynes
60 Posted 10/09/2014 at 11:20:26
Anyone see how Atsu played for Ghana?
Brian Furey
61 Posted 10/09/2014 at 21:20:32
Bless you.
Dave Lynch
62 Posted 10/09/2014 at 21:38:51

Made me chuckle that did.

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