Blues winger scores late winner in TbilisiSeamus 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)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 07/09/2014 at 16:32:46
2 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:26:24
3 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:28:14
4 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:30:32
5 Posted 07/09/2014 at 17:56:00
6 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:49:23
7 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:53:04
8 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:56:50
How fickle are football fans?
(How fickle are TWers?!)
9 Posted 07/09/2014 at 18:58:56
10 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:03:02
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!
11 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:10:29
12 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:11:46
Fair play to McGeady for probably ignoring instructions and going behind the front man for once to get on the ball for the goal.
13 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:14:11
14 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:14:55
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.
15 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:11:14
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.
16 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:31:23
17 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:44:22
18 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:45:44
19 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:47:25
20 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:54:58
21 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:53:20
Qualifying isnÂt about pretty football anyway especially away from home.
22 Posted 07/09/2014 at 19:57:40
WeÂre not kids, the end doesnÂt 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. IÂm delighted we won but we wonÂt win many playing like that.
23 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:02:12
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 donÂt 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 thatÂs a cliche.
24 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:17:01
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.
25 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:27:17
McCarthy was running away from the ball ahead of Whelan when we were in possession. YouÂre right about opinions though.
26 Posted 07/09/2014 at 20:50:19
27 Posted 07/09/2014 at 21:10:00
28 Posted 07/09/2014 at 21:45:00
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.
29 Posted 07/09/2014 at 21:52:41
Scotland ran the World Champs really close and well deserved a point.
30 Posted 07/09/2014 at 22:19:53
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.
31 Posted 07/09/2014 at 22:08:27
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.
32 Posted 07/09/2014 at 23:04:51
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.
33 Posted 07/09/2014 at 22:59:03
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.
34 Posted 08/09/2014 at 01:11:44
Georgia Â– 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 Â– the Europa League and the domestic cups. Plus at the moment he stays healthier than Pienaar.
35 Posted 08/09/2014 at 07:39:19
Btw, I totally agree with the comments about McCarthy: he doesnÂt command the midfield at all. As I live abroad I can no longer get to the game but just count how many times heÂs mentioned touching the ball in a game, itÂs like heÂs not there.
My friends tell me his coverage of the field off the ball is superb (which you donÂt see on TV); fine, but he has a long way to go to be a top notch midfielder. IÂm actually glad comments where made about him from Giles, it might make him improve.
36 Posted 08/09/2014 at 08:25:12
"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? IÂm still waiting to be enlightened as to what McCarthy did last night.
37 Posted 08/09/2014 at 08:32:56
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.
38 Posted 08/09/2014 at 09:10:58
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 McGeadyÂs performance worse because his goal didnÂt matter?
ItÂs 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 ÂkeeperÂs 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.
39 Posted 08/09/2014 at 09:30:41
Although it’s interesting to note that Messi can be anonymous for 89 minutes, score a great goal and be labelled a genius.
40 Posted 08/09/2014 at 09:36:36
ItÂs noticeable already this season that his work-rate has returned under Enrique. None of this standing around waiting to be fed. HeÂs gone back to the closing down to win the ball that was evident when Guardiola was in charge and itÂs great to see.
41 Posted 08/09/2014 at 10:28:44
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.
42 Posted 08/09/2014 at 11:38:44
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.
43 Posted 08/09/2014 at 13:59:20
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.
44 Posted 08/09/2014 at 14:10:51
IÂm not going to criticise OÂNeill just yet but I am, and always was worried about his appointment.
45 Posted 08/09/2014 at 14:24:00
As for tonight, well I just hope the Everton lads come through unscathed, as we need to start getting some wins under our belt.
46 Posted 08/09/2014 at 15:42:53
"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.
47 Posted 08/09/2014 at 17:33:54
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!"
48 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:13:05
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.
49 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:23:48
50 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:30:13
51 Posted 09/09/2014 at 09:33:48
I for one hope the replay isn't a let down. C'mon Tipp...
52 Posted 09/09/2014 at 16:20:38
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!!!
53 Posted 09/09/2014 at 17:15:29
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.
54 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:12:32
55 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:30:40
I second your shout for Tipp for the replay. .
56 Posted 09/09/2014 at 19:31:22
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.
57 Posted 09/09/2014 at 21:00:25
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.
58 Posted 09/09/2014 at 23:29:35
Apologies for talking Hurling on here.
59 Posted 10/09/2014 at 07:17:53
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.
60 Posted 10/09/2014 at 11:20:26
61 Posted 10/09/2014 at 21:20:32
62 Posted 10/09/2014 at 21:38:51
Made me chuckle that did.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.