herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

No surprises likely in squad for Euro double-header

'O’Neill has dropped a few hints about as yet unnamed potential recruits he has been chasing down and perhaps he will pull some sort of rabbit out of his hat'
'O’Neill has dropped a few hints about as yet unnamed potential recruits he has been chasing down and perhaps he will pull some sort of rabbit out of his hat'

It would be fair to say that Martin O'Neill has had a quiet summer. Do a google news search and the last time anyone felt the need to write anything about him was a month ago.

The heat went out of Ireland's Euro 2016 qualification effort the moment the final whistle sounded at the Aviva back in June and Gordon Strachan banked the point that leaves Scotland poised and Ireland struggling.

Back in July, O'Neill let it be known that he would run for another two years if the FAI fancy it but we've had no comment from Abbotstown and not much of a debate either.

Today, O'Neill announces an extended squad for the upcoming must-win double-header against Gibraltar and Georgia on September 4 and 7 and apart from the possibility of a surprise and stunning declaration of love for the four green fields from Jack Grealish, there won't be anything dramatic to report.

We are two weeks short of the self-imposed deadline Grealish set in May but there is no indication that he is ready to put everyone out of their misery earlier than planned.

O'Neill has dropped a few hints about as yet unnamed potential recruits he has been chasing down and perhaps he will pull some sort of rabbit out of his hat but it is hard to shake the feeling that the Irish sporting public has moved on from Euro 2016 and short of telling us that Lionel Messi has a more talented cousin who wants to play for Ireland, this latest squad briefing won't raise much of a ripple in the public consciousness.

As ever with a game coming up, you look to our best men for some hope and as ever, Robbie Keane is the man providing the good news stories.

Another double for Galaxy on his 100th MLS appearance and a pat on t he back from Jurgen Klinsmann. What on earth will we do when he's gone?

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