Thursday 14 December 2017

McClean plans to pen a book

James McClean
James McClean
Republic of Ireland's Shane Long, centre, with James McClean and Richard Keogh, in action during squad training ahead of their UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifer, Group D, game against Gibraltar on Saturday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

IT has to be said, there was a bit of a pause when James McClean told us that he was in the early stages of penning his own book. Joking, he threw out a working title. Marmite - you'll either like it or hate it.".

But he seemed serious about doing it and if he's penning it himself, fair play to him. If he's doing it because someone thinks it's a good idea and might spin a few bob, it's a bad idea.

Nobody has any reason to be sniffy about anyone writing a book these days. As we have see in the last few years, anything goes and anything sells.

McClean has had enough notoriety for now and needs to keep his head down but to be fair to him, the image projected in England is seriously at odds with the reality.

He has brought a great deal of this on himself via an over liberal use of his tweet button. But as someone pointed out yesterday while we digested the news that he was about to become an author, this is a lad thrown straight into the Premier League mincer without a lifeboat.

He's not a man to take a step back which is not a bad character trait to have when you're a left winger and likely to get kicked for most of your career but less useful off the pitch when the nature of you're job means you are instantly recognisable in many parts of these islands.

At the moment, McClean is on the way back and in more ways than one. Demoted with Wigan, he and his team mates are dealing with hustle and bustle of life among the hungry in the Championship, the Premier League's purgatory.


"Everyone wants to play in the Premier League. That's a given. But I'm at Wigan, I'm in the Championship. That's my job. My job is to help them. If I do well there then, personally, some opportunities might come knocking but I can't think like that."

"I've got to think of giving 100 per cent to Wigan and doing my job there. With that hopefully as a club or myself we can go up to the Premier League at some stage in the future."

"My time at Sunderland, which I've spoken about in the past, was done. It was up for me. It was best for both parties. Sometimes you need to take a step back to start over again and push on. Hopefully I can do that at Wigan or wherever it may be."

McClean is clearly happy working with Martin O'Neill and has done well for the Ireland boss, especially in the summer friendlies. He wasn't happy with a 6-1 hammering in New Jersey but he managed to life a weight off his shoulders.

"Yeah well 6-1 is never good, is it? For me it was nice to get off the mark, but obviously the result took away from that. You're never happy with 6-1 or any defeat for that matter. But it was good to get the monkey off my back."

Although McClean sticks to the script when he talks about Gibraltar and stresses the need to get three points, he like everyone else is looking around the corner to Germany with still raw memories of another 6-1 defeat.

"We can't dwell on what happened in the past. We've got to focus on the now and hopefully we can get a better result than we got the last time. Hopefully we can get a point at least."

"Obviously they're world champions, you've got to show them a bit of respect. But I think it's important not to show them too much respect. If that's the case, the game could be over before it even starts."

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