Ireland awaits Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan’s Republic return

Wes Hoolahan will play for the Republic of Ireland against Greece. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images Wes Hoolahan will play for the Republic of Ireland against Greece. Picture: Paul Chesterton / Focus Images

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
10:00 AM

England may be playing in Sweden Wednesday night but the eyes of Norwich City supporters will be trained on Lansdowne Road and their mercurial Irish wizard Wes Hoolahan.

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Four years since the 30-year-old earned his one Republic of Ireland cap against Columbia, Hoolahan has been promised 45 minutes of action by manager Giovanni Trapattoni in their friendly with Greece.

Hoolahan has not been included in the under-fire Italian’s starting XI but is expected to come on at half-time for an appearance keenly anticipated not only by City fans, but the Irish too.

Since a turgid Euro 2012 in the summer, Trapattoni has found favour in short supply – not helped by a stuttering qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

That continues to spread, with the Football Association of Ireland anticipating the Aviva Arena to be only half full for the Greeks’ visit.

However, after months spent questioning the wisdom of Hoolahan’s absence, Ireland fans will finally get to see the Norwich forward in national colours – and hopefully see a more attacking light shed on previously uninspiring outings.

Hoolahan took part in a light training session in Malahide on Monday and while Shane Long and Simon Cox have been given starting berths, Trapattoni confirmed Ireland – like City in recent matches – will operate with Hoolahan behind a lone striker, once he comes on.

“He deserves this opportunity,” Trapattoni told the Irish Independent. “We choose two strikers because I think our team needs this to score goals, but it’s right to give him this chance. We can play the game with this situation.”

First hope for all City fans will be to see their number 14 return to Colney safe, sound and ready for the visit of Premier League leaders Manchester United to Carrow Road on Saturday evening.

But after that it will be all about seeing the Irishman reproduce on the international stage the form that has made him a favourite at City and one of Chris Hughton’s key men.

On Hoolahan’s initial inclusion, the City boss – an Ireland regular as a player – said: “It’s great for Wes.

“I think perhaps with the style or rather the shape that Trapattoni has played, it is a question of where he fits into that shape.

“But regarding Wes’ ability, there is no doubt on that score and I am delighted for him.”

11 comments

  • Hi yarco ol` pal. Wasn`t having a dig ref CAPS LOCK, but you were beginning to ANNOY a few people! You always write very interesting stuff & it`s a shame to spoil it!! Still find it odd that in Trapper Tony`s jaundiced view, ROI`s most talented player, Hoolahoop, is going to be "given" 45 minutes. Big of you, Trapps. NOT. Go show `em, Wessi. OTBC. IHWT.

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • PS. yarco, it`s our old chum The Crab who has been trying hardest to cure you of CAPS LOCKJAW. It`s a form of tetanus that only afflicts we Keyboard Warriors!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Straight to the point as ever, Doc ol` pal!

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • It`s funny that Trapps plays with 2 strikers while NCFC has a lone striker system. Yet Trapper Tony`s team is by far the more boring and negative. It`s really big of him to "give" ROI`s most talented player 45 minutes. Like most Norwich fans I hope Wes has a good half game and comes back unscathed. I just hope Trapper doesn`t decide to play him in central defence, or in goal.........

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Maybe Norwich City fans might like to see one of their players given a chance at international level. Does it matter what country he represents? Or do you only support english players in your club team?

    Report this comment

    sad canary

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • ROI lost 0-1. No great sea-change there. I haven`t heard how Hoops got on. I hope he isn`t broken or damaged.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

  • Redsforever, I completely agree with you, England lasted a whole game longer in the Euro's than the Irish. By the way what exactly have England won since 1966?

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • I do hope Hoolahoops has really good game justice has been done ! P.S. Brewer not on caps this time .

    Report this comment

    yarco

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • It`s funny that Trapps plays with 2 strikers while NCFC has a lone striker system. Yet Trapper Tony`s team is by far the more boring and negative. It`s really big of him to "give" ROI`s most talented player 45 minutes. Like most Norwich fans I hope Wes has a good half game and comes back unscathed. I just hope Trapper doesn`t decide to play him in central defence, or in goal.........

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • Why would England fans want to watch a bunch of losers like the Republic of Ireland???,Why would England fans want to watch a bunch of losers like the Republic of Ireland????

    Report this comment

    Redsforever

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

  • @ yarco - so good to see you've taken your keyboard to the vet and had it cured of the locked caps lock disease. I hope it's a permanent cure and not just remission! . . . And I fully agree -- Hoolahoop finally got what deserves; I hope he fully justifies the selection, and comes back unscathed!

    Report this comment

    The Crab

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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