James McClean could be in trouble for reaction to his red card
"This is getting completely out of hand now."
The red card for James McClean, against Wales, was unfortunate. His reaction to that decision was reckless.
The last thing Ireland manager Stephen Kenny needs, after five days of Covid-19 frustrations and rulings, is a key player suspended for a competitive match. He will be hoping that the match report of Anastasios Sidiropoulos does not spend more time than necessary on McClean.
Ireland were level at 0-0 with Ryan Giggs' Welsh side, after 75 minutes at the Aviva Stadium, when the Stoke City midfielder picked up his first booking. While it looked innocuous, his accidental coming together with Tyler Roberts left the Wales defender clutching the back of his heel.
McClean protested his innocence but Sidiropoulos had his mind made up and he joined Cyrus Christie and Kiefer Moore in the book.
At 31 and nearing 75 international caps, McClean must have known he would be on a tight-rope for the rest of the game. Still, after winning one challenge over near the left flank, he went haring after a breaking ball. It was a 40/60 - with Ethan Ampadu the favourite - but McClean went all guns blazing... until the last moment.
He pulled out as he saw Ampadu was getting to the ball first, but the damage was done. The Sheffield United star leapt to avoid the challenge and went tumbling. It was not nasty but McClean had not pulled back in time and the yellow card was merited.
He would have been understandably gutted with the decision, but he allowed his emotions to get the better of him.
After wagging his finger at the referee, he turned back to Ampadu, who was still on the deck, and placed his hands on his opponents head while admonishing him. That brought over Ampadu's teammates, who shoved McClean back. There was some back-and-forth before Seani Maguire stepped in and McClean turned on his heels.
RED CARD FOR IRELAND! 🔴
James McClean is given his marching orders, having been booked moments earlier. Can Wales make the advantage count now?
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On commentary duty for Sky Sports, Mick McCarthy said he could see why the yellow card was flashed. Ireland were left with 10 men for the closing stages but held out for a draw, which leaves them third in their Nations League group.
With Kenny already calling up the likes of Dara O'Shea and Jason Knight from the U21 squad, for the Finland game, he may have to dig deeper into his back-up options as McClean is unlikely to be making the trip to Helsinki for the Finland game.