Matt Doherty awarded man of the match playing left back, says he has no problem playing there
Two very important points from the off.
- Matt Doherty obviously wasn't man of the match in a 3-0 coasting session for England. But he was given the RTÉ man of the match.
- We'll go a couple of games with Coleman and Doherty in the team and start crying about Enda Stevens.
Nonetheless, for a few years now - basically ever since Nuno Espirito Santo had Wolves steamrolling the Championship in 2017/18 and Matt Doherty was crucial to that all the way across his backline - on the right, on the left, in the middle even - there have been clamours for an Ireland manager to try both Coleman and the Dubliner in the same team.
Mick McCarthy tried it with Doherty at right midfield. It didn't really work. He's a full back, you see. It's not the same position.
Against England though, Stephen Kenny drew the sword. Doherty was operating on the left and Cyrus Christie played at right back with Seamus Coleman unavailable for Thursday night's clash. And Doherty was good. He didn't look like he was having any trouble adjusting, he didn't seem hampered by his right foot being his strongest.
He defended well, Sancho and Grealish often drifted to the left flank together and the rare times England ventured down their right, Doherty was dealing with it. On the ball, he looked comfortable.
After the game, he explained that he has no problem playing on the left hand side.
"Yeah, look, I don't mind playing there," he told Tony O'Donoghue after the game.
"I played quite a bit there when I was at Wolves.
"It's a little bit different defensively and stuff like that but when you have the ball you can cut inside and do whatever.
"It was fine, I had no problem playing there."
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) November 12, 2020