Search icon


11th Oct 2015

Player ratings from a disappointing night in Poland as Ireland were condemned to the play-offs

Bollocks anyway

Conan Doherty

Play-offs it is.

It wasn’t a great night for Ireland in Warsaw as Martin O’Neill’s men went down 2-1 to Poland and so were condemned to a third-place finish in Group D.

We now head for the play-offs, something we would’ve taken back in June, but after the highs of Germany on Thursday night, the Irish crash-landed in Poland with an uninspiring performance that lacked composure and purpose.

Here are how the men rated.

Darren Randolph 7
Couldn’t do anything about the first strike that was deflected into the bottom corner. Got wrong-footed for the second goal – simply because it was a super header. Produced a brilliant stop with 25 minutes to go when Poland threatened to put the game out of sight.

Seamus Coleman 8
A number of vital, vital interceptions that really pulled us out of a couple of holes. Great block with six minutes to go as well and always tried to get forward like he usually does. It was defensive work that set him apart tonight though.

Seamus Coleman and Gregorz Krychowiak 11/10/2015

Richard Keogh 6
Deserved his start. Had another really solid game at the back and was the most commanding of the back four. Really should’ve scored with 10 minutes to go though when a free header presented itself seven yards out.

John O’Shea 4
Very ropy first half. Picked up an early yellow and sloppily gave away possession in dangerous areas. Steadied in the second, few standard headers but continued to put us under pressure losing the ball out of position. Got sent off in injury time long after he should’ve been.

Robbie Brady 4
Didn’t have the best of nights. Defensively he was pretty sound but gave a lot of ball away trying to do something with it in fairness but it wasn’t working out. His set pieces were right off the money too.

James McCarthy 8

James McCarthy with Jakub Wawrzyniak 11/10/2015

It’s not a coincidence, he came into it more in the absence of Whelan when he was given a free reign to read the game and put out fires defensively. Grew more and more into the game and carried over his aggression from the Germany victory. When he went into the Whelan role, he gave us a lot more drive from deeper when we needed it.

Glenn Whelan 4
Didn’t exactly justify his selection. Played very deep and put the team under pressure with some rushed passes back to the ‘keeper instead of just having a glance at what was around him. But we should really stop giving out about how bad he is on the ball because that’s not what he is there for. We should give out at how bad he is at doing the job he is supposed to do.

James McClean 5
Tried his heart out as per usual but he was deployed in a foreign role, playing narrower and finding himself in strange areas. Ran into too much trouble and couldn’t seem to get the ball out of his feet to whip anything in.

Jeff Hendrick 6
Deployed in the Hoolahan role for 70 minutes. Couple of nice touches and drew some frees but the team were so deep for most of the game that he wasn’t seeing a lot of action. Moved back to his normal midfield role when Wes came on and actually got forward better from there to link with attack.

Jon Walters 7

Jonathan Walters celebrates scoring their first goal from the penalty spot 11/10/2015

Slotted home the penalty with pure conviction. Did his usual lung-busting shift all over the pitch. Was humped nothing high balls for most of the day and generally won his headers – like he always does. Couldn’t affect the game as much offensively though.

Shane Long 6
Won the penalty straight after Poland scored the opener, just when we needed a lift. Was in the wars, put himself about and won a lot of ball but was feeding off pauper’s scraps until he went over ankle.


Robbie Keane 5
Didn’t see anything by way of chances. Won his frees, tidy on the ball, but didn’t get at the Poles.

Aiden McGeady 5
One very good ball in that should’ve been finished in fairness by Keogh but blazed a great chance two miles over from 20 yards and crossed one out of play in the 90th minute. Dallied when we needed purpose. Took another one out of play for a throw-in when we needed a goal.

Wes Hoolahan 7
We waited too long to bring him in. But as soon as he came on, he made a bloody massive difference. Straight away, he took ball to his feet and held possession for the team in the Poland half.

Brought to you by SPAR, a proud partner of the FAI.

Basic CMYK

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?