Our player ratings for Ireland’s damp squib in the June sunshine

SportBy Sunday World
England's Gary Cahill (centre) in action against Daryl Murphy (left) and Aiden McGeady
England's Gary Cahill (centre) in action against Daryl Murphy (left) and Aiden McGeady

After the huge build-up to this afternoon’s friendly international between the Republic of Ireland and England, well… it turned out to be a bit of a damp squib in the warm June sunshine.

In truth, both teams looked a bit leggy and weary after the efforts of the recent football season – and it was a friendly, after all.

But Martin O’Neill’s men have a massive qualifier against Scotland next weekend, so he may have been a bit disappointed he didn’t see a smidgen more urgency from his players keen to keep a competitive edge.

It was probably always going to disappoint after the pre-match hype, but here John Brennan runs his eye over the performances of the Boys in Green…

* * * *

Kieren Westwood- There was not too much to do for the goalkeeper in his hour on the pitch. But then this was a friendly that lacked the passion of an important game. 6

Seamus Coleman- The pride of Killybegs was really good in the first-half, defending and attacking very well. Coleman gives Ireland a major attacking option. 8

John O’Shea- Like a mother-hen watching over the Irish defence, O’Shea was calm and in control for most of the match. He’ll need to do it all again next Saturday! 8

Marc Wilson- Caught badly in possession for Wayne Rooney’s great chance, Stoke City’s Wilson had a few other ropey moments at the heart of the Irish defence. 5

Robbie Brady- Had a much better game than against Poland in March. The Hull player is now established at left-back. Brady needs to get back to the Premier League. 7

Jeff Hendrick- Asked to do an unfamiliar wide role in the first period, young Hendrick was better in the middle in the second half. One of the few bright spots going forward. 7

James McCarthy- Maybe Roy Keane was right! It does take 20 games to become an international midfield general. McCarthy definitely moved in that direction in this game. 8

Glenn Whelan- Ireland’s midfield minder as ever, until taken off after an hour. England did get a bit more space to create in when the Stoke player left the match. 6

Aiden McGeady- Saw plenty of ball in the first-half and, as McGeady always does, mixed the good with the bad while playing on his weaker side. 5

Daryl Murphy- No lack of effort, but not a lot of end-product from Murphy either. He was playing with his club-mate in the first half, but the pair never linked up. 5

David McGoldrick- Was lively enough in his 45 minutes, but the Ipswich man is 29 and you have to wonder is he the future when Robbie Keane eventually quits? 5


James McClean- Came on for McCarthy at half-time. 6

Shane Long- The Southampton man’s pace almost got him in a couple of times. 6

Jon Walters- Got stuck in as usual in as physical battle with the England defence. 6

Shay Given- Nearly scuffed a clearance straight to Wayne Rooney after he came on. 6

Harry Arter- A great end to the season for the Bournemouth lad, with his first Irish senior cap to go with a Championship winners medal. 7

Paul McShane- One great late intercept for the club-seeking McShane. 6


Joe Hart- Curiously shaky in what was only a friendly match. The Manchester City net-minder wasn’t great in the Aviva Stadium, but got away with it. 6

Phil Jones- Saw plenty of the ball in the second half as he engaged in a fine tussle with James McClean. Only turned a couple of times. 6

Chris Smalling- The Manchester United man was first-class in this one, but you would worry about him when faced with a top-class international attack. 7

Gary Cahill- Now England’s undoubted leader at the back, Cahill had a very comfortable afternoon until Shane Long came on to play against him for 20 minutes. 8

Ryan Bertrand- Tried to get down the line a bit from left-back, but was always wary of the threat offered if McGeady got in behind him in the second half. 7

James Milner- Was the glue holding England’s midfield together, but never offered any attacking threat as not conceding a goal became paramount. 7 

Jack Wilshere- Busy as a bee in midfield, but the Arsenal man was too preoccupied with defending. That was Jordan Herderson’s job, Wilshere should have got forward more. 8

 Jordan Henderson- He did the midfield anchor job well, protecting his back-four. Yet the Liverpool man had the ball taken off him too often for England’s liking. 7

 Adam Lallana- Didn’t really make any impact on the game. If he couldn’t get any change out of Ireland’s defence, Lallana will hardly do it against the best international defences. 6

Raheem Sterling- Booed throughout by disgruntled Liverpool fans, Sterling was not on the money in this one, giving the ball away far too often. 5

Wayne Rooney- He fluffed the clearest scoring chance of the day with a poor first touch in a less than memorable afternoon in Dublin for the England skipper. 7


Andros Townsend- England’s best sub as he ran at Robbie Brady with dangerous intent during his half-hour on the pitch. 8

Ross Barkley- One great shooting chance was fired over the bar by the Everton man. 7

Phil Jagielka- Replaced Cahill for the last 15 minutes and almost conceded a goal with a slip when in possession. 5

Jamie Vardy- The Leicester striker was not on long enough to make an impact.

Theo Walcott- Likewise, Walcott hardly saw the ball in his few minutes on the pitch