Humbled McClean No Longer a Twit
Sunderland winger James McClean has publicly admitted he was “stupid and idiotic” to attack his Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni on Twitter after the recent World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan.
Derry-born McClean has since quit the social network site for the second time after both Trapattoni and his club boss Martin O’Neill warned him about his behavior.
The 23-year-old had to apologize to his Ireland teammates before last week’s 4-1 win over Oman or risk expulsion from the international squad.
After Trap used him only as a sub against Oman in London, McClean admitted he had learned his lesson.
“I’m able to laugh about it now and we’re able to joke about it, so it has helped integrate me I suppose,” McClean said.
“It’s the greatest honor to play for your country and that’s where my frustration came from. It was stupid. It was idiotic but I’m human and it’s over and done with now. I’ve learned from it.”
Having received the biggest cheer of the night from the Irish fans when he was introduced as a second half sub, McClean wants to let his football skills make amends for his Twitter mistakes.
He added, “I was just delighted to get on the pitch considering what has happened on this trip.
“I’m just glad that it’s all over and done with now. It was nice to get on and the fans were amazing. They’ve taken to me from day one. They’re a great bunch.”
Sunderland boss O’Neill has also warned McClean it is time to grow up and act responsibly.
“James has been acting rather strangely. It’s good when the player not only wants to play, but he also wants to manage the team as well,” O’Neill said.
“James is rather young for that at the moment. I think Mr. Trapattoni has got a couple of years on him and a couple of titles too in front of James, so I think he’s entitled to pick the team.
“He has even admitted himself he has been rather foolish. He has taken himself off Twitter, apparently then he might have a situation with Facebook as well and about 14 other accounts that he has.
“He has a bit of a problem and we will have to rectify it. We can have a bit of a joke about it and laugh about it and think, well, that’s okay.
“James does know the rules -- they were read to him, they were given to him, he was there that day -- and not only that, some of his language was pretty poor and we will have to deal with that.
“Genuinely, we can have a laugh about it first of all, but now it’s getting a bit ridiculous.”
Young Dubliner Robbie Brady is to seek a loan move away from Manchester United after his debut goal for Ireland in the 4-1 win over Oman last week.
Brady was hugely impressive as a second string Irish side ran out easy winners in the low key match at Craven Cottage.
Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has said he will take his time with Brady and won’t throw the youngster in at the World Cup deep end against Germany next month.
And the player himself knows he has to get regular first team football to boost his international hopes.
After spending last season on loan at Hull, Brady is prepared to move away again.
He said, “I want to stay playing for Ireland. I don’t want to come in and doss about so I need to be playing as many club games as I can.
“If that means I need to take a loan move, I will. We’ll see what happens. I’d just like to play as much football as I can and hopefully I can push on and keep playing for the national side.”
Brady was happy with his debut performance but also promised there is more to come.
He added, “I’m delighted with the way it went, with a goal and an assist, but I thought I could have done more.
“I wasn’t disappointed, but I felt I could have done a bit more by getting on the ball a bit more. Overall it’s been great for me. I’ve gotten on well with everyone.
“Kevin Doyle is a great bloke, him and the rest of the guys are great. They’ve made me feel part of the group.”
Manager Trapattoni said, “I think Brady played well in the first half. He scored a goal also and I think he can also do better.
“He might be called up in to the squad for the next match, but he would not necessarily be in the team.”
Laws in Charge
Former Burnley manager Brian Laws will take charge of all football affairs at Shamrock Rovers from now until the end of the season.
Laws has been appointed director of football by the club after they parted company with Stephen Kenny last week.
Rovers will continue to look for a new boss, but Laws will take charge of the team in the interim, starting with Saturday’s League Cup final against Drogheda United at Tallaght Stadium.
“I’m honored to be asked to come to Shamrock Rovers for the last part of the season. There is still a lot to play for. It is not over, there is a European place at stake, there is a Cup final on Saturday, there is still a lot to go yet,” Laws said.
“It is about coming in and calming things down. Hopefully I can change things for a positive way so we can move forward against some really good sides.
“We’ve said with the chairman that we’ll look at the short-term objectives which is to get the season out of the way and try to get into that third spot at least and maybe try to win the cup on Saturday. Beyond that, let’s wait and see.
“This is going to be new to me as well but the one thing I will be bringing to the football club is experience and knowledge and hopefully it will calm things down for a period and see if we can play good football.”
Celtic boss Neil Lennon exploded with anger after his team were beaten 2-1 away to St. Johnstone in the Scottish League last weekend.
The result was the worst possible for Lennon before this week’s Champions League clash with Portuguese giants Benfica.
Lennon, who felt his team were denied a certain penalty, fumed, “We had plenty of the ball but didn’t use it. Forrest was poor, Mulgrew was poor on the ball, Wanyama didn’t effect the game the way he can do.
“Players who you expect to play at this level had an off day but I can’t have any more of that. I am not accepting it. They have had a lot of good publicity but they deserve a lot of criticism, as I do as well.
“The only one who looked like he was going to create anything was Commons. He had the bit between the teeth, he was the only bright spark out of the front six today.”
Lennon is also set to fine Thomas Rogne after the defender was quoted complaining about new contract talks with the Parkhead club.
Captain Scott Brown should feature against Benfica after his recent injury while striker Georgios Samaras expects to return in time for the Champions League clash with Spartak Moscow next month.
Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland will play Greece in November and Poland next February with both friendlies to be played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin . . .
SLIGO will have to plan without defender Alan Keane for the title run-in after he broke a metatarsal bone in the recent win over Dundalk . . .
IRELAND are to play England in a friendly fixture at Wembley in May next year with a return date in Dublin in November 2014 . . .
DUNDALK will host St. Patrick’s Athletic and Shels will travel to Derry City in the semifinals of the FAI Ford Cup . . .
EVERTON’S Irish midfielder Darron Gibson will be out of action for a month with a thigh strain.