Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
McClean keeps place despite Twitter outburst
JAMES McCLEAN has kept his place in the Republic of Ireland squad for tomorrow night’s friendly with Oman – just.
The Sunderland winger’s Twitter outburst on Friday has got him in hot water with the Irish camp and he has been trying hard to make up for it over the weekend.
McClean apologised to his Ireland team-mates, coaching staff and manager Giovanni Trapattoni following his decision to go public with his feelings after being overlooked for the World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan.
The 24-year-old was left on the bench as Ireland struggled to a 2-1 victory and he Tweeted from the team coach outside the Astana Arena: “Delighted as a fan we got the win. Personal level #fuming #******joke #embarrassing.”
Despite his best efforts to delete the comment, other users ensured it went global and the following day he was asked to explain his actions to the whole squad after apologising to Trapattoni at the team hotel in London.
He also went back on Twitter on Saturday afternoon to say: “I apologise for my tweet last night, it was stupid, disrespectful and I let my frustration get the better of me which still aint an excuse.”
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill is also likely to have a word with the winger when he returns to Wearside , where club officials are happy that he has chosen to delete his Twitter account having also previously been angered by secretarian comments he made.
For now it seems like his apology has earned him a reprieve with Trapattoni.
The coach said: “James McClean will not start. But the Twitter matter is closed, no problem. With the young, we need to have patience.
Sometimes they say what they think in the moment.
They are not my sons.
“He was very very apologetic.
This is good lesson for him. He was mortified, and if he could have he would have eaten his words. I said to everyone, this is not respect for the manager, this is respect for all your colleagues who are the players.
“His team-mates spoke to him and I know what was said. Another manager would have said take your bag and go home. But I might need him in the game to score a goal. If he goes home, he can’t score a goal.”
The intervention of experienced Ireland international John O’Shea, a Sunderland team-mate, has also played a significant part after the defender talked a number of annoyed players around. An FAI statement, who described his Tweet as “ill-judged”, read: “The issue has now been put to bed.”
The Italian boss is likely to play McClean against Oman tomorrow, but has again defended his decision not to play the Black Cats player in Kazakhstan.
Trapattoni said: “He ask to me, ‘Why? Why? Why?’ I say ‘you are no striker’. I clarify we needed three strikers because I could also play (Robbie) Keane with (Jon) Walters and (Simon) Cox with Walters on the right. He’s left. How many goals as he scored in his career? He is not a striker.”
Sunderland are hoping McClean, O’Shea, Keiren Westwood and David Meyler all return from international duty with the Irish unscathed.
They have already had to contend with Adam Johnson ’s return to Wearside early from the England camp with a hamstring problem ahead of Saturday’s visit from Liverpool.