Dave Langan: My top five Ireland players

Hello and welcome to Langy’s Corner, it’s been a few weeks now since I’ve written a piece for “Langy’s Corner” but I have a fairly solid excuse given I have been busy pushing my book which was officially released in October and whilst on the subject, I would like to say a quick thank you to all those who spent their hard earned money on purchasing it thus far.

Pick up a copy of Dave’s book Running Through Walls in paperback here, or for kindle here.

READ: An exclusive extract from Running Through Walls, detailing Dave’s time homeless

Over the last number of weeks I’ve been back to Dublin to visit Lansdowne Road and an invite from the great people at a club close to my heart – Shamrock Rovers, as well as Birmingham City, Oxford United amongst others and the welcome I have received from supporters has been nothing short of fantastic.

I’ve made many new friends and have reacquainted with old pals that I haven’t been in touch with in years. A brilliant few weeks and thanks again to everyone and for all the kind words I have received.

My top five Irish footballers
I received a list recently of the top 50 footballers Ireland has produced done by the Irish Independent.

I’ve never really been a big fan of these sort of lists but my top five certainly would have been a little different to theirs.

For me, Paul McGrath is and always will be number one. It was such a pleasure to play with the big man on the pitch for Ireland and I came up against him a few times at club level too and let me tell you, tough as a brick outhouse. Just remove the number off his back and write the words ‘class!’

At the number two spot I’d have John Giles. The man who gave me my début in green for which I will be forever grateful. He was a real leader and so passionate about playing for Ireland. He brought the country on in footballing terms and for that alone deserves to be included in top five. But as a player, he was something else. Skilful, quick, strong as an ox, pick a pass, open up defences. Brilliant player.

In the number three spot, I’d have Liam Brady. Such a tough choice picking between Chippy and John but John’s role as manager edged it. Liam was classy. A cultured player who had one of the sweetest left pegs I’ve ever seen. He must also get huge credit for being one of the few to make a real success of a career abroad. We’ll be lucky to see another player like Liam in future.

At number four, it’s Roy Keane. I was unlucky to have never played with Roy but he just summed up what it meant to be a leader. Perhaps not the most gifted player to pull on the green but probably the most driven. He made up for limited ability with sheer determination. A real winner.

And finally in the number five spot, Mark Lawrenson. Another classy player who could just about play anywhere on the pitch. Just a real all rounder and let’s face it, England really missed out on him because he proved to be an outstanding player for Ireland. Just a shame injury cut short his career.

Put the above five in any 11 and it would compete with any team. Real one-offs and I was lucky enough to line out beside four out of the five during my time in the green of Ireland.

See you next time,

Follow me on twitter @davylangan

Pick up a copy of Dave’s book Running Through Walls in paperback here, or for kindle here.


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