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From now until the end of the season” the Trap Door” will track the performance of the players hoping to spend their summer in Poland and theUkraine. While there are a number of certainties in the line up anything can happen between now and June and we plan to keep readers up to date with how the players in the squad are playing and whether they deserve their place or not.
One man who will most certainly be on the plane is Robbie Keane who helped the LA Galaxy to their MLS cup with a 1-0 win over Houston. The Irish striker vindicating his move to America with a winner’s cup just three months after leaving Tottenham however his success was overshadowed by the goal scoring return of Shane Long, who netted a winner for WBA just 28 days after chipping a bone in his knee.
With Shay Given not in action until Monday, the backup keepers got their chance to shine and of those Keiren Westwood had the best weekend keeping a clean sheet as Sunderland drew 0-0 with Fulham.
David Forde meanwhile went off after 35 minutes with a groin strain as Millwall lost 2-1 at home to Bristol City. Galway man Forde suffered the injury while on duty with Ireland and whilst he was fit to start the injury flared up again. His challenger for the third choice spot Darren Randolph played the full 90 as Motherwell beat Aberdeen 2-1
Defender Sean St Ledger was the only one of the triangle of Given and Dunne in action on the weekend and he enjoyed a clean sheet in Leicester’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.
The full backs on duty against Estonia, Stephen Ward and John O’Shea has mixed weekends.
Ward gave away a penalty, which ultimately cost his side three points in the 2-1 defeat to Everton while O’Shea enjoyed a clean sheet for Sunderland.
Stephen Kelly missed Fulham’s draw through the injury sustained againstEstonia in the first leg while of those on the fringes, Paul McShane spent 90 minutes on the bench for Hull as they beat Derby 2-0 while Shane Duffy played for Scunthorpe as they went down 2-0.
The midfielders we have been clamouring, Anthony Pilkington and Wes Hoolahan both got their chance to put their talents to the test in front of the sky cameras on Saturday against Arsenal.
Trap should have no excuse for missing this encounter, unless he has bad satellite reception in Milan, however sadly for the duo they didn’t do enough to justify our shouts on this occasion.
Both players were substituted and failed to have a direct proceeding on matters, although Pilkington was the livelier of the two. No doubt they will have better days in a yellow shirt.
Glenn Whelan played the final 5 minutes for Stoke as they went down 3-2 to QPR while his midfielder partner against Estonia, Keith Andrews was missing for Ipswich as they also lost 3-2.
Of the back up’s Seamus Coleman played the full 90 minutes as Everton beat Wolves for whom Stephen Hunt put his indifferent midweek display against Estonia to one side as he scored from the spot.
James McCarthy also played the full 90 minutes as Wigan grabbed a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Blackburn. His team mate fellow Irish man Conor Sammon grabbed a rare start for Wigan and played his part in the first goal for Roberto Martinez’s side.
Damian Duff, the SportsNewsIreland man of the match against Estoniaplayed 87 minutes in Fulham’s draw with Sunderland while Aiden McGeady played 54 minutes and was booked as Spartak Moscow beat neighbours Lokomotiv 2-0.
Up front, WBA striker Long was the SportsNewsIreland player of the weekend scoring the winning goal in the 2-1 win over Bolton.
Fellow WBA striker Simon Cox who played his part in the Estonian playoff win came off the bench in injury time.
Jon Walters scored his fourth Premier League goal and 7th of the season for club and country as Stoke lost to QPR while Keane played for LA in their 1-0 win in the MLS final, setting up Landon Donovan with the winner.
Of the striker’s waiting on the wings, Anthony Stokes is the one in the most impressive form of late. The former Arsenal, who this week admitted he had a lot to do if he’s to force himself into Euro 2012 reckoning, went some way to putting himself in the frame with a brace as Celtic beat Inverness to close the gap at the top of the SPL.
Leon Best meanwhile will have to wait for another chance to impress as he missed Newcastle’s loss to Manchester City through injury.
Good weekend for Shane Long, got over for his disappointment at missing the game against Estonia with the winning goal as WBA beat Bolton. A feat even more remarkable as it was originally feared he would be out for 8 weeks.
Bad weekend for David Forde who went off after 35 minutes of his side’s 2-1 loss to Bristol City we are not sure how long he is out for but will update as soon as we know more.
Eye catcher on the fringes, it has to be Anthony Stokes who scored a double for Celtic and now has 11 goals and 5 assists so far this season.
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