Sunday, 17 March 2019

Irish Eyes Still Smiling As Cullen Steps Up!

Happy St Paddy's Day all you Hammers folk! On the day we get to drink green Guinness and celebrate all things Irish let's consider how a the greatest Irish Hammers XI might look.



Goalkeeper: One of the more disappoibting departures of recent years was the exit of Darren Randolph as he had pushed past Adrian as the Hammers first choice keeper before a sloppy spell and then the arrival of the outstanding Mr Fabianski. For Ireland its probably just as well that Dazzler departed as he would probably of been consigned to Cup campaigns as the Polish netminder has been so impressive. Despite his relegation to Championship status,  'Randy' still gets the nod ahead of the likes of Gerry Peyton, Roy Carroll, Stephen Henderson and, dare I mention him....... Allen McNightmare!

On the defensive front the situation is less impressive. Unbalanced and not endowed with aerial presence. There would undoubtedly be much sweating at set pieces. For some reason West ham does not attract decent Irish defenders!

As full backs Joey 'the Lips' O'Brien and Georgie 'Linda' McCartney are solid if a little uninspiring in attack, but Centre back is a real patch up and forced us to bring Georgie more centrally alongside Gary Breen, with Noel Cantwell taking the left back spot.

Just to remind you that Stuttgart wasn't the first!

Midfield is by far our strongest zone. Steve Lomas as enforcer and water carrier and a nice partner for Chippy Brady. Although Brady is primarily a Gooner, we got two very decent seasons out of him that included some cracking moments, and a delightful strike against the Gooners!.

Wee Michael Hughes was a great seizure from Wimbledon - gamey, if lacking in physicality, and with a useful habit of scoring at key moments. Both Frank O’Farrell and Tommy Moroney were key contributors in the early fifties but Tommy Moroney gets the final nod, mostly based upon his presence on the glorious Ireland team that was the first foreign team to beat the old enemy on their own turf at Goodison Park in 1949.

We havent mentioned Mr R as the wounds are still open but last weeks first call up to the senior Ireland squad for Josh Cullen gives cause for hope that Irish Hamme4s will have something to feel 0roud about. Whether ha can make the transiton back to the London stadium from Charlton remains to be seen.

Up front, David Kelly underachieved – too light for top-level English football. David Connolly was too, well, David Connolly (i.e. perfectly average). Jimmy Quinn was a decent contributor in the late 80s while Robbie Keane came and went in the blink of an eye, with most of that time spent on the injury room table, but on the basis of what might have been he gets the nod, just!

And finally, Iain Dowie – a true Hammer who was not prolific by any means but always gave 100% and created opportunity for those around him. A real servant who had two determined spells at the club and is one of the more refreshing TV pundits about. Loyalty – a rare thing amongst our footballing folk these times.

So, a team that would by no means be worldbeaters, but we might expect plenty of effort and any team with Liam Brady could always find a moment of magic, while Michael Hughes would be sure to spoil a few Man United celebrations and Robbie could always find cause for a party!

Enjoy your day!

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