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‘If he can pick a pass regularly, I’m sure he’d start every game for Norwich City’: Robbie Savage hits out at Wes Hoolahan

PUBLISHED: 09:08 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:59 07 September 2017

Robbie Savage. Picture: PA.

Robbie Savage. Picture: PA.

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Motormouth football pundit Robbie Savage has taken a swipe at Norwich City star Wes Hoolahan over his importance to the Republic of Ireland.

After Hoolahan was left out for Ireland’s 1-1 draw in Georgia, many fans said they would have won with him in the starting line-up.

But Savage, never one to keep his opinions to himself, said: “If he can pick a pass regularly, I’m sure he’d start every game for Norwich in the Championship.”

Speaking to The Irish Sun, he added: “If Ireland are just relying solely on Wes Hoolahan, what does it say? There was a comment like, ‘If Wes played against Georgia we’d have got three points’.

“I find quite hard to believe the reliance on Wes Hoolahan, a 35-year-old guy who doesn’t play consistently in the Championship.

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan playing against Serbia. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire. Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan playing against Serbia. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

“How can a nation of Ireland’s size follow a guy who doesn’t play week-in, week-out in the Championship yet if you’d played him in Georgia they might have got three points?”

In last summer’s European Championships, Hoolahan was one of Ireland’s stars, scoring in a 1-1 draw against Sweden and playing a sublime pass to Robbie Brady for the winner against Italy.

It has been a late blossoming for the midfielder, who endured years of frustration internationally as then-Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni refused to pick him as he favoured a long-ball method.

Current boss Martin O’Neill has made Hoolahan a key player, but his decision to leave him on the bench in Georgia was not popular.

Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Savage in action during a Championship match between Derby and Norwich in 2010. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images. Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Savage in action during a Championship match between Derby and Norwich in 2010. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images.

Former Wales midfielder Savage said: “Wes Hoolahan, I feel a bit sorry for him, with the pressure on him. I don’t want this to be about Wes Hoolahan because I respect Wes Hoolahan, he’s done well.”

But, looking ahead to Ireland’s away clash with Wales, he said: “Big moments, big players step up and, unfortunately for Ireland, if you’re relying on Wes Hoolahan to go to Cardiff and be the best player on the park, you might go out.”

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