“Immense and brave” Norwich City star Wes Hoolahan stars as Republic of Ireland beat Germany
Wes Hoolahan’s man of the match display for the Republic of Ireland against world champions Germany has brought wide praise for the Norwich City talisman.
Hoolahan and Canaries team-mate Robbie Brady were in the thick of the action as Shane Long’s strike secured a 1-0 win over the Germans in Dublin on Thursday night, securing at least a play-off place in Euro 2016 qualifying.
“That kind of guile, that kind of wizardry... he sees passes that others don’t see,” said RTÉ Soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy. The former Ireland midfielder then jokingly added: “He’s my love child!”
Irish newspaper the Independent published an online article with the headline ‘It’s frightening to think about Ireland without the wonderful Wes Hoolahan’.
Football writer Dion Fanning went on to say of the 33-year-old: “Wes Hoolahan was immense and brave, setting the tone for an Irish performance from the moment he tried to slow down the pace of the early German attacks.”
Canaries winger Brady, who also played the full 90 minutes in the famous triumph, also came in for praise.
The article continued: “There were moments of hope when the outstanding Robbie Brady and Hoolahan got on the ball. Sometimes he was on his own and there was one moment when Hoolahan found himself looking for a pass but instead going round in circles in midfield like the Griswolds stuck on a roundabout in European Vacation.”
Dublin radio station FM104 said Hoolahan “delivered a trojan performance” for his country, with City’s longest-serving current player telling them: “Brilliant win. We knew before the game that it was going to be a difficult task. We dug in deep and got them on the counter-attack and what a finish by Shane (Long). A good kick down the field by Darren Randolph, he ran on to a great touch and a great finish.
“We could see in the first half we had one or two little chances that were nearly in and we knew we could get at them. The second half we turned it a little bit and we had a few chances.
“It’s in our hands now, if we beat Poland (on Sunday) we get second place so hopefully it will happen. It’s going to be a huge task going away, you know Poland are a great team but we’re going there with confidence.”