Paul Lambert - Wes Hoolahan worth a look from Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni
Paul Lambert insists Wes Hoolahan would not let the Republic of Ireland down if Giovanni Trapattoni decided to have another look at the Norwich City midfielder.
The Italian is expected to include one or two fresh players in the squad he names this Friday for the Dublin friendly against the Czech Republic.
Hoolahan has been out of the picture since making his international debut under Trapattoni in 2008, although Republic assistant boss Marco Tardelli watched the midfielder at Carrow Road earlier this season.
Trapattoni has already pledged to reward the men who guided the Irish to the Euro 2012 finals. Hoolahan, however, has been a key figure in Norwich's renaissance under Lambert and his club boss believes the 29-year-old's top flight displays are worthy of a second chance.
'I don't think you ever tell anybody how to do their job, especially somebody as experienced as he is,' said Lambert. 'If you ask my opinion then it's maybe worth having a look and you make up your own judgement about whether he is good enough or not. I know what he has done for me.
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'He has been brilliant; he has played some massive games. I think Wes, being as creative as he is, sometimes will have his ups and downs in games. You make allowances for that – but over the course of two-and-a-half years he has been terrific.'
Lambert conceded Trapattoni's reliance on a rigid midfield formation with two sitting players supplemented by the likes of Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady lessens Hoolahan's prospects of a late call up.
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'It might well do. There is nothing set in stone how people want to play,' said Lambert. 'If you ask me would I play him wide, then I wouldn't, but somebody else might. Yeah, he could probably do it but my view is he is more productive in the middle.
'I think he looks at himself as being more of a creative type of player than someone who can perhaps score goals from midfield. Maybe he should score a bit more with the talent he has, but he'd rather slip somebody in when you think he is going to shoot at certain times. I think that is something he could try and get in his game, but his creativity is different class.'
Trapattoni reiterated recently how tough it would be for the likes of Hoolahan and young Sunderland midfielder James McClean to gatecrash his Euro2012 plans.
'I think the players who achieved our qualification deserve to come with us,' he said. 'We don't only have 18 players. We have 25, 26, 27 so we can change. We pay attention to one or two who we know outside this group but it would only be maybe injury or the fitness and condition that makes you think about the new players.'