Wes Hoolahan ‘too good’ for the Republic of Ireland

Wes Hoolahan is too good to play for the Republic of Ireland – according to one of his former team-mates in his homeland.

Owen Heary, Bohemians captain and assistant manager, said it was sad that the Norwich City forward had been consistently overlooked by national team boss Giovanni Trapattoni.

Hoolahan has just one cap for his country, but defender Heary, who played with Hoolahan at Shelbourne, reckons he deserves many more.

'Wes Hoolahan, to me, was the best player ever to play in this league,' said Heary. 'He went the long way round, he went to Scotland and Blackpool and so on, but now he's playing in the Premier League and I'm delighted for him because I think he deserves it.

'I also think he deserved a call-up. Unfortunately he's been overlooked by Ireland many times.'

In an interview with Irish radio station Newstalk, Heary said players like Kevin Doyle and Stephen Ward had proved that the League of Ireland was 'not a bad league'.

But asked why he felt Hoolahan had not been picked, he said: 'Because he's too good, to be honest. I think the system that Ireland play is probably a more defensive system, and players like Wes, he's more creative and he'd be a luxury player for the Ireland team.

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'He'd create stuff but he wouldn't be as defensive-minded as most managers would want. So I think that's probably why he's been overlooked, because he wants defensive midfielders rather than attacking all the time.

'But I think it's sad one of our best players ever to come out of this country hasn't got the call-up.'