James McClean, pride of Sunderland (and Derry), secures Euro 2012 place

James McClean by Jake

No doubt James McClean will excuse Salut! Sunderland for its earlier spot of fun at his and the rest of the Lads’ expense, suggesting the double-winning Sunderland Women’s Football Club squad might be sent on to face Man United on Sunday …

The only purpose of this little posting is to offer him our sincere and robust congratulations for a well-deserved call-up to Giovanni Trapattoni’s Irish squad for Euro 2012.

Were also delighted to see Keiren Westwood and John O’Shea included in the squad. It reflects well on Sunderland AFC but better still on the players concerned.

As Luke Harvey argued on these pages last week, the introduction of McClean when we played Blackburn Rovers at home on MON’s debut as manager, defeat staring us the face, was the catalyst to so much of what was good about the run that followed.

And as one of McClean’s legion of Twitter followers said today, go off and have a great tournament, James, and then come back and have an even greater SAFC season.

Jake says "McClean means brightness - don't you forget it!"

Safc.com reports James’s response: “I took the call from Mr Trappatoni this morning; it certainly wasn’t a bad wake up call to get! It’s been a fantastic year for me in football terms. Breaking into the Sunderland first-team was a huge step and then to make my debut for Ireland was just amazing.

“I’ve had an incredible few months, cementing my place in the team and acclimatising to the Premier League and winning the Supporters’ Young Player of the Year award, was a huge honour. To now be representing Ireland at a major championship is simply the stuff that dreams are made of.”

Here, for admirers of purple prose, is a reminder of how the Irish Independent recorded his debut in Irish colours, at home to Czech Republic:

The populist cry took an age to find the ears of Giovanni Trapattoni but, when it did, it was a sound that defied resistance.
For 79 minutes, James McClean’s night was confined to the idle banter of the waiting-room. He looked unperturbed. The TV cameras kept finding his smile, a big, square-jawed kid bending the ear of Seamus Coleman as the surgery door kept opening for others to stride through.
Trapattoni doesn’t manage by public consensus and only with four substitutes already deployed did he finally call the kid down to a great, gusting gale of approval. In his 10-minute cameo, McClean would look bright, alert and keen not to disappoint his Dublin audience.
Briefly, the deities even toyed with the notion of a fairytale, his low cross almost producing an 89th-minute winner for Jonathan Walters and, four minutes later, Vaclav Pilar pushing his unhelpful posterior in the way of a McClean pile-driver.

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Monsieur Salut, by Matt

8 thoughts on “James McClean, pride of Sunderland (and Derry), secures Euro 2012 place”

  1. Congratulations to James McClean. Well deserved. Interesting to hear that Bruce may not be totally responsible for his signing. He’s taken credit for other’s good work there. On the subject of Bruce – VERY frustrating to hear Shearer on MOTD declare AGAIN that Bruce was only given a hard time because of his geordie background. Wish he’d butt out of stuff he know’s nothing about. What is the media’s obsession with this non-story! Find myself fast forwarding the “expert analysis” more and more these days. Especially when that clueless idiot is on. Seem to remember his comment on McAllister’s famous dive was “well the foul started outside the box but continued into the box so it was def a penalty”. He makes the rules up as he goes. Sorry. Rant over!

  2. I hearby claim Irish citizenship (on account of my maternal grand-mother’s mother, Mary Crawford b Dublin 1889) C’mon You Greens!!

  3. Thoroughly deserved. Looking at their squad, he’s probably the best player in it! Someone to will on in the Euro’s for us now, along with O’Shea of course. Good luck to them.

  4. As Luke said, his introduction when staring defeat against Blackburn very firmly in the face was the pivotal moment on which things turned. The impact was immediate and unforgettable. What was even more striking was the way in which James adjusted so well to his new surroundings and continued to impress, and became a mainstay for the team for the rest of the season. He deserves more success over the course of the summer, and he’s more than worth his place in the squad.

  5. Will definitely enjoy the Euros now.A well-deserved selection.A pleasure to watch and what a great workrate.He also seems to be a decent lad and no’ big-time Charlie’

  6. Delighted for him. He had been a pleasure to watch and, even when heavily marked, has never been reluctant to run with the ball. On a tight Craven Cottage pitch, he eventually got away from his markers and, for the last 20 minutes, put the fear of god up the Fulham back four.
    He could prove to be Bruce’s best signing for us. Shame he never played him.

    • Pop Robson had been watching McClean for Chelsea and brought him to the attention of the club on his arrival. Quinn bought into it. Not sure how much Bruce had to do with it, hence his reluctance to play him.

    • Have to say that you yourself highlighted his performances for the reserves Mr Sixsmith. If a knowledgeable watcher such as yourself spotted his potential, one has to ask why our former manager didn’t. Oh – perhaps he believes it was because of his birthplace and not his managerial ability.

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