Salut! reflects: has James McClean burned his bridges with Republic of Ireland?

James McClean, a wiser use of enegry. By Jake

McClean Twitter rant sure to throw Republic of Ireland future into doubt

James McClean should maybe think about handing his phone and laptop to his big pal David Meyler when he has something to say. Meyler providing a vetting service may be in the best interests of McClean’s career after yet another ill advised outburst on Twitter last night. Following on from what some described an offensive joke last month, McClean has now used the social networking site to share his continuing discontent with his autonomy in the Ireland set up.

For anyone who missed his tweet, it read:

“Delighted as a fan we got the win.. Personal level #fuming #****** joke #embarassing”

Now we all probably echo James’ thoughts about this whole issue. I’m pretty sure the entire Irish nation all do also. With all due respect to Simon Cox, he’s a centre forward who plays in The Championship, not an international class left winger. I’m not entirely sure what more James can do to cement his place in the side other than put in consistent and effective performances in the Premier League.

Exhibit No 1: the unexpurgated tweet

But while James may have valid reasoning for his latest outburst, you don’t need me to tell you that he should really refrain from public rants of this nature and should simply let the media, fans and his own performances continue to do his talking for him. Players are media trained these days and it often makes for tedious and predictable responses to questions from the written press and T.V reporters. Moments like this, however, go some way to justifying why this is common place. No matter how refreshing it may be to see a player vent his frustrations at, let’s face it, a display of ridiculous footballing judgement, this is McClean’s profession and he can only but respect his manager’s decision- at least in public.

Judging by Mr Trapattoni’s previous reactions to people questioning his methods, James could well be joining Steven Fletcher in the international wilderness. He even appeared to take exception to the Ireland fans giving james a superstar’s welcoming on his debut. Trapattoni’s talk of playing him out of position almost seems illogical enough to indicate that he wants him to fail; as if to prove he knows better than us mere mortals. Well James has given him the perfect excuse to exclude him entirely now. The whole Ireland regime bears a striking resemblance to how Peter Reid played sheriff on Wearside; display any discontent and you’re out. It’s my way or the highway.

From a really selfish viewpoint, Fletcher and McClean concentrating solely on their Sunderland careers can only be a good thing. It’s a crying shame, however, that McClean seems to have limited his chances of continuing his rapid development on an even bigger stage.


*Since this piece went live, James has apologised for his tweet, admitting it was disrespectful and stupid. Although somewhat inevitable it is still commendable that he has addressed the matter with reasonable haste. Let’s hope the apology rewards him with further chance to showcase his wonderful talent.

21 thoughts on “Salut! reflects: has James McClean burned his bridges with Republic of Ireland?”

  1. Wish I had a pound for every stupid tweet made by a fotballer,lets face it we are not dealing with the sharpest pencils in the box on the whole.They have been warned many a time about thoughtless tweeting but it just goes in one ear and out the other,with nothing in the middle to delay the message.

    Trappattoni is a also a bit of a stubborn mule on McClean and I honestly see no reason for the way he has snubbed the lad.Both are being a tad stupid and need to get together for a clearing of the air…at least they ll know where they stand,.as will Irish supporters.Pity no one wants to act like a grown up here,it wouldnt take much to put right.Ireland need McClean and McClean need to learn to stop making public gaffs like this….there a compromise there somewhere………so a big SORRY and Ill work hard and PROVE the boss wrong would not go amiss,and the Trap need to give him a fair chance.

  2. William C asks what Cloughie would have made of it.
    It’s not just Cloughie, or even Len Shackleton.

    In 1912 or thereabouts a member of the FA selection committee made uncomplimentary comments about Charles Buchan at the conclusion of an international match. Buchan made his feelings known and didn’t play For England again before the war put an end to international games.

    The difference is Buchan was a star performer in a star team and he reacted to comments which he felt were unjustified. Like Cloughie and Shack, Buchan had earned the right to question those who judged him

    McLean might be our star performer but we’re not a star team (yet) and his performance wasn’t criticised. He’s exercised a right under law but not from a position of respect. Having made his comments, he’s responsible for them and now he has apologised we’ll see what happens, but don’t give me any of the “he’s a young lad..” crap. He should have known better and he should accept what his actions bring.

    Sympathy? On yer bike!

  3. There is a similar situation to the one that Steven Fletcher is in. Craig Levein and him fell out when Fletcher withdrew from a friendly international against Northern Ireland 18 months ago and informed the Manager by text. The issue has not yet been resolved.

    I have little time for Levein quite frankly would be delighted to see him punted.However I feel that in this case there is fault on both sides and surely with a bit of common sense the issue could be resolved.

    It was quite apparent on Saturday that we are in desperate need of a striker and because of some internal spat the man that fits the bill is apparently sunning himself in Ibiza. The words ‘beggars and choosers’ spring to mind.

    The main issue I have with Leveins stance in this is that during George Burley’s tenure as Scotland boss a number of Rangers players took the huff and refused to play under him or were banned for a media indiscretion.

    All these said players should never have played for Scotland again however when Levein took over from Burley he wiped the slate clean and invited all the ‘rebels’ back into the fold. From that minute my opinion of Levein plummeted to level that he has never risen from.

    Playing for your country should be the highest honour bestowed on any footballer and it was my dream as a youngster to lead Scotland out at Hampden. Sadly there are too many petulant and arrogant players today who treat an international career as a distraction rather than an honour.

    It infuriates me when I here the words ‘International retirement’. Just who do these people think they are ? If ‘International retirement’ was not considered by Law, Dalglish and Baxter then I am damn sure it should not be quoted by some of the wasters that have graced the dark blue in recent years.

    I can understand the feeling that the likes of Fletcher and McClean would be better from our point of view to be wrapped in cotton wool during an international weekend.Surely we want our players to be competing at the highest possible level as it can only benefit the club in the long term.

  4. Whatever an individual player thinks about his manager, or his decisions, is clearly best kept to himself, or shared with those he trusts. What, precisely, is gained from using social media? I would have thought that the recent example of Kevin Peiterson might have have acted as a warning sign? I like McClean as a player, and I think he can be a big player, but I really hope he learns from this, gets on with his football, and resists the temptation to believe his own publicity.

  5. I would have more respect for McClean had he stood by his remarks and took the consequences rather than issue a grovelling apology.

    He has been slapped back into place and he knows it. He may be a hero or villain in different supporters’ eyes but what he is to himself is someone who needs to wind his neck in and control his petulance or lose all credibility. He’s no ‘Billy big boots’ yet.

    I like him and I hope he gets his head down and cracks on with his game. He has a lot of raw talent and he has the opportunity to improve it. He won’t do that on twatface, where it’s all downhill.

    How he’ll deal with serious competition for his place this season will be interesting to watch.

  6. Trappatoni may be in charge but for how long Salut? Not a lot longer going on his handling of matters.

    Answering Phil’s point. Does the invective used not make it abundantly clear how he feels? Would the message (and responses such as this thread) have been the same had he said something like “I regret that the coach has decided to leave me out for Simon Cox yet again” or some other equally anodyne comment? I doubt it.

    In fact Phil, I wish Thomas Helmer (as an example), or Michael Bridges for another had been more vocal when they were left out by Peter Reid. If a manager is making a pills of the job then he can expect to be told. This is not a recipe for complete anarchy or insurrection, and it’s not as if these are lads working in an insruance office or for a builder etc. This is sport; in the public eye and provokes debate. Trappatoni is in the wrong, has been for long enough and needs to know.

    • So, if you were to walk into your office, as the office junior, (without your manager being present) and say to everyone that he/she did not know what they were doing and that anyone who was given more responsibility than you were was not fit to “lace your boots” would you deem that as acceptable?

      I don’t think that you would and nor would any other sensible person.

      JM may, as an SAFC player, have people wishing to defend him – that is logical and understandable.

      However, to me, they (as are you) are attempting to defend the indefensible!

  7. I am firmly with Phil. It is Keane/McCarthy writ small and boils down quite simply to who is in charge. The manager holds that particular role until such time as he is dismissed or resigns. McClean may well be right to expect to start and most supporters would support him in that wish. But to tweet publicly in that manner is no more,no less than a breach of discipline.

  8. Normally I side with with the manager but not in this case, so I actually support McClean’s response.

    Why apologise? You meant every word that you said and what you said was probably fully justified.

    Trap has for far too long been treating you like something on the bottom of his shoe that he doesn’t quite know how to get rid of but he doesn’t like its presence.

    Other managers like O’Neil value you and goal scoring wingers are hard to find, except perhaps in the country you choose to play for.

    Believe in yourself, Keep your head down now, continue learning and working hard at perfecting your game at Sunderland, where you are valued. Then this season stuff goals in Trap’s face until he either chokes on them or is choked in turn by fans unhappy with the performance of your national team.

  9. If a football club were to ban all their players from Twitter (or Twatter as I prefer to call it) would they be able to enforce it? Would a player take a club to court, would it breach their human right to free speech? God knows what the likes of Charlie Hurley or Raich Carter would have made of this.

  10. I don’t sympathise with the coach, he’s wrong and we all know it. Would be chaos if it was acceptable for players to come out and use expletives every time they weren’t picked though. I think we all agree with what he said, but we would have regardless of him doing what he did. It doesn’t excuse it.

  11. McClean is already in the “international wilderness” if left out to accomodate the incredibly pedestrian Simon Cox, who was frankly abysmal in the Euros, and in fact has been nothing short of abysmal since he left Swindon Town.

    It may be unwise for JM to be making these comments but I’m really unsure as to how it can make his current situation with Trappatoni any worse. Cox must have some pictures of Trappatoni or something of that nature as only a buffoon would prefer Cox to McClean, or even Fabelmo were he Irish (and maybe Jack Charlton could have found some Irish link for the flying Pharoah).

    We live in an age where spreading opinions is easier than ever, but in which, at the same time people are very easily dissuaded to toe the line of political correctness and not tell the truth. I don’t blame McClean for his outburst. Trappatoni is a fool in anyone’s language or on anyone’s Twitter account. He’s an old fool at that having failed to learn his lessons from the recent faliure at the Euros. Most of the Irish fan base will sympathise with McClean and not the coach I suspect.

    • So, forgetting the accuracy (or otherwise) of his comments, do you believe that JM was correct in expressing them in the way that he did?

      I, for one, do not and must ask you how you would feel if he had “tweeted” similar comments aimed at SAFC?

      If he had/were to do that I think that you would, very rapidly, change your stance!

      I would, certainly, want him gone!!

      • I would not dispute that but until he does then McClean must appreciate that he has the authority to select who he decides to.

        My other gripe about McClean concerns the way in which his “tweet” showed a clear lack of respect towards other players.

        Hardly likely to be good for team spirit!

  12. I watched The Football Show a couple of weeks ago and Niall Quinn, as guest, told how SAFC had brought in people to talk to all club staff about the indiscreet use of media and social networks, the potential damage that can be done and the legal implications. They were advised what should and what should not be discussed in an attempt to pre-empt awkward situations. He said they were left in no two minds of the club’s views.

    Seems some players are too thick to understand.

  13. I agree.

    We, as fans, love controversial comments like this. We’re always complaining at the lack of characters in the game. We are all guilty of saying stupid things in the heat of the moment; often deep lying thoughts that we over dramatise when angry. But while a simple apology may suffice for us, James can’t afford to be so careless.

    You make a good point regarding SAFC I think. It’s food for thought about how he may react if he is left out for more than one game for us. With Johnson being left footed, and with our multiple attacking options, it’s quite plausible it could happen.

  14. I have divided thoughts on this.

    On the one hand, I can sympathise with a player demonstrating his commitment to the team and his desire to play.

    On the other hand, I have no sympathy with a player showing, total, disrespect for his teammates and manager.

    Considering that McClean has yet to make his competitive debut for the team he was commenting upon I have to come to the conclusion that he is stupid and getting ahead of himself, regarding his importance.

    I wonder how those individuals that have expressed, wholehearted, support for him would feel if he decided to make a similar “tweet” about SAFC/MON?

    Their words would, I feel, turn very swiftly into those of outrage!!

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