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Kevin Kilbane: A kick in the privates would have been a far more respectful treatment

Monday 31st October 2011
Kevin Kilbane, an English born Irish international with far more determent to play for his country than some of his Irish born colleagues, is no more. Well, he still lives, but he doesn't exist any more in Giovanni Trapattoni's plans for the Irish route to Euro 2012.

When Steven Fletcher text Scotland manager Craig Levein back in January that he didn't want to be included for their friendly he created a storm, which left him out of the squad to date. When Trapattoni (or somebody from his staff) text Kilbane that he wasn't included for Ireland's play-off matches against Estonia there was no storm, not even a breeze. Sending just an SMS to state someone isn't included just works in one way it seems.

On the other hand Trapattoni included Robbie Keane, Shane Long and Darron Gibson into the squad, all three injured and so far from secure to play. I could go on with the result that Kevin Kilbane – if I had to announce the Irish play-off squad – would have been one of the first to dictate the waiting journalists into their pen and paper.

But what Trapattoni has done to him doesn't surprise me at all.

It was obvious that Trapattoni didn't like the whole package that is Kilbane since he was to be forced out due to injury and missed his first competitive international game since 1999. He missed the Euro 2012 games against Slovakia and Russia, was then included into the squad against Andorra and Armenia but was again forced out due to injury. Now he is fit again (he played 60 minutes in the last game of his club Derby County against Portsmouth) and for the crucial two play-offs against Estonia a far more better option than Stephen Ward due to experience and I think also in ability. You could think of another option as left back that is Darren O'Dea but with him watching his last game of his club Leeds United yesterday against Cardiff City I'm not keen at all to have him into the Irish squad. He was at fault for the Cardiff goal and was forced to leave the pitch due to injury. It might be a tiny injury but I'd rather see him on the bench than on the pitch trying to gift Estonia a goal or another.

So, there are injured, out-of-form and inexperienced players in the Irish squad but Kevin Kilbane with his 112 international games, good positioning and disciplined game, his understanding not only of the game but also to his team mates isn't. Perhaps he would have ended his international career after Euro 2012 anyway. So where is the point of leaving him out for the two deciding fixtures in this more than shameful manner?

As you would have noticed I am a big supporter of Kevin's but also if I didn't I would honour that he was always there to throw his body in for his country. He is a nice bloke, loyal and I haven't heard one single of a bad word to anybody. If someone deserves some respect than it's him. But the Irish FA rather throws money into the mouth of Trapattoni than stand by their best and most loyal players.
Seamus Kennan

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