Norwich City’s Anthony Pilkington - Wes Hoolahan is still a master craftsman

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan during a training session at Malahide, Dublin. Photo: Artur Widak / PA Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan during a training session at Malahide, Dublin. Photo: Artur Widak / PA

Thursday, June 19, 2014
3:00 PM

Wes Hoolahan’s starring role for the Republic of Ireland on their summer tour proved he can still be a force for club and country, insists his Norwich City team-mate Anthony Pilkington.

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Hoolahan emerged as a key man for Martin O’Neill’s Irish set-up in four friendlies to prepare the Irish for the start of the 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign in September.

The 32-year-old made only 10 Premier League starts in the Canaries’ top-flight relegation during a season when the Dubliner had a transfer request turned down following interest from Aston Villa. Hoolahan’s future remains a hot topic with Villa and newly-promoted Leicester both touted with summer moves for the midfielder who is entering the final year of his current deal at Carrow Road.

Pilkington was also part of the Republic’s touring party and is a firm believer in Hoolahan’s qualities.

“He’s a great player – everyone in Ireland can see that,” he said. “I’ve said many times I don’t know how he hasn’t got more caps than he has because he’s a great little player. When he does get a run in a team, he shows what he can do, but it’s been difficult for him.

“He’s not had many games for Norwich this past season so he’s not really been match-fit coming into the friendlies, but he’s a really good player, he’s really comfortable on the ball and he can make things happen. When you’ve got players like that in your team, you’ve got to build the team around him because they can always create something for nothing.”

Injuries have hampered Pilkington’s club and international career but the former Huddersfield midfielder is fully committed to the Irish cause.

“Whenever I’ve been fit, I’ve always come over and tried to get myself in the team,” he said. “Just because I’ve missed a few games this season didn’t mean I didn’t want to come over.”

12 comments

  • Not sure what the England game showed us, Surrey. Some promising youth for certain but the experienced players were not that wise. Gerrard's glorious back header on to Suarez for the winner goes nicely with his slip that cost Liverpool the title. Rooney scored a tap in but missed a point blank header. Defence lacked a leader. Credit Suarez for two quality finishes but on a cynical note how would he have reacted if an England player already on a yellow had struck him across the throat? Stayed on his feet, like our man, or fallen mortally wounded while his colleagues surrounded the ref demanding a second yellow? A rhetorical question I know but it illustrates how England are falling behind on every level these days, whether it is the technical aspects of the game or street wise reaction to game changing incidents. Did any player question why the ref never gave a second yellow to the Uruguayan? Maybe I missed it but we seemed to accept the decision too easily. Against ten men England might have got a result. Ultimately winners compete for everything, including refereeing decisions. Sometimes it is not nice to watch but the likes of Germany, Argentina, Italy, Brazil know that sometimes their quality needs a helping hand. Call it cheating or being competitive but the aim is winning. An art form we are a long way from perfecting.

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    Lincs Canary

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Matt, turned off at 90 minutes - couldn't face any more. If Italy win today, they will still need a point from the last game so not all over yet. Stranger things have happened although not normally to England!.Of course an in-form and motivated Wes will do well in the C'ship. All players have been talked to one by one.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Was there not a reason for that request? He is no longer at the club. Of course if Adams doesn't want him im sure he will go but I can only see a Championship club taking a punt on him and that will ultimately hurt us.

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    Mattias333

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Did not Hoolahan hand in a transfer request? He wants away and he should go.

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    norman hall

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • As England game showed, youth is good but you need wise experience as well. Wes has that for Norwich...

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    Surrey Canary

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • ;) cracking stuff. Was it me or did Woy's post game press conference sound like a Hughton effort. On wes, if he wants to be here, superb! If he doesn;t after the way Hughton treated him (as well as a large portion of fans) I wouldnt blame him wanting to move on. I personally hope hes still here as while not a auto 1st team starter, hes still a key part of the team in the right games. :) OTBC

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    Mattias333

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Another day in Brazil and we may be back to 100% Canaries focus. Very quiet at the moment. I think next week or so will see some movement.

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    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Friday, June 20, 2014

  • Don't we need a big bone-headed target man up front - or is that a big bone-headed comment to make??

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    Surrey Canary

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Wes really hacked me off when he wanted to leave us, he appeared disrespectful. That said, we only see what was reported and not the truth. If he wants to play for City, great...if not he needs to go. I'm confident NA will have a view already and working accordingly

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    llamaman

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • cranium, good enough eh matt

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Agree 100% with the comment made by Mattias333

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    RoadWarrior

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • Awaiting the first bone head comment. I personally hope NCFC start with a clean slate next season regardless of who was or wasnt in the team last season. At a different level now and people who maybe wasnt the first name on the team sheet may quickly become vital again. Wait and see but I hope Wes is still here. In the right games he can be vital.

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    Mattias333

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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