Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan praised for Ireland performance by Shane Long and Martin O’Neill

Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan reacts to Serbia's second goal during the international friendly at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan reacts to Serbia's second goal during the international friendly at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Thursday, March 6, 2014
2:15 PM

Wes Hoolahan’s man-of-the-match performance for the Republic of Ireland last night has been praised by manager Martin O’Neill and team-mate Shane Long.

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Republic of Ireland's Shane Long after going close in the second half during the international friendly at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA WireRepublic of Ireland's Shane Long after going close in the second half during the international friendly at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The creative midfielder continued his Carrow Road rehabilitation on Sunday when he opened the scoring with an early goal at Aston Villa, despite Chris Hughton’s side going on to lose 4-1.

That followed a January transfer saga as the Irishman and his agent tried to force through a move to Villa, managed by former Norwich boss Paul Lambert.

Hoolahan, City’s longest-serving current player, continued the promising form he displayed in the first half at Villa as he played the first hour of Ireland’s 2-1 friendly loss to Serbia at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin last night.

The 31-year-old had an early goal wrongly ruled out for offside and looked lively in support of Hull City striker Shane Long in attack, as he earned his 11th cap for his country.

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during the international friendly at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA WireRepublic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill during the international friendly at The Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Picture: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Long gave Ireland the lead in the eighth minute but failed to capitalise on more chances, as Serbia eventually came back to win the game, and Long praised the efforts of Hoolahan.

“It’s nice to get a goal, nice to play up front with Wes as well, I think he enjoyed setting me up and it’s a striker’s dream when you have someone like Wes behind you,” Long told the Irish Times.

Hoolahan has come in for criticism from some Canaries supporters for a lack of celebration of his goal at Villa Park, but looks to have again proved to Hughton that he can be an influential performer at the top level.

Former City boss O’Neill, jointly in charge of Ireland alongside Roy Keane, replaced Hoolahan with Norwich team-mate Anthony Pilkington in the 61st minute, who was winning his third cap for his adopted country, and was pleased with the efforts of his side.

“Very pleased, not only with Wesley but a few others as well,” O’Neill told the Irish Examiner. “I thought we started very brightly and had a (Hoolahan) goal disallowed. I didn’t know that one of their players had played us onside. If I did I probably would have gone mad.

“I just mentioned it to the referee and he apologised. That was disappointing because we were well on top. Having said that, we scored a very good goal and had a great opportunity to go 2-0 and at international level that is a big moment for us.”

Long was set up twice more by Hoolahan but the former West Brom striker wasn’t able to take advantage, with O’Neill adding: “Again, it was a terrific ball by Wes that put him in. His (Long’s) confidence was high and I thought he might take that another yard or two and put it in.”

Do you think Hoolahan should start for Norwich against Stoke City at Carrow Road this Saturday? Leave your comments below or tweet @davefreezer

Related links

Opinion: Wes Hoolahan disrespected Norwich City fans with bizarre lack of celebration when he scored against Aston Villa

Chris Hughton - Norwich City’s travelling support deserved better at Aston Villa

International watch: Norwich City winger Nathan Redmond scores winner for England Under-21s

21 comments

  • Rehabilitation?? What an insult to one of our finest players of the modern era. Hughton does not deserve him. He does, though, deserve Elmander, Winkel, Turner, Bunn, Garrido, Gutierrez, Calderwood, Trollope and all the legions of fitness trainers, nutritionists, stylists, apologists, publicists and encysted insisters.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Gruff you make the point I tried making the other day. How ironic would it be if Hughton forced Hoolahan out of the club totally only for Hughton to replaced shortly after by a manager who then plays a style that could use a Hoolahan type player. Doh! ;)

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • "....proved to Chris Hughton"? You cannot prove anything to Chris Hughton. He is far too arrogant, self centred and stuck in his ways to see anything he does not want to see. I want him to see a P45 and soon.

    Report this comment

    waclor

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • All season (and most of last) everyone's been saying that the strikers need good service to score more goals and many have pointed to Wes as being the one to supply it. Now he's getting the chance again he's proving it. If anyone has a direct line to Wes, let him know not to take his frustration out on the fans who value him.

    Report this comment

    Southwold Jack

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Martin O*Neill is a good judge. Those who really understand the game and the need for creativity know how efffective is Wes. Are you listening Hughton? I don't expect so. He is just obsessed with his methods - ones which although a total failure he won't or cannot change. I bet there aren';t many coaches who would play Elmander on the wing, eh?!!! Or a left footed player on the right wing. It's getting like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party here!

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Perhaps our new manager will want him Mikey

    Report this comment

    Gruff

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Blame Archie.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Mattias, you are quite right, there. Let`s hope CH walks before Wes does. And what a wonderful replacement we would have if Martin o`Neill could make a comeback as NC manager.

    Report this comment

    norwaysbiggesthoolahanfan

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Of course Hoolahoop should start, he should have started in most of our games this season, but that means an attacking philosophy which we sadly lack in most games .

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Wes was bright from the start. Tired a bit but scored a good goal that was disallowed. Keep it up Wes.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Didn't see it. Wonder what his manager, Paul Lambert (oh sorry, I mean Chris Hughton) thought of his performance? I still love you Wes, but...

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Before we all get carried away with his last 2 games, Wes isnt a star in every game, he can sometimes go missing or be bossed off the ball, this is where a good manager reads a game and maybe makes a 60th minute change to beef things up a bit or try a different way through. Unfortunately that man isnt CH.

    Report this comment

    Jimhow

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Fitness permitting , if we don't have HO HO HO [ HOolahan ,HOoper , HOwson ] in the starting line-up every remaining match , then we deserve to be relegated . They have the creativity and talent to keep us up .

    Report this comment

    canadiancanary

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • All season (and most of last) everyone's been saying that the strikers need good service to score more goals and many have pointed to Wes as being the one to supply it. Now he's getting the chance again he's proving it. If anyone has a direct line to Wes, let him know not to take his frustration out on the fans who value him.

    Report this comment

    Southwold Jack

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • “It’s nice to get a goal, nice to play up front with Wes as well, I think he enjoyed setting me up and it’s a striker’s dream when you have someone like Wes behind you,” Glowing reference from another pro. One I share as well as so many others. So many cast players aside when they aint flavour of the month. Against the right teams Wes can seriously hurt them and provide for others like no other player can. Long may it continue. Well done Wes.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • For me it's simple. The club pays his wages. If he's the right player for that game then make him play. If he gets stick that's tough. Then, come the end of the season let's see who wants him. Not Lambert is my guess - he's had his fun and moved on.

    Report this comment

    Mikey B

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • In Wes's last 80 games for city he has created 7 goals and scored 3 sorry he is as bad as Snodgrass Our fowards will not score until they are given the chances. Did you see how different Redmond looked in the under 21? Much better

    Report this comment

    canarybell

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • .....canary bell...try making a Yorkshire pudding with a 'knife '.....I f the Chef tells you that's how he wants it done.....you will have little success no matter how many times you have a go!.....

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Friday, March 7, 2014

  • Wes has been a great ambassador to Norwich over the past 5 years. I hope CH starts him on Saturday.

    Report this comment

    paddycanary

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • Months of pent up frustration suddenly being converted into goals scored. Perhaps this was CH's strategy all along!

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • I keep trying to actually agree with sharky, but Archie says `No`.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

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

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