The Republic of Ireland beating Gibraltar 1-0 today, getting their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to a less-than-convincing start.
Mick McCarthy took charge for the first time since his return to the job, and will have been hoping to start with a resounding victory. After all, Gibraltar are ranked 194th in the world – a full 160 spots behind Ireland.
However, the Boys in Green toiled away at Victoria Stadium. McCarthy went with a 4-4-2 system, and Ireland really struggled to break down the Gibraltar defence. Even creating clear-cut chances was a major struggle in the first half.
After a key save from Darren Randolph early in the second half, Ireland did take the lead. David McGoldrick broke down the left, and picked out Burnley’s Jeff Hendrick to slot in to the net.
Anyone expecting Ireland to kick on and rack up goals was left disappointed. McCarthy effectively shut up shop and was happy with a 1-0 win to start the qualifying campaign.
Preston striker Seani Maguire was handed a first competitive start for Ireland, and got 72 minutes under his belt. He helped set up a good chance in the first half, but was mostly on the periphery of the game.
Maguire certainly wasn’t at his best, and it’s fair to say that the dreadful service into him didn’t exactly help. He was eventually withdrawn for Harry Arter, with McCarthy going for more midfield solidity.
Ireland fans took to Twitter during and after the game to react to Maguire’s performance, and seemingly weren’t impressed.
Many are concerned that Maguire simply isn’t cut out for international football. This isn’t the first time Maguire has failed to seize his chance, and some were cutting in their criticism.
Some called him ‘awful’, ‘abysmal’ and ‘stinking’, adding that he seemed to lose confidence early in the game. Others did recognise the lack of service, but the North End ace did not get great reviews.
Looks like goals are going to continue to be the problem for @FAIreland. Maguire and McGoldrick don’t inspire much confidence at this level.
— Noel O Keeffe (@keeffe_noel) March 23, 2019
Can't warm to Sean Maguire at all. Hopefully he proves me wrong in his career
— Chris M. (@flickybig) March 23, 2019
Just thinking how much better was the service Seanie Maguire got at Cork City than anything he’s seen so far in an Ireland shirt. #GIBIRL
— Paul O'Brien (@WestCorkPaul) March 23, 2019
Struggling to see what people see in Sean Maguire, he’s chronic against Gibraltar, who are the equivalent to the Rivervalley B team #GIBIRE
— Gary McCabe (@GaryMcCabe90) March 23, 2019
— Ciaran O Neill (@CiaranONeill11) March 23, 2019
Awful game for Maguire.. No service and when he did get it, he was out wide where he was less effective.. #GIBvIRE
— Aaron Doherty (@finsceal) March 23, 2019
Never seen a player in the green so obviously out of his depth as maguire. Truly abysmal #GIBvIRE
— Killian_1878 (@killian007) March 23, 2019
Sean Maguire again not taking his chance to make a name for himself in the Irish jersey,he’s not up to it internationally but I suppose we are not exactly blessed with many options,embarrassing how hard we are making this game#GIBIRL #EURO2020 #COYBIG #UEFAEuro2020Qualification
— Gary Rothery (@GarRodders) March 23, 2019
Seani having a stinker here
— Sean O'Connor (@SeanOConnor23) March 23, 2019
Sean Maguire wouldn’t get a game for Cork City
— JungleLion (@JungleLion_) March 23, 2019
Maguire has been absolutely stinking #GIBvIRE
— Gléann 0’Cearuill (@GlennCarroll1) March 23, 2019
Robbie Keane is on the bench.
I guarantee he'd be more effective than Sean Maguire, who's overrawed by the occasion…against Gibraltar…
— Niall Hawthorne (@NiallHawthorne) March 23, 2019
Seani maguire struggling bad. Don’t know if he’s international standard #GIBvIRE 🇮🇪
— Seán O'Sullivan 🇮🇪 (@sean_osull00) March 23, 2019
At least he didn’t get injured.