Coleman keen to see Gibson back in an Ireland shirt
Once back fully fit and focused, Séamus Coleman believes Everton team-mate Darron Gibson can become a crucial player in the Republic of Ireland’s midfield in the years ahead.
Upset at getting no game time at Euro 2012, Gibson went into self-imposed international exile and didn’t feature in the opening World Cup qualifiers against Kazakhstan, Germany and the Faroe Islands.
Though Gibson is currently out injured, Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni said at the recent squad announcement for next week’s friendly with Greece at the Aviva Stadium, he had spoken to the player and that he was ready to return once fit.
Having seen Gibson up close at Everton, Coleman, set to win his ninth cap against the Greeks, sees that as very good news as he’s full of praise for the Derry native’s ability.
“He will be a massive player for Ireland,” said Coleman. “I was in a couple of Ireland squads with him when he was at Man United, but I didn’t get to really see how good he is until he came to Everton. His range of passing is superb.”
Coleman, who said he hasn’t discussed the Ireland situation with Gibson, added: “We see each other every day at training, but it’s his thing and it’s not up to me to tell him to come back. It’s his own decision.
“I actually didn’t know the manager said that (that Gibson would return) last week, so I didn’t ask Gibbo about it, truthfully. It’s something that’s between them.”
Coleman didn’t make the squad for Euro 2012 so can empathise with Gibson. “As a footballer you want to play. Unfortunately for me, someone had to miss out and that was me,” said the 24-year-old fullback.
“I’m not bitter about not getting picked for the Euros, absolutely not. I was in and out of the team last year. It was frustrating, but I took it on the chin and knew I would get back.” Missing the Euros has given Coleman “a longing” to make the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014. And despite the humiliating 6-1 defeat to Germany, Coleman believes Ireland are good enough to qualify.
“They will be massive,” said Coleman of the double-header games with chief rivals for runners-up Sweden and Austria in March. “(Those) games are really massive for us and will tell us a lot.”