McGeady goes on the attack to defend his worth
EURO 2012 REPUBLIC OF IRELAND:ALMOST EVERY time Aiden McGeady sits down with Irish journalists during a spot of international duty there is, it seems, at least one question that rattles his cage just a little.
The problem often stems from the relative difficulty involved in keeping tabs upon his progress now that he has moved to Moscow with slightly vague enquiries sometimes viewed as somewhat hostile.
He seems a little too inclined, on occasion, to take offence although there are times too that he has a point and it is good to see one of a group that all too often prefers to let gripes about media coverage fester in private come out and fight his corner.
This time it is not just members of the regular media who are in his sights. Roy Keane has apparently expressed the opinion that the Spartak Moscow winger has not been delivering, not on his full potential anyway, and McGeady seems as unimpressed as he is unsurprised.
“Roy Keane, he says enough anyway. I played with him at Celtic and that was bad enough,” he says with a laugh. “He is just one of those guys who has something to say about everything. I got on with him as a guy but he is just one of those guys who has an opinion on everything.”
The idea of Keane rattling away on a Scottish training pitch about taxes, TVs or whatever else somebody has just mentioned in passing, while the eyes of all around him roll in their heads is rather amusing, but then that sort of thing does tend to be viewed as an advantage when it comes to working in the media.
In any case, McGeady it seems, is more put out by the criticism he is most familiar with: suggestions by newspaper reporters that he hasn’t performed for Ireland over the last couple of years in the way that he might have.
“Right okay, (take) the Czech game, right? And I’m not talking about any other players, I’m just talking about myself. I set up a chance for Shane Long, and Darren (O’Dea) had a header he could have scored from, so that’s two. No one else did that. I read in the paper the next day at the airport: ‘Final ball not good enough,’ and I said: ‘There you go.’
“Over the qualifying campaign I was probably not great in every game,” he continues, “but I know that, not being big headed about it, I was probably one of the main players.”
When he was first brought on by Brian Kerr, against Jamaica in London just a week short of eight years ago he was, he readily admits, still learning the game. But he has added to his armory during his time with Ireland and reckons he is slightly undervalued by the critics.
“The main aspect would be tracking back,” he says when asked about ways in which he has improved. “People said I couldn’t track back on the pitch. But I feel now that I can, that I can help out the defence.”