Harry Arter a doubt for Ireland’s final two World Cup qualifiers

The Bournemouth midfielder has been ruled out of this weekend’s clash with Leicester

Harry Arter has emerged as a doubt for Ireland’s final two World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales. Photo: Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Harry Arter has emerged as a doubt for Ireland’s final two World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales. Photo: Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images

 

Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter’s chances of featuring for Ireland in the World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales took a knock on Friday as his club manager Eddie Howe confirmed that the 27-year-old will miss this weekend’s Premier League game against Leicester City.

Arter missed last Saturday’s trip to Goodison Park and Martin O’Neill confirmed on Tuesday that the midfielder is regarded as a doubt for the Ireland games due to a calf strain but the manager was still hoping at that point that the player might be regarded as fit enough to make the club’s matchday squad yesterday.

However, Howe confirmed on Friday morning that the Ireland international will watch the game from the stands. “Harry Arter will also miss out,” he said. “The problem isn’t a serious one, but he is injured and hasn’t trained with the group this week.”

O’Neill seems unlikely to rule Arter out on that basis himself and the player may well be brought into Dublin, if only to be assessed by the FAI’s own medical staff, but despite the admission that the problem is not “serious” the fact that he has not trained at his club in more than a week casts much greater doubt on his participation in these two critically important qualifying games.

Ireland are already without James McCarthy who Ronald Koeman said today needs to edge his way back to competition action via the club’s under-23 side after such a long time out.

Koeman, who has clashed with O’Neill over McCarthy before, accepted earlier this week that the FAI would be entitled to bring the midfielder in so as to assess his fitness for themselves but he was scathing regarding the chances of the 26-year-old sticking around with the Dutchman insisting that the player needed to put his club first in the circumstances.

Asked again about McCarthy at his press conference on Friday and, in particular, whether he has chance of featuring against Burnley on Sunday, he said: “he needs some game time with the under-23s before he can play. That is the way for players who have been out for such a long period.”

Keiren Westwood also looks to be out of the World Cup games. Again, O’Neill acknowledged as he was naming his squad that the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper was a doubt for the qualifiers after fracturing a rib in his club’s recent Championship game against Cardiff.

But Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal has confirmed that the Ireland international will miss Sunday’s game against Leeds and the local media have reported that the intention is that Westwood will use the international break to rest up and concentrate on being fit for the game against Bolton on October 14th.

O’Neill’s squad is, of course, already down a striker after Kevin Doyle announced his retirement from the game on medical grounds on Thursday.

Brady joins Platinum One

Former Arsenal and Ireland international, Liam Brady, has, meanwhile, joined the London based football agency Platinum One as “Football Director”.

Brady, who was Director of Arsenal’s academy until 2014 and worked with the club in an ambassadorial role for a period after that, had made it clear after leaving that he was keen to take on another “meaningful role” in the game.

He had at one point suggested that he might be able to contribute to the development of young footballers in Ireland and his experience seemed to make him an ideal candidate but the FAI did not seem to bite.

In the statement released by Platinum One, he admits to being surprised to have ended up joining an agency but the 61-year-old has known the company’s chief executive, Fintan Drury, for many years and also knows Graham Barrett, formerly an Arsenal player and now the company’s Head of Football in Ireland, well. He says he hopes that he will be able to help young players develop their careers in his new role.

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