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 Lennon believes McGeady is right to choose Ireland over Scot

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PostSubject: Lennon believes McGeady is right to choose Ireland over Scot   Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:01 pm

WITH Scotland gearing up to play World Cup runners-up France this weekend, it is still a bit galling to think that, rather than getting to grips with Thierry Henry and Co at Hampden, one of this country's most talented players will be in Cyprus to help the Republic of Ireland try to qualify for the Euro 2008 finals.

Aiden McGeady - born and bred in Glasgow but with a grandfather from Donegal - proved his worth to Celtic at the weekend with a match-winning performance against Falkirk in the SPL. It was not the first time that McGeady's trickery has dazzled opponents and the 20-year-old has been a key figure for Gordon Strachan's team this season.

The likelihood is that McGeady would also have been instrumental for Scotland manager Walter Smith if he hadn't opted to represent the Republic of Ireland instead. The Celtic forward made his senior international debut against Jamaica in an end-of-season friendly in 2004 and will this week travel to Cyprus with Steve Staunton's squad for Saturday evening's Euro 2008 Group D qualifying match.

McGeady's decision to choose the Tricolour over the Saltire was greeted with fury by fans at many SPL grounds a couple of years ago, but yesterday the player's club-mate, Neil Lennon, insisted that he was right to snub Scotland.

"Aiden had a choice to make and I am sure he has made a wise one," said Lennon, a former captain of Northern Ireland. "It was his right to pick Ireland and whatever a handful of media and a few people in Glasgow might think about it, he did it for his own career. I have no doubt that it will be to his benefit in the near future."

McGeady has only won six caps since making his debut in the Unity Cup win over Jamaica, but he could be given the nod on Saturday as Staunton tries to bounce back from the 1-0 defeat in Germany last month. McGeady was used as a substitute for that match and Lennon added: "It might have been good, in a way, that Aiden was not thrown into the team the minute he declared his intentions to play for Ireland because he would have been under big pressure to perform at that point.

"I wouldn't want to put too much pressure on the lad because he is still learning all the time, but he is ready to adapt to international level and should be given the opportunity to prove that."

Urging Staunton to play McGeady in Cyprus, Lennon added: "Aiden has probably been Celtic's best player so far this season. Ireland need to make sure they reap the benefits from his great run of form and it would be great to see Steve Staunton giving him his chance.

"What you are seeing with the lad now is that he can overcome his disappointments much better and learn from his mistakes. I am sure he wasn't too pleased with his performance against Manchester United a few weeks back, but he has bounced back with a couple of great displays and that is a sign of his growing maturity.

"If he gets his chance in Ireland's upcoming qualifiers, he will go in there as an established Celtic player and a guy who is much more mature than the frail kid we saw a couple of years ago.

"He is maturing physically as a player and it is great to see. I look at Aiden now and he really looks like developing into a fantastic player in the next few years. Going forward, he can be a dream at times and the delivery he provides the strikers is excellent. I see nothing but good times ahead for Aiden and that has got to be good for Ireland."

McGeady made the back pages of some Sunday newspapers after West Brom striker John Hartson valued his former team-mate at a remarkable 20 million over the weekend. Those sorts of stories, says Lennon, are not exactly helpful.

"The media probably went a bit over the top with Aiden as he made his way through the ranks at Celtic," added the Parkhead captain. "I remember the headlines after his debut saying he was going to be a superstar who could produce miracles for the club and Ireland. It was the same with Liam Miller and that kind of hype is difficult to deal with."


http://sport.scotsman.com/football.cfm?id=1460122006
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PostSubject: Re: Lennon believes McGeady is right to choose Ireland over Scot   Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:15 pm

Personaly Adien choose Ireland and thats the end of the matter as far as I'm concered but what a player he could have been for Scotland with the form he has been showing for Celtic cause he would have got a lot more games playing for Scotland than Ireland but I'm sure McGeady will get the Full 90-mins when Ireland play on saturday as they need to win so they will need a few attacking players playing and with Adien there Hes Your Man Ireland!!!

(I just hope the bhoys who are playing for there country's don't come back injured as we have got very important games coming up!!!)
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PostSubject: Re: Lennon believes McGeady is right to choose Ireland over Scot   Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:22 pm

He'll get a game regulary for Ireland. He's missed the last number of Ireland games through injury so I think this is his chance to step up.
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PostSubject: Re: Lennon believes McGeady is right to choose Ireland over Scot   Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:37 pm

Im glad he decided to play for Ireland and imo he's the next Duffer! If not better.

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PostSubject: Re: Lennon believes McGeady is right to choose Ireland over Scot   Wed Oct 04, 2006 8:31 pm

Mcgeady is definately the right choice, I don't hes as good as duff yet but he has the potential to be better, he has a great future at Celtic and could bee one Cetlics greatests.
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