Having looked at the best outcome for the Republic of Ireland national team resulting from potential Premier League promotions, we now look at the scenario for Irish players in the relegation scrap.
In the past the relegation of Reading, Wolves and Hull has wiped out a large proportion of Irishmen from the top flight. Last season, three regulars in Rob Elliot, Wes Hoolahan and Robbie Brady were relegated, however Brady’s now back in the big time with Burnley.
Brady’s new side seem to be just about safe at the moment as well as Shane Long’s Southampton. There are still a number of Irishmen under threat from relegation, but thankfully there are no teams with a high proportion of Irishmen like in years gone by.
Irish Players: Harry Arter, Marc Wilson (on loan at West Bromwich Albion)
Currently six points from safety, Bournemouth boast one of Ireland’s best players domestically this season in Harry Arter.
Marc Wilson took a step up the table with a loan to West Brom under old boss Tony Pulis after failing to get a crack at the coastal club.
The Cherries will be hoping for a third consecutive season in the top flight under Eddie Howe, but given Arter’s form a relegation could result in a move to another Premier League side.
There are no Irish players at Boro, but Patrick Bamford has represented the Boys in Green at under-18 level and remains eligible.
No Irishmen play for the Premier League champions, who are becoming a serious relegation prospect.
Another club whose relegation would have little bearing on the Irish team with their only Irish reprentative being Tom Holland, who’s currently out on loan at Flyde. The last Irishman to play for the Swans was Thomas Butler.
Irish players: David Meyler
With a plethora of Irishmen at the KCOM Stadium during their last relegation, David Meyler is the only survivor from that campaign.
However, the Corkman has featured sporadically for the Tigers and could move on in the summer regardless of the outcome for the club.
Irish players: Damien Delaney
Palace favourite Damien Delaney has been a regular at Selhurst Park throughout their stint in the Premier League, which could be nearing an end. Despite being one of a few Irishmen deemed as an automatic pick in England’s top flight, Delaney’s days as an international look to be at an end so a Palace relegation would not have a huge impact on Ireland.
However, youngster Kian Flanagan is an exciting prospect and could get a run in the Championship, which may in turn benefit Ireland in the long run.
Irish players: John O’Shea, Darron Gibson
A long drop in standards since both played in the Champions League for Manchester United, Irish pair O’Shea and Gibson are in real threat of moving down a division. Thankfully for Sunderland, they are gradually gaining some momentum but it is hard to see them beating the drop.
Gibson has finally secured a move that could see him feature regularly but his stint could see him mainly feature in the Championship with O’Shea’s career likely to extend to the climax of Ireland’s World Cup campaign.
Best scenario: Middlesborough, Leicester and Swansea go down.
Worst scenario: Bournemouth, Hull and Sunderland go down.
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena