Martin O’Neill has trimmed his Republic of Ireland squad ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Moldova in Dublin.
With an initial 30-man panel to choose from, cuts were always necessary and to that end, the manager has decided that James McCarthy, Daryl Horgan, David McGoldrick, Jonny Hayes and uncapped Aiden O’Brien will not be involved.
James McCarthy won’t be involved tonight. McCarthy, Horgan, Hayes, McGoldrick and O’Brien all left out of the squad
— Nathan Murphy (@nathanmurf) October 6, 2017
McCarthy was always a major doubt for these two matches. The midfielder is yet to play a single minute of competitive action for Everton this season (or, indeed, any action since pulling out in the warm-up of Ireland’s clash with Wales back in March) and his club are said to be bemused that he was even called up to the national squad in the first place.
McGoldrick was also a doubt despite being included in the final 30-man squad last weekend, with the Ipswich forward said to be struggling with a hamstring injury. It remains to be seen if he will recover in time for Cardiff on Monday.
The other three omissions, meanwhile, are likely to be tactical as O’Neill is only able to select 23 players in the matchday squad – meaning two more are also set to miss out. It remains to be seen who those two are, and it could be a case of the manager giving Harry Arter a chance to prove his fitness before making a final call on the Bournemouth midfielder.