Séamus Coleman’s horrific double-leg break on Friday night unfortunately overshadowed what was one of the most eagerly anticipated Irish games since the Aviva Stadium opened.
Neil Taylor’s nasty collision with the Killybegs man earned him a deserved red card after 70 minutes and has been universally slated since for such a dangerous challenge.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny is the latest to criticise the 28-year-old’s tackle in an interview with The Irish Times. The quotes are, it’s fair to say, somewhat bizarre.
“I thought it was a horrific tackle, a compound fracture, of the Irish captain. It’s a very, very bad blow for Séamus Coleman.
“I hope the surgeons can mend that in a way that he can continue to play again, which is obviously a great challenge for him.”
The oddest remark, however, must be the use of the phrase “the beautiful game”.
“It’s not usual to find that level of ferocity in tackles in the beautiful game these days, so good luck to Séamus in his recovery.”
The incident proved to be a turning point in the game with 10-man Wales deciding to try and soak up Irish pressure who, devoid of the creativity the likes of Wes Hoolahan or Robbie Brady provide, couldn’t break them down. A deflected James McClean volley was as close as the boys in green went to finding a winner.
Coleman underwent surgery on Sunday morning and is expected to be out for at least six months.