Irish soccer legend Ray Houghton has said he is shocked that Giovanni Trapattoni has left Kevin Doyle out of the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Italian named his twenty three man squad yesterday for Friday’s clash with Sweden and the home game with Austria four days later, and the Wolves striker failed to make the cut. Doyle was named in the provisional 29-man squad but now has to settle for a place on the stand-by list, as Millwall’s Andy Keogh gets the nod ahead of the Wexford man. Conor Sammon, Robbie Keane, Simon Cox, Shane Long and Jonathan Walters are the other strikers named.
Houghton feels that Trapattoni should have included players like Doyle who are ‘tried, trusted’ and have ‘delivered’ for Ireland in the past.
Speaking on RTÉ Television’s Premier Soccer Saturday, Houghton said: “I’m quite shocked to be honest. If you think back to recent games, he (Doyle) has been an influence when called upon.
“He has knowledge, understanding and experience. It’s about players who are tried, trusted and delivered and Kevin Doyle is one of those.
“I thought he would have been in the squad. He’s got more experience, better understanding of what’s required from him (than Conor Sammon).
“Conor is just starting his career at international level. I think I would rather have someone who’s been there before, who’s played in big games, knows what it takes and knows how to get results.”
Fellow panelist Ronnie Whelan added: “You’ve got a lad who has represented his country very well and must have been high up in the estimation of the manager. (Yet) somewhere along the line he has changed his mind.
“Doyle doesn’t fit into his way of thinking anymore. You look at some of the players in the squad. Conor Sammon stays in, Kevin Doyle goes out. That’s a huge surprise for me but I’m not surprised that Trapattoni has done this type of thing. We are getting used to him doing fairly funny things.”