Thursday, June 20, 2024

James McClean Reveals Doubts Over Retirement From Ireland Duty |

Must read

James McClean has left the door open for a potential return to the Ireland setup – though revealed that John O’Shea has made no contact with him over such a move.

McClean received a standing ovation from the home support in his 103rd and final international last November, a friendly against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium.


However, the mood has soured somewhat in recent weeks, with the Derryman publicly calling out former manager Stephen Kenny for an alleged interaction when McClean moved to Wrexham last summer.

McClean claimed that Kenny “couldn’t get off the phone quick enough” when told of the move to Wales, exacerbating speculation of tension between the pair towards the end of McClean’s international career.

With Kenny out of the picture, John O’Shea opened the door to a potential return for McClean earlier this month.

The Wrexham star was a surprise pundit on RTÉ 2 ahead of Ireland’s friendly in Portugal on Tuesday night, and refused to rule out a return to the international stage.

READ HERE: John O’Shea Recalls First Meeting With Cristiano Ronaldo As He Prepares Ireland Team To Face Him

READ HERE: Report: Borussia Dortmund The Latest Club To Show Interest In Ireland Star

James McClean opens up on end to Ireland career

Appearing on RTÉ’s punditry team for Portugal v Ireland alongside Stephen Kelly, James McClean was naturally asked by Darragh Maloney about John O’Shea’s recent comments.

The 35-year-old revealed that no contact had been made between himself and O’Shea. However, he did admit that he was unsure what his answer would be if he was asked to return to the fold.

Well, first and foremost the call has to come.

It’s easy to sit here and say, ‘ah, no, I’m done’ or ‘I’d love to come back.’ But, until that call comes where you’re being asked to come up and represent your country again…I think if that call comes, then I’ll have a better answer in my mind.

I’ve been going back and forth but until that call comes…I’ll know then and there.

McClean’s response suggests that he was unsure about his decision to step away from the Ireland camp.

Shortly after his move to Wrexham, McClean was left out of the Ireland squad for the October internationals against Greece and Gibraltar, and was only included in the squad for the November qualifier against the Netherlands as last-minute injury cover.

The Derryman admitted on Tuesday that he had doubts about his decision to retire and hinted that he had been left hurt by the nature of his final months with the Irish team.

Yeah, a little bit [it left a sour taste]. At the time, I didn’t want to take away from the occasion. I saw the support, my family there.

Most people don’t get to sign off on their terms. It was an opportunity for me to do that.

Obviously, between November and March, I had a lot of time to think. Sometimes, you’re thinking, ‘Did I take the easy way out?’

I maybe got to sign off on my terms but, I think, when you’re still playing, you still think you can contribute. It’s always in the back of your mind, ‘Maybe I did that too soon.’

Like I say, until the call comes…when I have that conversation, I’ll know then. But it hasn’t come so far.

It’s unclear whether James McClean will even be asked to return to the Ireland setup, but his comments on Tuesday evening certainly suggest he feels there is unfinished business with the national team.

SEE ALSO: Patrick Vieira Catches Roy Keane Out With Saipan Jibe That Carragher Was “Too Terrified To Say”

Patrick Vieira

Latest article