McShane in fairness strikes fear into hearts every time he steps onto the pitch for Ireland. The problem being that it is the Irish fans' whose hearts I am talking about. That is something even his club's fans at Hull City haven't had to endure recently, since he was on loan at Crystal Palace for the second half of last season. Now don't get me wrong, we all love players who have lots of heart and would die for the cause, and there is no doubt that McShane satisfies both of these criteria, but we also love players who can actually play too.
McShane seemed to be totally out of the picture in terms of getting a starting berth in the Irish team only a few weeks ago, but the subsequent injury doubts surrounding John O'Shea have suddenly propelled him into a situation, where he will be very much in the frame for the first game against Croatia now that he is in the final 23. There is always Stephen Kelly of course, who I would like to think could reasonably get the nod. But a niggling feeling persists that should O'Shea not be ready for the Croatia game, and there is every reason to believe he won't, McShane will step forward as the man upon whom we trust. As the little montage below suggests, that will not be an easy thing.