Euroscout: Aiden McGeady


Ahead of the Euro 2012 finals, we looked at Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady during the 0-0 draw with Hungary.

Name: Aiden McGeady

Date of birth: April 4, 1986 (age 26)

Place of birth: Glasgow, Scotland

Nationality: Irish

Height: 1.81m (5'11)

Position: Right and left wing

Current club: Spartak Moscow

Former clubs: Celtic, Queen's Park

McGeady is hardly an unknown quantity for Irish and British football fans, but he is only really seen on these Isles when playing for his country as his move to Russia means he has slipped off the domestic radar.

Revitalised after a Scottish transfer-record £9.5m move to Spartak, he has relished the new challenge and culture of playing in the rich and improving Russian Premier League, which is a clear step up in competitiveness and quality from the SPL.

Ever since his transfer, McGeady has been linked with a move back to the UK, something he repeatedly denied until he found himself out of favour for a month last season.

"I am obviously settled there," he said. "I had a few issues a few months back, but I had a great end to the season. So I am happy there just now and have two years left in my contract.

"I still have ambitions to play in England or wherever. I wouldn't want to stay there past my contract.

"Basically, I was out of the team for three or four games around the start of March. But then I got back in the team, and there's no issues with me and the management.

"I ended up probably playing some of the best stuff that I've played at Spartak since I've been there, and I ended up helping the team to finish in second place."

Hugely popular with fans in Russia, his pace and dribbling skills were never doubted — however his delivery was questioned at Celtic, and while this has improved it is still not his strongest point.

Ireland are a deep-lying, counter-attacking side, and as such they rely on their wide players such McGeady and Damien Duff.

McGeady offers more pace than the Fulham winger, although he sometimes makes the wrong decision with the final ball — as seen when he elected to cut it back through a crowded penalty area when sent through by Glenn Whelan. A shot or low ball across the six-yard box was the clear option.

In general though he showed great adventure and guile as Ireland looked to hit the Hungarians on the break, and his understanding with Whelan and Robbie Keane was displayed by some cute one-twos.

Later, as the match was stretched, he became a key player, winning a succession of corners with typical wing-play, and releasing Simon Cox with a fine run and pass only for the West Brom striker to be denied by keeper Adam Bogdan.

Overall, McGeady was in decent form - but he will need to raise and maintain it if the Irish make it out of a horrible group that contains Spain, Italy and Croatia.

View photo

Analysis from Eurosport-Yahoo! matchcast of Ireland's 0-0 draw with Hungary at the Ferenc Puskas Stadium on June 4.

22' Whelan with a fine ball and McGeady races away down the left but, with a shot a clear possibility, he drills a low ball to the edge of the box that is cleared before Doyle can pull the trigger! Should have gone across goal!

54'  O'Shea on the right, he cuts inside and feeds McGeady, now Keane tries a one-two but it's cleared.

64'  Better from Ireland now as McGeady cuts inside from the right with Meszaros again there to block the cross. Corner. Swung in by Hunt, very good centre but deflected over. Another corner, and another excellent ball to the edge of the six-yard box, a mad scramble and Andrews touches it back to WALTERS but he drags it wide!!

72'  Very good run and cross from McGeady on the left, deflected and it flies just behind for a corner!

77'  Simon Cox finds himself in a lot of space on the right but his low drive is batted away by Bogdan! Great run and pass by McGeady to release him!

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