Home » Euro 2004 » Then Vs Now: Comparing McCarthy’s Last Squad In 02 With His First In 19
Euro 2004 Features Football Ireland Irish Football mick mccarthy NEWS Top Story world cup 2002

Then Vs Now: Comparing McCarthy’s Last Squad In 02 With His First In 19

Then Vs Now: Comparing McCarthy’s Last Squad In 02 With His First In 19

Then Vs Now: Evaluating McCarthy’s Final Squad In 02 With His First In 19

It has been nearly 17 years since Mick McCarthy final took cost of an Irish crew in a aggressive worldwide fixture.

On Saturday, in opposition to Gibraltar he’ll make his return to the dugout for the primary crew since October 2002 when he stepped down from his put up following a defeat to Switzerland in Euro 2004 qualifying.

This time round issues for Eire are very totally different, with expectations considerably decrease and the squad utterly totally different to the one which excelled within the 2002 World Cup.

With McCarthy’s return simply a few days away, we check out his final 18-man squad for the loss to Switzerland together with his present 23-man squad for the Euro 2020 qualifier in opposition to Gibraltar.


Eire vs Switzerland 16th October 2002

Goalkeepers: Shay Given, Dean Kiely

Defenders: Garry Kelly, Kenny Cunningham, Gary Breen, John O’Shea, Ian Harte

Midfielders: Matt Holland, Colin Healy, Mark Kinsella, Kevin Kilbane, Stephen McPhail, Lee Carsley, Thomas Butler

Forwards: Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Gary Doherty, Clinton Morrison


Gibraltar vs Eire 23rd March 2019

Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph, Kieren Westwood, Mark Travers

Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Matt Doherty, Enda Stevens, Shane Duffy, Richard Keogh, Kevin Lengthy, John Egan

Midfielders: Jeff Hendrick, Harry Arter, Jack Byrne, Robbie Brady, Josh Cullen, James McClean, Conor Hourihane, Glenn Whelan, Alan Decide.

Forwards: Sean Maguire, David McGoldrick, Aiden O’Brien, James Collins



Beginning with the goalkeepers, in between the sticks continues to be a place that McCarthy at present finds his aspect fairly robust in.

In 2002 although he had Newcastle’s Shay Given, one of many best keepers within the Premier League on the time, in addition to Charlton Atheltic’s Dean Kiely who was additionally a starter within the prime flight.

Each Darren Randolph and Kieren Westwood are impressing for Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday however at Championship stage, whereas Mark Travers has but to see sport time within the Premier League for Bournemouth.

In every occasion McCarthy was robust within the goalkeeping division.



All 5 defenders the Irish boss was blessed with in 2002 have been Premier League gamers, with Gary Breen the one one who wasn’t a prime flight common on the time together with his membership West Ham.

At present nonetheless, McCarthy nonetheless boasts a plethora of expertise in his defence.

Beginning with centre-backs, Shane Duffy is definitely the stand-out of the present choices, with he and Kenny Cunningham who was starring for newly promoted Birmingham on the time, the closest comparisons from 2002.

John Egan has been a rock on the coronary heart of the Sheffield United defence this season albeit within the Championship, whereas Gary Breen was failing to nail down a daily spot at Premier League strugglers West Ham throughout the go to of Switzerland.

John O’Shea didn’t begin the sport however he had been having a robust season in a lot of positions for Manchester United with neither Kevin Lengthy nor Richard Keogh reaching these heights at membership stage.

Leeds United’s full-back pairing of Ian Harte and Garry Kelly have been each in wonderful type of their profession in 2002, however one might argue that Matt Doherty‘s performances for Wolves in 2018/2019 are at a barely greater stage.

Matt Doherty

Seamus Coleman has been out and in of Everton’s beginning XI, whereas Enda Stevens is in incredible type plying his commerce with high-flying Sheffield United.

Once more not an excessive amount of separating the perimeters.



With Callum O’Dowda and Alan Browne out injured Eire’s creativity has taken a success in midfield.

Beginning with the youthful gamers, McCarthy opted to start out Coventry’s Celtic loanee Colin Healy, who was solely 22 on the time whereas Sunderland’s Thomas Butler who was on the bench was youthful once more at 21.

In his present squad McCarthy would possibly examine the pair to Charlton’s Josh Cullen and Shamrock Rovers’ Jack Byrne, each of whom are promising younger midfielders at 22.

Kevin Kilbane and Robbie Brady, have an identical model in that they’re left-footed gamers within the Premier League, whereas Jeff Hendrick and Harry Arter might be checked out as 2019’s model of Mark Kinsella and Matt Holland.

At 28, Lee Carsley was one of many extra senior gamers within the squad, and his holding function was comparable though a bit extra artistic to that of Glenn Whelan’s and just like the Everton man, it’s unlikely that Whelan makes the beginning XI for McCarthy.

Each Stephen McPhail and Alan Decide are creatively robust nonetheless each suffered with harm points.

James McClean might be put within the Brady/Kilbane comparability however the Stoke Metropolis man’s tenacity and workrate brings one thing utterly totally different to what McCarthy had in his midfield in 2002.



McCarthy’s strongest place in 2002, is definitely his weakest in 2019.

In Robbie Keane, Eire had one of many Premier League’s greatest strikers who on the time was becoming into life at Spurs the place he would go on to attain 13 objectives in his first season.

Sean Maguire might be the closest factor to Keane in McCarthy’s present aspect, however evaluating any Irish striker previous or current to him would arguably be doing the document goalscorer a disservice.

In Damien Duff, McCarthy has had an extremely thrilling younger winger/ahead, one thing that he doesn’t have in his present squad, though David McGoldrick does provide one thing totally different up prime, in the identical manner the then Blackburn man did.

Clinton Morrison, who solely made the bench in opposition to Switzerland, was a Premier League common with Birmingham on the time, which is greater than could be mentioned for Aiden O’Brien who’s struggling to nail down a beginning berth for Millwall within the Championship.

Luton City’s James Collins is a wild card choice for McCarthy in an identical option to Gary Doherty who seamlessly transitioned between taking part in as a centre-forward and a centre-half, one thing Collins’ sport is but to undertake.