John Giles gives his verdict on John O'Shea's Ireland future and our post-Euro 2016 hopes

Ireland and Leeds legend reflects on tournament from an Irish perspective

John O'Shea, Ireland

Ireland’s John O’Shea dejected after the game ©INPHO/James Crombie

John Giles believes John O'Shea should still be part of Ireland's future at international level.

The 34-year-old, who started Ireland's first two Euro 2016 but was left out of the starting line-ups for Belgium and France, is yet to decide whether to retire or continue playing.

"It depends how John feels himself. John is young enough to be okay. I think he was our best defender. I think he was unlucky to be left out [of the starting lineup for the last two Euros games] after the Belgium game because he paid the price actually because [Ciaran] Clark had a bad time and John, I don't think he played badly. I think he was a bit unlucky to be left out and I think he's young enough and fit enough to continue playing," said John on Off The Ball, adding that he thinks a word from Martin O'Neill saying that O'Shea remains part of his plans can help the Sunderland defender make his mind up.

"I think they've learned a lot in this particular competition. Remember, [the 2018 World Cup qualifiers] aren't that far away and when players learn, they learn and I think there shouldn't be any problem with that. The management team learn as well. It's a learning curve all the time, especially that we were in. A lot of positive things came out of it," he said.

Ireland's Robbie Brady and John O'Shea dejected ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

"The players won't forget. I think it should give the players confidence because they've played against these guys in a major competition and showed that they're good, we played well and we're good as anybody else. So I think that's the big thing to be learnt from the Euros. We should hopefully pick up from the last match, learn from it and get better."

John also came out in favour of the 24-team model for European Championships thanks to the excitement generated in second and third tier nations.

He also believes the League of Ireland background of much of Ireland's team at Euro 2016 (exemplified by a pre-tournament photo) brings its own benefit. 

"I think it helps a lot if you come through the League of Ireland experience. I think it gives lads a sense of work-ethic because a lot of go away - not just from Ireland but everywhere as outstanding 15-year-olds - and they don't have that hunger to do it, whereas the likes of Seamus Coleman, you can see it in him. He's a smashing lad and really enjoys and appreciates what he's got and that's because he came through. He didn't go away when he was 15," he said.