Player Ratings: Robbie Brady and Harry Arter shine to give Martin O'Neill food for thought

We rank the best performers from tonight's friendly with the Netherlands

David McGoldrick

Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr

Martin O'Neill will have learned a lot from tonight's game and players on the periphery of the squad pulled out all the stops to make a late case for their inclusion in the final panel.

Shane Long's first half goal set Ireland on their way and good performances from Harry Arter, Robbie Brady and Shane Duffy will give O'Neill a positive selection head ache. Deflating to concede in the last ten minutes, just shows that this Irish team needs to learn to keep concentration for a full 90 minutes.

It was a good attacking, positive performance from the Irish side though, which was surprising considering a lot of players wouldn't want to pick up injuries at this stage. 

Here's how we thought the lads got on: 

Darren Randolph - 5.5

Quiet enough night for the netminder. Not a lot to do in the first half. Would expect to be the number one for the Championships but clean sheets will certainly help his case. Unfortunate tonight to concede, not much he could have done about De Jong's header. Superb catch after the hour mark as well to collect a cross. Strong punch at the end of the night.

Seamus Coleman - 6.5

One of the most talented players in the team. Gave up one or two fouls in silly areas but that's just down to his aggression. Showed good hunger for the ball tonight and as always carries that attacking threat. Composure with the ball at his feet is something he's brought into his game. Good performance tonight, what we've come to expect from him. 

John O'Shea - 6.5 

Leader through and through. Led by example and gave good guidance to Duffy beside him. His header led to the opening goal, but he kept the backline tight against some quick and tricky Dutch forwards. Netherlands didn't threaten apart from the goal, but O'Shea's presence in defence will be a galvanizing one. He offers stability to a relatively young back four.

John O'Shea was instrumental in the opening goal of the game. Image: ©INPHO/Gary Carr  

Shane Duffy - 6

Growing in confidence and benefited from having O'Shea beside him. Looks like he'll be in contention for a starting position in the Euros, will almost certainly make the final team. Grew in confidence in the second half to attack crosses. At fault for the equaliser, De Jong pulls off the back of the centre back. Awareness/concentration dropped and proved to be costly.

Robbie Brady - 7 (Subbed '75)

Aggressive, assertive. His deliveries are something we'll need to have any chance of making it through the group stage. Offers that aerial threat which could be a valuable source of goals. Good pace, looks in good knick as well. He's a must have in the squad. 

Jon Walters - 6

Gave his usual level of commitment to the cause. Chased down ball, even as far back as the Dutch keeper Jasper Cillessen. 

Glen Whelan - 5.5 (Subbed '68)

Kept good shape in the midfield. Passing was of good quality as well. Not afraid of a tackle, certainly not Ireland's flair player. Doesn't need to be however, reliable midfielder with an experienced head. Broke up Dutch attack and made some timely interventions.

Harry Arter - 6.5 (Subbed '82)

Another who was aggressive in the first half,. Let his intentions know with the opening tackle of the game. He would go on to pick up a yellow card but the urgency to win back the ball is positive. Reflects the attitude of this Irish squad, hungry, willing to get stuck in. Indiscipline may cost him but otherwise it was a good performance.

Harry Arter strong in the tackle from the off. Image: ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson 

Stephen Quinn - 5.5 (Subbed '68)

Feels harsh to dock him marks. He showed hunger and desire, just on one or two occasions choose to overrun the ball instead of passing. Strong in the tackle. 

David McGoldrick - 5.5

Couple of misplaced passes. Offers something different in his physical presence up front with his height. Could be worth taking, but didn't show an awful lot this evening unfortunately. Big target man 

Shane Long - 7 (Subbed '68)

Top of the list to go to France. Early scare after a little gash on his knee, but proved he was sharp with opening goal of he game. If Ireland play defensively, we'll only be afforded one or two chances to score so you'll hope he's on the end of it. Serious talent and his form has been excellent over the past 8 weeks. Willing to chase a lost cause like Walters.

 

Scores once again for Ireland, Shane Long is surely number one on the plane to France. Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer 

Substitues ('68 x3, '75, '82 Minutes Respectively)

James McLean - 6

Considering he had a little over 20 minutes to impress he did well. Good pace, nipped at midfielders and defenders. Put everyone under pressure.

Jeff Hendrick - 5 

Didn't see an awful lot of him in the second period. Not much of an impact.

Darron Gibson - 5

Didn't have much of an impact after coming on.

Wes Hoolahan - 5.5 

Looked to play with the ball at his feet, always looking for the pass. Limited time to make an impact but plays the football we should be aiming for this summer.

Eunan O'Kane - 5

Not really on long enough to judge, almost got on the end of a hopeful ball just a minute after coming on. Eight minutes not enough to judge.