McClean fumes after Ireland debacle
Sunderland's Republic of Ireland international James McClean has cast doubt over his international future after calling his omission from the side a 'f****** joke' on Twitter.
Despite Ireland's woeful 2012 European Championship campaign, Giovanni Trapattoni kept faith with a number of experienced heads, only bringing in Keiren Westwood and James McCarthy through necessity.
Ireland toiled to a 2-1 win in Kazakhstan in a game they deserved to lose despite scoring two late goals.
McClean was left an unused substitute, a decision which did not go down well with the 23 year-old.
Venting his anger through Twitter, McClean said:
@JMcC_23 "Delighted as a fan we got the win.. Personal level #fuming #f****njoke #embarrassing."
The tweet was later deleted and McClean has since tweeted an apology this afternoon:
@JmCC_23 'i apologise for my tweet last night, it was stupid, disrespectful and i let my frustration get the better of me which still aint an excuse'
In other international news, both John O'Shea and Westwood played the full 90 minutes for the Republic, who sneaked past Kazakhstan with 89th and 90th minute strikes from Robbie Keane and substitute Kevin Doyle.
With Shay Given retiring from international duty after the European Championships, Westwood has stepped up to become Ireland's number one despite playing second-fiddle to Simon Mignolet at the Stadium of Light.
Simon Mignolet was on the bench for Belgium who beat Wales 2-0 in their 2014 World Cup Qualification clash, goals from Premier League defenders Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen winning the tie.
England U21 striker Connor Wickham was also an unused substitute on Thursday night as Stuart Pearce's young lions overcame Azerbijan's U21's 2-0 with goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Steven Caulker.