Soccer fans were yesterday lamenting the absence of Derry footballer James McClean from the Ireland side that lost to Croatia on Sunday night.
The Sunderland star was the name on most fans’ lips in the wake of the defeat - even though he spent all 90 minutes of the 3-1 defeat on the bench.
On social media site Twitter, the clamour for McClean to be included in the side to face Spain has been gathering momentum since his omission from Sunday night’s team.
In the hours after the game on Sunday the Twitter tag ‘jamesmcclean’ was trending across Ireland and the UK - marking it out as among the most popular phrases among posts on the site.
Fellow Derry professional, Shane Duffy, who plays with Everton, used his Twitter account to ask “Why not McClean??”
Premier League star, Norwich’s City’s Anthony Pilkington was also among those to use the site to question the former Derry City winger’s absence writing, “why the hell is James McClean not on that pitch! #Ireland?”
Derry GAA star Paddy Bradley also queried McClean’s absence via Twitter writing “2 subs and McClean not one of them #strange.”
Looking ahead to the game with Spain, RTE soccer commentator Stephen Alkin yesterday asked the question Ireland wants an answer to: “Will he (Ireland boss Trapattoni), as he might have last night, use James McClean?”
Meanhwile, other fans used different online mediums to call for McClean’s inclusion.
A mocked up picture of father Ted character Mrs Doyle - dubbed Ireland’s No 1 negotiator - calling for McLean to be picked in the team for the match against Spain yesterday went viral online.
And a video posted online of a group of fans serenading the somewhat embarrassed Derry man with a chorus of “we all dream of a team of James McCleans” in the Irish team hotel has been watched some 18,000 times since it was posted on Youtube on Saturday.
Last night Ireland manager Trapattoni remained coy as to whether McClean would come into the team for Thursday’s game.