Robbie Keane’s scan on a calf problem sustained after taking a knock in Stockholm on Friday night has been deemed serious enough to rule him out of Tuesday evening’s crucial World Cup qualifier with Austria in Dublin. Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Kevin Doyle has now been called into the squad by Irish manager, Giovanni Trapattoni.
However the likelihood of Doyle starting or even seeing any action at Landsdowne Road is unlikely, most obviously by virtue of his original exclusion. Doyle will be drafted in as cover for Jonathan Walters who may start in Keane’s absence, Conor Sammon and Simon Cox.
If Walters is retained on the wing, Wes Hoolahan would be the popular choice to take Keane’s place. This scenario however is unlikely with Jonathan Walters likely to partner Shane Long up front and Andy Keogh or Robbie Brady to take his place on the wing.
It’s not impossible that Trapattoni will start with Conor Sammon up front, but based more on how he struggled in the friendly match with Poland then the brief appearance against Sweden, it would be deemed a gamble.
Kevin Doyle, who went into Euro 2012 as Ireland’s first choice target man to partner Keane, will have his frustrations at his original omission somewhat soothed by Trapattoni’s phone call today. The text message lesson appears to have been learnt. Doyle critical of the nature of his original exclusion, stating "I was very disappointed to come in after the game to a text message saying I wasn't to travel to Ireland to join up with the squad.” But this clearly has not transpired to be the falling out as apparently is Trapattoni's party piece. Stephen Kelly’s quiet return to the Irish set-up is testament to the excess weight given to Trapattoni’s exaggerated quarrels. For the moment, Doyle will be happy to be back where he belongs, as part of the Irish set up.