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Boys in Green player watch: Gameweek 28 Wes Hoolahan

It was to the delight of many that Giovanni Trapattoni finally opted to select playmaker Wes Hoolahan for the past few Ireland games. With some impressive cameo appearances to date, he is a strong contender to start the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Sweden.

Many will be quick to point out that the Dubliner has only two goals and two assists for Norwich so far this season, yet his value to the team is so much more. Hoolahan is often at the heart of all good Norwich attacks, with his tidy possession and clever passing making him a vital cog in the Canaries’s midfield. While goals and assists are few, he remains a workhorse in midfield and has become something of a “waterboy” for his team with his good work-rate and energy.

On Saturday Hoolahan lined up for Chris Hughton’s men as they played host to visitors Everton at Carrow Road. Norwich came into the game on the back of a run of four draws and two losses, and required a strong performance against a tricky Everton side.

Overall, Hoolahan had a rather withdrawn game by his usual standards. He struggled to make good use of the precious little possession he had and to make matters worse, his fellow midfielders enjoyed relatively good games, Bradley Johnson in particular.

The second half was equally as unproductive for the Irish midfielder. It was no surprise, however disappointing, that he was substituted in the 75th minute for fellow Ireland international Anthony Pilkington.

Substitute Kei Kamara came on to make his Premier League debut and with a goal and assist, made all the difference in the game. Norwich overturned a 1-0 deficit to win 2-1, with captain Grant Holt heading in the late winner.

It was a disappointing game for Hoolahan and certainly one to forget. However, he must pick himself up for next week’s big game away to league leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford, especially with Giovanni Trapattoni on the lookout for Irish players on form.

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