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Should David Healy start against the Faroe Islands?

October 10, 2010

On Friday night, David Healy missed a glorious chance to lead Northern Ireland to another famous victory at Windsor Park. Six yards out and free of any challenges from the Italian defence, the deadliest marksman in Northern Irish history failed to even hit the target. The miss has proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Northern Ireland fans and in the wake of the draw, the Green and White Army have started to call for ‘Sir David’ to be dropped from the starting eleven for the clash with the Faroe Islands.

David Healy’s first game of the 2010/11 season was for Northern Ireland against Slovenia last month. His start against Italy for Nigel Worthington‘s side was his second. In that time, he did not feature on the substitutes bench for Sunderland on a single occasion. He is yet to feature in any competition for Steve Bruce’s side this year and with Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan arriving for a club record fee, the former Manchester United striker has dropped further down the pecking order. He hasn’t hit the back of the net for Northern Ireland for nearly two years. His last strike was October 15th 2008 against San Marino. It’s fair to say that he has been given a fair few chances to put that right.

Normally, he would have been forgiven for missing the header because a 0-0 draw against Italy is still a fantastic result. Goal or not, our Wee Country didn’t concede against a team that were World Champions as little as four years ago and now have four points from the first two games of their Euro 2010 qualifying campaign.

That used to be enough.

But it is in part because of David Healy himself that Northern Ireland fans are now able to leave Windsor Park and be unhappy about drawing with the Azzurri. He is of course the man that scored this goal against the superstars of England and a year later, produced this incredible hat-trick against Spain, who are now World Champions.

Long gone are the days that the Northern Ireland players and management will get away with praise for simply showing up and putting the effort in. It is still appreciated but so much more is expected. Great results are dreamt about. Good results are expected.

Now we all know Nigel Worthington isn’t quite blessed with the selection headaches of some of the bigger nations in the world but there is some strength in-depth to the NI set-up nowadays. David Healy isn’t the only attacking option available.

Kyle Lafferty has scored four times for Rangers in the time since he replaced Healy against Slovenia, including a late freekick that spurred his time onto a late comeback. The striker is starting to show signs for the Scottish champions that he is finally maturing on the pitch and his big frame would have made him a handful for the Italian back four yet he was again confined to the bench at Windsor Park. Warren Feeney hasn’t hit the back of the net for his new club Oldham yet; but he has been regularly leading the line for the League One side.

David Healy no longer has to play for Northern Ireland. Yes, he does hold the goalscoring record for Northern Ireland with 35 goals in 73 games. And yes, he is the only Northern Irish to score two hat-tricks at international level. But right now, he’s playing anything like his best.

And so the question remains; should David Healy start against Faroe Islands? Even though Worthington has insisted he will remain loyal to Healy for the game and a game against footballing minnows like Brian Kerr’s team should in theory offer Healy plenty of chances to end his goalless streak, he should only be played if Northern Ireland decide to work with two up top. If a lone striker system is utilised then Lafferty and all of his good form has to be the way to go; surely?

This article can also be found on the Green and White Army blogspot by following this link: Should David Healy start against the Faroe Islands?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mikey permalink
    October 10, 2010 2:46 pm

    No he shouldn’t start. Feeney & Lafferty to play

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