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"We hated lumping the ball forward and chasing it" | Paul McGrath

John Sheridan was one of the most underrated players that Paul McGrath played with. McGrath spoke...

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin

16:28 22 Sep 2021



Soccer

"We hated lumping the ball forward and chasing it" | Paul McGrath

Andrew Martin
Andrew Martin

16:28 22 Sep 2021

John Sheridan was one of the most underrated players that Paul McGrath played with.

McGrath spoke to OTB AM on Wednesday about what made his former teammate a unique talent.

Sheridan played 34 times for Ireland and scored five goals. He was an international teammate of McGrath's while spending most of his club career with Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday. McGrath remembered Sheridan because of the remarkable things he would do on the pitch.

"I remember he tried to chip the goalkeeper one time," McGrath laughed.

"Even when he got on the ball, he used to hold it for a few seconds, look around, but nobody could get the ball off him...He was ahead of his time and also kind of before his time because he wasn't set up with the squad that much."

A lack of appearances for Ireland was the only thing holding Sheridan back, in McGrath's mind.

Yet, he did enjoy a prolonged club career. The English-born midfielder played 621 club games and scored 89 goals over an astonishing 23-year career.

The problem was that Ireland's peak years for Sheridan came with Jack Charlton's style of play. McGrath argues this could have been the reason for Sheridan's exclusion from big matches.

"I don't know if Jack wanted to free us up that much. I don't think he wanted to let us see if we could match the big teams.

I think he would have got a shot if Jack had said 'go out there and play football the way you know you can play.' If Jack had done that, we could have won a few more games. We had some cracking footballers, and we hated lumping the ball forward and chasing it."

With Stephen Kenny attempting to play more possession-based football, players resembling Sheridan's style may finally step into the spotlight.

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Aston Villa John Sheridan Paul McGrath Republic Of Ireland

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