Anthony Stokes has luck of Irish – not Daryl
ANTHONY Stokes’ international career has received a timely boost at the expense of Sunderland team-mate Daryl Murphy, following his shock call-up by the Republic of Ireland.
While Murphy was expressing his unhappiness at the way he has been treated by Eire’s Italian manager Giovanni Trapattoni yesterday, Stokes was on his way to link up with the national side following the withdrawal of the injured Newcastle winger Damien Duff.
Stokes, who has also spent time at Sheffield United this season, is on loan at Championship side Crystal Palace, but still appears to have moved ahead of Murphy in the pecking order.
While Murphy has largely had to be content with a substitute’s role at the Stadium of Light under Ricky Sbragia, Stokes has started five games on loan at Selhurst Park and has impressed in south London.
Stokes was widely believed to be one of Ireland’s best prospects when he was a youngster at Arsenal.
And, although he has thus far failed to make the anticipated breakthrough at Sunderland following a £2m move in January 2007, the 20-year-old still has plenty of admirers, including assistant manager Liam Brady – who coached him when he was at Arsenal’s academy.
Murphy, though, has been far from impressed with the way things have been handled by Ireland as he complained he had only found out about his omission from the squad for the games against Bulgaria and Italy through the media.
“I know they are not obliged to speak to us when we are not selected,” Murphy said. “But communication is a big thing and it would have been nice to get a quick call.