Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

O'Dea critical of Gibson no-show

Darron Gibson rejected a call-up to the Ireland squad

Ireland defender Darren O'Dea insists he would never reject a call-up to the international squad, unlike Darron Gibson.

Gibson stood a good chance of starting the Republic's World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan on Friday due to an injury to Paul Green and the suspension of Keith Andrews, but the Everton midfielder turned down the chance to join up with Giovanni Trapattoni's 23-man squad.

The reason Gibson snubbed the opportunity to play was because he was still smarting from Trapattoni's decision to leave him on the bench for the whole of Euro 2012 despite the fact that he went into the tournament in the best form of his career.

O'Dea is all too familiar with not playing for Trapattoni - he also did not make it off the bench in Poland - but the former Celtic man understands he must be patient like other players have had to be before him.

"Would I do what Darron has done? No. I'd show up every time. I will never, ever say no, and I can guarantee that," O'Dea said.

"Everyone pays their dues. Richard Dunne did not play at the World Cup in 2002 and now it's his turn in the team because he worked for it.

"I hope if I keep going the way I am going that one day I will have my turn and it will be someone else who doesn't kick a ball."

O'Dea insists Gibson should not be vilified for his stance, however.

The Toronto centre-back, who is due to win his 15th cap in Astana, says he understands why Gibson might have felt disappointed and insists the former Manchester United man will have put a lot of thought in to the decision.

"After the Euros I felt drained. I needed a break mentally and maybe Darron feels the same way," O'Dea added.

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