On Friday night, Republic of Ireland hosted and lost 2-0 to Greece in a Euro qualifier.
Republic of Ireland now face an uphill task in qualifying for next summer’s Euro competition.
They currently sit 4th out of 6th in their group with just three points to their name from six games, and now a nine-point gap between themselves and Greece in the final qualifying spot.
But despite their struggles in this qualifying campaign and on Friday night too, Southampton man Will Smallbone has been a slight positive for the nation.
He started the game on Friday and put in a decent performance despite an overall poor performance from his side.
And after the game, Irish outlet Balls.ie rated Smallbone’s performance a 6/10, but reporter Gary Connaughton wrote positively about Smallbone’s involvement on the whole, adding:
“Came very close to opening the scoring inside five minutes, with his effort from the edge of the box well saved by the Greek goalkeeper. Smallbone showed some nice touches at times, producing some eye-catching first time layoffs to teammates.
“The Southampton man was arguably the most creative player in the side on the night, even if that had little impact on the final result. It was strange to see him taken off with 20 minutes to go.”
Smallbone has featured nine times in the Championship for Southampton this season, scoring once. His side have struggled on the whole though and currently sit in 10th place of the table after the opening 11 games.
Smallbone at Southampton
Smallbone hasn’t had a standout season for Southampton so far. But neither has his side. He remains a player with great ability and he showed that against Greece, so hopefully Smallbone can be one of the players who helps turn their season around.
It’s been tough for Russell Martin so far, but he certainly has a squad capable of challenging at the top end of the table, so it seems to be a matter of time before things start to improve.
The Saints and Smallbone return to Championship action vs Hull City this weekend.