Who amongst us doesn’t recall midfielder Stephen Ireland begging his way out of international friendlies some 7 years ago, citing the deaths of multiple grandmothers? Perhaps you have no idea what I’m talking about, but Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane is all too aware, having been contacted by yet another granny insisting that Ireland be inserted into the squad. From the Guardian :

“I spoke with the grandmother this morning – she was on the flight coming over – and she asked me would he get back involved,” Keane told a question-and-answer session at University College Cork. “I couldn’t lie to her. I said he’d have a chance if he’s playing well.”

Keane said he thought Ireland had already spoken to the coach Martin O’Neill. “I think Martin had a conversation with him, and all that needs to fall into place.

“We all know how talented Stephen is and Martin will look at that. We wouldn’t be shutting the door on any player. What is important for any player, and Stephen is the same, is it does help to be playing week-in week-out.

“He’s obviously had a difficult spell. He’s only just got a run of games at Stoke now. So I certainly wouldn’t be ruling anyone out.”