International week of highs and lows
International breaks always used to be something to look forward to. Most Scunthorpe United players had a few days off and came back refreshed, and it was also a chance to see how our boys could cut it on the world stage playing alongside or against some bigger names.
Last season’s relegation from the Championship has changed things. The Iron now have games on international weekends, so there’s no chance of those Saturday nerves disappearing.
Kevin Lisbie led Leyton Orient to a hard-fought 3-2 win at Glanford Park last weekend, and post-mortems about the match are still going on. Two goals from Andy Barcham were fantastic, but the result, not so much. I’m not going to add to the negativity, so instead I’ll actually pretend Scunthorpe were on an international break like the teams in the top two tiers.
There were three Iron players away on international duty last weekend: Niall Canavan and Shane Duffy with the Republic of Ireland under-21 side, and Oliver Norwood lined out for Northern Ireland.
The Republic of Ireland travelled to Eschen to face European minnows Liechtenstein, and were shocked to go one down to an early goal. However, a seven minute hat-trick from James Collins turned things round before our own Shane Duffy popped up to score a header in the 39th minute.
Duffy played very well in centre defence alongside Watford’s Rob Kiernan, and their commanding presence meant that Niall Canavan was kept on the bench. Disappointing that both players didn’t get a run out, but it’s fantastic to see a Scunthorpe United player appearing on an international scoresheet. Long may it continue!
Manchester United loanee Oliver Norwood had much bigger names to face than Kevin Lisbie and Shefki Kuqi, as he lined out for the Northern Irish senior team against European giants Italy in Pescara.
He came up against Alberto Aquilani and Andrea Pirlo in midfield, and by all accounts performed well in his 74 minutes on the pitch. Unfortunately, Nigel Worthington’s side slumped to a 3-0 defeat to end their Euro 2012 campaign, but it’s not every day that an Iron player lines out against some of the best players in the world. Hopefully he finds it much easier against international teammate Niall McGinn, when they come face to face at Griffin Park on Saturday.