Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan was a surprise name in Martin O’Neill’s provisional 32-man Republic of Ireland squad on Tuesday for the upcoming crucial 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Wales, and Villa fans are confused by the news.
Selected by @FAIreland for the first time
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) September 26, 2017
Despite suffering from a lack of form and injuries since making the move to Villa Park during the January transfer window earlier this year, he has been selected by his country for the first time.
O’Neill’s men suffered a 1-0 home defeat by Serbia in their previous qualifier earlier this month which has left them in third place in Group D, five points behind their victors in September and one adrift of Wales.
Hogan’s Villa teammates Conor Hourihane and Glenn Whelan also made the cut, with Ireland likely to have to win both games to have any chance of securing a play-off spot minimum.
Aston Villa supporters were quick to have their say on the striker’s shock inclusion via social media, and while some think it is a “bad idea” because the 25-year-old has already suffered two ACL injuries during his career, others simply asked “How?”
Here is just a selection of the Twitter reaction…
— ? Owen ? (@officialowen881) September 26, 2017
It’s obviously due to how well he’s playing at the moment.
— The Anomaly (@Huwanok) September 26, 2017
Well done Scott! lets hope this recognition kick starts his season/career because disappointingly he hasn't really done it for Villa yet?
— Tim Jones (@timjones1949) September 26, 2017
Do they not want to score goals? Also he's about as Irish as I am
— Liam Sadler (@LiamSadler_27) September 26, 2017
Based on his form?! I should be in the England squad then
— Stephen (@Kazzersteve) September 26, 2017
Based on what? His poor aerial ability? His inability to hold the ball up? His lack of scoring prowess?
— Samuel Peacock (@_peacock_s_15) September 26, 2017
Hogan getting called up for Ireland has given me a huge boost in that my chance to play for England is still a possibility! #AVFC ?♂️
— Alex Hack (@holteender12) September 26, 2017
@ChrisHarvey16 again think its a bad idea him playing internationals if he wants a long career
— Sean Costello (@SeanAVFC1992) September 26, 2017