Ireland's Brady ready to queue-jump at Manchester United
As excellent as Robbie Brady was for Ireland on Tuesday, the exciting young winger has not always been quite so assertive.
Take one of the first times he got to mix with Manchester United's megastars. One afternoon at Carrington, Brady was queueing to get lunch, when someone cut in. It was Cristiano Ronaldo, who correctly assumed a novice would just step aside.
As Brady walked off, tray in hand a few moments later than he expected, a watching Alex Ferguson called him over.
"Why did you let him in there?"
"It's Ronaldo boss."
"You're here to take his place son. Don't let me see you do that again."
After a performance against Oman on Tuesday which seemed to justify so much of the expectation about Brady in Ireland, the big question now is whether he can finally claim that place in the United first team.
He is already in a highly distinguished line. Should the Dubliner make an expected first-team appearance this season, he will follow the likes of John Giles and Liam Whelan to become the 11th player from the Republic of Ireland to have graduated through the United youth system to play for both the club's senior side and his country.
Tellingly, Brady has already replicated the career path of more recent names. Like Darron Gibson, and Johnny Evans for Northern Ireland, he has played for his country before his club. No-one doubts Brady's talent, but there is a big difference between applying it in attack for a mid-tier nation like Ireland and for a top-end club like United.
As Brady spoke to the press on Thursday after setting up two goals and scoring an exquisite volley, he admitted he may have to temporarily look elsewhere for club football in order to stay in the international squad. "I have to go back now and speak to the manager. I want to keep on playing [for Ireland] so if that means going on loan I'd love that."
Brady's rise has followed four years of praise for the left-winger at Old Trafford. Yet he has produced only when there is an atmosphere – such as an international debut – and looked less interested during a mixed loan spell at Hull City .
His Ireland Under-21 manager, Noel King, sheds light. "The dilemma for him is whether he's capable of doing it a top club. I think he'd be better with a good team, rather than a poorer team, where the requirements would be different."
Latest in Sport
A tight game could be in prospect here. Northampton have been keeping things very tight of late and ...
by Gareth Purnell
18 May 2013 02:01 AM
I can’t ever watch games of football or rugby without wistfully wondering what it must be like to be...
by Martin Ayres
16 May 2013 05:10 PM
Since PSG’s exit to Barcelona in the Uefa Champions League quarter-final in April, PSG have been sur...
by Matthew Riding
15 May 2013 02:37 PM
Match reports from every Premier League game: Heartbreak for Tottenham as Arsenal clinch fourth place
Arsène Wenger: 'We need stability and to strengthen in the summer'
Rafael Nadal is the Master again in Rome – like a Ferrari to Roger Federer's Fiat
Sam Wallace: The second coming of Mourinho will be a reunion that can only end in tears
James Lawton: For all Arsenal's dreams and prettiness there must be nagging sense of futility
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the EU - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.