Martin O’Neill’s Republic of Ireland side drew 1-1 with Georgia on Saturday evening.

Ireland squad before facing Georgia

The Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualification hopes took a hit on Saturday evening, as they could only draw 1-1 away at Georgia on Saturday evening.

Martin O’Neill’s men were looking for a positive result as they made the trip to Tbilisi, and they did get off to a great start as Shane Duffy headed home Cyrus Christie’s free kick, with Georgi Makaridze attempting to claim the ball and failing miserably.

However, Ireland couldn’t hold out until half time, as San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Valeri Qazaishvili burst into the box to slot underneath Darren Randolph for the equaliser.

Bobby Reid of Bristol City is tackled by Glenn Whelan of Aston Villa

That was the end of the scoring as Ireland failed to really assert themselves on the game in an attacking sense, which leaves O’Neill two points behind Serbia with three games to play – and the two sides meet in Dublin this week, in what is a crucial game for Ireland.

Scott Brown and an emotional Celtic farewell

Many are calling for changes to the side in that game, with midfielder Glenn Whelan yet again coming in for strong criticism following another quiet and ineffective performance for the national team.

Whelan, 33, moved on to Aston Villa over the summer, and he has kept his place in the Ireland side – but fans took to Twitter during and after Saturday’s game with Georgia to demand that he is dropped for the game against Serbia.

Glenn Whelan of Aston Villa

Many believe that Whelan being captain of the Ireland side sums up just how poor O’Neill’s side is right now, with many failing to understand just how he still plays such an important role.

One Villa and Ireland fan noted that his display was a serious worry, with others claiming it’s like playing with ten men when Whelan features, urging O’Neill to take him out of the side for the game against Serbia, with Ireland’s World Cup qualification hopes on the line.

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