‘I disagree’: Martin O’Neill reacts to what he’s been hearing Ian Wright say about Chelsea loanee
Ian Wright’s shared his frustration that Conor Gallagher won’t be allowed to play against Chelsea in next month’s FA Cup semi-final, but Martin O’Neill disagrees with what he’s saying.
Gallagher, 22, is a superb young talent that’s excelling away from Chelsea this season out on loan at Crystal Palace.
The box-to-box midfielder has eight goals and five assists so far this season. Also, he’s injected such energy, passion and quality into Patrick Vieira’s side at Selhurst Park.
He’s part of the Palace team that beat Everton in the FA Cup quarter-finals, which has set up a showdown at Wembley Stadium against Chelsea in the semis on 17 April.
Unfortunately, Gallagher won’t be permitted to play against his parent club and will watch from the sidelines.
Pundit Wright has vented his anger about the regulations surrounding loan players and doesn’t think it’s fair Gallagher will miss the Wembley semi-finals.
“He finds himself in a really tricky situation. With Chelsea they are paying the loan fee as well, he’s gone somewhere like Palace. Before he was there he was at West Brom. He’s got into the England team, the semi-finals of the FA Cup, Chelsea have done well by letting him out and he’s progressing, but now I feel where it is unfair is that he’s gone and used those clubs to develop him, that’s what Chelsea want to do,” Wright said.
“Is it a business for them? Are they going to pay him again? Now he can’t play against his parent club is the problem I have with the whole loan system. That’s where it’s not right.”
However, O’Neill is a little more understanding of the situation involving Chelsea loanee Gallagher. He suggests it makes sense for Blues manager Thomas Tuchel not to want the loaned-out player playing against him.
“I disagree with that, only because as a manager if I had been party to letting these players go out, the last thing I want to do is find out he’s just knocked me out of the semi-final,” O’Neill said.
“That’s number one, that’s a selfish view point. Two I think you have to feel with the player, what has changed, has he grown to love the club he’s at now or does he still want to come back and fight for his place? I’m not going to have a semi-final to make that sort of decision.”
Gallagher’s time will come at Chelsea
It does seem a little unfair that Gallagher won’t get his big day out at Wembley in a Palace shirt.
However, he’s in line to represent the Three Lions at Wembley during the current international break. It won’t be a surprise to see him line up for Chelsea in major semi-finals and finals over the next few years, too.
For certain, the absence of Gallagher from the Palace XI should give Chelsea a greater chance to progress.
It’s an absolutely colossal fixture for Palace, though, who’ve already beaten Manchester City in a league game this season.