THE Estonian FA have confirmed that the New York Red Bulls have given permission for attacking midfielder Joel Lindpere to join the squad for this week’s Euro 2012 qualifying play-off against Ireland.
Lindpere has won over 70 caps for the national team but has not played a single minute of this Euro 2012 campaign as he preferred to concentrate on his MLS career.
But when the Red Bulls last week lost their MLS Cup play-off to Robbie Keane’s LA Galaxy, thus ending his season, Lindpere, after getting the green light from his club, accepted a call-up to the Estonia squad.
Though Lindpere’s arrival strengthens the quality in the Estonia squad, it might not be so positive for morale. Middlesbrough striker Tarmo Kink warned Lindpere would not walk into the side that finished second in Group C.
Kink blasted: “Just because he’s in the squad, it does not mean he will take someone’s place in the side. Lindpere will have to prove himself just like the rest of us have. We have a great spirit and no-one is guaranteed a place.”
Kink would be most likely to make way for Lindpere, given he has played just 10 minutes for Boro, as a late sub in the win over Derby, this season. Estonian FA president Aivar Pohlak agreed with Kink but said Lindpere’s involvement in the matches would be down to coach Tarmo Ruutli.
Pohlak admitted: “I cannot take responsibility for someone else’s decisions, and this one is for the coach. He had to choose.”
The latest weather forecasts from Estonia suggest the game won’t be threatened by snow, as originally feared. Instead, the forecast is for drizzle, though temperatures are expected to drop earlier in the week to below freezing.
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