McGeady happy to be out of glare
Republic of Ireland striker Aiden McGeady is revelling in his new-found anonymity after swapping Glasgow for Moscow. The 24-year-old is currently plying his trade in Russia after sealing a £9.5million summer switch from Celtic to Spartak Moscow. McGeady's decision to leave Parkhead after more than six years with the Bhoys was a huge one, and he admits there is much he misses about the city of his birth. However, the chance to live and work somewhere he is relatively unknown is proving hugely attractive after life in the Old Firm goldfish bowl. Asked what he misses, McGeady said: "There are a lot of things, of course. But one thing I don't miss so far is having the freedom to do what you can in Moscow. "It's such a big city, very cosmopolitan and you can go about your business with out hassle, because everyone in Glasgow is either a Celtic fan or a Rangers fan. "You feel yourself sometimes walking down the street trying to cover your face a little bit because you feel people will say something to you, either good or bad. "It's good to have that anonymity." Republic of Ireland international McGeady, who will hope to face Russia in a Euro 2012 qualifier at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on Friday evening, divided opinion in Scotland, where he was feted for his superb individual skill, but often criticised for his defensive work and final ball. However, he insists it was not the constant focus on his performances which persuaded him that the time was right to make the break. He said: "It wasn't getting me down. It's difficult to say, but I felt that if I stayed at Celtic, I would have been looked upon like, 'When is he ever going to move from Scotland?'. "I am 25 next year and I thought we have not won the league for the last two years, there is no Champions League football - there were obviously the qualifiers, but we were out of that pretty quickly. "I thought, 'It really is time to move on, it's best for everyone,', best for Celtic - they got a decent transfer fee for me - best for me, moving to a better league and playing with players I think will help me improve my game. "That's what helped me make my decision." Two months into the latest phase of his career, McGeady is rapidly coming to terms with a new way of life and a new style of football, and he is confident he will be a better player for it. As a new boy, he has been able to take advantage of the fact that few opposing teams know a great deal about him, although he has been impressed by the strength of the Russian League. He said: "Even teams who aren't up at the top of the league and are fighting relegation, they are not easy matches. "The teams are all very physical. We played a game last night against a team called Anzhi [Makhachkala], two and a half hours on a flight, the pitch was horrendous. "It was a really, really tough game, but a great victory for us. "I was just comparing it to Scotland and it was a very tough game playing against not a great technical team, but a tough team to play against, very physical." Off the pitch, life is perhaps a little more complicated with the language barrier the main early hurdle which has to be cleared. Asked to demonstrate the benefits of his lessons to date, McGeady said with a smile: "Nyet, spasiba [No, thank you]. He added: "I have got the basics so far, I can communicate with people to a certain extent. "But when they start speaking fast, that's when I know I need some lessons." There have been some dressing room exchanges over Friday night's game, which Russia desperately need to win after losing at home to Slovakia last month as Ireland collected a maximum six Group B points. However, McGeady admitted much of the talk had gone over his head. He said: "There has been a little bit of banter - but that banter is lost in translation over there a little bit."
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