Tag Archives: giovanni

Paul Lambert says Ciaran Clark has a great future with Ireland

Lambert claims Clark is a 'great catch for Ireland' as Villa boss says England missed out



22:30 GMT, 7 December 2012

Giovanni Trapattoni will watch Ciaran Clark on Saturday with Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert suggesting that England have made a mistake in not fighting harder to secure the defender's services.

Trappatoni, the veteran coach of the Ireland team, will be at Villa Park to see the centre-half continue his encouraging start to the season against Stoke City.

The 23-year-old defender, now capped three times for the 'Mighty Greens,' was a part of England's set up at junior level, appearing for four different age groups before being persuaded to switch allegiance.

Good catch: Ciaran Clark has been capped three times for Ireland

Good catch: Ciaran Clark has been capped three times for Ireland

'Ciaran has a massive future,' said Lambert, 'and the more caps he can accumulate, then great.

'It's hard to say if England have missed a trick, or not. It wasn't until recently that I found out Gabby Agbonlahor qualifies for Scotland.

'England do have good centre halves. To have Ciaran is definitely Ireland's gain – there are not many left-footed centre-halves about, so that gives him a great advantage.

'I saw him play against Greece and I thought he did really well. It's there for him to go and do it and have a big career now for Ireland.'

The Scot believes that Villa 'are doing really fine' after a run of results which has seen them lose just two of their last seven matches in the Barclays Premier League.

Villa remain perilously close to the drop zone and are the second lowest scorers in the top-flight.

Positive: Clark has helped Villa on a strong run, but they remain close to the drop

Positive: Clark has helped Villa on a strong run, but they remain close to the drop

They are just two points ahead of Southampton who lie third from bottom and have found the net just 12 times this season.

Yet they are also within touching distance of a mid-table spot in a division that has become heavily congested outside of the bottom three places.

Former manager Alex McLeish, whose reign was heavily criticised, had amassed five more points at a similar stage last season but there is an air of calm around Lambert.

'I think in the last seven games only the two Manchester clubs have beaten us,' he said, 'I think people tend to overlook that.

'We've been unfairly criticised at times because we are young and people look at us and think 'young team' but if you look at the way things are going at the moment, we are doing really fine.'

Just fine: Lambert is happy with the performances his side have put in

Just fine: Lambert is happy with the performances his side have put in

Ireland 0 Greece 1: Match report

Ireland 0 Greece 1: Holebas bags decisive goal as Republic lose at home again



02:05 GMT, 15 November 2012

Jose Holebas ensured the Republic of Ireland ended 2012 without the victory they craved as Giovanni Trapattoni's youngsters were undone by Greece.

The Italian's experimental side, which featured Ciaran Clark, James McCarthy, James McClean and Robbie Brady from the start and Wes Hoolahan after the break, competed well for long periods, but were unable to carve out the openings to take something from the game.

In front of a sparse crowd at the Aviva Stadium, where they were battered 6-1 by Germany in a World Cup qualifier last month, Ireland showed plenty of endeavour and at times craft, but they could not find the killer touch in front of goal.

Heated: The players of both teams clashed at the Aviva Stadium in dublin

Heated: The players of both teams clashed at the Aviva Stadium in dublin


Rep of Ireland: Forde, Coleman, O'Shea, Clark, Ward, Brady (Hoolahan 46), McCarthy (Meyler 70), Whelan (Andrews 34), McClean, Cox (Keogh 61), Long (Doyle 46).

Subs Not Used: Randolph, O'Dea, Kelly, Clifford.

Booked: Long, Clark.

Greece: Karnezis, Torosidis (Maniatis 60), Papastathopoulos, Papadopoulos, Holebas (Fortounis 46), Stafylidis (Spyropoulos 82), Tziolis, Tachtsidis, Ninis (Vyntra 60), Mitroglou (Salpingidis 46), Samaras (Athanasiadis 46).

Subs Not Used: Peristeridis, Kone, Christodoulopoulos, Dimoutsos, Siovas.

Booked: Fortounis.

Goals: Holebas 29.

Att: 16,256

Ref: Eitan Shmuelevitz (Israel).

As a result, Holebas' sweet
29th-minute strike was enough to win the game for the visitors and leave
Trapattoni's detractors with enough ammunition to maintain their
opposition to his continued presence at the helm heading into March's
crucial World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.

The 73-year-old, finally bowing to
mounting pressure, handed youth a chance as his side brought an end to
their 2012 campaign and tried to do so in style against the national
currently ranked 12th by FIFA.

Ireland slipped significantly in
FIFA's ranking table – to 36th place, 24 behind the Greeks – in the wake
of their humiliation at the hands of the Germans, and the Italian's
response was to include Aston Villa defender Clark, Wigan schemer
McCarthy and wingers Brady and McClean in his starting line-up.

He was also forced to make a late
change when goalkeeper Keiren Westwood withdrew with a groin injury and
Millwall's David Forde was handed an unexpected fourth senior cap.

Struggle: Ireland were unable to seal a win over Greece

Struggle: Ireland were unable to seal a win over Greece

Whack: Jose Holebas (right) put the winning goal in for the visitors

Whack: Jose Holebas (right) put the winning goal in for the visitors

It all started relatively promisingly
for the home side with McCarthy finding space in the middle of the
field to feed Brady and McClean on the flanks, and the movement of
strikers Shane Long and Simon Cox troubling the Greek defence.

Ireland had strong claims for a
first-minute penalty waved away by Israeli referee Eitan Shmuelevitz and
defender Konstantinos Stafylidis could consider himself extremely
fortunate not to be penalised for his less-than-effective attempt to
deal with Stephen Ward's deep cross.

Cox went to ground inside the box
under Sokratis Papastathopoulos' challenge three minutes later, but the
appeals on that occasion were more muted and also ignored, and McClean
scuffed a long-range effort wide.

But the Republic looked certain to
take the lead with 10 minutes gone when full-back Seamus Coleman, whose
combination with Brady proved a repeated threat down the right during
the opening 45 minutes, collected the winger's return pass and crossed.

Cox had found a yard of space and
climbed to meet the ball unopposed, but he was unable to hit the target
with just keeper Orestis Karnezis to beat.

Another defeat: Giovanni Trapattoni was deprived of the home win he craved

Another defeat: Giovanni Trapattoni was deprived of the home win he craved

Greece had offered little in
response, but gradually worked their way into the game and called Forde
into action for the first time when Sotiros Ninis took aim from 25 yards
and forced a diving 23rd-minute save.

However, the Republic failed to heed
the warning and fell behind six minutes later when skipper Georgios
Samaras, who had earlier had to leave the pitch for treatment to a head
wound, turned Konstantinos Mitroglou's pass into the path of Holebas,
who span John O'Shea and thumped the ball into the bottom corner.

Long and Clark were both booked for
clumsy challenges as the game unfolded in anything but friendly fashion,
but the home side had rather lost their way.

They might have levelled in injury
time when Brady tested Karnezis with a left-foot strike after being set
up by Long, but the goalkeeper was equal to the task.

Shall not pass: Kevin Doyle could not engineer a goal

Shall not pass: Kevin Doyle could not engineer a goal

There was warm applause from the
sparse crowd when, on their return, Ireland were joined by in-form
Norwich star Hoolahan, winning just his second cap, a fact which had not
gone unnoticed by Trapattoni's critics.

Brady departed along with Long to
accommodate his arrival and that of Kevin Doyle, who was asked to play a
lone striking role ahead of Hoolahan with Cox dropping in on the left
and McClean moving to the right.

Unlucky: James McClean (left) and Co could not bounce back from the 6-1 hammering by Germany last month

Unlucky: James McClean (left) and Co could not bounce back from the 6-1 hammering by Germany last month

Ironically Glenn Whelan, the man who
had pleaded with his manager earlier in the week to field an extra
midfielder, was back in the dressing room having limped off injured
before the break.

However, it was McCarthy who almost
dragged the Republic back into the game two minutes into the second half
when Karnezis failed to hold his long-range shot, although
Papastathopoulos prevented Doyle from converting the rebound and Cox's
follow-up was blocked.

But while perspiration was not in
short supply, inspiration was and the Irish failed to make the most of
the possession they were allowed as the game passed the hour-mark with
Greece's narrow lead intact.

Ward hacked a 69th-minute shot
harmlessly across the face of goal after the Greeks had failed to clear a
McClean free-kick, and Greece coasted to the final whistle and victory
with few alarms.

Sunderland"s David Meyler rejoins Hull City om loan

Bruce raids former club Sunderland to get Meyler back on loan at Hull



15:01 GMT, 8 November 2012

Sunderland midfielder David Meyler has rejoined Steve Bruce at Championship side Hull City until January.

The Republic of Ireland international has had limited first team chances under Martin O’Neill and wants to enhance his chances of remaining in Giovanni Trapattoni's plans with games.

Meyler made his competitive debut for Ireland last month and was named in the squad which will face Greece in a friendly in Dublin next week.

To Hull and back: David Meyler has made the short-term switch to Hull

To Hull and back: David Meyler has made the short-term switch to Hull

Meyler, 23, joined Sunderland in 2008 from Cork City and made his first team debut under Bruce in December 2009, breaking into the first team squad before suffering a serious knee injury.

But he has made just five appearances for Sunderland in all competitions this season, as well as making his full Republic of Ireland debut against Oman in September.

He joins Sunderland midfielder Ahmed Elmohamady who is also on loan at Hull City, who are making a serious challenge for promotion under Bruce.

James McLean suffering second season syndrome, says Martin O"Neill

Second season syndrome to blame for McClean's poor start, says O'Neill



22:07 GMT, 25 October 2012

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill admits winger James McClean may be suffering from second season syndrome.

The former Derry City midfielder has been struggling for form this season and as well as falling out with Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni over abuse tweets he sent last month, is fighting to keep his Sunderland place at Stoke City.

But McClean has not even completed a full year in the Barclays Premier League and O'Neill indicated he may be suffering from homesickness, as well as living up to the expectations of his first extraordinary season in the English top flight.

Below par: McClean has failed to live up to his stunning start last season

Below par: McClean has failed to live up to his stunning start last season

The 23-year-old was still in Sunderland reserves when O'Neill arrived to replace Steve Bruce and then threw the player, who is from his own home town, straight into first action. He has barely missed a game since.

This week McClean's best friend Eugene Ferry, a back-up goalkeeper from Derry City, announced he will be going over to the North East to stay with McClean and ensure he stays clear of trouble.

O'Neill, who has welcomed the move, said McClean can cope with the additional pressure in his first full season to re-discover the form of last term.

The Sunderland boss said: 'I don't even know who James' best friend is. I'm delighted he has one and he did mention that there was someone going to come over. I've not got a problem with that and it's not a big issue. He's not five years of age although I've said to you he's 23 going on it!

'I just think he's been a little bit homesick, that's my thought. James might not go with that. Lots of things have happened to him and my annoyance with him was purely on the Tweeting aspect more than anything else, especially some of the choice language and picking Trapattoni's team for him.

'There's a difference to telling James to be a bit sensible but I don't think he's gone off the rails or anything. My concern is him playing well for us. If there's something off the field, then on a serious note I have to look at that. If he's happy with someone living with him then fine.'

McClean made such an impression last season that Premier League defences have started to double-mark him and force him on the back foot.

Phone a friend: O'Neill believes McClean could be a little homesick

Phone a friend: O'Neill believes McClean could be a little homesick

The Ireland international’s dogged
perseverance ensured he stayed on the field during the Wear-Tyne derby
last week, whereas England wide man Adam Johnson was substituted as he
too struggles to find his form.

O’Neill added: 'Against Manchester City, Zabaletta was straight in on top of him, right in and that's happened the first three or four times he's picked it up that's happened.

'It's a case of trying to find a bit of room for himself. All good wingers do suss it, to create space and see if there's anything over the top. He's had no apprenticeship at all and it takes a bit of time.

'If you're being heavily marked, then you have to realise there should be space for someone else. Utilising that space when you don't have the ball is very valuable. Of course he's still going to be judged by what he does on the ball. He's capable of coming right through this season and doing well.

'Did I think these things would happen to him Of course, everyone of us thought let's see what James does in his second season and it's interesting. Do I think he's got the capability to get over that Absolutely.

Best foot forward: McClean has plenty of time to turn his season around

Best foot forward: McClean has plenty of time to turn his season around

'Teams and individual full-backs are paying him a lot more attention and that's a natural thinking. Someone picks the ball up and goes past you one season you're going to make sure next time round that you deal with it. It's how James deals with that.'

Meanwhile O’Neill has confirmed that Scotland international James McFadden is on the verge of signing for Sunderland today.

The 29-year-old former Everton striker, who is a free agent, will sign a deal until the January transfer window and has until then to impress Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill to win a longer contract.

McFadden, who has been on trial at the Wearside club for more than a month and played in two behind-closed-doors friendlies, could be eligible for Sunderland’ s clash at Stoke on Saturday.

O'Neill said: 'It's a short contract that suits everybody because it gives him a chance and gives us a chance to look at him. If he hasn't broken through or looked like breaking through in that time then he wouldn't want to be hanging around knowing James.

'I hope in this time with the games we have it'd be quite surprising if he wouldn't be involved somewhere between now and Christmas.'

Faroe Islands 1 Republic of Ireland 4 match report: Giovanni Trapattoni clings on

Faroe Islands 1 Republic of Ireland 4: Trap clings on after uninspiring display



20:17 GMT, 16 October 2012

Giovanni Trapattoni left the Faroe Islands clinging on to his job after the Republic of Ireland handed him three World Cup points just when he needed them most.

The 73-year-old Italian sent his players into battle in Torshavn amid speculation that his fate had already been decided, but saw them respond just as he had hoped they might to their humiliation by Germany to rekindle their hopes of qualification.

Marc Wilson's first senior international goal gave the visitors the lead seconds after half-time, and when Jon Walters struck with 53 minutes gone, the points looked safe.

Off the Marc: Wilson celebrates scoring the opening goal

Off the Marc: Wilson celebrates scoring the opening goal

Match facts

Faroe Islands: Nielsen, Naes, Justinussen, Faeroe (Jacobsen 61), Baldvinsson, Hansson, Benjaminsen, Samuelsen, Udsen (Hansen 61), Holst, Edmundsson (Elttor 79). Subs not used: Rene Joensen, Holm, Mikkelsen, Hansen, Ellinsgaard, Karl Lokin, Bartalsstovu, Sorensen, Klaemint Olsen, Kristian Joensen.

Booked: Hansen.

Scorer: Hansen 68.

Rep of Ireland: Westwood, Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Wilson, Brady (Cox 45), Andrews (Meyler 90), McCarthy, McGeady, Keane (Long 80), Walters. Subs not used: Forde, Ward, Clark, McShane, Kelly, Fahey, Clifford, Randolph.

Scorers: Wilson 46, Walters 53, Justinessen (og) 63, O'Dea 88.

Ref: Lorenc Jemini (Albania).

Att: 4,400.

There was a brief flurry after Faroes
substitute Arnbjorn Hansen reduced the deficit with a 68th-minute
header, but Pol Justinussen's own goal and an 88th-minute Darren O'Dea
header dashed home hopes.

It had been a tumultuous few days for
Trapattoni and there was another twist even before kick-off when it was
confirmed that the post-match de-brief he usually holds with the media a
day after a game, and which had been planned for Wednesday evening in
Dublin, had been cancelled with the manager due to fly straight back to

Football Association of Ireland chief
executive John Delaney refused to discuss the matter as he sat
stony-faced in the crowd before kick-off and as he left after the final
whistle having applauded the team off the pitch.

The Republic ran out knowing the 90
minutes ahead might prove crucial in more than one way with their hopes
of World Cup qualification facing significant damage if they did not
emerge with three points, and Trapattoni's future hanging in the

Having ordered his players to forget
the horrors of Friday evening, Trapattoni handed 20-year-old Manchester
United winger Robbie Brady the task of improving the supply lines to
returning skipper Robbie Keane and his strike-partner Walters.

Doubling up: Jonathan Walters is grabbed after making it 2-0

Doubling up: Jonathan Walters is grabbed after making it 2-0

Brady certainly added some vigour
down the right and might have unlocked the Faroese defence on several
occasions during the early exchanges.

Having picked out O'Dea with an early
corner the defender could not direct at goal, the midfielder cut inside
to curl a left-foot shot just wide of the far post, and he was also
involved in the move which should have led to Ireland taking a
13th-minute lead.

Brady played a corner short to Aiden
McGeady, who clipped it in to Keith Andrews, who had lost Rogvi
Baldvinsson at the near post, but failed to hit the target with the goal
at his mercy.

The Bolton midfielder clasped his
head in his hands, knowing a glorious opportunity had come and gone and
although several more arrived before the break, none was better than the
one which had just gone begging.

High risers: Aiden McGeady tussles with Simun Samuelsen

High risers: Aiden McGeady tussles with Simun Samuelsen

Walters headed over from McGeady's
22nd-minute cross and then forced a save from keeper Gunnar Nielsen six
minutes later after Andrews had flicked on Keane's cross.

However, as the half wore on without the deadlock being broken, the home side grew in confidence and exerted genuine pressure.

Keeper Keiren Westwood had already
had to claw away Daniel Udsen's cross as it threatened to drop over him
and under the crossbar when he saw O'Dea throw himself into the path of
Joan Edmundsson's 38th-minute shot after Christian Holst had opened up
the Irish defence.

Trapattoni withdrew Brady at
half-time and replaced him with striker Simon Cox, and although the
opening goal arrived just 43 seconds after the restart, it did so from
an unexpected source.

Back to winning ways: Robbie Keane celebrates

Back to winning ways: Robbie Keane celebrates

Wilson picked up possession wide on
the left and cut inside before unleashing a 30-yard effort which flicked
the head of full-back Jonas Naes and flew past the helpless Nielsen and
into the top corner.

In an instant, the tension lifted and
Ireland began to play with the confidence of knowing their qualifying
campaign was back on track, and they increased their lead within seven

On this occasion, Wilson turned provider, crossing from the left for
Walters to head firmly towards goal, where Keane did enough to put off
Nielsen, but not enough to justify his claims that he had got the final

The LA Galaxy striker might have added his name to list of scorers with
56 minutes gone, but dragged his left-foot effort just wide of the far
post with the Faroes buckling.

Getting the point across: Ireland fans spell it out to Giovanni Trapattoni

Getting the point across: Ireland fans spell it out to Giovanni Trapattoni

But just as it looked as though the Republic had the points wrapped up,
they allowed Naes to make ground down the right and cross for Hansen to
climb above John O'Shea and head firmly past Westwood.

However, hopes of a fightback were dashed within five minutes when, with
the Faroes pushing for an equaliser, Walters broke into space down the
left and sent in a cross which McGeady could not reach, but Justinussen
turned into his own net.

O'Dea's 88th-minute header capped a comprehensive victory and perhaps –
but only perhaps – gave Trapattoni a little breathing space.

Giovanni Trapattoni insists he is going nowhere

I'm going nowhere, insists under fire Republic of Ireland boss Trapattoni



21:32 GMT, 15 October 2012

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is preparing to dig his heels in to stay on as Irish boss, despite the groundswell of public opinion against him and moves within the FAI to end his contract, no matter what the result in the Faroe Islands on Tuesday night.

With Ireland still reeling from Friday’s 6-1 humiliation at the hands of Germany, their worst competitive home defeat, Trapattoni has come under increasing pressure to quit his 1.2million-a-year job.

But the 73-year-old has vowed to fight on and he believes he will still be in charge of the Irish team when they return to World Cup qualifying action in March to face Sweden and Austria, the two teams identified as their main competitors for runners-up in their group.

Defiant: Trapattoni (left) is digging his heels in

Defiant: Trapattoni (left) is digging his heels in

Only a significant victory, and
dramatically improved performance from players on the cusp of rebellion,
might save the man who guided Ireland to their first major
championships in a decade just five months ago.

Asked if he would quit if the FAI asked him to, Trapattoni said: 'Absolutely no. I ask you why

'We have started the qualifiers and after the Euros, we have lost one
game to Germany, the second team in the world. There is no reason to go.
It’s no problem.

'When we have had a bad result, I expect a good reaction with character, attitude, commitment.

Humiliated: Ireland were beaten 6-1 by Germany on Friday night

Humiliated: Ireland were beaten 6-1 by Germany on Friday night

'We have had a good training session, we are still here and we have a
good atmosphere. The team has reacted well.’ In the midst of the storm
which continues to surround Trapattoni as he clings on to his job, it
was almost forgotten that the Ireland manager has made three significant
changes to the side which was thrashed before the weekend.

Although Darren O’Dea survives, Trapattoni has dropped Keith Fahey,
Stephen Ward and Simon Cox. He gives a competitive debuts to Manchester
United youngster Robbie Brady and Stoke full-back Marc Wilson.

Stephen Kelly’s exchange of views with the Italian management may not
have gone unnoticed but he remains among the substitutes. Ireland
captain Robbie Keane is recalled after shaking off the Achilles injury
which forced him to miss the Germany defeat.

Asked if he wanted to see the manager continue, Keane said: `Of course.
We have lost two qualifying games since he has taken over.

'We owe him. It’s clear to see and I don’t need to tell you the job he has done for the country.

'As players, we let ourselves down, we let our country down. Whether you
are playing or not playing, we are all in this together and we have to
stick together in the hotel and when we’re playing. There are rifts
every week in teams, but we are in a bubble and stuff gets out.

'The manager has a contract and of course the players want to see that
continue. People have their own views. At the end of the day he is here,
we are all here and we stick together.

Public backing: Captain Keane (right)

Public backing: Captain Keane (right)

'I know the players are embarrassed by Friday and I think as a whole
nation, we certainly are. We have had a good record up to now and to get
a defeat like that in front of our home fans is very, very
disappointing. You get booed but they pay good money.

'The lads accept you are going to get criticised. I mentioned there's
going to be a lot of negativity around the whole country, which there
has been, and rightly so.

'It wasn't good enough, we all know that and we accept that, but it is up to us as players now to put this right.

'We will be doing our best to do that and hopefully we can rectify how bad Friday's result was by getting three points here.

'The good thing about football is that there is always another game. If
we didn't have this game, it would certainly have been a long few

Robbie Keane defends Giovanni Trapattoni

Players must take the blame, says Keane as Ireland skipper defends Trapattoni



22:33 GMT, 15 October 2012

He was sat next to the manager, so he didn’t really have any choice but to stand by him.

But while the defiant message from Giovanni Trapattoni was all about him, for captain Robbie Keane there is clearly a wider issue to address. Players’ Pride.

Keane was forced to sit in the stands in the Aviva Stadium on Friday night as his younger and more inexperienced team-mates were cruelly exposed to the lethal German machine and surrendered to record the worst result in Irish history.

Defiant: Keane addresses the media in Torshavn

Defiant: Keane addresses the media in Torshavn

On Monday, as part of his duties as captain, now he is fit again to reclaim the armband from John O’Shea, he was forced to sit on the top table in the Torsvollur Stadium and field repeated questions about his manager’s future.

For a man who is not renowned for his patience in the midst of such an intrusive media inquisition, Keane kept his cool and offered his support for the beleaguered man to his right, who somehow managed to smile throughout.

Asked if the players owed their manager a performance, and result, after Friday's debacle, the skipper said: 'Listen, everybody is in this together, of course we owe him. It’s clear to see and I don’t need to tell you the job he has done for the country.

'I think as players, we let ourselves down, we let our country down. And whether you are playing or not playing, we are all in this together.

'We are all going to be criticised together and it’s important that we all pay back together. Tomorrow, it will be interesting to see the separation of the men from the boys.

'It was not good enough on Friday and it’s important now that we stand up and be counted.

Mauling: Ireland were hit for six by Germany on Friday night

Mauling: Ireland were hit for six by Germany on Friday night

'As players you try to go out and do your best. The lads tried their best and it was not good enough. They know they let themselves down.

'Our main priority is Sweden and Austria. If we finish second, like we always try to do as we come up against teams who are superior to us – as happened last Friday.'

Ireland have returned to Torshavn, where the chill in the air is not just the maelstrom surrounding the Italian manager and his coaching staff.

There were torrential showers, bright sunshine and even a very little snow flurry during the day on Monday and when Ireland’s players finally took to the artificial pitch at six, the heavens really opened.

Of course little is known of the Faroes who suffered a late, and harsh defeat at the hands of Sweden here on Friday night.

Former Ireland boss Brian Kerr offered the Irish set-up his dossier on the Faroe players he managed in their last campaign and has warned anyone that will listen that this will not be a walkover.

Under pressure: Trapattoni (left) has had lots of questions to answer

Under pressure: Trapattoni (left) has had lots of questions to answer

But Keane, who of course played under Kerr many times, does not seem unduly concerned about the opposition, although he accepts Ireland should win and are expected to do so.

His interest, and that of the squad, is to make progress with a victory and put their World Cup campaign back on track. And to do it for themselves, the country, and the manager.

He added: 'We need a massive reaction. We have to have a massive reaction. When you lose in the manner that we did on Friday night, we have to.

'We are playing against a team where we are the favourites and we should win but it’s easier said than done.

'The players who are playing, the players on the bench and everybody involved has to stick together and try to rectify Friday night by getting a decent result.

'People probably expected us to be beaten by Germany but over the years the way we played against these big teams, it’s always been by one or two goals.

Pitch imperfect: Keane is not happy with the surface in Torshavn

Pitch imperfect: Keane is not happy with the surface in Torshavn

'But it was the manner in which we lost is why this game is even bigger. I think it’s a big test for everybody.

'Senior players like myself, John O'Shea and Keith Andrews, have been trying to rally the troops and trying the best we can to keep the spirit high because it's always tough when you lose a game in that manner.

'With the amount of young players we have, it's important that we get around them. We will see the reaction of the players tomorrow.'

Before going out to test his Achilles on the very spongy artificial surface, on which the collective Irish media had earlier had a laughable kickabout, Keane finished with another moan about the pitch, much to the consternation of the hosts, who have made significant investment, and improvements.

Keane said: 'I got an injection and at the moment it feels good but when you are playing on plastic pitches I'll be honest with you, you've probably heard me talking about it in America, they shouldn't be allowed in this day and age. I don’t think it's good for players but hopefully it holds up and I'm confident it will.'

Giovanni Trapattoni has lost Ireland"s backing

Caught in a Trap: He doesn't watch games and fights his stars but Ireland can't sack Gio



22:02 GMT, 14 October 2012

He hasn’t just lost the dressing room, Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has lost an entire nation.

In the space of five painful months for Irish football, the legendary Italian coach has watched his team capitulate on the big stage and on Friday night they suffered their heaviest and most embarrassing home defeat in history — 6-1 by Germany.

So where has it all gone wrong Well, if you thought things were bad for England under Fabio Capello, try four-plus years with Trapattoni for Ireland’s players.

Trouble: Giovanni Trapattoni (right) has alienated many players

Trouble: Giovanni Trapattoni (right) has alienated many players

He doesn’t watch Premier League games, but stays in his Milan apartment with wife Paola, relying on reports from his London-based assistant Marco Tardelli, and clips from satellite TV and DVDs.

He barely communicates with his players and, due to his limited English, when he does he makes little sense or falls out with them.

When Ireland took to the field for the first Euro 2012 finals match against Croatia in June it was on the back of a 14-game unbeaten run which included 11 clean sheets.

It took just three minutes for all that good work to unravel and make a mockery of the cash-strapped FAI’s decision to reward Trapattoni and Tardelli with new two-year contracts worth a combined 2million.

In and out: The top team is Trapattoni's preferred eleven, the bottom he rarely plays

When Trapattoni took over from Steve Staunton, Ireland were ranked 42nd in the world and it was a considerable coup for the FAI to land the services of one of the most decorated coaches in European football, whose c.v. includes Italy, AC Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich. They had the financial backing of billionaire Denis O’Brien to fund the wages but now they can’t afford to sack him.

Trapattoni made an immediate impact on
players who were looking for experience and guidance. They reached the
World Cup 2010 qualifying play-offs only to be denied by the hand of
Thierry Henry.

He may not have been able to speak
coherent English — it’s a strange combination of Italian, German and
English known as ‘Trappish’ — but then he had Liam Brady alongside him
to interpret. Brady left his post two years ago and has never been

His press conferences are still
baffling. If he can’t be understood by the media, what chance have his
players got This week he was accused of abandoning his team before,
during and after the humiliation against Germany, and leaving his
players and injured captain Robbie Keane to carry out team

Embarrassment: Joachim Low's Germany beat Ireland 6-1

Embarrassment: Joachim Low's Germany beat Ireland 6-1

‘Giovanni hardly says anything to the team and very rarely speaks at half-time,’ said former Ireland winger Kevin Kilbane. ‘He certainly doesn’t do anything on an individual level so if a player is doing something wrong or right, he will hardly ever tell them.’

Key to the original transformation was the rigid defensive system he introduced which got the best out of the likes of Sean St Ledger and Glenn Whelan. He helped extend the international career of Keane — a player Tardelli had ruthlessly abandoned at Inter Milan — and improved inconsistent performers like Aiden McGeady and Richard Dunne.

But there were inevitably victims
along the way and players whose international careers have been halted
by the callous Trapattoni.

There were talented men like Andy
Reid, thrown on the Irish scrapheap because he played his guitar too
late and too loud in a German hotel, or the maverick Stephen Ireland.
The list of players Trapattoni has fallen out with includes Liam
Lawrence, Joe Murphy, Darron Gibson and Stephen Hunt.

Perhaps the cruellest cut of them all
was Wolves’ Kevin Foley who was ejected from the Euro 2012 squad on the
eve of departure from the training camp in Italy.

Axed: Kevin Foley (left) was brutally cut from the Ireland squad

Axed: Kevin Foley (left) was brutally cut from the Ireland squad

The beginning of the problems for Trapattoni’s reign came in the Tuscan spa town of Montecatini.

While Trapattoni high-fived with local dignitaries, his unhappy players stewed in their antiquated hotel.

Fed up with his repetitive training sessions and military planning, by the time they arrived in Poland they were on the cusp of rebellion. Their surrender in the European Championship, admittedly against the might of Italy and Spain, was hardly a surprise.

Since then, Shay Given and Duff have retired and Gibson has announced his non-availability. Sunderland’s talented winger James McClean became the latest to fall out with the manager after he was inexplicably left out of the side which played poorly in Kazakhstan last month.

McClean is not in this squad because he is injured, but there is every chance he will be fit enough to start Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby.

When they qualified for the Euros nearly a year ago, Trapattoni could have been awarded the freedom of the entire Republic of Ireland. Now, they can’t wait to see the back of him.

Admission: John O'Shea conceded the fans had a reason for booing

Admission: John O'Shea conceded the fans had a reason for booing

John O’Shea admitted the fans had a point when they jeered the team and manager after the Germany defeat. He said: 'I would say that they were exactly right to do it – I’m surprised the whole stadium did not do it when you lose 6-1.

'When you come to watch a team to try to get a win and it loses 6-1, it’s not the result that you want and you are not going to be happy.

'Thankfully this game has come around really quickly and we can get three qualifying points towards qualifying for the World Cup.

'Obviously we are still massively disappointed by how it went the other night. This game comes around fast and if we get the win then we will have six points from two games.

'We cannot forget about the other night but hopefully we can move on from it.'

Robbie Keane declared fit for Republic of Ireland v Faroe Islands

Trapattoni handed boost as captain Keane declared fit to travel to Faroe Islands



14:08 GMT, 14 October 2012

Embattled Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni was handed a timely boost on Sunday when skipper Robbie Keane was declared fit to travel to the Faroe Islands for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier.

The 32-year-old LA Galaxy striker missed Friday night's 6-1 drubbing by Germany with an Achilles injury, but after training on Sunday morning, was included in the party which left Dublin for Torshavn.

However, fellow frontman Andy Keogh, who scored Ireland's consolation goal against the Germans, was not on the plane after suffering concussion following a collision in training on Saturday.

Come on! Robbie Keane is preparing to face the Faroe Islands for the Republic of Ireland

Come on! Robbie Keane is preparing to face the Faroe Islands for the Republic of Ireland

A spokesman for the Football Association of Ireland said: 'Following training this morning in Gannon Park, Robbie Keane has been ruled fit to travel with the squad for Tuesday's match against the Faroe Islands.

'Andy Keogh suffered a knock to the head in training on Saturday. He was observed overnight by the FAI medical team and has been ruled unfit to travel to the Faroe Islands this afternoon due to mild concussion.'

Giovanni Trapattoni insists Republic of Ireland can still qualify for World Cup 2014

Long way to Tipperary! Trap sure Ireland can qualify despite shipping six



23:13 GMT, 12 October 2012

Giovanni Trapattoni insisted he will not be fighting to save his job in the Faroe Islands on Tuesday night after seeing the Republic Ireland mauled by Germany.

The 73-year-old could only look on as the side ranked second in the world by FIFA trounced his makeshift team 6-1 at the Aviva Stadium and condemned them to their heaviest defeat on home soil.

However, asked if Tuesday's World Cup qualifying Group C encounter in Torshavn could be vital to his continued presence at the helm, he replied: 'No.

'It's a long way to Tipperary. Germany have gone, but we are in there fighting with Austria and Sweden for qualification. Why not

Hit for six: Trapattoni (left)'s side had no answer to Germany

Hit for six: Trapattoni (left)'s side had no answer to Germany

'The players have to answer us and I am sure they can. We need to see their commitment in a very important situation here.

'I am proud of those players because their commitment is full, 100 per cent. I don't accept players without this commitment.'

Trapattoni was defiant too when, after a week during which his future has been a topic of speculation, he was asked why he wanted to remain as Ireland manager.

He said: 'Because I am proud of this team and the results it has achieved.

'It's not about money – it's about pride and being professional in my job. I was in four countries and I won in every country.'

A defeat by Group C favourites Germany was perhaps not unexpected, but the manner of it cruelly exposed the deficiencies within a squad torn apart by retirements and injuries.

Rout: Ozil (left) is congratulated after scoring

Rout: Ozil (left) is congratulated after scoring

The Republic held out for 32 minutes, but then capitulated horribly as they fell apart in the face of a determined assault.

Marco Reus started the ball rolling when, two minutes after being booked for diving, he fired home the opener off the underside of the crossbar after seeing Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marcel Schmelzer carved open the Ireland defence.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder doubled his tally five minutes before the break when Jerome Boateng's crossfield pass once again found the Irish wanting and he drilled a shot across keeper Keiren Westwood and into the bottom corner.

Shell-shocked Ireland rallied all too briefly after the break, but fell further behind within 10 minutes of the restart when, after Darren O'Dea had felled Miroslav Klose inside the box, Mesut Ozil converted the resulting penalty.

Klose helped himself to a fourth within three minutes after rounding Westwood from Schweinsteiger's pass and there was more than enough time for substitute Toni Kroos to help himself to a double as time ran down with fellow replacement Andy Keogh's stoppage-time header counting for little.

On the ropes: Ireland face an uphill battle to qualify

On the ropes: Ireland face an uphill battle to qualify

Trapattoni said: 'It's difficult to explain. This evening, we were inferior against a strong team physically and technically, and we have no excuses.'

Opposite number Joachim Low was understandably delighted by a victory which extended his side's 100 per cent start to the qualifying campaign.

He said: 'We have seen a very concentrated performance by our team. Right from the word “go”, it was palpable that there was a German presence on that pitch.

'We had good organisation. We had been preparing ourselves for the long ball game that Ireland were going to be playing and we found the right balance between tempo on the one hand and regaining possession, and we were very comfortable on the ball.

'The result is okay, even if 6-1 sounds a bit high. We created many goalscoring opportunities and we converted the chances that we had.

'We are very glad. Germany hadn't won away in Ireland for a long time.'