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Giovanni Trapattoni

Coleman and Reid Prove We Can Play Ball

With the season almost over, all eyes will turn to the World Cup in Brazil. Of course, Ireland won’t be there and the selection of Seamus Coleman and Andy Reid in their respective teams of the year is yet another indictment of Giovanni Trapattoni’s philosophy as Irish manager. They also make a mockery of the argument that we don’t have ball-players. Continue reading →

Irish Fans Keane to Move On

It was one of the ugliest scenes witnessed at Lansdowne Road. Not the rampaging of English fans hurling rubble onto Irish supporters. Rather Irish supporters hurling vitriol at a former hero who had captained the country in our first ever World Cup, who had cried in the dressing room when we failed to beat Italy in the quarter-final, who later managed his country to another tournament, and who endured, along with his adversarial skipper, a trauma that would scar any man in ordinary life, let alone his footballing one. Continue reading →

Gael Force: A Whole New Ball Game

What happens when a kid comes from Gaelic training on Tuesday urged to play long ball, then at soccer training Wednesday, his coaches tell him something very different? The departure of Giovanni Trapattoni has sparked a bout of soul-searching among Ireland’s football community. The refrain “We just don’t have the players” has focused the attention on just what is happening at grassroots. As the main criticism of Trapatonni centred on Ireland’s manner of play, the issues run far deeper than the senior team. Diarmuid o hAinle explores a uniquely Irish state of affairs and the influence of Gaelic Games on young players. Continue reading →

Vien-d of the World

Some would say he was at the helm of Ireland for too long, with some ageing players, a direct style of play deemed no longer suitable for international football, and, with defeat in Austria, headed for the exit door. There are many parallels between Jack Charlton’s last days as Irish boss and the apparent imminent end of the Giovanni Trapattoni era. Vienna forms the back-drop to both. Continue reading →

Gael Force: A Whole New Ball Game

Champions eventually topple. As Barcelona and Spain have demonstrated their fallibility – and that of their play – so too in Gaelic football, Donegal, praised and pilloried for a revolutionary style, have been unceremoniously dumped from the All-Ireland. But what can the rise and fall of Jim McGuinness’ side tell us about the state of Irish soccer? As the main criticism of Giovanni Trapatonni centres on Ireland’s manner of play, the issues run far deeper than the senior team. Diarmuid o hAinle explores a uniquely Irish state of affairs and the influence of Gaelic Games on young players. Continue reading →

Blizzard of Aus: 10 Talking Points

An Alpine chill threatens to freeze our hopes of a summer of soccer and samba in Brazil next year. We’ve had a few days to digest the happenings at the Aviva Stadium last Tuesday and the overwhelming feeling is still one of regret. Sixty seconds more and Ireland would have been in the driving seat for the play-off spot in World Cup qualifying Group C. Instead, Irish fans remain frustrated and angry but still hold a glimmer of hope. Here’s ten talking points. Continue reading →

We Need to Talk About Kevin…and 9 Other Points

Temperatures are plummeting in Stockholm and news of Trapattoni’s starting eleven has met a frosty reception among Irish fans. Much of their ire is directed at the inclusion of Paul Green in midfield but amidst the clamour to condemn the manager, Trapattoni has named possibly his most adventurous team since taking charge of the Republic. He’s also pulled off something of a transformation of the Irish squad that failed so badly in Poland. Ahead of the crunch tie with Sweden, here’s ten key talking points. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Ian Harte

It’s a joke. I’ve seen Stephen Kelly’s phone, pretty much every one of the Reading lads have seen it, and we’re thinking: ‘What’s going on’? If the press were to see the full text, that would be the end of Trap. That would be the end of Giovanni Trapattoni Continue reading →

This is Crazy, So Call Me Brady

The latest communications mishap surrounding the Irish football team should have us all clamouring for the return of Liam Brady to the management. The pundit is renowned for talking sense on RTE’s soccer panel and there’s nothing sensible about some of the talk coming from the Irish camp in recent days. Continue reading →

A Good Day to Dye Hard

James McClean and fellow members of the Irish football squad, Kevin Doyle, Glenn Whelan, Stephen Ward, Keiren Westwood, Paul McShane and Shane Long took on Today FM’s Shave or Dye charity challenge ahead of the friendly with Poland at the Aviva Stadium Continue reading →

Guest Post: World’s Best Supporters – For Two Weeks

We call ourselves the Best Fans in the World. UEFA even gave us a prize. We went to Poland in huge numbers but we can’t fill Lansdowne now for Ireland games. Our football love is reserved for Premier League clubs, mainly two of them, and mainly from the couch or the barstool. In a special guest post, Minty from YBIG.ie looks at how many Irish people take the easy way out when supporting foreign teams. Continue reading →

Breen Hits Rock Bottom

Sadly, it was inevitable. They’d hovered at the bottom since early in the season and finally the Gary Breen XI have dropped to the foot of the Copa del Póg Mo Goal table. Perhaps there’s a reason Trapattoni won’t watch our players in the Premier League. They’re not very good. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Stephen Hunt

“I was pissed off, 100pc. Angry, yes. Heartbroken, yes. But no, I never thought about not wanting to play…Trapattoni has his ways. He’s stubborn. But I do like him and I think he is the right man for the job and that’s coming from a person who didn’t play at the Euros” Continue reading →

Papering Over the Craic

It’s been a rough week for Irish football but a worse one for the people who report on it. The sports hacks as a collective have taken a PR battering and they’ve reverted to their defensive mode by blaming the FAI for the fiasco. Meanwhile, the public remains in the dark. Continue reading →

Video: No Fairytale for Trap in Far Far Away

Ireland got their World Cup hopes back on track last night with a 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands but the pitch-forks are still out for the manager. An ogre in the eyes of the press and some supporters, Giovanni Trapattoni answered some of his critics by naming Seamus Coleman, Robbie Brady, and Marc Wilson in the starting eleven but will there be a happy ending or has the page turned on the Trap chapter of Irish soccer? Continue reading →

Dear Stan, All is Forgiven

“My team’s gone cold I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all The Dublin rain clouds up my window.. and I can’t see at all And even if I could, my team can’t play, Dunphy’s picture’s on my wall It reminds me, that it is this bad, it is this bad..” Continue reading →

History Lessons: Home Rule for Ireland

Remarkably, Ireland have recorded quite a few successes against the Germans over the years, especially at home. Despite the shambolic reign of Steve Staunton, we still gave them two tough encounters when last paired in a qualifying group. Despite the gloom among the home supporters, tonight’s visitors are well aware they face a potentially uncomfortable evening at Lansdowne Road. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Lukas Podolski

“It is an uncomfortable contest. I think their fans are crazy but in a good way. I heard they have a new stadium, there will be 40,000 crazy fans of Ireland. It will be a difficult match, we need to prepare well.” “But of course we will travel there tomorrow and get the three points on Friday.” Continue reading →

Hold ‘Em Klose Irish Dancer

It’s ten years since Robbie Keane danced through the German defence and blasted a last gasp equaliser past Oliver Khan. Miroslav Klose, the man who scored Germany’s opener that day, is still leading the attack but Robbie won’t be doing cartwheels after being ruled out of Friday’s clash between the sides. The interest of a pessimistic Irish public, however, has also gone head over heels. Continue reading →

Trap’s Sermon for the Germans

The high priest of Ireland’s football religion won’t be converted but Giovanni Trapattoni has a few new disciples. Announcing his squad for the upcoming qualifiers, Robbie Brady is on standby while the manager says Ireland needs a miracle to have Richard Dunne available. Now the Germans are coming to hammer the first nail in our World Cup hopes. Continue reading →