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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 6, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

    Kelly comes out to bat for Trap

    Carl O'Malley

    As soon as the text dropped last night, the search for answers began.

    ‘He’s cancelled training!’

    ‘What? Why?’

    ‘Wayhay, let’s go on the lock!’

    Giovanni Trapattoni had just finished a press conference in which he specifically said that

    a) the players were not being trained too hard

    b) Shay Given would train today


    c) he had to talk with squad about their duties when facing an opposition that was dominating possession

    With four days preparation before the Euro 2012 opener against Croatia, it seem there was work to be done. But, no, he gave the squad a day off. Why?

    One of the more absurd suggestions was that it was evidence Aiden McGeady now calls the shots, having obviously prompted this about turn from the Italian with his talk of feeling tired in during the Hungary game.

    Anyone even remotely aware of how Trapattoni has silenced dissenters in the past knows that doesn’t fly. In any case, McGeady was merely offering an explanation for a below par performance when he suggested in Budapest that players might have been a touch jaded.

    No, it was something else, something less ridiculous, something perfectly understandable, even.

    Yes, that’s it. A day off for the squad means no training, it means no media, it means, it meeeeaaans –  c’mon, c’mon – it means a day off for Trap!

    He pulled a sicky (sort of)! There’s nothing afoot, he just wanted a break from the questions, the scrutiny, the constant pecking from the media gaggle.

    He’s a good sort at heart though and he gave something back – he sent Alan Kelly to the hotel to pacify us, with reassuring words and stories from yore.

    In truth, the break might have done us all good.

    I say “us”, but I’ve only been here 24 hours, I’m furious.



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