Trapattoni confident despite speculation
IN AN effort to illustrate the scale of the challenges he has overcome in his five-decade career, Giovanni Trapattoni suggested last night that he has, metaphorically at least, “crossed the Alps barefoot”. His ambition over the next 24 hours is a little less poetic. He must, if you will, get out of the Faroes without being left to sleep with the fishes.
A strong performance and a convincing win against the side ranked 51st of 53 in Europe might at least give him something more useful to cling to than the weak and narrow win achieved against Kazakhstan, ranked just three places higher, a few weeks ago.
Amid speculation that a decision has already been taken by the FAI to cast the Italian adrift regardless of how tonight’s game turns out, the 73-year-old made it clear he will not be making anything easy for his employers should they choose to get rid of him.
“Absolutely not,” he replied when asked if he believed this might be his last game in charge. “After starting the qualifiers and losing one game to Germany when we are missing six players? No. There is no reason.”
He may have been helped yesterday by a fairly rousing press conference performance by Robbie Keane, who returns from injury and will play tonight. “Listen, everybody is in this together,” said Keane. “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. We have lost two qualifying games since he has taken over; Germany and Russia.”
If the Faroes are somehow added to that list this evening, Trapattoni will, metaphorically speaking of course, be as good as residing at the bottom of the deep blue sea.