Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne call for some perspective
‘Whatever does happen, nobody should forget what he has done for this country’
Robbie Keane challenges Aleksandar Dragovic during last night’s World Cup Group C qualifier in Vienna. Photograph: Christian Hofer/Getty Images.
Robbie Keane said Giovanni Trapattoni has been a credit to Ireland in his five and a half years in charge but when pushed for an answer on whether he should stay, the captain refused to be drawn.
The striker, however, refused to publicly back the Italian for the future, though thanked him for the past.
“He’s been a credit. I don’t want to create headlines because I’m not really into that,” Keane said. “Whatever decision is made, we have to respect that. From the start, he’s been the exact same, he hasn’t changed in any way. He’s been brilliant for Irish football. We’ll see. I’m sure we’ll know soon won’t we. That’s not my decision.
“Whatever decision is made by the hierarchy is up to them. It’s got nothing to do with the players. Whatever does happen, nobody should forget what he has done for this country, regardless of whether he stays or goes. He’s been a credit and he’s handled himself the way an Irish manager should. He’s been very proud to lead this country.
As for his own personal future, Keane said thoughts of retirement have not entered his mind. “I haven’t even thought about that to be honest. It’s not something I’d get into now. I haven’t even considered it. You’re asking me the question now and it’s the first time I’ve thought about it. I’m looking forward to going back to the Galaxy and playing. I’m not thinking of anything else.”
Séamus Coleman also refused to be drawn on Trapattoni’s future, simply stating that he is happy to play for any manager and his only goal is to stay in the team.
The Everton defender said he was bitterly disappointed by Ireland’s performances in the defeats to Sweden and Austria but also added that he believes the future is bright for the current crop of players.
“I don’t know what the story is,” Coleman said when asked about the Italian’s future . “We have the games next month (against Germany and Kazakhstan), we will go back to our clubs and then prepare for them.
“It has nothing to do with me. I will play for whoever is in charge and you won’t get those answers you’re looking for from me. I try and impress every manager and after getting into the team I want to stay in the team. It’s not good enough for us not to have gotten any points from the two games.”
Richard Dunne, meanwhile, called for some perspective when it comes to the expectations that are placed on the team.
“If you look at the squad we have, we have to be realistic in what we can do,” he said. “We very rarely put out a team full of Premier League players. If we do, I don’t know how many of them play every week.
“There’s a small pool of players for us to pick from. Alright, we didn’t cover ourselves in glory this time but it’s been three campaigns where we can say we’ve given it a really good shot.
“Ourselves and the manager can be pleased with the work we’ve put in over the past while. It’s difficult for us because we keep getting branded with the same ‘you aren’t good enough, you are this and that’ but, yet, we’re expected to qualify for every tournament.
“I mean there has to be a point where we’re honest with you and say ‘look, this is where we are at the moment’.”