Sammon makes the great leap forward
The manager insisted that those who impress may be retained but many of what might be regarded, by the standards of this team as his other “big guns” will doubtless return too if they are fit.
Asked yesterday about the fact he has not willingly strayed too far from his preferred starting line up, Trapattoni was as unapologetic as ever about his determination to prioritise the win; even this evening when the main difference between success and defeat is perhaps a half dozen places in the world ranking ladder.
“Sure,” he observed, “we could have changed all 11 but James McCarthy (for example) must grow and we must improve the ranking.”
He might have pointed at this stage to the Poles who, for one reason or another, are more than a dozen places lower than Ireland on the Fifa list despite having a squad based around a core group of well regarded Bundesliga players.
Trapattoni’s opposite number, Waldemar Fornalik, certainly made it clear last night he has options with the 49-year-old providing impressively long lists of possibilities every time he was asked by the travelling press corps about who might play in particular positions.
Few would be household names in these parts, of course, unless the household in question actually happens to be Polish and with the FAI anticipating an attendance of something close to 40,000 there will clearly be quite a few of those represented.
Poles together We've met before
The love-affair between Irish and Polish football was merely reignited in Poznan and Gdansk last summer – it blossomed long before that. The two nations have met 23 times on the international stage, beginning in 1938 with a 6-0 thumping for the travelling side in Warsaw.
That was put right six months later in Dalymount Park when Ireland won 3-2 but they had to wait 26 years for another victory. Indeed, tonight’s hosts have won only four of the 23, scoring 25 to Poland’s 42. There have been nine draws and the only two times the nations have met competitively, in the Euro 92 qualifiers, it was honours even.
Last six meetings
19/11/08 Croke Park (Friendly) Ire 2-3 Pol
28/04/04 Bydgoszcz (Friendly) Ire 0-0 Pol
16/10/91 Poznan (Euro Q) Ire 3-3 Pol
01/05/91 Lansdowne (Euro Q) Ire 0-0 Pol
22/05/88 Lansdowne (Friendly) Ire 3-3 Pol
12/11/86 Warsaw (Friendly) Ire 0-1 Pol