Darron Gibson happy to come out of exile now Trapattoni is gone
Everton midfielder felt he couldn’t play for Italian after his treatment at Euro 2012
He says, in any case, that the problems began well before then with Trapattoni, he claims, having told him that he would not get to Poland at all if he did not come into Dublin with the Championship players, a week before the the squad’s more established figures gathered to begin their preparations for the tournament.
Despite that, the Derry man featured in two warm-up games, playing 90 minutes against Bosnia-Herzegovina and almost 30 in Hungary. When he asked Trapattoni why he had not been used against Spain, however, he says the now 74-year-old simply replied: “You’re young” and never elaborated.
“If you have a player playing for a Premier League team that finishes in the top six,” he says, “and you have someone, I don’t want to show any disrespect to Paul Green but he had been released from his club and he got on the pitch and I didn’t, there was obviously something wrong.”
As it happens, Everton actually finished seventh and Derby had tried to keep Green who was simply free to leave for Leeds as his contract was up, but his point was pretty clear.
After all of that, it is somewhat surprising to hear Gibson suggests that Trapattoni should be remembered well by the supporters. “It (his legacy) is probably positive to be honest,” he says, “nearly qualifying for the first one, qualifying for the second one . . . Obviously it fell apart a bit towards the end but if the fans sit down and think about it will probably be positive.”
Less shocking are his assertions that there was little interaction between the players and Trapattoni outside of training itself (“There was a lot more communication from Stan”) and that there might have been a little bit more football played along the way (“I got the impression he didn’t want to play out from the back”), something that he hopes might happen under the new manager, whoever that might be.
“Obviously Martin O’Neill is a strong favourite for it,” he says. “I think he’d be quite good, he’s experienced and I think he’d get on quite well with all of the lads; he’s supposed to be really good one on one with players and that.” Later, he adds with a laugh: “He might understand me a bit better.”
Really, he insists however, he doesn’t mind who gets the job . . . he just hopes he new man looks more favourably upon him. “I would love to be involved in the next two games to be honest but it’s not my decision,” he says. “I’ll make myself available again and we’ll see what happens from that.”
Darron Gibson was promoting EA Sports Fifa 14 in which he features. The game will be available nationwide from September 27th.