Players pay tribute to Trapattoni
James McCarthy and Shane Long saddened to see manager lose Ireland job
James McCarthy, centre, after Austria’s David Alaba scored the winning goal last night. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy has paid tribute to outgoing manager Giovanni Trapattoni, expressing his regret that the Italian will be moving on.
The 74-year-old’s five-year tenure ended this morning with a mutual decision reached with the FAI after Ireland’s failure to reach the 2014 World Cup.
McCarthy, who completed a £13 million transfer to Everton last week, struggled to break into the Italian’s starting XIs initially but has since established himself as a lynchpin of the team.
“I’m disappointed to see him go,” McCarthy said today. “I’m gutted, to be honest because he stuck by me, gave me my chance and has been good for my career.
“It is a blow to all the players. It has just happened - I didn’t expect it to happen.
“If you look at his record, how well he has done for Ireland, he has got us to the Euros and he fell short, just, of France in a qualifier.
“We were in contention to qualify for the World Cup but unfortunately we slipped up on Friday (against Sweden) and last night (against Austria) we conceded a late, late goal.
“It’s just one of those things.The FAI have had a meeting and decided it’s the time for him to go. Like I say, it’s disappointing because the players enjoyed working with him.”
Shane Long was also paid tribute to the Italian on Twitter, describing the him as a “legend of the game” who took Irish football to the next level, but former international Stephen Reid was more circumspect in his appraisal of Trapattoni’s reign.
“Trappatonis gone then,” Reid tweeted “Can’t argue with the job he done qualifying for the Euros and playoffs in his reign.. But has come out with some stupid comments at times and communication could have been alot better.”