Trapattoni says he does not expect to continue in his job
FAI officials may turn to weighing up potential replacements
A dejected Giovanni Trapattoni at the endof Ireland’s defeat to Sweden: INPHO/James Crombie
Ireland may still have three World Cup qualifiers to play but the FAI’s leading officials may well have spent some of yesterday’s flight to Vienna weighing up potential replacements for Giovanni Trapattoni after the Italian said he did not expect to continue in his job even if he had successfully guided his side to Brazil next summer.
Speaking to the daily papers with obvious sadness on Saturday morning, the 74-year-old gave every indication that his time with Ireland is now coming to an end, but said he would see out the remainder of a contract that runs until next summer unless asked to leave by the FAI.
A fairly predictable list of would-be replacements is already doing the rounds, with Martin O’Neill reckoned to be a frontrunner and the likes of Mick McCarthy, Brian McDermott, Owen Coyle and even Alex Ferguson or Roy Keane, who is believed to be interested, all being mentioned.
In one instance it was claimed that contact has already been opened with O’Neill, who has the advantage of being unattached. Money is clearly a major factor, though, with much depending on Denis O’Brien’s willingness to continue funding the management team’s salary.
Marco Tardelli declined to comment yesterday on whether he would be a candidate to succeed Trapattoni but said he believed both would be happy to stay on in the unlikely event the team did make it to the World Cup.
“I think if we qualified for Brazil Giovanni would want to stay on. Why not? He has done a fantastic job.”
As the squad that now includes Hull City midfielder Stephen Quinn in place of the injured Glenn Whelan departed for Vienna yesterday, Marc Wilson admitted that Friday’s performance was “not good enough”. He suggested that even now the players are sometimes not entirely sure of Trapattoni’s intention. “It’s coming across as clear as we can make out.”
There may not, it seems, be much time left for manager and players to learn each other’s lingo.