Trapattoni has no intention of walking
Soccer:Giovanni Trapattoni was tonight digging in for a fight amid a growing backlash over the Republic of Ireland’s embarrassing 6-1 thrashing by Germany.
The 73-year-old Italian rose this morning to read damning newspaper headlines in the wake of their hammering at the Aviva Stadium with one proclaiming “Trap must go” and another pleading “Go now!”.
But as he had done in the immediate aftermath of last night’s debacle, Trapattoni was stubbornly refusing to bow to the mounting pressure.
Asked what would make him consider his future, he replied: “When there is no positivity, when I ask the team to do something and they do not do it. I said to the team, ‘Right, what can we do? You can tell me if you don’t believe this or this or this, why?’.
“I have never said to the team not to stay back and not to try to score goals. We give them jobs and we have a system to get goals, and the players believe in this. The team tries to do what we ask and they are happy to do it also.”
There is a growing belief, however, that whatever the deficiencies of the players available to Trapattoni, that his side have drastically under-performed since qualifying for the Euro 2012 finals, and whether the manager likes it or not, matters are coming to a head.
In their last five competitive matches, a run of fixtures which includes their dire campaign in Poland, Ireland have shipped 16 goals and scored just four.
It is a far cry from the not too distant days when miserly defence, at one point, they went eight games in all competitions without conceding a single goal and were unbeaten in 14 as they headed for Poland, provided the foundation for genuine optimism.
Throughout that run, the Italian’s critics bemoaned the lack of adventure in his team, a barb the manager was always able to counter by pointing at results. That is a defence which no longer applies.
It was put to him that some other managers might have decided to call it a day after such a run of results, but again, Trapattoni was unmoved as he defended the record under his regime.
He said: “There are other managers who wish to go, but we have done our job very well and we want to continue.”
Trapattoni shows no sign of being prepared to fall upon his sword, and the cash-strapped FAI can ill afford to put together a severance package for the veteran and his entourage having handed them fresh contracts after they had secured qualification for the European Championships.