Trapattoni unsure where trio stand
Soccer:Giovanni Trapattoni appeared none the wiser in Belgrade this evening as to how many of his senior internationals he will retain for a World Cup qualification that begins in less than a month's time.
Following the retirement of veteran goalkeeper Shay Given yesterday, after 16 years between the posts, questions at the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s friendly against Serbia, focused on the future of another three absentees from the current squad.
Robbie Keane, winger Damien Duff and defender Richard Dunne were all left out of the latest squad after a disappointing Euro 2012, to allow them a break as well as afford the manager a chance to look at some other options ahead of World Cup qualification.
However, having seemingly been taken by surprise by Given’s announcement on Twitter last night, which came a day after the manager said all his senior internationals would be available next month, the Italian appears to be in the dark as to where at least two of the remaining three stand.
In the case of Dunne, it would appear he intends staying on, but he last night phoned the manager to make it clear he will not play the first qualifier Kazakhstan on September 7th, because of a groin injury. Given’s clubmate underwent surgery and was already ruled out of Aston Villa’s opening games of the season, an inconvenience the club appeared to apportion some blame on the FAI for.
“Richard Dunne sent me a message saying he will not be ready for Kazakhstan,” said the Italian. “He needs four or five weeks to recover from his injury and Kazakhstan comes too soon. I answered him and said after this friendly, after he has recovered from his injury, we would review the situation, but I’ve told him we need him, it’s true. He will let us know."
Duff, he said, had yet to reveal his intentions regarding his international future, while Keane, his captain, has not responded to a text message from the manager.
“As for Robbie, I’ve also sent him a text, but he’s not answered me," said Trapattoni. "I’ve checked my mobile. I will speak with him before I announce my next squad (in around 10 days’ time for the Kazakhstan game). He needs to tell me whether he wants to come back or what he wants to do. We can decide after this game because it’s important for us to look at the other players. We have (Shane) Long, (Simon) Cox and (Jon) Walters.
“After this game, and before the one with Kazakhstan, we can think about this situation.”