Trap to talk with Dunne
SOCCER:GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI will head to Villa Park this afternoon in the hope of persuading Richard Dunne to commit to the Republic of Ireland’s forthcoming World Cup qualification campaign.
Following Shay Given’s recent departure, the Italian confirmed that he had also lost Damien Duff to international retirement yesterday and, as he announced his squad of 23 for the World Cup qualifier in Kazakhstan, his certainty regarding the central defender’s continued availability had clearly taken a battering since he said, less than two weeks ago, that all of his senior players would be sticking around.
“He said to me that Kazakhstan would be too soon for him but that maybe for Germany he could return,” Trapattoni said of Dunne. “But the latest news is that he might move club and if he does that there is a new manager, new players, a new situation, it could be a problem.”
Dunne has been linked with a move out of Villa as new manager Paul Lambert attempts to trim the wage bill, but the Scot has sought to dampen the expectation that a deal for the 32-year-old is imminent. Trapattoni is, nevertheless, anxious to hear from the defender himself that he is still intent on playing through the World Cup campaign and hinted that the player might, as Robbie Keane will it seems, be allowed to skip some or all of Ireland’s friendly games in future.
“Tomorrow we will go to the game between Aston Villa and Everton and hopefully we will meet him,” he said. “Maybe we can get more information then about his future.”
Keane’s decision to stay on has at least left Trapattoni with his captain still on board but there was a good deal of talk yesterday about how the tactical experimentation that started last week in Belgrade might be continued in Astana before things are tightened up for the visit of Germany in October. It is far from clear whether the Italian would try to select the LA Galaxy player in anything like a 4-5-1 formation again.
The striker, who scored before being sent off for his club on Thursday night, will, in any case, be allowed to return to America after the qualifying game on Friday week, rather than having to travel all the way back to London for what promises to be a remarkably low-key friendly against Oman in Craven Cottage.
“For a friendly game it’s a long flight,” acknowledged Trapattoni, “and he’s very busy with his club. Also, it’s an opportunity for us to look at the other players.” And he has a bit of that to be getting on with just now.