Trapattoni anxious for Dunne to return
SOCCER:GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI headed for home to Italy yesterday happy, it seemed, that his future attacking options had been broadened by the performances of some fringe players during Tuesday’s friendly international win over Oman in London.
However, he will be anxious that Aston Villa’s Richard Dunne will be back to anchor his defence in next month’s World Cup qualifier against Germany.
The Republic of Ireland scored six goals in their two games over the past week and the Italian was clearly pleased that Kevin Doyle reasserted his case to start in the biggest games and that the likes of Robbie Brady made a case for inclusion.
After seeing his side concede in both matches, though, and often look uncomfortable when defending against comparatively modest opposition, the 73-year-old is hoping Dunne can complete his recovery from a groin injury in time to feature at the Aviva Stadium on October 12th.
“There was point when it looked as if he might be able to play 45 minutes here,” said Trapattoni back at Craven Cottage yesterday morning, “but it wasn’t possible and I will speak with him again to see how he is.
“I have said before that with the experienced players, they do not have to play for their clubs in order to be able to play maybe one hour or 75 minutes for us but we will see.
“It might be complicated by things at his club [Villa have made a poor start to the new campaign] but we have 20 days to see if he recovers. There is time for Richard to improve and we hope he will be fit.”
Simon Cox returned yesterday to Nottingham where he was scheduled to have an X-ray on the foot that was injured in stoppage time at the end of Tuesday’s 4-1 win while Paul McShane appears to have a virus after coming down with a temperature and vomiting in the dressingroom shortly before kick-off.
Everybody else left the camp yesterday in good shape and spirits although a few had been warned to keep their feet on the ground after strong performances against Oman.
Chief among them was Brady, whose display prompted immediate speculation in some quarters that he might be fast tracked into the set-up for the German game, a notion that Trapattoni was keen to dispel.
“The game against Germany is not the sort of game you can throw players into just because they have played well once in one friendly game,” the manager said. “Absolutely not.
“Brady played well. He showed us that he has good, creative qualities but I spoke with him after the game and I reminded him that he needs to learn when he should dribble – which he can do well – and when he can play more simply.
“He worked hard and created some shooting opportunities but sometimes he also missed the opportunity to make a simple pass.”
With James McClean ahead of Brady in the queue and apparently impatient to get to the front, the younger man seems destined to have to wait a while but he has clearly done himself no harm here in the eyes of a manager who has consistently bemoaned the lack of goals his wide men generate.
The Manchester United winger could, just about, make the squad for the games against Germany and the Faroe Islands although it is entirely possible too that Trapattoni will be happy to leave him aside for the moment and focus on his more established players.
Séamus Coleman, however, has probably done enough to persuade the Italian he is a viable option as cover either at right back or in central midfield and may finally start to make inroads even if the manager suggested that he would like to see the 23-year-old get more playing time in the defensive position at Everton.
Marc Wilson, David Forde, David Meyler and Alex Pearce will all feel they can be happy with the way Tuesday went but all are also rank outsiders to feature against the Germans.
Pressed on his thinking regarding the game against the three-times world champions, Trapattoni again said he will, regardless of how some of them might have struggled in Astana, look to his senior players when it comes to picking a team capable, he hopes, of avoiding defeat.
“Every manager wants to win,” he said, “but when the opposition is superior then it is also important not to lose.
“I know the Germans well but I have to look again at where their strengths and weaknesses are. Then I think we will make one, or depending on injuries, maybe two changes.”
James McCarthy was again mentioned as a possible starter in a three-man midfield but the manager refused to get into the possible knock-on effects of such a selection; primarily whether he might again try Robbie Keane as a lone striker or contemplate dropping his skipper.
“I know Robbie well; I have worked closely with him for three years. I know what he can and cannot do but I have not decided.”
As for Darron Gibson, the manager said he is entirely open to the idea of including the midfielder in the squad but insisted that there can be no preconditions.
“I don’t bear any grudges but it is important that he gives us a signal; that he makes it clear he is available.
“I understand that he is disappointed but we cannot be disappointed that Gibson is not coming. If he is not then we must simply move on.
“If he is ready to return then I will be pleased but he must understand that I don’t pick players because they are famous or my friends.
“I pick the players that I feel I need for each game.
“He can look at the example of Kevin Doyle who has more than 50 caps but reacts with great dignity when he does not play and always comes the next time.”