WE'RE a tough auld lot us Irish. When Giovanni Trappatoni was appointed we were delighted, absolutely delighted. Here was the most successful manager in the history of the game – more successful even than Alex Ferguson – and now he was Ireland's manager.
We knew full well of his reputation for defensive, structured football and what did we think of it? Well, we thought it was exactly what the doctor ordered after the chaotic Staunton years – years where the Republic struggled to overcome such behemoths as Cyprus, home and away.
So when Trap set Ireland up as we expected him to and ground out the results as we knew he would what did we do? Well we didn't rejoice as we said we would, some of us – myself included – cribbed about the quality of the football and the tactics (the game at home to Russia was particularly painful), but the Italian got the job done.
And thanks to the FAI he's going to keep on doing it. The right call, no doubt.