Sport Soccer

Saturday 22 July 2017

McClean on Trap's radar but Wilson frozen out

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI will go to watch James McClean play for Sunderland at Stamford Bridge this afternoon, but he has told Marc Wilson that he needs to come and see him if he wants to resume his international career with Ireland.

The issue of the two Northern-born players provided the talking points from Trapattoni's visit to Dublin yesterday.

And it is clear that McClean has a better chance of going to Euro 2012, although, given the tone of the manager's comments, the Derry winger's prospects must be rated as slim, while Wilson has none.

Both are targets for new Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill, although neither have any interest.

Wilson is firmly in the bad books and Trapattoni hinted that he wouldn't lose too much sleep if the Stoke man performed a U-turn and made himself available to O'Neill.

Trapattoni suggested that Wilson would be welcomed back into the Irish fold only if he made an apology for an incident on which the Italian was vague on.

Wilson famously angered Trapattoni when he failed to show up for last the Carling Nations Cup tie against Northern Ireland last May, but his issues with the versatile performer clearly go beyond that.

"I cannot say why," said Trapattoni. "But important reasons. The players have to have a certain behaviour when they come into the team. They cannot betray the other, loyal players. If he wishes to go, then no problem."

Trapattoni was then directly asked if he would welcome Wilson back.

"When he sees us and says, 'I'm sorry, I made a great mistake'," he responded.

The 72-year-old indicated that another player was in similar trouble, but failed to reveal his identity. He then cited a separate incident from last year when some of the squad broke curfew and pointed out that discipline with regard to socialising has subsequently improved.

It was a strange aside from the main body of discussion, which revolved around McClean.

Trapattoni started his press briefing by saying that there would be no room for newcomers in his squad for the Euro 2012 finals.

Later, he softened his stance and suggested that McClean might get a chance to impress in next month's friendly against the Czech Republic.

"I'm not going to discount any player but it has to be the right time," he said. "The door is open. But I don't want to put him under pressure.

"I think the players who achieve our qualification deserve to come with us, but we also pay attention.

"I spoke with a friend, a team-mate, who plays with him," continued Trapattoni in a clear reference to John O'Shea .

"He's happy if he can play with us. He also gave me the telephone number. I don't call him. But he is an adult and he can decide his destiny.

"I'm happy if he can decide to play for us," he added.

Irish Independent

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