Trap throws down gauntlet to McCarthy
Published 20/12/2011 | 05:00
GIOVANNI Trapattoni has challenged James McCarthy to find his voice and force his way into Ireland's Euro 2012 plans.
McCarthy was outstanding for Wigan in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea last Saturday and Trapattoni sent the 21-year-old a message of congratulations afterwards.
However, he believes that the Glasgow-born star can find 30pc more if he improves his personality on the pitch.
McCarthy is by no means certain to be on the plane for Poland, with Glenn Whelan, Keith Andrews, Keith Fahey and Darron Gibson also competing for places in the central midfield department. But Trapattoni feels the signs are encouraging, although he pointed out that Wigan boss Roberto Martinez deployed three players in the engine room against Chelsea.
"James did well and I sent him a message saying 'bravo'," said Trapattoni. "He answer me also. He can grow very well. But, he is still a little shy. He can play many good balls. But he can call for the ball too. Sometimes, he is free. If he is more vocal, he can improve 30pc more.
"When I was a young player, I played immediately. In the past, James didn't play. But now he's started playing again and that's very, very important because he has a good quality."
Trapattoni has again stressed his confidence that Ireland can emerge from a difficult Euro 2012 group that features Italy, Spain and Croatia. He feels that the key is avoiding injuries, given his limited options relative to the other teams in the group.
Spain striker David Villa may have sustained a broken tibia last week, but Trapattoni pointed out that the defending champions have enough resources to field two or three strong teams.
One of the doctors who operated on Villa's broken leg yesterday said the Barcelona striker has only a "slim" chance of playing again this season.
"Everyone hopes he will be able to play Euro 2012," said specialist Ramon Cugat. "The chances (of him playing this season) are slim, but it cannot be ruled out."