Thursday 22 February 2018

Declan Lynch: Time has shown us that Trap is right

The Ireland boss regards all English football as being basically bad, says Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

Declan Lynch

AS I understand it, Trap believes that only two of the Irish players are any good. They would be Robbie Keane and Shay Given. And maybe, at a stretch, the Duffer. He would regard Richard Dunne as being extraordinarily good for someone who plays his football essentially with a pub team, but by the proper Italian standards? No.

I am relying on intuition here, because frankly I have no idea what the man is saying, though I do love the way he says it. Last week, in translation, he told reporters, "I don't know why you don't understand, if you need to be here instead of there, then you have to be here, not there."

He is, I believe, a great man. He regards all English football as being fundamentally bad, and so he makes no distinction between our "better" players and the ones that he likes, the ones who can at least be relied upon to do what they are told. As time goes by, we see that he is right. We don't annoy him any more about Andy Reid. We understand now why a man like Trapattoni, who is so utterly obsessed with football, could not work with a man like Reid, who plays the guitar in his spare time. For Trap, there is no spare time, and there never has been.

Even when he had great players at Juventus, and Internazionale, he had a passion for correcting their mistakes. When he looks at Ireland's players, that passion returns.

When it was suggested that Estonia might somehow overturn that 4-0 deficit from the first leg, Trap responded with a look of great sadness, that such an obscenity could ever be contemplated on his watch. In other moments, he looks like a dynamic Christian Brother of the Fifties, standing proudly next to the gaelic team that he has beaten into shape.

You sense that in some strange way, he has been here before.

Sunday Independent

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