Monday 23 October 2017

Trap the fall guy in the blame game?

IRISH football is in the midst of yet another civil war. The second in just a little over a decade.

The last one was fought over Saipan and Roy Keane. This one is being fought over Wes Houlihan (also known as the new Andy Reid) and Giovanni Trapattoni.

There's the Trap camp (read Liam Brady) or the Trap-Out camp (read Eamon Dunphy) and, while the passions aren't quite what they were all those years ago, the passions are very real.

If you backed Roy in 2002 it doesn't necessarily follow that you'll back Dunphy (Keane's one time great backer) in 2013, or that if you backed Mick McCarthy you'll back the embattled Italian manager.

Those who defend Trapattoni genuinely believe he's being made the fall guy for the players' shortcomings and those who call for his head believe that he's too cautious, too lacking in faith in his players abilities, to move the Republic of Ireland forward as a football nation (not to mention his various man-management disasters).

Here at The Week In Sport we fall into the Trap-Out camp or more accurately the Trap-Out-but-not-yet camp. It's our view that he should never have been given a contract extention before the European Championships, but now that he has he should be allowed to finish it out. There was a case for sacking him after the German game, now not so much.

When his contract expires it shouldn't be extended. He took a lot of the blame for the failure against Austria and rightly so. His substitutions were regressive. Trap a fall guy? Sorry we just don't buy it