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Spoilt Italian's decision not to go to South Africa smacks of laziness

GIOVANNI Trapattoni is heading for a chilled out summer.

While the rest of the football world beats a path to South Africa and the World Cup finals, our man will have his feet up at home -- finger poised over his remote.

Ever since he took the Irish job, Trap has made full use of the technology to establish a connection between himself and the players he has been trying to mould into a team in his own likeness.

Most of us would be a lot happier if he took a more hands-on approach.

Already Marco Tardelli has incurred the wrath of the League of Ireland by suggesting that the best Irish players are in England.

He may well be right, but it was a foolish remark and could have been trumped by the presence of either man at Airtricity League fixtures often enough to suggest the required respect for the domestic game.

No stone should be left unturned when you're trousering a telephone number salary and, in a similar vein, Trapattoni's decision to avoid the hurly burly in South Africa smacks of laziness and a contract with the FAI which allows him to do pretty much anything he wants. "Going to the World Cup is showing off," he joked.

"At home I can watch every game, at 2.0, 5.0 and also on the DVD. I can look at many situations," he added.

"The job is better done at home. You can see more games on Sky and DVDs. I have many invitations but no (I will not be going)."

He may well be the first coach in the history of the game who believes that it is even possible to manage an international team from your own house, stretched out on a Natuzzi sofa, but the FAI don't appear to have any problem with it.

Trapattoni has been acting as a part-time cheerleader and agent for Kevin Doyle in recent weeks and the news that a queue of clubs, including some of the biggest, are sniffing around the Irish striker was welcomed by the 71-year-old.


"I read this news and I will be very happy for him, because I think Kevin is ready to play with a great team," said Trapattoni.

"My experience (from this season) is that he is alone up front a lot.

"But I saw him many, many times alone against difficult defenders, like against Manchester United and Arsenal, against very strong opposition, and I'm sure if he can have more passes of quality, it would be fantastic for him.

"I know Kevin is superior, but a striker is better when he has good support from team-mates, and with 30 more balls into him over 90 minutes, that is important."

Trap is not shy about touting his best men for bigger and better clubs and he was quick to point out that Ireland's stars shouldn't narrow their world view down to the Premier League and nothing else.

"Yes, I am sure they can play abroad," he said. "They can play in other leagues.

"It's a matter of communication between one league and another country, there's possibly not enough communications or opportunities to view Irish players from abroad."

Trapattoni also revealed a couple of new injury scares to go with the long list already registered as no shows.

Aiden McGeady is the latest casualty and the Italian also explained that Marc Wilson will come to Dublin to be a part of the squad but won't play any active part because of a hamstring pull.