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Tardelli describes 2012 as 'fantastic' year for Irish team

THERE'S loyalty and then there's blind loyalty. Judge for yourself which variety Marco Tardelli sticks with after his latest aggressive defence of Giovanni Trapattoni.

"I think that anyone who thinks Giovanni is not a good manager is not normal. Giovanni is the best in the world, with the journalists, with the board, with the players."

"I think after the Faroes, he showed everyone that he is a very good man. For everything. And you know why," claimed Tardelli.

"I think you in the media prefer to write that Giovanni is not good or the players do not deserve to stay on pitch.

"I'd like to read in the newspapers a detailed analysis of what Giovanni has achieved here. I never read in the newspapers what Giovanni did here. If you read that Giovanni did this, this and this -- you can then decide if he has worked very well or not.

"I think every week I go to see matches. Before, Giovanni stayed at home to see the DVDs and things went very well. Did it work? It worked. Why do we need to change? Change? No problem but why?

"I don't know, I don't know," he added.

"I think when he was at home and watching many matches on DVD it was better for us. We achieved the results, no?"

And 2012. How was it for you Marco?

"No, it's been fantastic," he declared. "For me, it's been a fantastic year.

"We got to play for the European Cup, that was very important for us; it had been 25 years since an Irish team had achieved that result," he said.

"For me it was a very good year, we discovered many players, many young players who are here with us.

"And I think that when you have big change then it's important to have patience because we know if the younger players go on the pitch, it's possible to play very well one time and two times very bad. But that's football.

"I want to speak about the Germany result," he said. "Against Germany, we did not have Given, Duff, Keane and Dunne and there were other players injured."

"After (Germany), we played against the Faroes and we won. Was that a good result or not? Sweden won against the Faroes with goals in the last minutes. Football is so. We won against Kazakhstan in the last few minutes, that is normal. Everything can happen."