| 9.9°C Dublin

Tide of new talent makes sound of Samba impossible to resist for Trap

GIOVANNI Trapattoni is never subtle or confusing when he has a message to deliver. He wants another two years as Ireland manager and has his eye on a Samba swansong.

The conjunction of the World Cup and Brazil is difficult for anyone who loves football to resist and Trapattoni is no different from the rest of us.

But as an opening position in a potential negotiation with the FAI, he is standing on shifting ground. The heavy lifting in the Euro 2012 series has yet to be done and there is little certainty about the outcome.

If Irish fans wind up disappointed yet again by the time the curtain falls on Group B, does it make any sense to hand a contract to a management legend who was hired to deliver qualification but failed? Trap thinks so.

"If the FAI is happy and believes in our project I would be proud to continue. The next World Cup is very interesting," he said.

"My colleagues said to me after Paris and the play-off, 'Gio you know what football is like'. After that and Korea, I think I'm owed something," he said.

"We began one year ago to change the team and we brought in new young players, who have played with us and grown. These players can grow even further.

"It's not urgent, it's not something I am thinking about now. I am available; I am enthusiastic when I see our team in training."


There is little doubt that Trapattoni has adjusted his opinion of the strength of Irish senior international football to suit the tide of new talent surging into contention.

Maybe he truly believes that he now has a group of players that he can develop into a team which can make a real impact on the road to, and in, Brazil. Or maybe he's just restless and wants to see what the FAI think about the outlay which would be required to keep him.

He mentioned other offers, as he always does when he visits this subject and no doubt he could find another decent gig if he put his mind to it.

But perhaps not as good as the one he has now. He works to his own schedule, has plenty of time for his grandchildren and a salary to die for. No wonder he fancies another two years.

Trapattoni is more than aware of his own legacy however and he is unlikely to commit to what could be the last chapter of his remarkable career with a team he has no belief in.

"We have enough experience, we have personality and we have our system which gives other teams many problems. Our attitude is important, what we believe is important.

"Look at Ghana versus England. They believed and they got a draw. Germany lost at home to Australia.

"We have good players and I'm not afraid if we lose some because of injuries. We have good options now."

Zoning in on one who could turn out to be the best of the 'new options', he once again underlined the fact that James McCarthy should not be blamed for a poor performance against Uruguay.

"McCarthy has no fault. He is a young player -- just 20 -- and it was a difficult game for him. I didn't expect anything more or less from him. I wouldn't want to see him blamed because he is just trying to find his feet in the team."

Not that anyone feels that way about McCarthy. The ovation he received when he made his competitive debut against Macedonia was a clear message of support from the people who count up in the stands.


The same people have been raving about Shane Long since Tuesday night and know enough about football to understand that McCarthy was played out of position and without the support mechanisms Roberto Martinez has put in place at Wigan.

Long cheered everyone up with his barnstorming performance against Uruguay.

"Long has grown and today we can think about him, consider him as a valuable option. He can play at a higher level," said Trapattoni.

Asked directly whether Long is now pushing both Kevin Doyle and Robbie Keane, Trap hedged his bets.

"I am not a clairvoyant -- I don't know what condition the players will be in in two months. When I'm missing one or two players, I am not afraid. I think they are all ready to play."

Trapattoni was at pains to clear up any misunderstanding between himself and Mick McCarthy over Kevin Doyle.

The Ireland boss seemed to suggest that Doyle arrived in Dublin carrying an injury, a suggestion McCarthy was clearly unhappy with.

"I said that Doyle was tired but this seems to come across in a different way to Mick McCarthy, I see the players playing a lot of games. It's possible that when they play so much, they might not have 90 minutes in their legs. It's nobody's fault and I want to underline that."