Saturday 18 November 2017

18 days that reset the agenda

Sunday, May 22

Marco Tardelli reveals that Anthony Stokes has informed the Irish camp he is 'too tired' to join up for this international gathering.

Monday, May 23

Trapattoni rages at young players who are showing a lack of commitment and mentions one who has failed to return calls -- later revealed to be James McCarthy.

Tuesday, May 24


Ireland defeat Northern Ireland 5-0 at the Aviva Stadium, but there is a change to the starting XI when Marc Wilson doesn't show. Meanwhile, the FAI and Wigan are in dispute over the nature of McCarthy's injury and the manner in which it was communicated.

Wednesday, May 25

Tardelli says that players should show more respect, stating that McCarthy (R) had avoided calls from FAI employee, Mary O'Brien.

Thursday, May 26

Glenn Whelan, who is carrying an injury, joins the Irish camp for assessment. Sean St Ledger and Darren O'Dea had demonstrated similar commitment earlier in the week.

Friday, May 27

Speaking with Sunday journalists, Robbie Keane is critical of the stay-aways, saying, "If people don't want to play for Ireland, then don't declare yourself as Irish -- simple."

Saturday, May 28

Trapattoni names his team for the Carling Nations decider with Scotland, and reveals that St Ledger -- previously ruled out -- is fighting back.

Sunday, May 29

Robbie Keane equals Bobby Charlton's England record of 49 international goals with the match winner against Scotland.

Monday May 30

Trapattoni reveals that Darron Gibson won't be joining up with the squad, and pours scorn on the seriousness of the groin injury offered as an excuse.

Tuesday, May 31

The presence of John O'Shea, Kevin Kilbane, Aiden McGeady and a fully fit Whelan gets full preparations for Macedonia off to a good start.

Wednesday, June 1

St Ledger details the commitment he has shown by coming in for Ireland duty 10 weeks into a 12-week rehab programme. "Preston weren't going to let me come over in the first place," he says.

Thursday, June 2

The Irish squad fly to Macedonia with Trapattoni sweating over the fitness of Keane.

Friday, June 3

Trapattoni makes the surprise decision to name new boy Simon Cox (R) in the starting XI for Skopje -- with Shane Long consigned to the bench. Keane's participation is in doubt.

Saturday, June 4

Ireland ride their luck at times, but a brace from Keane secures a 2-0 win over Macedonia -- the skipper moves to 51 international goals. Four players take painkilling injections to get through the game.

Sunday, June 5

A day off and a number of senior players are allowed to skip the trip to Belgium for the friendly with Italy.

Monday, June 6

Trapattoni names a makeshift side to clash with the Italians, although O'Dea and Stephen Hunt are set to be retained if they pass fitness tests.

Tuesday, June 7

An unlikely 2-0 win for the brave Irish with walking wounded O'Dea and Hunt outstanding. Their commitment is praised by Trapattoni -- and he makes a pointed reference to their sacrifice in contrast with the stay-aways.

Wednesday, June 8

Trapattoni (L) reflects on four wins, and no goals conceded. Suggests he will give the no-shows one more chance in August or move on without them.

Irish Independent

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