Wednesday 21 March 2018

If plan 'A' fails - The 4-4-2 debate

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has again discussed a system change for Thursday's showdown with Spain in Gdansk, a debate which has dominated the second half of the Italian's tenure in the hotseat.

However, the timeline would suggest that, while the 73-year-old has consistently hinted at change, he is just as likely to row back and go with the tried and trusted -- even if he appears to have questioned that trust in the last week.

Croatia's superiority in the midfield department was acknowleged by the Ireland manager. But he remains stubbornly loyal to his Plan A, regardless of what anybody else says.



"As soon as Shay Given gets it, we all turn our backs and run forward and see if Kevin Doyle can head it or what else Kevin can do.

"As a team, we've got to help each other out a bit more and we've got to look to get the ball.

"At the moment, we are just going forward and defending, going forward and defending.

"We're never going to control games if we play like that. We've got to try and get our foot on the ball at some stage and string five or six passes together and create chances that way, rather than from set-pieces or long balls all the time."

giovanni trapattoni


"I'm not afraid to change the system. It depends on the players with you. Now, we have (James) McCarthy, and I think he could play behind the striker, like Stephen Ireland could.

"You need time and you need players for this system.

"National teams meet for three days and they need one day's rest at the start because they are tired. In two days, you can't teach the system.

liam lawrence

MARCH 2011

"The first 50 minutes (v Russia, October 2010) we played 4-4-2 and got the runaround a little bit. When we changed, we nearly got back in the game. Sometimes, it's done well for us but I think now a lot of teams are playing with the three in the middle, two wide, and one up front."

marco tardelli

MARCH 2011

"Now, 4-4-2 is the best formation for us. We have the players to play 4-4-2. Yes, we could change to other formations, but we need 10 days to prepare for the match. We don't have enough time to switch to new systems. If we need to, we can move Robbie Keane back and play in midfield. For us, it is possible sometimes to change. It depends on the team we are playing against."

giovanni trapattoni


"I said before the Slovakia game that if we had won, then we could have gone to Moscow and played just one striker. We depend on four or five important players. McGeady, Duffy, Doyle, Keane, maybe Cox. I thought we could play with only one striker, only Keane, with McGeady and Duff behind. But we didn't win against Slovakia."

APRIL 2012

"We have a system (4-4-2) and it's too late to change that system. It has worked for us. We have good spirit, good organisation and we are difficult to beat. But the little details will be very important. The teams we play are good technical teams, they have players like Pirlo and Xavi and Modric. So we have to concentrate on organisation. Free-kicks and corners will be very important."


"We need one more in midfield. To have a balance, we must renounce one striker, or put one more in midfield. I will sit down with the team and show them our difficulty. We have a week to discuss this, and this, and this."

Irish Independent

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