Trap assures exile Wilson he still has an Ireland future
GIOVANNI Trapattoni has phoned Marc Wilson to let the Stoke man know that he still has an international future with Ireland.
The pair fell out 12 months ago when Wilson failed to show for the Carling Nations Cup clash with Northern Ireland. Trapattoni was unimpressed by the player's lack of contact and subsequently suggested that another factor in the player's exclusion from the squad was a breach of discipline.
That perplexed the Antrim man, who was aware of no such incident, and Trapattoni retracted his statement, indicating that there had been a mix-up. Either way, the sum total of the messy affair was exile for Wilson, who came out to declare that he had zero intention of switching back to Northern Ireland -- who he lined out for at underage level.
He has impressed for Stoke at left-back this season, and his club colleague Glenn Whelan yesterday revealed that his relationship with Trapattoni had improved.
"He said that he'd spoken to the manager of Ireland and he's told him he's not out of his plans," said Whelan. "I think Marc was delighted to get the phone-call because he knew people were still watching him."
The reconciliation came too late for Wilson to earn a place in the Euro 2012 picture.
"He's probably just a little bit unlucky because of the people who are there," added Whelan. "I don't think it was ever anything to come from Marc. He always wanted to play. He always made himself available, but he wasn't picked at times so what can you do?
"You can't twist a manager's arm to say 'you should pick me'. All Marc had to do was keep doing what he was doing which was playing well for Stoke and then people were going to notice."
Wilson was honoured by the Stoke coaches at their Player of the Year awards night on Tuesday, and Whelan adds that the 24-year-old's contribution this term has been all the more impressive because of his limited experience at left back.
"People don't realise how well he's done," said the Dubliner. "I don't think he's ever played there before in his life, so to be doing that in the Premier League for so long is obviously great."