Monday 18 November 2019

Gibson snubs Trap call-up to cast fresh doubt on Ireland future

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

DARRON GIBSON'S international future remains up in the air after he refused a call to join up with the Ireland squad for tomorrow night's friendly with Poland.

An injury to Hull's David Meyler opened up a vacancy in Giovanni Trapattoni's panel, and an FAI staff member phoned Gibson to offer him a return to the fold.

Trapattoni and his assistant Marco Tardelli were present when Gibson took the call, with the Everton man saying that he was unavailable, citing an injury that has interrupted his start to the new year.

He made his return to the Everton side for the 3-3 draw with Aston Villa at the weekend, and is currently in Malaga on a training camp with the Merseyside club.

The fact that Gibson offered injury as an excuse has been interpreted in some quarters as a sign that he is ready to return once he is fit. However, it's understood that the Derry man remains unsure about coming back into Trapattoni's set-up. He decided to take a break from Ireland duty after his sour experience at Euro 2012.

The 25-year-old was an unused sub for the duration of the competition, but late call-up Paul Green was brought on ahead of him in the 4-0 defeat to Spain.

Ironically, Green was drafted into the Poland squad last night after Gibson turned Trapattoni down.

Tardelli suggested that Gibson could come in for the March World Cup qualifiers with Sweden and Austria if he was fully fit. "The next match, maybe yes," he said, suggesting there would be no problem.

However, FAI sources have warned against reading too much into what was a short conversation with the player.

Gibson's Everton colleague Shane Duffy says he is in the dark about the midfielder's intentions. "I don't know what's happening or why he hasn't come back. I'm not sure," said the Ireland U-21 skipper.

"He is probably one of our best players at the minute and hopefully we can get him back playing for Ireland."

Irish Independent

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