Friday 19 January 2018

Grainne Cunningham: A win, yes - but an uncharacteristic lack of support keeps Trapattoni looking over his shoulder

Grainne Cunningham

RARELY have Irish fans been so half-hearted in their support for the boys in green -- because a resounding win just might save an Italian's neck.

Just months after scooping a special award for our enthusiastic cheerleading during Euro 2012, Angela Merkel would probably have been right thinking we were at work. Or at home.

Because only a handful of soccer supporters bothered to leave their sofas to watch their team square off against group minnows, the Faroe Islands. And fans were unanimous that however decisive the win last night, it was time for a change of leadership.

John Whelan, from Trim, Co Meath, was one of just four fans sporting a green jersey in six different pubs visited by the Irish Independent last night.

"I think Trapattoni should get the bullet. I don't care if we win, lose or draw".

His friend Michael Bagnall, also from Trim, said that during the first half, it was like watching "two evenly matched teams. We should be beating these boys. We are playing bankers and fishermen. They only have nine full-time professionals on the whole team."

Ciaran Smith, from Dundrum, said he was "embarrassed" as he watched Ireland's defeat against Germany in the Aviva. "The players were not trying. I knew we were going to get hammered, but not that badly".

And even as the goal tally climbed last night, he said: "I still think he has got to go".

Michael Scanlan, also from Dundrum, agreed. "I have been going to games for years and it is just not working. He has killed the confidence of the players". Liam Fagan, from Offaly, was kinder than most. "He's a good man and he's been a great manager but it's time".

Irish Independent

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