Sport Soccer

Monday 20 January 2020

Greek tragedy for Trapattoni as Ireland fail to inspire

Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

IRELAND'S latest football tragedy was of the Greek variety, in a largely empty Aviva stadium last night.

The 1-0 home defeat at the hands of a limited, but well organised Greece side, puts manager Giovanni Trapattoni deeper into uncertainty about his future.

Trap had hoped this could be a new beginning giving a host of young players a chance, but by the end they looked like a team who didn't know what they were supposed to be doing.

The attendance was estimated at 17,000 and entire sections of the stadium lay empty.

At times it was so quiet in the second half you could have closed your eyes and it would have appeared that nobody was there.

This may have been a friendly but it was a crucial match for the Ireland manager to prove that he can rejuvenate a team in dire need of direction.

This was Ireland's first outing since Trap survived his job by whisker and was given a stern talking to by the FAI following Ireland's insipid 6-1 home defeat to Germany.

The Italian had spoken of how the 2004 triumph of Otto Rehhagel and his team – when Greece won the European Cup – was an example Ireland could follow.

But on this evidence Ireland didn't look that they could even take inspiration from a team renowned for their negative play.

There were chances in the first half but overall this was not a good night for Irish football and not a good night for the young players to show that they should be trusted with taking Ireland forward.

James McClean, Shane Long and Seamus Coleman all got the starts that the Ireland fans had been demanding, but they will need more time together and a lot more direction for this group of players to enmsure their manager is at the helm at the end of the season.

This was a real Greek Tragedy for Trap.

Irish Independent

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