Thursday 21 November 2019

Harte's Trap attack

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

IAN HARTE believes that Giovanni Trapattoni is 'killing Irish football' and thinks that his recent row with Stephen Kelly should bring about the end of the Italian's time in charge.

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Independent ahead of tonight's FA Cup tie with Manchester United, the Reading defender opened up on his frustration with the Irish international set-up.

The 35-year-old, who stands over his claim that the Ireland boss had no idea of his nationality until another player raised it, feels that his return to the top flight should have been recognised with a chance to prove his worth. Trapattoni said earlier this month that the Drogheda man is not in his plans because he is looking at younger alternatives.

Harte (right) argues that the Italian is blinded by his loyalty to certain players regardless of their club form, referencing his preference for MLS-based Darren O'Dea ahead of Premier League options and his reluctance to deploy Shane Long.

He is also furious at Trapattoni's public criticism of his Royals team-mate Kelly, who was accused of seeking assurances he would play before making himself available in a row that arose ahead of last October's World Cup qualifier in the Faroe Islands.

In his hard-hitting critique of the 73-year-old's stewardship, Harte claims that if the public saw the details of a text discussion between Trapattoni and Kelly ahead of the recent friendly with Poland, there would be no debate about whether the manager would be retained.

"That would be the end of Giovanni Trapattoni," said the 63-times-capped defender.

"I'm a passionate Irishman and I just think he's killing Irish football at the moment. He's stuck in his ways, and seems to have his favourite XI and if they're fit they will play, no matter how they are doing for their club.

"He should have gone after Euro 2012 and given someone else a chance, but then I don't know if it would have cost too much money to pay him off.

"I just think people need to start standing up to this. It's a disgrace what's happening."

Irish Independent

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