Sport Soccer

Sunday 25 February 2018

Manager's 'play' on words for Gibson after making shock outburst

David Kelly

David Kelly

The little spat between Darron Gibson and Giovanni Trapattoni may not be filed alongside the Andy Reid saga but, tactically at least, it seems the Italian will not care too much about Gibson's ill-timed strop.

Gibson's pithy response when told that Il Capo had suggested he might benefit from swapping Manchester United's reserves for Stoke City's first-team didn't affect him on Tuesday night when he sprung from the bench.

That, Trapattoni explained, was because he hadn't read Gibson's quotes in his local Derry newspaper. Now that he had, Trapattoni reiterated his universal desire that all his players require as much first-team football as possible.

Unlike indispensable stalwarts such as Shay Given and Robbie Keane -- both currently exiled from their club's starting line-ups -- Gibson does not qualify as a special case.

Indeed, his indifferent cameo on Tuesday probably lent weight to his national team manager's argument, and now another lengthy spell on the Old Trafford sidelines looms.


"I said that when younger players play more games or play always in the first or second league, it improves their personality, only this. There is no other problem. Gibson can stay in Manchester. It's not my problem," said Trapattoni.

"I will continue to call him up but I can't have eight players in my team who aren't playing for their clubs.

"Two other players asked me a month ago about opportunities to go. I told them to go and play, no worries. I will still call them up if they play in the lower leagues -- Cillian Sheridan for example, in Bulgaria now.

"If Gibson stays and Alex Ferguson helps, that is great.

"But the answer is he must play. When he stays on the bench, he doesn't improve. But obviously Manchester is Manchester, they have great players. Entering this situation occasionally, it improves his personality. When he plays in these teams it's very important, you can play in the biggest competitions.

"I didn't tell him to go or not go. I said only if Gibson was in another club and regularly playing 90 minutes he would grow up. He has a great football brain. It is a difference of opinion."

Trapattoni believes that Ireland's perfect start can lay the foundations for a successful qualifying campaign.

"After these two positive results, it's very difficult for me to contain my excitement. I thought we could have scored more goals against Andorra, maybe not many more.

"It is a good starting point because we found the way that can allow us to achieve qualification."

Irish Independent

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