Taking inspiration from Cats in the stand
SOME Kilkenny hurlers will be in attendance at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow, with members of Brian Cody's (right) panel making the trip. Perhaps they will bring some luck to an Irish team that is desperately in need of three points. After all, the Cats have more experience of winning competitive games in Dublin than Giovanni Trapattoni's side. A touch of their killer instinct would be welcome.
Lanky Janko a 'great man' . . . at falling down
Trapattoni likes to demonstrate his knowledge of the opposition ahead of games, often bringing notes into press conferences and referencing the strengths of their key players. He's had less homework to do than usual ahead of this encounter given that he knows Austrian football well from his time in charge of Red Bull Salzburg. Key striker Marc Janko, who is now with Trabzonspor, played under Trapattoni at Red Bull and the Irish boss hailed his former player yesterday, referencing the fact that both his parents were leading athletes (his mother, Eva, won a bronze medal in javelin at the 1968 Olympics). "He is a great man," said Trapattoni.
Bohemians fans would not describe Janko in those terms. He was part of the Salzburg side which was fortunate to knock Bohs out of the Champions League in 2009, and the 6ft 5in frontman went down like an Olympic diver to win a penalty in the first leg. His subsequent spot-kick was stopped by Brian Murphy but the big man's theatrics did not endear him to the Gypsies support. Trapattoni also managed Austrian midfielder Christoph Leitgeb and sold Andreas Ivanschitz to Panathinaikos after one appearance.
Number of the Day
1Player in the Austria squad aged 30 or over. West Ham's Emanuel Pogatetz is the senior member of a young squad. Robbie Keane's injury has reduced the home side's thirtysomething contingent to the trio of David Forde, John O'Shea and Wes Hoolahan. Paul Green turns 30 in April and Stephen Kelly, Jon Walters and Kevin Doyle all reach the landmark in September.
Whatever happened to...
It is impossible to mention the Austrian football team without referring to the great Toni Polster, the long-haired striker who made 95 appearances for his country between 1982 and 2000 and terrorised Ireland in the Euro '96 campaign. Polster was always a showman, and has moved into the music world, fronting an Austrian band named Achtung Liebe. Ireland's record goalscorer, Robbie Keane, is also happy with a guitar and microphone but sees his future in management.
compiled by daniel mcdonnell