The Cat is in the Bag: Trap in quotes
IN his five year stint as Ireland manager, one major criticism levelled at Giovanni Trappatoni was his lack of fluency in the English language.
Accompanied by translator Manuela Spinelli, Trappatoni’s press briefings were ocassionally hilarious and sometimes bewildering as he mixed languages to a bizarre and comedic effect.
The press and public were often left at a loss to what exactly the manager meant – even when his words were being translated.
Here’s a selection of some of his oddest quotes over the course of his five year tenure as Ireland manager.
On being linked with Roma last season
“Around 18 months ago I was contacted by Roma and they wanted me as their Coach. It wasn’t the first time I had been close to the Giallorossi, but the negotiations did not end with a positive outcome. In all honesty, it disappointed me a little, because Roma are a great club with passionate fans.”
On the lack of league in Ireland
"In Ireland there is no league. Our players play in England. In Sweden and Austria they have league. This is different."
After qualification for the Euros
“The cat is in the sack, but the sack is not closed, the cat is in it, but its open - and it’s a wild cat"
On staying on as Ireland manager during Euro2012
"For me, the answer, it's as if I was 20. I am fresh in head, and, above all, I am hungry for the new situation.
On Kevin Doyle
“I love Doyle. As a player, not a man. I love women …. without doubt.”
After drawing with England at Wembley
“These teams with the great players is very, very important. Then again, good moments, enthusiasm. This draw for me is good.
On Andy Reid’s exclusion from the Ireland team
"I have nothing against any player, they are all like my children. I just want a solid team with a good balance that plays international football. Like this table, with its legs, you have to be solid. Andy has very good qualities but not necessarily what we need.”
On growing older but his maintaining his enthusiasm to stay on as Ireland manager
"I always want to know new things, get to know new things that I didn't know before. That is important. There are many important situations, the psychology. The general said it's an old man who isn't curious about the next news. I think I'm like a 20-year-old, with more experience."
On his reluctance to play Wes Hoolahan
“We have already said that we couldn’t play with three, four or five strikers when away. Austria showed us in Dublin that they are not a second or third-rate side. They are a tough team and we need balance. Hoolahan is more like a striker and usually plays behind striker for his club”
Other favourites from the tenure include:
“That’s the only way he knows how to play”
“A positive result is essential even if the season is young.”
“I always say that in addition to being a coach, I'm also a priest. I go to each player's room and say who is playing and who isn't. I talk and explain. It's a little like confession.”