Sport Soccer

Sunday 25 February 2018

Trap loyal to Irish cause as he quashes rumours of move to Inter

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has quashed speculation in Italy which suggested he was being lined up to replace under-fire Inter Milan boss Rafa Benitez.

The Ireland manager has confirmed his intention to see out the rest of his contract, which expires at the end of the Euro 2012 qualification campaign.

Yesterday's Gazzetta Dello Sport said that the 71-year-old was one of the names being considered as a replacement for Benitez.

However, Trapattoni -- who has been linked with a number of different roles during his two and a half year stint as Irish boss -- insists he is going nowhere.

"I waited for this question," he laughed. "I am proud to be here with Ireland and I wish to finish the job here and get qualification."

Trapattoni may be going nowhere, but he hopes that a number of his key players will have improved their club situation by February's Carling Nations Cup clash with Wales.

Automatic selections Shay Given, Robbie Keane and Glenn Whelan look set to spend further time on the sidelines between now and then unless they secure a January switch, with Given and Whelan this week indicating that they are feeling the strain of their respective situations.


Trapattoni is reluctant to publicly encourage his stars to switch after receiving criticism for championing Keane's switch from Spurs to Liverpool.

Reading between the lines, he would like some activity when the transfer window opens.

"Sure, it would be better for us," he said. "But I don't speak about them in this situation.

"Liam Lawrence asked me before his move to Portsmouth 'Should he go?' I said 'go and play.' But they have family, children and schools to think of. I don't speak about them in this situation -- they have agents."

Trapattoni has other matters to concern him in the wake of the Norwegian reverse. He is worried by some of the basic defensive errors which persist.

Greg Cunningham was caught out of position for the breakaway winner, and the 19-year-old has been forgiven because of the 'naivety' that comes with his age.

Yet the management were bothered that the wall failed to jump in reaction to Morten Gamst Pedersen's free-kick, with Trapattoni hinting that his players have inferior levels of concentration compared to their Italian counterparts.

"The children from southern Italy, they are not smarter, but we pay attention to every little detail," he said, leaping from his chair to demonstrate.

"There are many situations that determine the game. That is an example."

Irish Independent

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