Saturday 25 January 2020

Trap's hopefuls to miss Samba lesson

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI will wait until the summer to look at younger players with a view to the future, with the Italian set to stick with experience in search of a positive result from next month's friendly with Brazil.

It had been suggested that the Irish boss might use the March 2 friendly with the Brazilians in London to blood newcomers such as Wigan's James McCarthy, Everton's Seamus Coleman and Manchester City's Greg Cunningham.

However, the 70-year-old has hinted that there will be no radical call-ups until the end of the season, when he hopes that the FAI can arrange a training camp and two friendly games; similar to the gathering in the Portugal which signalled the beginning of his reign in the summer of 2008.


A draw or a win against Brazil could also alter Ireland's world ranking position, a classification that traditionally had little value but was used by FIFA to determine the seedings for the controversial World Cup play-offs that pitted Trapattoni's charges with France. Ireland currently sit in 37th spot, and results against top-ranked nations like Brazil carry more weight.

"We have already made plans with Marco (Tardelli) for the summer," said Trapattoni. "We wish to achieve the result against Brazil because afterwards we would have Italy, France, Brazil. It's important for us. Sure, maybe one or two new players, but I think the squad that played against France in the qualifying game deserve it... only maybe the injured, like John O'Shea, I think he can not play.

"Otherwise, I think it's better to have the same team with one or two new options, not too many. Then, the young or the others in the summer."

Trapattoni confirmed that he had spoken with his fellow countryman Roberto Mancini about left-back Cunningham, who made his Man City debut against Scunthorpe in the FA Cup last month and provides a long-term option in a position where Ireland have relied on a makeshift option in the form of Kevin Kilbane. He also hinted that a chat with Mancini about the exiled Stephen Ireland had taken place, albeit in typical vague Trap-speak.

The Irish boss reckons it is dangerous to say too much publicly, an approach that he also wishes to take with respect to possible recruits made available to Ireland by a change in FIFA regulations which allows players to switch allegiances once they haven't made a full senior appearance. Trapattoni mentioned Jamie O'Hara, but there doesn't appear to have been any progress with the Spurs midfielder. "There is no possibility at the moment," he said.

Scurrilous suggestions in the Scottish media had indicated that Glasgow-born McCarthy, who has broken into the first team at Wigan in recent weeks after his summer move, might use the loophole to switch back to his homeland.

New Scottish boss Craig Levein admitted last week that he had spoken to the 19-year-old with little joy, and a source close to McCarthy categorically denied the reports, telling the Irish Independent that any talk of the promising talent going back on his commitment to Ireland is "a load of s**t." Trapattoni is reluctant to comment publicly on any individuals affected by the change in case they are scared off by the publicity.

Irish Independent

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