October 2012 News Archive

Trapattoni names provisional twenty six man squad...31/10/2012
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has this afternoon announced a provisional twenty six man Republic of Ireland squad, for the friendly international against Greece in the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday 14 November 2012. Captain Robbie Keane has been excused the journey from California, while injury rules out Shane Long and Sean St Ledger. As expected, Wesley Hoolihan is included, but team mate Anthony Pilkington has not been invited. There is a recall for Damian Delaney but no place for Joey O'Brien or Alex Pearce, while Shane Duffy receives the call. Disappointingly, it was announced that the squad would be reduced to twenty three before they meet up on Sunday 11 November 2012. While injury is likely to generate some losses, it still beggers belief that three players chosen today could be cut from the squad, thus generating more of the negativity one would very much like to see the back of.

Trapattoni squad announcement this afternoon...31/10/2012
Manager Giovanni Trapattoni, is set to announce his Republic of Ireland squad, for the friendly international against Greece, at 3.00pm this afternoon. Positive evidence of a more ambitious and a less critical appraisal of the players available to him would be welcome. I firmly believe that the players, like most of us in life, respond much better to personal positivity rather than the far too lengthy period of negative assessment endemic to date.

Renewed interest in Trapattoni squad selection...29/10/2012
Following the recent renewal of vows undertaken by Manager Giovanni Trapattoni in conjunction with the FAI, interest in his upcoming squad selection for the friendly international against Greece has been resurrected by some degree with the forlorn public. Will the manager take the sensible and fiscal wise decision to exclude, on this occasion, the long distance trio of Keane, McGeady and O'Dea, about whom he already knows well nigh everything? The injury to Marc Wilson is hugely disappointing and his possible replacment Greg Cunningham is also sidelined through injury. An opportunity perhaps to review the merits of Aiden White?. Will Joey O'Brien and Alex Pearce, who both made positive contributions in the Oman friendly, receive another invitation? Another young midfielder Jeff Hendrick, may well be worth a closer inspection, while the Norwich City duo, Wes Hoolihan and Anthony Pilkington, who received a 'live eyes on' review last week must surely be issued an invitation.

Media reports say Trapattoni to visit Carrow Road...19/10/2012
The Irish media this morning report that Giovanni Trapattoni will take in the Premiership meeting of Norwich City and Arsenal at Carrow Road at 5.30pm on Saturday afternoon where it is hoped that Wes Hoolihan and Anthony Pilkington will feature for the hosts. The location of the Norfolk club rules out an earlier match visit on Saturday, however the meeting of Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United this evening, would offer opportunity to review the dynamic Aiden White who has excelled for Ireland at under 21 level. Can we therefore hope for an extended visit, with perhaps a trip to Sunderland for their early Sunday contest with neighbours Newcastle United and a 'clarification chat' with James McClean. If the North East does not appeal, then maybe London, for QPR and Everton, later that afternoon where, who knows, another 'clarification' opportunity might arise with the visitor's Darron Gibson.

Managerial poker game clouds debt nation clash...19/10/2012
While leading player Gio exudes confidence in his hand, the nervously uncertain FAI may yet be hoping for a lucky deal as the friendly international with fellow debt ridden nation Greece, enters the spotlight. The manager is set to announce his squad in twelve days time and that listing is likely to have some impact on the ticket sales market. The November timing of a friendly encounter is far from ideal and attendance speculators are holding their cards close to their chests as the drama unfolds.

Leap of faith or leap of madness by the FAI?...17/10/2012
This evening's announcement by the FAI that Giovanni Trapattoni is to continue his role as International Team Manager, comes as something of a surprise, or does it?. Fiscal considerations are likely to have been top of the discussion agenda and whichever option chosen, 'stick or go', was always going to be a gamble. The cost of a triple termination package in which the principal target held all the aces and his beligerant insistence that he was going nowhere, voluntarily!, as opposed to the potential cost of supporter disenchantment and withdrawal from active support, coupled with other corollorary financial aspects, went the way of the incumbent. The short term cost of termination would have been severe, but ironically the ultimate cost of retention also lies with the manager and his ability, or otherwise, to provide future product and result from the team he continues to control.

FAI confirm the retention of Giovanni Trapattoni...17/10/2012
Following a board meeting in Abbotstown this evening, the FAI have confirmed that Giovanni Trapattoni will continue in his role as International Team Manager.

Perhaps the future is not as gloomy as suggested...16/10/2012
A common denominator in the analysis and opinion offered by a whole series of former international players and the less knowledgable element of the media, is the liklihood of lean times ahead on the senior international front. While one anticipates a challenging future, one does not necessarily subscribe to the analysis and attitude of defeatism and negativity. The players making the most significant, most telling contribution in Torshavn this evening were almost exclusively the young guns, the novices. Coleman, Wilson, McCarthy and Brady were conspicuous by their positivity and no mean level of technical ability, the commodity the current managerial incumbent has far too frequently decried. Perhaps the fact that he has rarely offered opportunity to these players and a number of others who do possess and can provide more than a semblence of craft, points the finger of suspicion in an inward direction. There were of course difficulties and uncertainties this evening, as there have been for some considerable time. However, the return of Richard Dunne and Sean St Ledger together with a proper review of aspiring central defenders Ciaran Clark and Alex Pearce suggests greater stability in that area. We are also aware that there are a number of technically proficent midfield candidates in exclusion or exile, while young players such as Greg Cunningham, Conor Henderson and Aiden White have all been excellent for our Under 21 side as indeed has Jeff Hendrick who like Brady remains eligible for Noel King's underage team.

Serious doubts still surround managerial position...16/10/2012
Despite the performance and result in Torshavn this evening, the positions of Giovanni Trapattoni and his cohorts Marco Tardelli and Fausto Rossi remain in doubt. There was no comment from the FAI hierachry tonight, but the fact that Trapattoni will not attend the scheduled press conference tomorrow, but return directly to Italy, may well speak volumes.

Baraclough's Boys win League Title for Sligo Rovers...13/10/2012
This afternoon's title decider between the current two finest footballing sides in Ireland went the way of the hosts Sligo Rovers and won them the League Championship for only the third time in their history. A full house in excess of 5,600, most of whom were in the ground more than two hours before kick-off, were treated to a compelling contest, as visitors St Patrick's Athletic matched and on occasion outperformed their hosts. This was a true contest, full of quality and an absolute advertisement for our domestic game. It comprehensively compounded the value of the miserable fare offered by Ireland at the Aviva Stadium the evening before. The hosts dominated the first half, with local hero Raf Cretaro hitting the net twice in three minutes around the mid way point. The visitors responded after the break and goals from Christy Fagan and Chris Forrester stunned the Showgrounds faithful. The 'Bit o' Red' recovered their poise and the remainder of the half was evenly matched with visiting substitute Anto Flood hitting the post with a fine shot. Whatever element of luck there might have been, went the way of the hosts two minutes from time when an Assistant Referee (old linesman, for the elderly amongst us) flagged for a hotly disputed penalty. After a period of 'shenanighans', Mark Quigley was calmness personified as he blasted the ball to the back of the net and kick-started celebrations. 

Air of anticipation envelops the Showgrounds...13/10/2012
As the newly refurbished Showgrounds glistens in this morning's Saturday sunshine, there is an atmospheric vibrancy prevalent in the Sligo air. The 'Bit o' Red' face closest title challengers St Patrick's Athletic in front of the live RTE 2 cameras at 3.45pm this afternoon, knowing victory will secure the League Championship title for only the third time in their history. Glory beckons for manager Ian Baraclough and his team, and the North West, together with a myriad of outposts throughout the world, holds it's breath. 

Ireland crushed in the Aviva tonight...12/10/2012
There is little or nothing to be said about tonight's debacle in the Aviva Stadium. I choose nothing at this time.

Lack of tension in the Dublin air - good or bad?...12/10/2012
There appears to be a noticable lack of real tension surrounding this evening's WCQ meeting with World Numer 2 ranked Germany. Is this good or bad? - one leans towards the former. While this is a much changed and inexperienced Ireland side, there is a considerably reduced level of negative baggage within the team, which offers hope for a positive performance. An aggressive start, maintained throughout, will invoke the full support of the public. Should it end in defeat to a side with greater quality and strength in depth - so be it. While the visitors top the Group C table with the maximum six points from their opening two outings, their performance in those contests, at home to the Faroe Islands and against Austria in Vienna were far from impressive. Perhaps opportunity knocks for a brave new dawn?.

Seamus Coleman selection, something of a surprise...11/10/2012
With an injury ravaged squad, the inclusion of Seamus Coleman ahead of the much more experienced Stephen Kelly comes as something of a surprise. While an air of uncertainty will surround us until kick-off, are we, however belatedly, about to witness a change of stance from manager Trapattoni. The oft repeated comment, echoed again this week by Marco Tardelli, that Ireland do not possess sufficient players of quality, thus necessitating the defensive strategy consistently employed by the Manager, has always grated. We may not, indeed do not, possess players of sublime quality, but we do and always have had a greater selection of technically talented players that the management team have ever selected.

Interesting aspects to selection from depleted squad...11/10/2012
While we await the definitive managerial instructions to the injury depleted team selected to face Germany tomorrow evening, first thoughts are that anything other than a much more attack minded game plan could prove counter productive. In real terms, Ireland are not under major pressure to win. Few anticipate or expect victory, consequently the opportunity to try something different in a competitive contest, a la Paris 2009, although of course victory was imperative on that occasion, presents itself. The player retirements and catalogue of injuries forces the hand, but in many ways this is welcome. One can but hope that forced to make an almost radical and un-Trapattoni like selection, the manager permits the players to play to their strengths, within an overall team structure of course, and does not inhibit their abilities with negative instruction.

A week in the life of an Irish youngster at Fulham...06/10/2012
This has certainly been an eventful week for sixteen year old Waterford born winger Dean O'Halloran. Scorer of the vital equaliser for the Ireland U17 side against Sweden in the UEFA Championships last Saturday. The vital opening goal against Romania on Thursday which helped secure qualification to the next stage followed by a harsh red card late in the same game. An unfortunate own goal for his club Fulham in their two one defeat by Chelsea in the Barclays U18 League this morning - 'That was the week that was'.