Italian Gets job!

As regards the seemingly never-ending search for a new Republic of Ireland manager, it has now thankfully come to an end. Giovanni  Trapattoni lies at the opposite pole of the soccer spectrum from where the in-experienced Steve Staunton is now situated. This Italian is truly a world-class manager. It is worth questioning though that had Brian Barwick and co. not chosen Fabio Capello as their new man for the English hot-seat, would Trapattoni’s name have even come into the equation for the managerial vacancy on this side of the Irish sea? I doubt it. Indeed, while predictably and rightly, there has been much media hype and renewed optimism expressed with Capello’s appointment, he is a mere apprentice compared to the masterful Trapattoni, who is a living legend of Italian football.    Those of us interested in the saga will no doubt by now be well-versed on Trapattoni’s managerial trophy haul over the last three decades, from his six scudettos in a ten-year period (1976-86) with the ‘Old Lady’ of Turin to his recent success with FC Salzburg of Switzerland. In relation to the former though, it was his tenure at Juventus which set him on his winning ways, as he would also oversee Bayern Munich and Benfica to claim league titles. A championship winner in four different countries, he is the only manager to have that distinction. Known for his ear-piercing whistling that radiated from the dug-out, Michel Platini (who played under Il Trap at Juve) once joked that he spent most of his first season pretending that he could not hear THAT whistle! In that case, he may need a foghorn to get through to Robbie Keane!   Furthermore, although what happens on the field of play will determine the ‘success’ Đ in our case, this means qualifying for major tournaments Đ another area which hopefully will improve under the new man is the issue of media relations, which have deteriorated significantly under the last two managers.    While Staunton was rather uneasy with and distrustful of the Irish media, Kerr Đ who arguably was rather unlucky not to have his contract renewed Đ couldn’t quite understand why journalists were looking to interview him, even after he had given a press conference. He wasn’t particularly happy at making himself fully available to the media. A rather bitter casualty of the Irish senior international scene, you could imagine him sitting in some dingy bar in Inchicore in twenty years time declaring to the poor soul beside him: ‘I could have been great’.