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41 mistakes Giovanni Trapattoni made as Ireland manager

Plus, 12 things he did well during his time as national coach.

Trapattoni was a highly divisive figure during his time as Ireland manager.
Trapattoni was a highly divisive figure during his time as Ireland manager.

1. Not learning English properly.

2. Perpetually relying on 4-4-2 for the big games.

3. Playing Jon Walters on the wing.

4. Relying too much on Simon Cox.

5. Not calling Marc Wilson and Seamus Coleman up for the Euros.

6. Persisting with certain players – for example, Andrews, Whelan, Ward and Kilbane — for too long.

7. Being disrespectful to the media, saying it was “easy to write”.

8. Sitting on precarious leads and being punished as a result.

9. Generally being old-fashioned in footballing style and refusing to embrace modern changes in football.

10. His infamous “we are Ireland” interview.

YouTube credit: IrishSoccerTeamNews

11. Telling James McClean he wouldn’t be playing at the Euros.

12. Only going to Premier League games sporadically.

13. Leaving out creative/in-form players.

14. Lamenting the standard of the players at his disposal during the Euros.

15. Alienating Darron Gibson.

16. His harsh treatment of Kevin Doyle, dropping him via text.

17. Not getting a high-profile replacement for Liam Brady.

18. Not making more of a good situation with Robbie Keane, Damien Duff, Shay Given et al at their peak.

19. Constantly referring to the Cyprus 5-2 game as if it were the norm rather than an aberration.

YouTube credit: Nick Nicholaou

20. Making Kevin Foley feel ‘betrayed’.

21. Calling Shane Long ‘idiotic’.

22. Bringing on Paul McShane in Paris.

23. Causing Stephen Kelly to feel ‘disgusted’.

24. Obstinately refusing to select Wes Hoolahan for most important games.

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25. Not even considering Andy Reid for the squad, while picking mediocre alternatives.

26. Bringing on Paul Green in the dying minutes against Austria.

27. Bizarely promoting Conor Sammon to third-choice striker.

28. Starting Darren O’Dea against Germany.

YouTube credit: UploadedByGoblins

29. Relying too much on the long-ball game.

30. Rarely urging his sides to attack in numbers.

31. His insensitive remarks about Steven Reid.

32. Picking David Forde ahead of Keiren Westwood against Sweden and Austria.

33. Playing a considerable role in causing the increasing public apathy surrounding the team.

34. Neglecting James McCarthy for too long.

35. His extremely harsh comments about Robbie Brady.

36. Keeping the same team against Italy in the Euros despite two abject performances and having nothing to play for.

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37. Making ludicrous comparisons between past and present players he’s coached.

38. Persistently naming his team well in advance of matches, thus giving the opposition plenty of time to prepare for what was ahead.

39. His comments that he was obliged to be loyal to the players that got him to the Euros.

40. Pretty much everything about the Germany game — it was a genuine humiliation and one of the worst performances by the team in recent Irish footballing history.

41. Not changing the team’s playing style even after the debacle of the Euros.

He wasn’t all bad though, and with that in mind, here are 12 things he did well during his time as coach:

  • Placing faith in Sean St Ledger and helping him to strike up (initially at least) an excellent central-defensive partnership with Richard Dunne.
  • Overseeing good performances (at first anyway) when they most needed it — against Italy, France and Estonia, for instance.
  • Being the first manager to get us to the Euros since 1988, with a squad that was not high on talent.
  • Showing a natural charm during most interviews.
  • Reacting with great dignity to the Thierry Henry handball incident.
  • Not caving to public pressure and always picking what he thought was the best team.
  • Hiring the nation’s favourite translator.
  • Always handling questions regarding his future in the job with dignity and intelligence.
  • Bringing back a sense of professionalism to the team following the disastrous Staunton era.
  • Never ‘having a Macedonia’ and always beating the teams Ireland were expected to defeat.
  • Never taking himself too seriously.
  • His nicely handled appearance on the Late Late.
  • His willingness to try out new players after the Euros.

YouTube credit: rte

What have we forgotten?

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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