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Dublin: 9°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Gibson unwilling to kiss and make up with Trapattoni

The Everton midfielder’s international exodus will continue beyond the upcoming qualifiers with Sweden and Austria.

Darron Gibson has chosen to turn down the latest call-up.
Darron Gibson has chosen to turn down the latest call-up.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

THE INTERNATIONAL CAREER of Darron Gibson could be put on hold until Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign ends after the midfielder again rejected a call-up by the Italian.

This afternoon, Ireland boss Trapattoni named an extended 29-man squad for the make-or-break World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria this month with the Everton’s star name absent from the list.

The 25-year-old has not featured for Ireland since pulling out of panel which travelled to Kazakhstan last September – stating he didn’t “feel ready” to return after the disappointed of being overlooked in all three Euro 2012 defeats in Poland.

And Gibson, who is currently playing some of the best football of his career with the Toffees despite dealing witjh an ongoing thigh problem, is clearly still unwilling to play under the current regime six months on.

Speaking to the media this afternoon, Trapattoni said: “I was in touch with Darron – he said he is not ready again. I saw him in the last game in England , at this moment ‘I stay here’ he said.”

I saw him very very well last game and he said at the moment: ‘I wish now no need for controversy, I’m not ready’.”

One player who Trap does seem to have patched things up with is Stephen Kelly, who returned to the fold after missing out on the last two friendlies because of a spat with the management team prior to the Faroe Islands game in October.

While he confirmed that Kelly had been selected, the Ireland boss insisted he didn’t say sorry to the Reading man as there was no need to.

“I don’t need to apologise. He said he is available, after we will decide if he plays or don’t play – which tactics I need.”

With the domestic season kicking off around the country this evening, Trapattoni confirmed that he would be attending the Airtricity League Premier Division meeting between St Patrick’s Athletic and Drogheda United at Richmond Park.

He has been criticised in the past for the lack of attention paid to the League of Ireland and when the question was put to him about whether a player plying his trade here could possibly get a call-up, Trap pointed to the fact that many of the current squad are former LOI stars.

“We prefer players in the Premier League or Championship for experience, we must not forget experience, other experience. We have 5 or 6 players that come from the League of Ireland.”

(Additional reporting from Hugh Gallagher)

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Ben Blake

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