herald

Monday 18 December 2017

'Special eyes' of ref cost us: Trap

ANOTHER game on a foreign field and another linesman wearing dark glasses. Giovanni Trapattoni reckoned that "special eyes" were in use by referee Mike Dean and his linesmen at the Emirates last night.

"We saw 45 minutes of a very, very beautiful game," he said. "I think we played the same level as Brazil and thought we could have continued at that level and would have not lost. With their goal, the referee has 'special eyes' in this friendly game.

"The first goal was offside by one metre and I think if the first half had finished at nil-nil, then Brazil's approach in the second half would have been a little different.

Flagging

"They grew in confidence and went on to win well. But in life or football, it is not about 'if, if, if'. We made some some silly mistakes and gave them some great opportunities. Brazil could have scored one or two goals more."

Trapattoni could do nothing but make wholesale changes when he saw that his first choice players were flagging badly.

"After 50 minutes it was clear we could not recover. We had players in more than one position who were clearly tired after playing 90 minutes for their clubs only a couple of days ago and I decided to take off players like Damien Duff and Glenn Whelan and Kevin Doyle.

"The game was beyond us and I thought about the managers of the clubs who these players play for. I decided to give them a better chance to recover for the weekend.

"There was a problem too with some of the players who don't normally play 90 minutes. They struggled, it was clear they were not fit enough to last 90 minutes," he said.

Trapattoni offered his assessment of Brazil and Dunga's chances of leading the Samba Kings to another World Cup triumph in South Africa.

"I've already said there are many teams playing well in the build-up to the World Cup. The team that wins will need a little bit of luck, they will need to take their chances and they will have to have the strength and stamina to get through the 30 days of training and games. Brazil have the technique and the creativity, sure, but there are also teams like England and Spain ... it will not be easy."

Brazilian coach Dunga was happy with the workout and believes that his side is developing nicely as the clock counts down to the first game of the World Cup finals in three months' time.

"Tonight we are happy. It has been three and a half years that we have been working to develop this team," Dunga said.

"They won the Confederations Cup, they play well and they score goals. Everyone helps when they need to defend and everyone helps when they need to attack. This was a very satisfying match because they all showed what they can do. There is no reason not to be happy after a game like that."

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