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Trap claims he needs 'bags of patience'


Giovanni Trapattoni has yet to decide if skipper Robbie Keane will start against Sweden next month

Giovanni Trapattoni has yet to decide if skipper Robbie Keane will start against Sweden next month

Giovanni Trapattoni has yet to decide if skipper Robbie Keane will start against Sweden next month

GIOVANNI Trapattoni reached into his sack of Italian sayings and has thrown out the idea that, to be a football manager, he needs "three bags of patience" to do the job.

In Dublin yesterday to announce his squad for the upcoming World Cup games with Sweden and Austria – an enlarged 29-man squad which will be reduced to 23 next week – the Ireland boss, who celebrates his 74th birthday tomorrow week, reflected on the difficulties of his job.

And said he wished that young men who were "rebellious" as players would later become managers and be able to reflect on how they had behaved in their youth.

"We need three bags of patience, players are players," the Ireland boss told the media at FAI HQ in Dublin, hours before he crossed the city to attend last night's St Patrick's Athletic-Drogheda United game.



"In Italy, there are also bad players. The manager needs the players to go on (the) pitch, the players are young and I wish they can do the manager in the future, they can also understand when they were players. When they are young they have this slightly rebellious attitude."

As usually happens with a Trapattoni visit to Dublin where he meets the media, a large chunk of his time is taken up discussing a player who's not in his squad (in this case, Darron Gibson), as well as a player, Stephen Kelly, who is (just about) in the panel but who has, it seems, yet to really clear the air with the Ireland manager after a very public spat between the two last month.

Gibson has once again declined the offer of a place in the Ireland squad. With Trapattoni possibly playing with only one striker in Sweden in a fortnight, an in-form Gibson would be a handy man to have around the place, whereas Paul Green could now get the summons to bulk up the Irish midfield.

Trapattoni has been in touch with Gibson, who's been in self-imposed exile since getting grumpy over his failure to get some game time at Euro 2012, but it seems clear that the Derry native has no intentions of coming back to the fold.

Again, there were mixed messages and garbled explanations, with an apparent claim by Trap that Gibson had told him he would stay away from Ireland duty for now but would come back to play against England in Wembley in May – seeing as Gibson is playing through an injury and may need surgery in the summer, it's certain that Everton would have other ideas about that.

Trap has, at least, made contact with Gibson and complimented him on his performance at the Everton-Norwich City game, which the Ireland manager attended.

"I said (to) him I saw him very, very well in last game, I was in pitch. And he send me text, at this moment I wish no give controversy, in this moment I am no ready, but I will be available," Trap said.

"We have other (players), we play without him or without the other and we win against Poland, we have a good squad now. In the past I was afraid about missing this (player).



"Gibson said in this moment I prefer to stay (with Everton). This is the life."

At least Trapattoni and Gibson are in touch, which does not appear to be the case with Kelly, who took serious offence at comments made by Trapattoni in the wake of last month's friendly with Poland.

In one section of his press conference yesterday, Trap suggested that he had spoken to Kelly "about this situation" and added "Kelly is available, he said he is available and is in the squad". But later on, despite saying that in dealing with players "direct contact, that is my law", the Ireland boss admitted that he hadn't spoken to Kelly before naming him in the squad for the double header and, it seems, has not spoken to Kelly since their dispute.

He now maintains that while he contacts players to check on their injury status, he doesn't get in touch before naming a squad, except to inform players who have been dropped from the panel, so Trap has simply named Kelly in his squad for the Sweden/Austria ties.

Will Kelly turn up? "I don't know if he will come, why not?" was his answer.

The Kelly issue may be resolved before the panel report to Dublin for duty tomorrow week, hopefully so as the Reading man could be needed in Stockholm. Injury and match fitness is going to be a key factor for players in the days leading up to that game in Stockholm.

A combination of factors means that Trap is likely to start with a back four very close to the defence which began the game against Greece last year, with Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson at full-back and a central defensive pairing of John O'Shea and Ciaran Clark, should Wilson edge out Stephen Ward for the left-back slot.



Wilson has also played a good deal of his club football, especially with Portsmouth, at centre-half and has filled in as an emergency central defender in recent games for Stoke, but Trap admits he does not see Wilson as the man for that job in Sweden, with Clark and O'Shea expected to fill in with the task of marshalling Zlatan Ibrahimovic.