Saturday 20 January 2018

Trap: We must stop Arshavin

GIOVANNI Trapattoni has placed his players on Arshavin alert at the Aviva Stadium tonight when the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 qualifying campaign shifts into high gear.

"We must watch for Arshavin. I saw where he plays in the other games and maybe Russia will change. I don't know. But we have to react immediately to the position he plays in," said Trapattoni, who is more than confident Ireland can cope.

"Arshavin plays in England. We have the defenders who know Arshavin and understand that sometimes he goes left, sometimes right and in past he has also played the second striker.

"We know all this and it's important that we are compact and play as we did against Armenia and also Paraguay."

Trapattoni was also quick to kill any suggestion that Russia are a one-man team and has pointed out a range of different strengths to their players

"While I recognise Arshavin as a famous and important player, Pogrebnyak is strong. In midfield Semsov is strong, as are many other midfielders - not only Arshavin."

As always Trapattoni has been focusing on the nature of Ireland's strengths and his message to his players all week has been consistent.

"For any manager, it is important to have good players who are clever, who believe in you and understand what you want from them.

"There are famous teams and after the first qualification, they went home. It's not about individuals, it's a collective effort and with good, clever players, it's easy for a coach to build a team.

"There isn't a manager who wins without quality. Only Jesus Christ," he said with a smile. "My objective in life is the win, the result."

Naturally enough, Dick Advocaat is driven by the same imperative but refused to nominate this fixture as a must win for Russia."We must win or draw, we cannot lose," he said.

EURO 2012 FOCUS: PAGES 82-87

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