Trouble for Trap as Given is set to miss Macedonia
GIOVANNI Trapattoni will have to find a new captain and vice-captain for his squad in time for the March 26 Euro 2012 qualifier against Macedonia following the news that Shay Given is facing surgery on a damaged shoulder.
With Robbie Keane ruled out for at least a month, Trapattoni will have to take on Macedonia without two of the men who make up the backbone of his team.
Richard Dunne, the man many feel is the natural leader of the Ireland squad, will step into the captain's role -- if he can stay fit.
Given was absent from the bench for Manchester City's FA Cup tie with Notts County and according to Roberto Mancini, the outlook is bleak.
"He will go to the doctor in London to see if he needs surgery," said Mancini after his side knocked in five without reply.
Given's injury is a recurrence of the problem that first allowed Joe Hart to break into the Eastlands first team this season.
He dislocated the shoulder against Arsenal with three games to go last season and opened the door for Hart to such an extent that Given has only had four appearances for Manchester City so far -- one in the Carling Cup and three in the Europa Cup.
Trapattoni suggested that Keane might be dropped if he couldn't find regular football but he was prepared to tolerate Given's circumstances until the summer when a move away from Eastlands seemed certain.
Now, Given might struggle to find a new club if the prognosis on his shoulder opens up the possibility of a lay-off measured in months.
Trapattoni will upgrade Kieren Westwood to first-choice for the game against Macedonia but he might struggle to find a back-up.
Both Joe and Brian Murphy are currently injured and unlikely to be fit in time to join the squad in Dublin for the Macedonia game.
Trapattoni could turn to Colin Doyle who kept a timely clean sheet for Birmingham against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup or the Championship's form stopper of the moment -- Paddy Kenny -- a key part of QPR's surge towards the Premier League.