Why Trap should take Ireland to Euro 2012
GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI and Fabio Capello have enough miles on the clock to know how to handle the kind of controversy generated by players like John Terry and Stephen Ireland.
Both men have to make a pragmatic choice about players who have brought unnecessary controversy upon themselves and their international managers through selfishness.
But I have to say, if Stephen Ireland turned up at Trapattoni's door and begged forgiveness for his sins, I would seriously consider bringing him to the Euro 2012 finals in June.
I know some people will be puzzled when I say that I would take Ireland to
Poland and I would qualify that by saying that I would need to be very satisfied that some conditions were met.
Trapattoni's job is to put the best team he can onto the field and below that, to take the best squad he can to Poland.
He has to make a judgement about Stephen Ireland on three levels but the first criteria must always be this; will he add to the squad by being there?
After that, he must decide whether he can trust the lad and thirdly, whether his presence in the squad will upset the hard won unity of purpose which he has developed over nearly four years.
Sentiment is not an issue here and I am certain that Trapattoni would not hesitate to pick him and drop someone else if he felt he could deal with all of those pre-conditions.
But to be honest, all of this is more relevant to some like James McClean or Seamus Coleman than it is to Stephen Ireland.
Let's give those lads a run against the Czech Republic and watch them closely between now and the day Trapattoni has to announce his squad before we waste any energy on a player who chose to walk away from his country when he didn't have to.