Trapattoni remains Republic boss

  • Last Updated: October 17 2012, 22:11 BST

The Football Association of Ireland moved to end the frenzied speculation over Giovanni Trapattoni's future on Wednesday night when they confirmed he will remain in charge.

Giovanni Trapattoni: To carry on as Republic boss

After a board meeting on Wednesday, the FAI announced that the 73-year-old Italian would continue in his role as Republic of Ireland manager.

A spokesman said: "The board of the FAI met today and discussed Ireland's performances in the World Cup Qualifying campaign to date and the prospects of achieving qualification for Brazil 2014.

"The board agreed that convening a meeting between the Germany and Faroe Islands matches and/or commenting on the Germany game or the manager's position prior to Tuesday night's game would have been totally inappropriate.

"Following today's discussions the board, while disappointed like everyone with the poor result and performance against Germany and understanding the frustration of some of our supporters, believes the current position in the group means that qualification for Brazil in 2014 remains a realistic and achievable prospect, and re-affirmed that Giovanni Trapattoni is to remain in charge of the national team.

"The board recognises the depth of feeling surrounding the team, the performances, the results and the manager, reflecting the passion which everyone in Irish football has for the game and will continue to work closely with the manager."

The move came after days of speculation that Trapattoni would be handed his marching orders after Friday's dismal 6-1 World Cup qualifier defeat by Germany.

One report suggested the former Italy boss would be out of his job by the end of this week no matter what happened in the Faroe Islands on Tuesday night amid claims that he had lost the dressing room.

However, Trapattoni remained defiant throughout and with the public support of skipper Robbie Keane, saw his players respond to a tide of criticism by easing to a 4-1 victory in Torshavn.

Most of the 10 board members were in the Faroes on Tuesday night and chief executive John Delaney's refusal to discuss the matter either before or after the game looked ominous for the manager.

However, while there is little doubt that there was a serious debate to be had after a dreadful showing at the Euro 2012 finals even before the Germany debacle, Trapattoni has survived to fight another day.

Trapattoni was recruited at great expense to revive the fortunes of a nation which had made something of a habit of punching above its weight under the likes of Jack Charlton and Mick McCarthy, but had since fallen on harder times.

A man who had won league titles in four different countries was welcomed with open arms as he set about his task, and he very nearly succeeded at the first attempt when only Thierry Henry's illegal assist denied the Republic a chance of making the 2010 World Cup finals via the play-offs.

However, they went one better two years later when, having finished second in their group to Russia, Ireland defeated Estonia over two legs to book their trip to Poland and Ukraine.

Trapattoni's tenure has not been without controversy - his critics bemoan the lack of adventure in his team and the flair players who have been discarded along the way - and his continued residence in Milan, where he watched his players in club action only on dvd, remains a bone of contention.

There have been suggestions too that his communication skills are not what they ought to be on the training pitch or in the dressing room, and not just because of his limited grasp of English.

Trapattoni himself has greeted this week's debate in philosophical fashion, stubbornly insisting he was going nowhere and pointing to his record as evidence of the progress which has been made.

Asked on Tuesday night if he expected still to be manager when that campaign drew to a close, Trapattoni said: "I expect. We started three games ago - we have won two games, we have lost one against the best team [in Group C]. It's not my decision.

"I know what can do, but it's not my decision."

Despite talk of unrest within the camp, players were queuing up after the game to voice their support for the manager.

Keane said: "I still believe we can qualify and I am sure the manager believes that too, so I believe that the manager will be there with us.

"It's out of my hands, but I am sure every player would probably say the same, we want him to stay and continue this campaign."

Defender Darren O'Dea added: "God's honest truth, there is no uncertainty and there's no speculation within the team. The team knows the score, and that's that the boss is the boss and everyone believes in him 100 per cent.

"That's not a cliche to cover things up, it's true. There is no uncertainty within that team and the whole camp."


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