Trapping the light fantastic with groovy Gio

It might look like Giovanni Trapattoni is doing il pollo tremarella — the funky chicken — but it’s only the veteran Italian making a point to the media in his own inimitable style.

Despite his 73 years, Ireland’s football manager is never shy about getting physical if he feels some energetic mime can help compensate for his still slippery command of the English language.

Yesterday, at a press conference at the Clarion Airport Hotel in Dublin, he was especially animated and, at times, not a little angry, in the wake of a controversy about striker Shane Long’s omission from the Irish side which drew 0-0 with Serbia in Belgrade on Wednesday night.

The Tipperary-born Premier League player complained to reporters after the game that he’d been fit to play but, yesterday, Trapattoni robustly defended his decision to leave him out for the match, insisting that, after the West Bromwich Albion man had reported a pain in his calf muscle in training, Trapattoni was simply not prepared to risk him in a friendly.

And it was while attempting to illustrate how a muscle problem can be exacerbated in the heat of battle, that the still super-fit Trapattoni leaped to his feet and provided the photographers present with shots which, given his international profile, will surely ring around the football world.


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