YOU could call it ‘una duce, una voce’.
Giovanni Trapattoni has rubbished the idea that the Irish players took tactical matters into their own hands in the second leg of the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup play-off against France.
Citing unnamed sources in the Irish dressing room, reports over the weekend suggested that a player revolt on the eve of the game in Paris – and again at half-time during the match – had resulted in the attacking display which brought Ireland so close to victory over the French and to qualification for the World Cup finals.
According to the reports, senior players on both occasions pleaded with Giovanni Trapattoni to be “let off the leash” and the manager complied.
However, in an uncompromising statement released through the FAI yesterday, the Italian has sought to leave no-one in any doubt that he believes that he – and he alone – calls the tactical shots.
The statement reads: “Having heard about reports in Saturday’s Daily Mail and in Sunday’s News of the World, Mr Trapattoni wishes to clarify the following: “Since taking up his role as manager with the Republic of Ireland team, Mr Trapattoni has (as has always been his habit) used video material to show his players their previous matches, studying their errors and positions on the pitch.
“On the evening before and morning of all matches, he makes a detailed analysis for the squad, looking at the positive and negative aspects. The opposition are also analysed in detail, both as individuals and as a team. The tactics are decided by Mr Trapattoni. The improvements shown progressively during the World Cup qualification campaign against Georgia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy and France have happened because the players know their exact roles and have learnt from what Mr Trapattoni has told them. Each player knows his exact task on the pitch before every game and they have followed this to the letter. No player decides what to do on the pitch.
“Under Mr Trapattoni’s management, the players follow only what Mr Trapattoni has asked them to do.”
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