Sports Digest: Giovanni Trapattoni doesn’t want Stephen Ireland to return
Irish boss to ignore Stephen Ireland’s vague interest in an Irish recall
Giovanni Trapattoni will ignore Stephen Ireland’s vague interest in an Irish recall despite the player’s return to form with Aston Villa.
Trap refused to comment on weekend quotes from Ireland, who said he would consider an offer to return to the international fold if the Italian picked up the phone.
Sources close to Trapattoni, however, believe he has no interest in making such a call before the Euros to Ireland, who last played for his country in 2007 before claiming his granny had died, which proved to be a lie.
“I don’t think about it,” said Ireland when asked if he had any ambitions to play at the Euro finals this summer.
“My first step was to get back into the team here and now I’ve done that. My next target is to get as many goals and assists between now and the end of the season.
“I’m taking one step at a time and I’ll happily just play club football. I’ve been out of it for so long that I’m not going to miss playing for Ireland. I’m not sure what’s round the corner.
“It’s not on my mind because I have not been approached in such a long time -- maybe two years. If something comes to me then I’ll see, but other than that, I will just get on with my football here.”
Meanwhile, Trapattoni will tell his players to carry on drinking at the European Championship finals -- but not to excess.
The Ireland manager has no plans to impose a booze ban on his players in Poland this summer.
Trap will allow Robbie Keane and his teammates to have a beer or two after their games against Croatia, Spain and Italy, but he will monitor their drinking.
“No, we will not ban alcohol,” insisted Trapattoni. “Drink is okay for the players so long as they don’t get drunk.
“We will allow them to drink beer. My experience in Italy is that now and then players need to have a drink a beer or wine. Drinking with reason is allowed.”
Trap will keep strict tabs on his players socializing in Poland after admitting that Stoke defender Marc Wilson has to apologize for a recent incident before he can return to the squad.
“I will not say what happened but he needs to say sorry and say that he made a great mistake,” added Trapattoni, with a clear hint that Wilson will not feature in the Ireland squad going to the Euros.
One player who looks nailed on for a seat on the plane to Poznan and Gdansk is the Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, who has been receiving pep talks from Trap by text.
“James McCarthy is one for now, not one for the future,” said the Italian coach.
“I like his commitment and I have told him that. I have texted him and told him to call for the ball, to talk a lot more on the pitch.
“For me, he is still a little bit shy on the pitch. He can grow more and do better. I would like him to take a better position because he can play midfielder or as a second striker.
“His manager at Wigan is very good with him. Sometimes he is left or right, sometimes he is behind the striker.
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