Giovanni Trapattoni continues to ignore Ireland's best players and it is going to cost him
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Last night I watched Liam Brady sit on the RTE Panel after Ireland's underwhelming performance against Macedonia.
Brady appeared to be squirming whenever the camera showed him, a reflection of the fact that he can no longer carry out his job as a member of the media because of his personal relationships with the Irish team and management.
While Giles and, particularly, Dunphy broke down the Irish team's performance and made comments about the Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni.
I was disgusted by this until I realized that I myself had been doing exactly the same thing until now.
I have refrained from making comments about Giovanni Trapattoni's reluctance to put Ireland's best players in the center of midfield because I am related to one of the players I believe should be starting.
I take my job very seriously and always do my utmost to be professional whenever I publish an article. I strive to be unbiased and avoid any actions that would throw my neutrality into question.
Therefore I will use the words of Eamon Dunphy speaking after last nights game, "I don't accept the argument that we haven't got the players. For example, Whelan and Gibson in midfield tonight were very very poor. They don't pass the ball well, they don't get on the ball and there's no tempo. I would put Keith Fahey in midfield, I said it yesterday and I said it this morning. He is an outstanding young footballer and he can pass the ball and play."
Keith Fahey made a late appearance from the bench during last night's match. He brought a certain amount of composure that had been lacking from the midfield as well as showing off good ability from set pieces that has always been a part of his game.
Dunphy last night called for Ireland to start Ciaran Clark and Fahey in midfield when they play Uruguay on Tuesday night because "We can't go on playing this type of football and get away with it."
Now, personally I would prefer to bring James McCarthy into the side somehow but Clark brings an enforcing edge to the center of the park that is needed. Giovanni Trapattoni prefers players that are reliable ball winners in the center of the park.
Clark is naturally a center half but has played midfield effectively for Aston Villa so you know he is capable of doing this. However just because Fahey can pass the ball does not mean that he is scared of a challenge.
You don't play for years in the center of the park for a tough side like St. Pats in Dublin if you're afraid of putting the foot in. Nor would you have been selected to start in a Carling Cup final against Arsenal if you weren't willing to work defensively.
Alex McLeish has no problem in trusting Fahey as he has even deployed him as the holding midfielder in the Premiership recently(against West Brom, when he was the home side's man of the match).
Ireland may have come away with all three points last night but Macedonia had 11 attempts on goal to Ireland's 8 while both Irish goals were fortuitous to say the least. At one stage during the second half the away side even had 57% of the possession because of Ireland's inability to complete any sort of respectable passages of play.
The introduction of Fahey and McCarthy late on steadied the ship and they are only two of the players that Dunphy points out should be starting for Ireland.
Someone like Seamús Coleman who is good enough to play a starring role for Everton cannot get in the Irish side? Now that doesn't make sense.
Understanding how Kevin Kilbane is still lining up at fullback is beyond me. Don't get me wrong he is a great servant and will always have my utmost respect, but his time has come and passed. Ciaran Clark is starting for Aston Villa in the Premiership, Kilbane is playing for Huddersfield in League One who don't even break for internationals.
Trapattoni's system of selecting players is stubborn and will eventually cost Ireland against better teams than the footballing giants of Macedonia.
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