Today the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) actually, in my mind, made a very good decision. I think the appointment of Giovanni Trapattoni is an excellent decision.
This lad has an excellent CV with 10 league titles in 3 countries and he managed Juventus to their very first European Cup. A very tough feat. He managed some of Juve's top players including Liam Brady, Michel Platini and the Polish lad who was excellent in the 80's. He has led clubs to trophies wherever he has been and the most important thing is he knows how to win.
Some people have been dishing his international record with Italy. It really wasn't that bad. He was done in the 2002 World Cup by some shocking referring. He was unlucky not to qualify from the group in the 2004 Euro's. They were the only team never to qualify with 5 points.
Some say he plays very negative football but so what if we are winning. You have to ask yourself what you would prefer - a 1-0 win away to Cyprus or the 5-2 loss we had? You mightn't get goals in games but he can get results.
We also have to look at the overall picture and the players we have. Personally, I think we have a very weak squad and may struggle to qualify for the World Cup. I think we need to aim for the tournament after that. The first 11 is decent but still weak.
Stephen Kelly is good for the Premiership but he is not good enough for the Irish team. Only Given, Dunne, McGeady, Duff, Ireland and Keane show enough for me to think they are international quality. We have others who are good enough to fill positions like Carsley and Hunt. Kevin Doyle has potential but needs to get a bigger club to prove it. Other than that there are few I can think of that are good enough to drive us through.
More than likely we will get a surprise result like we usually do. Maybe beat Italy at home but I can't see us qualifying to be honest. But in this age of instant results or nothing it won't be enough for the "fans" who will probably boo at any bad performance and we will lose this man. We need more foresight and plan for the future. We have some very good youngsters coming through and we need to prepare for that. We also need to start showing more organisation and be better tactically and the results will follow. But we need time.
We are not the force and nowhere near the force we were under Jack Charlton. Then we had Bonner, McCarthy and Morris from Celtic. Whelan, Houghton and Aldridge from Liverpool. McGrath, Moran and Stapleton from Manure. Brady from Juventus. Now we have a few lads from Reading, a Manure 'utility' player and players from the old 2nd Division in England. Not the same and I wish people would stop comparing.
So I back this decision. Yes it took time but they got it right. They got a good man. And to prepare for the Italy match enjoy this....