Join us as we talk about Ireland's disastrous Euro 2012 and look back on a memorable tournament for Spain.
So let's get the obvious one out of the way, should Trap stay in the job? There are many people calling for him to step down, but is this fair?
In an age where many are sacked prematurely, it's a tough one. First of all, he had a poor tournament. His selections were wrong, his tactics were wrong. But, and this is a very big but, the players at his disposal just aren't up to that standard. Whatever way he lined them out against Spain, Ireland would still have been hammered.
Agreed, our players that Trap used weren't of the standard needed, especially in midfield, but we had some on the bench, McClean jumps to mind, and there were others like Coleman who didn't travel. And yet Trap didn't use them.
Oh, and to answer the question: while I don't agree with him being given the contract before the tournament, he should stay. It would prove too costly for an already debt-ridden FAI to sack him anyway.
I think he got us further than we should have gone, ie, the Euros, but to stoically stick with the same players whenever things are obviously not working out is a bit short-sighted in my mind. Even to have brought on some of the younger players during the Croatia game to try and chase a goal would have been preferable to what he had done.
Ok lads, I’m here sorry for the delay. It happens when you live in the sticks!
So how does our man in the sticks view Trap's future as Ireland boss?
I agree - but that, for me anyway, points towards Trapattoni having a lack of faith in the others in the squad. The most annoying thing about him as Ireland manager has been his failure to go to watch his players playing for their clubs.
Of course, both of those are linked together.
Way I see it Irish public while being on wavering in their support at the Euros, the fans will be short on patience if he doesn’t show any sign of change in August and in the World Cup campaign. That being said I think he should stay, he has achieved more then any Irish football manager in the last 10 years.
@AlanSmith Does that lack of faith in the other squad players mean that Trap holds no hope of changing the skillset of the players? I think the reason he doesn't go to see them play for their clubs is that maybe he doesn't hold English club football in high esteem. Maybe he thinks he won't learn anything useful from seeing their club performances?
@Shaun Cronin What if he does change things and we end up losing our first three qualifying games? Would you accept that? Or would you prefer to stick to the same methods and generally similar squad and get some results?
Let’s be realistic to lads is there even going to be an Irish player playing in the Champions League next season?
Fair point, but his refusal to go and watch players like Wes Hoolahan etc. is a crime. McClean has been discussed to death already but there are many more players that Trap should have considered in the friendlies leading up to the tournament.
@Shaun Cronin Yes, Aiden McGeady will already be playing in it.
@Peter Towe Sometimes you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette look at Germany in 2006 no one fancied them with a young side but they have reaped the rewards of that faith. I would accept a few losses if the team looked like it was heading in the right direction.
I think Trap's hands are tied with the players he has. We seem to be light years behind in terms of skill and we are too reliant on the English Premier League to bring our players on.
@Peter Towe So essentially, an overhaul of the structure for younger players here needs to be implemented.
@AlanSmith Which is down to the FAI. Do you think that will happen?
@AlanSmith Thats if he doesn't return to our shores which he has talked about. If he did return he wouldn't get into any top four team in the Premier League.
What I found very disappointing also, was that our defence was so poor during the tournament, example of Mario Balotelli's goal against us is startling. Why now? Nerves or just better opposition?
@Peter Towe They've made half-hearted attempts - the introduction of the national U19 league was a good move - but not enough has been done yet. They need to start at U8, really, and introduce futsal/small-sided games. Underage teams are moving to a full-sized pitch and full-sized goals far too early. To improve their skill levels, they need to be put on small pitches where they have to be technically better to move the ball quicker at feet.
@Shaun Cronin Aiden said on the eve of the Euros that he was enjoying it in Russia and would see out the rest of his contract. And there's no way he'd return to our shores anyway, don't think the Airtricity League would be his aim!
@AlanSmith Is there any hope of a change at League of Ireland level perhaps?
@Peter Towe Well the U19 league is under the LoI, so that's one change but - if we're talking solely about playing ability/style here - it's too late anyway to change how senior players play. We need to be catching them young. The top clubs on the continent already have U8 teams.
Nerves had a big part to play but some of the mistakes where totally unacceptable from experienced players. As much as it pains me to say it Shay Given and John O'Shea will take be taking a long hard look at themselves this summer.
@Peter Towe The restructuring needs to take place at grassroots level, getting kids playing the right way from the second they step onto a pitch.
As for the defence, I reckon it was a combination of better opposition and nervousness as well as fatigue. The training camp was far too long and with the players complaining of being tired before even getting to Poland, it showed in the end against three teams that were technically miles ahead of us.
@Shaun Cronin Yes, it was painful to watch Shay's performances in the tournament and a shame to see the big Donegal man embarrassed. I for one felt very sorry for him and hope that it isn't his last appearance in the green of Ireland. Of the mooted retirements, he would be the least I would like to see, no offence to the other prospective retirees, if that is a word....
@AlanSmith I see it with my own young fella playing for his local team. Luckily our coach is not averse to him running out of defence with the ball, but I have often heard other coaches shout to their player to "Get rid of it!".
In fairness to the FAI while I totally agree with Alan changes have to be made at grassroots level we must also take into account on a small island the level of competition football has from the GAA and rugby as well.
@Peter Towe I agree hope Shay doesn't but he clearly wasn't fit at the tournament and all in all Westwood isn't a bad replacement.
@Peter Towe And that means coaches at those age-groups need to be coached in how to be a coach. I'm sure you wouldn't hear that been shouted at an U10 or U11 game in Spain, Italy or, even though they were almost as bad as Ireland in the Euros, Holland.
@AlanSmith Fatigue? Spain were supposed to be tired too, but look what happened to them. I agree they might have been tired, but the Spanish players were better able to cope with it. Perhaps it is the type of football our players encounter each week in England, more physical and quicker.
@Peter Towe But Spain weren't complaining about the rigorous training they were going through in the three weeks leading up to the tournament. The players were just after finishing their club seasons, they weren't unfit and didn't need a mini-pre-season when already fit. It tired them out and even though it wouldn't have altered the outcome against Spain and probably Italy, we looked jagged and frayed against Croatia in the opening game.
So who would you like to see starting in Ireland's next game?
@Peter Towe I'd like this in August but it'll never happen: Westwood; O'Shea, Dunne, O'Dea, Coleman; McGeady, Andrews, Hoolahan, McClean; Long, Walters.
Given, Coleman, Dunne, O'Shea, Ward, McGeady, Andrews, Hoolahan, Ireland, McClean, Long.
@Shaun Cronin Is that 451 or McClean up front?
@AlanSmith No place for McCarthy? I would have Westwood; O'Shea, Dunne, O'Dea, Coleman; McGeady, McCarthy, Hoolahan, McClean; Long, Walters.
@Peter Towe 4-5-1 Long as the lone striker.
Like to see Robbie Brady and Aiden White called up also, they is flying for the u21s.
@Peter Towe Just feel that Andrews is the only one who deserves to retain his place after the Euros. Our best player by far, even though his reaction after being sent-off was embarrassing.
@AlanSmith Agreed, Keith was our best player, but since it is a friendly we should experiment from the start since it is the only chance to do so before we get into the qualifiers.