Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beautiful Day

What I wouldn't give for a few days in a row of weather like yesterday's and today's... And to top it all off we're set for the Trap, and I'm like a giddy schoolgirl at the thought of it!

I have to say that, barring any last minute glitches, I'm ecstatic at the idea of having Trapattoni, who'll be 69 on St Patrick's Day (and should be guest of honour at that bloody parade in Dublin!), managing the Irish team. Just look at this record...

AC Milan - Coppa Italia: Runner-up: 1974–75

Juventus - Serie A: 1977, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1986; Runners-up: 1980, 1983, 1992, 1994
Coppa Italia: 1979, 1983; Runners-up: 1992
European Cup: 1985; Runners-up: 1983
Cup Winners' Cup: 1984
UEFA Cup : 1977, 1993
European Super Cup: 1984
Intercontinental Cup: 1985

Internazionale - Serie A : 1988–89
UEFA Cup: 1990–91

FC Bayern Munich - Bundesliga: 1996–97; Runners-up: 1997–98
German Cup: 1997–98

AC Fiorentina - Coppa Italia Runners-up: 1998–99

SL Benfica - SuperLiga: 2004–05
Ta├ža de Portugal Runners-up: 2004–05.

FC Red Bull Salzburg - T-Mobile Bundesliga: 2006–07

It's true that Italy underwhelmed while under his stewardship, but they were in transition at the time and their 'failures' in 2002 and 2004 would be a dream achievement for us right now. Plus his experience is in such stark contrast to Stan's lack thereof it's almost unreal.

The night of the Cyprus debacle I met a number of football hacks in Busker's in Temple Bar, one of whom I know, and got talking to them. They really had it in for Stan (rightly, in fairness), but more so the FAI.

Since Stan's exit most of them have been unable to to write an article that included the words 'search for new Irish manager' without adding the word 'farcical' at some point. They also invented red herrings, such as insisting we should have had a new man in place for the World Cup fixtures meeting or the Brazil match last week - anything they could beat the FAI over the head with.

In reality, though, it just wasn't that important to find a manager in November, December or January. The reality is that few managers worth talking to are available mid-season (and the mid-season before a major Championship to boot). It was far better to take their time, have a good think about who was available and end up with the right man in time for the post-season friendlies, to prepare for the qualifiers then.

Anyway there's still no way the hacks will give the FAI any credit for getting Trapped. Instead you can expect a raft of stories about how they've got him almost despite themselves. but at the end of the day the FAI took their time and landed possibly thr most experienced and successful manager available in the whole of Europe today. And I'm going to give the gits credit for it.

P.S. Here's some intersting stats for any ManYoo sheep out there:

-----------------------------With Rooney--------------Without Rooney
Goals For-------------------------41---------------------------9
Goals Against---------------------7----------------------------7

That's some record for Chequebook SAF and his stg£171 million 16-man squad.

P.P.S. Do you know that Royston's Sunderland were the 7th highest spenders in the WORLD last summer? Before he brought his season's total to £45 million? Well you do now.
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