Giovanni Trapattoni leaves Republic of Ireland: Matt Holland, Steve Staunton and Jason McAteer reaction

The Italian has left following a poor World Cup qualification campaign

Former Republic of Ireland captain Matt Holland has moved to pay tribute to outgoing national team boss Giovanni Trapattoni.

The 74-year-old's five-year tenure ended on Wednesday morning with a mutual decision reached after Ireland's failure to reach the 2014 World Cup.

Holland felt the decision was right, but praised the veteran Italian's work while in the job.

"I think it is (right)," he told talkSPORT.

"We should pay tribute to what he achieved and he has done an excellent job.

"The style of play was what frustrated the Ireland supporters because he is pragmatic and defensive-minded.

"We have better players than the way we performed."

Holland won 49 caps for Ireland between 1999 and 2006 and added: "Let's not feel sorry for him. He's 74 years of age and has had a great career. Look at his achievements, he's won everything in the game.

"But everything comes to an end."

Holland played primarily under Mick McCarthy while wearing the green shirt, and does not see a reason why the Ipswich manager could not make a return.

McCarthy, former Celtic and Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill and Leeds' Brian McDermott are among the early favourites.

"The big favourite is Martin O'Neill, he's the one everyone is talking about," Holland said.

"He's out of a job and very much in the running. Brian McDermott at Leeds has potential."

On McCarthy he added: "He's doing a good job at Ipswich and I'm not sure he'd be too keen, but why not?

"Mick had great success so why not? A number would fancy it because we've got some very good players."

Steve Staunton, who won 102 caps for the Republic and managed the team on their failed mission to qualify for Euro 2008 before losing his job, had seen Trapattoni's exit coming.

Defeats to Sweden and Austria left the Italian's team with no realistic hope of qualifying for the World Cup.

"I'm not really that surprised after the two results we had because we all knew this month was crucial for qualification," Staunton said on Sky Sports News.

"We were never going to qualify automatically, but I think everybody had hope and vision that we would come second and get a play-off, and it's a bit of a lottery then, but that's not going to be the case."

Staunton played during the Republic's heyday under Jack Charlton, and the Englishman's success with the Republic has raised the country's expectations of success on a European and world level.

"We're always expected to qualify ever since Jack's era," Staunton said.

"Expectations have to be managed and controlled but sometimes they are unrealistic.

"Unfortunately things didn't work out. The criticism is coming from the tactics this time.

"But you can only work with the players you've got and unfortunately our players at this moment in time - we haven't got the biggest pool in the world."

A tough Euro 2012 campaign saw Trapattoni's team return after the group stage following three defeats, to Croatia, Spain and Italy.

There were calls for Trapattoni to go then, but he survived that and Staunton said "maybe he deserved another chance" for guiding the team to the tournament.

Staunton would welcome former Northern Ireland international O'Neill coming in to succeed Trapattoni.

"He's got more experience than anybody out there so it wouldn't be a bad shout," Staunton said.

"He's managed Celtic for five years and done really well up there, and at other clubs he's done really well, so that wouldn't be a bad choice. Who knows what the FAI have in mind, but Martin would be up there high on the list.

"I would like to see an Irishman get it or somebody who's from these islands, who knows what the Irish boys are about and knows the mentality. The FAI has a tough job now."

Former Republic midfielder Jason McAteer told Sky Sports: "Giovanni is a lovely fella, very shrewd. Two poor results cost them qualification and it was time to move on.

"There are some good players coming through. It's important to get the right man now to bring those players through.

"Mick McCarthy coming back would be fantastic but I think Mick is enjoying the day-to-day management at Ipswich and that, for me, would rule him out.

"Martin O'Neill, with his man management skills, would be an ideal candidate."

Former Republic striker Niall Quinn, another veteran of the golden age of the national team, suspects the job may not appeal to some candidates when they analyse the strength of the current squad.

Quinn identified veterans Shay Given, Richard Dunne, John O'Shea, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane as recent totems of the Republic team, but can see few coming through to match up to them.

"Anybody who feels there is a magician that is going to come in and turn us into a great team overnight, I think they're sadly mistaken," Quinn told Sky Sports News.

"The worry for the new manager coming in is: as those five players have come to the twilight - in fact some of them don't play anymore - what's come in, what great stars have come in to take their place?

"The answer is: none. I'd be very worried that we don't have the talent - that we don't have something strong for a manager like Martin (O'Neill), like Roy (Keane), Mick McCarthy, to go on and kick on straightaway.

"The only upside to a new manager coming in for the Euros is there are eight new places at the competition and that'll make it a small easier to qualify."

Quinn called Trapattoni's departure "inevitable", given the frustration of the current campaign, and he raised the point that the Italian's spoken English may have hindered him.

"We didn't get to know him enough," Quinn said.

"I'm sure there were things about Giovanni we couldn't break down because of communication difficulties."

PA

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