Robbie Keane eyes retirement but backs Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni

'Not a chance' of Ireland manager quitting, says captain after 'worst time of international career'

Robbie Keane said yesterday that Euro 2012 had proved the lowest point of his international career. The Republic of Ireland captain denied, however, that more could have been done to prevent his nation's early exit.

The post-mortem into Ireland's pointless Euro 2012 campaign got under way amid accusations that Giovanni Trapattoni's men had embarrassed themselves on their return to the biggest stage. Keane, who had waited a decade for another crack at a major finals after playing at the 2002 World Cup, did not shy away from the fact that the last week and a half had been as bad a spell as he had known during his 120-cap career.

"Of course," said the striker, who may yet be one of a number of the squad to retire from international football in the coming weeks. "If you don't get something out of a tournament or at least get a few points on the board, it's certainly disappointing."

The manner of Ireland's exit – one goal scored, nine conceded – has led to criticism of Trapattoni's preparation and tactics. There have been claims some of his players were unhappy with a rigorous pre-tournament training camp – something that had echoes of England's 2010 World Cup debacle. But Keane, who insisted there was "not a chance" of Trapattoni being ousted as manager, said: "Everything has been fine. There are no excuses. We can stand here and say this, that and the other. We couldn't have prepared better. We've been beaten by teams that are superior to us. That's it, simple as that."

Keane also scoffed at suggestions Ireland should have torn up the game plan from their successful qualifying campaign once Euro 2012 started. "That's just going against everything we've done in the last four years," he sai. "The way we've played, we've played for four years under Trapattoni. It would be wrong to go into a tournament and try to change it."

Ireland were always going to be up against it to qualify from a group that contained three teams ranked in the top 10 in the world. But their qualifying campaign suggested they would be much harder to beat than they proved until Monday night's battling display against Italy.

Keane said: "You want to be competitive and professional and you want to win every game. Going into this tournament, we believed we could win every game. But it just hasn't been the case. The teams that we played against have been a lot better than us."

He added: "It's been disappointing for everyone, of course. You want to do the best you can and make the country proud. I don't know whether the players could have done any more than what they did. They gave it 100 per cent. Sometimes, you just have to hold your hands up and say, 'We've been beaten by better teams.'"

The goalkeeper Shay Given, who is also considering his international future, claimed none of the squad could have foreseen what was to come when they arrived in Poland. "I don't think anybody did," said the 36-year-old, who earned a record 125th cap against Italy.

Given refused to use an injury in the build-up as an excuse for several costly blunders. He said: "I was 100 per cent fit to play, and when you cross the white line, it's over to you."

Keith Andrews, meanwhile, urged Ireland's veteran players not to quit the international stage. Keane, Given, Damien Duff and Richard Dunne are among those thought likely to retire but Andrews, who would become the oldest outfield player in the squad overnight were that quartet to hang up their boots, said: "The lads that are being talked about in particular have been fantastic servants – absolute stalwarts of the team of the last 10 or 12 years.

"On a personal note, I've really enjoyed playing with them so hopefully they don't go, but it's their decision."

Despite being 31, the 32-cap Andrews is a novice in international terms compared to Keane (120 caps), Given (125), Duff (100) and Dunne (76).

Asked about Trapattoni's future, Andrews said: "Let's be frank, we haven't qualified for this tournament for 24 years. It is easy to sit there and criticise a man who got us the qualification. He's not really going to change something that's brought us a lot of success over the last four years, is he?

But he admitted Ireland ultimately had only themselves to blame for their demise. "We said before the tournament we wanted to give a good account of ourselves and there was no point coming for the craic," he said. "To be perfectly frank, we simply weren't good enough."

 

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
people
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?