The impending appointment of Giovanni Trapattoni as the new manager of the Republic of Ireland has been met with widespread approval.
The veteran Italian is due to be confirmed – although not necessarily unveiled – at a press conference at the headquarters of the Football Association of Ireland in Abbotstown today. The 68-year-old's arrival should appease the detractors who had voiced their unhappiness at the time taken by the FAI to find a successor to Steve Staunton, who was sacked in October.
Trapattoni's CV is littered with league titles and European trophies from his time in charge of Juventus, Internazionale, Bayern Munich, Benfica and currently Red Bull Salzburg. Now, though, he arguably faces one of his greatest tasks by taking on the role of coach of an Ireland side who have fallen from grace in recent years.
It is understood FAI chief executive John Delaney has met Trapattoni in Salzburg to iron out the contractual details. Trapattoni is expected to take fitness coach Fausto Rossi with him to Dublin, while also appointing former Italy international defender Claudio Gentile as his assistant.
However, with Trapattoni committed to seeing out his contract with Salzburg through to the conclusion of the Austrian League season in April, he is not immediately available to start work.
Former internationals Frank Stapleton, Johnny Giles and Kevin Moran all believe he can restore pride in the Irish national team. "His ability as a manager and coach are second to none," said Stapleton. "It's a CV that stands up to great scrutiny, and for us it's a great appointment. For me, it's the level we've needed to be looking at, somebody who has done it before and who will give us a totally different view.
"Sometimes, because we're in the British Isles, we tend to focus on only what goes on in our games. But this guy has a global outlook and he will bring that to our team."
Giles also spoke in glowing terms, saying, "You always hope you get someone like that. At the start of the process, Trapattoni didn't seem to be in the frame at all, but I think it's great that he's come in late and all's well that ends well.
"He's an experienced man and he's been a great manager over the years, and hopefully he'll be a great manager for us now."
Moran added: "He's a winner. When you look at what he has done, his pedigree is fantastic. He would be a completely different appointment to what we've had before, but England have done something similar by appointing Fabio Capello."Reuse content