The new Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has demanded his players trust him above all else if the team are to once again become regular qualifiers for World Cup and European Championship finals. "Trust" was a word Trapattoni repeated on many occasions on the day he was finally introduced as the new man in charge.
The hugely experienced Trapattoni is seen as the ideal coach to end Ireland's qualification drought after failing to reach the last three major tournaments.
The Football Association of Ireland, after the gross mistake they made in appointing Steve Staunton last time out, have paid handsomely to attract a manager of Trapattoni's reputation. The 69-year-old Italian has won countless trophies as both player and manager during an illustrious career, and now the hope is that his magic rubs off on a squad that has underachieved for too long.
Trapattoni is insistent if his players learn to trust him, his ideas and philosophy, then together they can bring the good times back. "All the Ireland players have to be proud to be in the national squad, that's the first thing," said Trapattoni, determined to put his thoughts across in English, although on occasions he called on the use of an interpreter. "After that, they must trust what I say because in my life I have been lucky, but I also have many scars. So when the players trust me, trust my mentality, we can achieve 10 per cent more. We have good players with good qualities, but they have to believe in me. That is important."
Trapattoni is charged with the task of ensuring Ireland qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa and he held up Greece as a prime example of what can be achieved by a small nation. "I have already said I am here because we have good players, and we have a chance of qualifying," stressed Trapattoni. "Look at Greece four years ago. Who thought Greece would win the European Championships? Ireland has experienced players who play in England, which is very important, and there is also youth, so we have a good blend. At first, I won't change things a lot. It's dangerous to do that."
Trapattoni has assembled a support team with a mix of Irish and Italian personnel. Marco Tardelli and Liam Brady are his right-hand men, while he also has former Republic internationals Frank Stapleton and Mick Martin to call on, with Fausto Rossi serving as fitness coach.
"I have always sought a challenge to bring out the best in me," added Trapattoni. "When Don Givens [a member of the three-man head-hunting panel] asked me if I would be interested in becoming Ireland manager, I became very excited. I think this job is the right one at the right time for me."Reuse content