Mistakes cause Ireland to exit Euro 2008 early
From Giovanni Trapattoni’s point of view, his Ireland team just
made too many silly mistakes.
The Irish became the first team to be eliminated from the
European Championship on Thursday, losing to defending champion
Spain 4-0. The loss came only a few days after Ireland was beaten
by Croatia 3-1 in its opening Group C match.
”I don’t see this tension in training but this is a clear
symptom that when you approach a tournament either you feel
inferior or you feel concerned, so you make basic errors,”
Trapattoni said. ”This happened against Croatia and it happened
again this evening. I’m going to ask the players how this
Trapattoni said it was difficult to understand how Ireland’s
defensive solidity in qualifying had unraveled so spectacularly in
Poland. Ireland conceded only three goals in 14 matches running up
to tournament and now has allowed seven in two games at Euro
”Something has changed. The assuredness with which we have
played has changed between the qualifying process and the actual
tournament,” the Italian said. ”Fear, tension has meant we made
mistakes we didn’t do at all in the qualifying campaign. You could
see here the weight on the players’ shoulders.”
The 73-year-old Trapattoni, whose contract runs through to the
2014 World Cup, said he might use the final Group C game against
Italy to try out young players like winger James McClean, who made
his competitive debut against Spain.
”It wasn’t the best time to throw him on, but when a player
comes on in this kind of game it will help him understand what
international football is all about,” Trapattoni said.
Ireland may need to give the younger players some experience
because the older ones could soon be taking their leave of
”There will probably be a few players who will retire or
whatever, and there will be new players come into the squad of
course,” said Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given, who is 36. ”It’s
never easy when you call it a day. … Your emotions are very
Other key players like Damien Duff, Richard Dunne and Robbie
Keane are also over 30.
Trapattoni also said Ireland was at a disadvantage because
English football, where most of his squad plays, is not as
tactically advanced as the international stage.
”The tactical qualities you need are at a very high level,”
Trapattoni said. ”In England the clubs all play the same system.
This is a developmental thing. Some of our players are often talked
about, but they don’t yet have this.”