Former Irish defender Ian Harte believes that Giovanni Trapattoni is killing Irish football, adding he felt that the Italian should have been sacked after the European Championships.
Responding to questions about his international future, the Reading defender told the Irish Independent that he had not retired from but had not been considered as Trapattoni did not know that he was eligible to play for Ireland.This lack of interest from the Italian worries Harte who said:
“I’m a passionate Irishman and I just think he’s killing Irish football at the moment. He’s stuck in his ways, and seems to have his favourite XI and if they’re fit they will play, no matter how they’re doing for their club. He should have gone after Euro 2012 and given someone else a chance, but then I don’t know if it would have cost too much to pay him off. I just think people need to start standing up to this. It’s a disgrace what’s happening.”
Harte’s Reading team-mate Stephen Kelly released a statement last week in response to Trapattoni’s claim that he would only make himself available if he was guaranteed a game. Harte went on to admit that there was more to that story and suggested Trapattoni would be in trouble if the full story was ever known:
“It’s a joke. I’ve seen Stephen Kelly’ phone, pretty much every one of the Reading last have seen it, and we’re thinking: ‘What’s going on’? If the press were to see the full text, that would be end of Trap. Stephen has a text from Trapattoni saying. ‘We’re going to rest you and bring young lads into the squad’.
“Stephen says: ‘Well, I’m a bit disappointed, I would love to come over and play in the game, but I understand if you want to do that, you’re the manager. I accept your decision. I want to come and play’.
“Stephen was told a young lad would be playing and then he puts Paul McShane at right-back. He (Kelly) is devastated and then the manager comes out and says what he does in the press. It’s hard for Stephen to respond because he’s pretty much digging his own grave.
“Disagreements happen in dressing-rooms. Players can fall out with managers. People can fall out with managers. People get on the phone or meet up and sort it out, nip it in the bud. It doesn’t need to come out in the press. It’s forgotten about. But this thing with Stephen? It’s crazy.”