GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI HAS often told those of us yearning for good football at Lansdowne Road to ‘go to La Scala for entertainment’.
The Italian’s is a results-driven business.
Last night however, after he watched his young side lose to Greece at home in an international friendly, the Ireland manager took the positives from a promising display that showcased an improved style of play — but ended in another defeat.
Players like Ciaran Clark, James McCarthy, James McClean and Robbie Brady were named in his starting line-up and Wes Hoolahan was at last given the chance to shine — and did — when introduced at half-time.
Jose Holebas’ 29th-minute strike ultimately secured victory for the Greeks however, but Trap struck a positive note afterwards.
“The result gives us great disappointment, but the performance gives us possibilities,” he told reporters. ”It gave us confirmation of what we were looking for. Coleman, McCarthy, Long and also McClean, they confirmed against a great team — because the Greeks are a great team — their quality and their personality, and that was very important.
“In the first 20 minutes, we played very, very great football. We conceded the goal and even then, we still had more possession. Football is about results, but we had some good situations and three or four of the players showed their personality in this difficult game. It was very important to have a good performance after the disappointment against Germany. You can see a progression.”
He added of a couple of penalty shouts: “In the first minute, there was a great penalty — all our fans saw it. But maybe the referee did not have the courage to blow after one minute.”