THERE’S NOT MANY people who know what under-pressure Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni is experiencing at the moment, but Brian Kerr is one of them.
Kerr managed the national team between 2003 and 2005, when he was sacked after the Boys in Green failed to reach a play-off for a World Cup spot.
The Dubliner was in Torshavn last night to see the Boys in Green beat the Faroe Islands — who he managed in recent years — by a scoreline of 4-1. And he says FAI chiefs are probably silent on the under-pressure Italian’s future as they are trying to gauge the mood of the Irish football public.
“We haven’t had any clear statement from the FAI saying they were fully backing the manager, which I think is probably form for the FAI given my own history,” he said last night on RTÉ television.
“It’s a little bit strange that they haven’t seemed to come out in support. Maybe they will after tonight’s match, maybe they were feeling away looking for what the public reaction was to the German victory and hoping things will settle down and they won’t have to pay him off because it appears that the finances are not in a very good state at the moment.
“The thing about Trapattoni is that he doesn’t live in Ireland. He’ll be gone home to Italy very soon and he’ll be away from the clamour and the discussion and all the newspaper speculation. And I think helps; whether or not it helps him to stay in the job or not… he gave a very strong performance in defending himself in the press conference before the game. I’m sure he’s done the same tonight and said ‘look, we’ve got six points, you hardly expected us to beat Germany, we’re still in with a chance’.
“And he’s entitled to make that defence. Equally, I think it’s fair to make the other criticisms that have been around over the last while. And I repeat I think it’s unbelievable that he can do his job without going to watch the players play in England or going to games in our own league,” Kerr added.