EVEN WHEN GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI draws, he loses.
The Republic of Ireland manager declared himself satisfied with his side’s 0-0 result away to Serbia last night as he gave starts to James McClean, Darren O’Dea, Keiren Westwood and James McCarthy.
However, he was forced to answer questions about a player who did not even feature on the pitch on Wednesday night in Belgrade.
Trapattoni has described Shane Long’s claims he was ‘fully fit’ to play against Serbia as ‘idiotic’.
Newstalk reported on Thursday afternoon that the Italian took offence to questions on the fitness of the West Brom striker. Trapattoni said:
Before the game we made a tactical (formation) with Shane Long, with (Jon) Walters, with (Aiden) McGeady.
Ask Shane Long what he said, after this, ‘I have pain’.
The doctor, worry, and so in hospital. They took him for a scan.
And now he says he is fit, that is idiotic. Is idiot. No, (he) is no baby.
Trapattoni, through translator Manuela Spinelli, then explained that Long would have featured in the system had he been fit. The Italian then added:
For me, it is impossible to understand this.
He could say (Trapattoni hits table) ‘I am ready’ before the game.
The West Brom website reported at midday on Thursday that Long would be fit to play Liverpool at Anfield in the club’s season opener on Saturday.
Long asserted twice asserted he was fit, to journalists from the Irish Independent and Irish Times, as he left the stadium in Belgrade on Wednesday night.