By David Hennessy
The Football Association of Ireland, Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli today announced that following an amicable meeting this morning, they have parted company by mutual consent.
Speaking following the meeting, Giovanni Trapattoni said: “I want to thank everyone in Ireland who has given us their support during our time here which has always meant a lot to us.
“We leave this country with emotion because we understand the Irish supporters who have a well-deserved international reputation and they have our utmost respect. I would like to thank John Delaney, Paddy Mc Caul, Michael Cody and the FAI Board for their support and friendship over the last five and a half years.
“I would also want to thank all FAI staff members, including the backroom team and the players who have been great to work with during the last three campaigns. I wish them well in the future and hope that the job we have done leaves everything in a good place for my successor to take over.
Making the announcement, FAI Chief Executive John Delaney said: “We thank Giovanni Trapattoni, Marco Tardelli and Franco Rossi for the last five and a half years during which we qualified for our first major tournament in ten years and were close to qualification for 2010 World Cup in South Africa after the play-off in France.
“This particular World Cup campaign has been disappointing but Giovanni leaves us with a group of good young players which should form the basis of the squad that the new manager will use for the European Championships in France 2016 when 24 teams qualify.”
The Board of the FAI will meet in due course to discuss the process in relation to the appointment of a new manager.
By achieving qualification for Euro 2012, the Republic’s Italian manager Trapattoni got the team to a major tournament for the first time in ten years. However, an embarrassing showing that saw the Boys in Green lose all three of their Group C games illustrated just how far we have managed to slide considering we were always a team that punched above our weight in major tournaments. Some questioned why Trapattoni’s contract had already been extended prior to the tournament and have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of a manager to make the Republic competitive again.
The current campaign has seen Republic of Ireland thrashed 6-1 at home by Germany and the more recent defeats, although there are two games remaining, leave the Irish team needing a miracle in order to travel to next year’s world cup in Brazil.
It all looked so good back in March when after drawing 0-0 away with main rivals for the play-off spot Sweden, Republic of Ireland were headed towards a 2-1 victory over Austria only to let the Austrians to equalise at the very death. Robbie Keane provided a well deserved lead when they entertained Sweden at the Aviva Stadium on September 6 but this was not something the team would be able to hold onto. Losing 0-1 in Vienna left Trapattoni’s side six points behind Sweden in second place and all but out of the qualification race.