Ireland will come to a standstill on November 14th and 18th for the play-offs versus France, the first leg being in Croker, where, if Big Jack was in charge, they’d be heaping fertiliser on the grass already.
Both matches will be like mini-World Cup finals. If Ireland raise their game like they must they can upset the temperamental French – though whether to try and bring a lead to Paris, or ensure they’re still in the tie at ‘half-time’, will be a real test of Trapattoni’s conservative tendencies.
His conversational abilities may have been partly responsible for his comments questioning the prognosis of serial injury victim Steven Reid, who happily seems to be after surmounting a serious long-time knee problem, but has been hampered in his latest comeback by minor niggles.
The Blackburn midfielder was reportedly shocked and angry at the Irish manager’s downbeat take on his prospects of making a full recovery. Hopefully it was simply a case of something getting lost in the translation. To lose two Reids would be more than careless.