(Credit: Jason O'Callaghan)
Homepage image courtesy of Jason O'Callaghan
The chorus of boos that rung around the ground at full-time said more than Giovanni Trapattoni could ever have said in his own brand of broken English. Yet there was a reddened look in his face, whether that was because of the cold Dublin air or embarrassment at the result, as questions poured down on him following the most humbling defeat of his lengthy career.
If the pressure was on before tonight, then now it is blisteringly hot. Calls for the Italian to resign were never going to come to fruition though. He is far too stubborn for that.
“I am proud about this team. This result is difficult. It’s very difficult to explain. I think in the first 30 minutes, we had good balance and Germany didn’t show us a difficult situation. After the goal, it was an easy situation (for Germany). It was very difficult for us to keep the ball. We can have no excuses.
“It was a criticism from the fans,” he said of the boos. “We can’t forget that a couple of years back Ireland were lower in the rankings, we have moved up. We have discovered many young players, I only played three older players from three years ago.
“I am proud of these players, I know them.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday’s trip to Torshavn, he avoided a question on whether the result will determine his future as Irish boss. “The players must answer that, I am sure they can. They are committed, like they were tonight. This team has that mentality.”
When asked directly if a change was needed, he responded with: “No because we had injuries and people were missing.” What followed was a difficult to understand monologue about where he could find better players than those that were used. It almost, though not quite, seemed like we asking those in the room if they knew.
On the long ball, meanwhile, he said it was down to ‘personality’, essentially explaining that he felt like Ireland needed to bypass the technicians in the Germany midfield. “There is a personality there in players like Ozil, that we have players who are not as technically or personality as good so we need to get past the Germany midfield.”
On the other hand, Germany boss Joachim Loew, remarkably played the result down, saying the scoreline was a bit high.
“Right from the word go, there was a palpable German presence. We prepared ourselves for Ireland’s long ball game and found a good tempo. We were comfortable but the result is OK, the scoreline was maybe a bit high at 6-1.”
“We are very glad, because we haven’t won in Ireland for a long-time.”
Sweden are up next on Tuesday for the group leaders, with Loew adding: “I expect a different game against Sweden. I expect them to put some combinations together and not just long balls. If we win it would be a great finish to the 2012 qualifiers.”
Alan Smith has been writing for ExtraTime since 2008. He works as a full-time journalist based in Cork, working as a sub-editor for TCM and freelancing for a range of national titles. Follow him on twitter @alansmith90.