Ireland hits back

Last updated : 22 September 2009 By Paul Jennings
Machester City and former Irish midfielder Stephen Ireland has come out with some criticism against Irish manager Giovanni Trapattoni. The player who left the Irish squad in 2007 under a cloud has recently said he prefers to get extra fitness work during International breaks. His latest interview will drive an unrepairable wedge between the two men.

He said in the Irish Daily Star Sunday

"When I met Trapattoni for a chat last season I felt there was a lot of arrogance going on. We were in the middle of chatting and he kept leaving the room to answer one of the four phones he had on him.

"We didn't speak after that until this summer, when he called me. But I think he made that call for his own benefit, rather than mine. He said: 'Is it ok if I tell the press that I've spoken to you and there's a chance of you coming back?'

"I said

'You can tell people we've spoken and maybe we'll meet up in the future, but don't say there's a chance of me coming back because there probably isn't.'

"As soon as he switched from talking about meeting up with me to announcing it to the press I knew what his agenda was.

"Even with the prospect of a World Cup, it hasn't crossed my mind once about going back. I have never felt part of the squad and I never will. When I watch Ireland games it's weird. It's like I was never there and I don't miss it at all."

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