Andy Reid and the Giovanni grudge factor


As it is internationals weekend, a large chunk of Salut! Sunderland is off to Istanbul to celebrate his wedding anniversary. Whether much new appears here over the weekend is up to another large chunk, and the IT and editing skills of a smaller chunk, left behind. But before I tuck into the kebabs, let me give a quick kicking to Giovanni Trapattoni for his continued exclusion of Andy Reid from the Irish squad …

Q: “What do you call a banjo at the bottom of the sea?”

A: “A start?”

Giovanni Trapattoni may not have been the one who made up that musical extension of the can-we-please-get-rid-of genre of jokes. He may never have encountered Barney McKenna on a bad night or held negative thoughts about the banjo.

He does, however, appear to harbour some sort of grudge against Andy Reid (pictured courtesy of A Love Supreme), our newly slimline schemer with a fondness for singing and playing guitar and banjo (maybe we should have got him to review the Mags You Can Love, Rachel and Becky Unthank, at Salut! Live).

How, unless you were a Kevin Keegan intent on ignoring the most prolific goalscorer from the Premier when choosing who to play in Euro 2000, would you otherwise explain leaving out a quality midfielder who is currently on fire in one of the two or three best leagues in the world?

Trapattoni has mumbled about recognising that Reid has qualities but feeling they are not those he most needs. That would be a reason for having him in the squad as an option, even if he thought him unlikely to start.

Isn’t there a much more likely explanation? “It is believed the pair almost came to blows at their team hotel in Wiesbaden, Germany, after Trapattoni broke up a late-night singing session involving Reid, other players and coaching staff,” said the Daily Mail last year. Whatever you think of the Mail’s view of life, that has a ring of truth to it.

Which leaves me as unconcerned about the Republic of Ireland vs France as I am about every other international game this weekend.

That won’t especially surprise those aware of my heavily club over country bias. But France and Ireland are countries I do care about for different reasons, and I’d normally have at least a preference between them in such an important game; the inclusion of a Sunderland player would make that difference.

I saw the two play at the Stade de France five years ag in the run-up to the last World Cup, when I was living in Paris. A wealthy Dubliner had come up with a spare ticket at a chance meeting the night before; he had been on the Orient Express celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary and was flying in his three daughters for the next day’s match to round off the trip.

Andy Reid played in that game, and played his socks off. Ireland deserved to win but France rode their luck and scraped a 0-0 draw (they went on to be beaten finalists). On that night, I wanted the Irish to win. In other circumstances, since my wife is French and my children are therefore half-French, I might be shouting for les Bleus.

In fact, the absence of our wandering minstrel from the Irish squad constitutes those “other circumstances”. I do not begrudge Anthony Stokes his place, but whatever form he is showing at Hibs, he has done rather less than Reid to impress at the highest level of league football.

Allez les Bleus!

Colin Randall

5 thoughts on “Andy Reid and the Giovanni grudge factor”

  1. For the head of BBC’s Sports journalists I find it quite an interesting document.

    Darren Bent is condemned to the dustbin of footballing history for obviously doing what was asked of him.

    There was none of his usual work rate off the ball, tracking back supporting the midfield etc. For a player who I watch on a regular basis this can only be because he was told to do so by Capello. This was not the DB I know and for a chief journalist to miss this fact I find quite shocking.

    If this post lasts longer than a couple of minutes I will go further……..

    …….The invisible CAPTAIN, does he get a mention, err, NO…..It’s still here(this post)……more to come……

    An atrocious performance by the defence(going forward) and a nonexistent midfield and who does Mr McNULTY single out? You guessed it a player who didn’t receive ONE decent pass for the whole game……..Well not the whole game he was replaced by another player who did NOTHING, any mention, err, mmmmmm, NO. People call this journalism, I DON’T………

    Sm..Only1 it boils my blood!!!!!!!

    AND I bet Darren Bent too (my son you are too good for the NE, the southern miopic Journalists have told you so!!)

    Sorry I though we were discussing tennis or Cricket, areas where I could actually have reasoned comment……

    Actually I am surprised McNulty mentioned him at all, he never has in his other Blogs on the World Cup, he mentions Mark Owen who plays for Manchester Rovers alot epecially after he put one past Billy the Fish against their arch rivals Melchester City(err and that is about it). He has heard of their manager Sir Rudolph McTaggart so Owen must be good and definately should get a call up in his opinion(with the last bit being a fact)!

  2. Mr Sixsmith(?) ask Phil McNulty how far Tipperary is from the real world next time you cross Journalistic paths please. As the man needs post it notes on his elbow and posterior to get a distinct differentiation when he talks about football (Darren Bent in particular and his @BLOG@(just wet myself, sorry the man must like Cricket/Tennis, chief BBC sports correspondent, I am the Mammas and the Pappas and I’m Pennsylvania Dreaming) Can I write text on my scrotum and get paid for it??


  3. Reid is not now the man who fell out with the little Trap nor is he the man who wasted his talents over the last few years. He is however the man little Trap remembers for defying his orders and leading a rebellion against his manager partying into the night.

    I have nothing but admiration for the way, this season, Reid has not only turned his life around, on and off the pitch, but his increased fitness has enabled him to show his commitment and skills to Sunderland, in a way not previously possible.

    Whether Trap changes his mind or not Reid only has himself to blame, whereas Trap has only himself to blame if he ignores this transformation in a player and the national team loses out.

    One way or another it will not be Reid who gets the sack if the national team loses due to Trap excluding the better players.

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