Ireland may come to regret Reid freeze-out
Giovanni Trapattoni may have cause to regret his decision to leave Sunderland playmaker Andy Reid out in the cold when Ireland face France on Saturday and next Wednesday in their two-legged World Cup play-off.
Reid has been in sparkling form for his club this season in the Premier League, notching some fantastic goals, notably from free-kicks — an area Ireland need to improve on with the exception of Glenn Whelan’s thunderbolts from long range.
He has a range of passing that can unlock the best defences in the world and Ireland will need somebody with that capability against the more-fancied French at Croke Park and Stade de France over the next week.
But the Dubliner has been overlooked by Trapattoni ever since he fell out with the wily, no-nonsense Italian a year ago in the team’s hotel bar in the German city of Wiesbaden after Ireland’s qualifier with Georgia.
Reid has apologised profusely for failing to go to bed before a 2am curfew and, unlike, say, Manchester City’s Stephen Ireland, he has reiterated on many occasions his commitment to play for his country.
But while Trapattoni and his backroom team continue to court Ireland, Reid remains in exile. Of course with a lack of creativity in Ireland’s central midfield, Ireland would be a welcome addition, but surely his absence only reinforces the need for Reid’s recall?
The former Tottenham player has knuckled down since his move to the north east of England, lost lots of weight, looks fitter than ever, and has become one of the most improved players in the best league in the world.
Is it time Trapattoni swallowed his pride?
PHOTO: France team soccer coach Raymond Domenech (R) and captain Thierry Henry hold a news conference upon their arrival in Dublin November 13, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau