Ireland 'humiliated' by Germany loss
The calls for Giovanni Trapattoni to step down as Ireland boss reached deafening levels on Friday night after his side were handed a 6-1 thrashing by Germany in front of a shell-shocked Dublin crowd.
Trapattoni insists he will carry on as Ireland boss despite increasingly vocal calls for his hasty exit, even though stand-in captain John O'Shea was among those admitting his side had been 'humiliated' in the Group C World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.
"If you are going to lose a match at home, there is a way you can do that and yet we were humiliated against Germany," admitted O'Shea.
"They are a very good team and would give most opponents problems, but we gave them a helping hand with a lot of the goals. Germany looked like masters, but we helped them to look as good as that.
"Once they scored, we changed a little bit and tried to have a go at getting back into the game and they took advantage of that extra space. We win as a team and lose as a team and we have to try and dust ourselves down and bounce back from this. "
Injured skipper Robbie Keane admitted the mood in the dressing room was 'very sour', but he admitted his compatriots had been comprehensively outclassed. "The whole nation is disappointed, but we knew what we were up against in Germany and second place was always a realistic target for us," stated the LA Galaxy striker, who confirmed he hopes to play against the Faroe Islands on Tuesday.
"We are not a nation that have the amount of players Germany or England might have. We don't have a lot of Premier League players to call upon, but we accept this kind of display isn't good enough. We know everything is going to be very negative in the coming days, but we have to try and ignore that and get ready for the Faroe's on Tuesday."
Former Ireland midfielder Ronnie Whelan described the display as the 'worst I have seen from Ireland in my lifetime', with the always outspoken RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy among those calling to the end of the Trapattoni era.
"This manager does not go to games in England, he does not do the job properly," said Dunphy. "His tactics are sterile, he is negligent to the job and clearly, we have to question his position more than ever now. We have a manager who is one of the most respected in the world and Ireland invested in him, but sadly he hasn't put his all into the job as he should have done.
"This result has been coming for a long, long time, so we shouldn't be surprised by what has occurred. What we have to do is make sure this situation stops now. I was not Mick MCCarthy's biggest fan when he was Ireland manager a few years back, but I would not have a problem with him returning to the job now."
For his part, Trapattoni continued to dodge questions about his future as he claimed injuries to some of his key players contributed to Ireland's heaviest defeat on home soil since 1931. "We missed Richard Dunne, Glenn Whelan, Sean St Ledger, Robbie Keane, we miss many players, but I am not looking for an excuse," stated the Italian.
"We played the first 30 minutes well, but after the first goal they were superior in strength and every department. We could not contain them in midfield and they were clearly the best team.
"This is the second team in the world and we cannot have any excuse about this defeat. In the past, we had different players and you cannot say whether this Ireland team is as good as the teams that have gone. That cannot help us. We have to look at the Faroe Islands game on Tuesday and realise it will be difficult. We want to try and get second in the group because Germany will finish first in this group."
Trapattoni is set to face a barrage of criticism in the Irish media in the morning and he faces the prospect a further grilling from his tormentors as he is scheduled to appear at a 3pm press conference in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.
Suggestions that former Ireland captain McCarthy could be in line for a return to the job he held between 1996 and 2002 were gathering momentum in Dublin on Friday night night, with ex-Celtic boss Gordon Strachan and current Norwich manager Chris Hughton mentioned as other viable contenders for the post if it becomes vacant in the coming days.