Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni slams 'idiot' Shane Long over fitness claims

By Daniel McDonnell

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has labelled Shane Long's behaviour "idiotic" after the forward claimed he was fully fit to play in the goalless draw with Serbia last night.

West Brom attacker Long had been named in Trapattoni's starting line-up for the match, but Simon Cox was drafted in as a late replacement, with Long said to have suffered a calf injury in training.

As he left the game, Long told reporters he was fit to be involved, comments that drew the ire of his manager once the Italian was told.

Speaking at a press conference reported by radio broadcaster Newstalk, Trapattoni said Long had complained of a physical problem following a training match.

"After this, he said, 'I have pain'," Trapattoni said.

"The doctor worried, they made a scan (in hospital).

"And now he says he is fit, that is idiotic. Is idiot. No, (he) is no baby."

Trapattoni said Long had featured in his preferred line-up during the training match and that he had every intention of playing him if he was available.

The Italian added: "For me, it is impossible to understand this. He could say, 'I am ready', before the game."

Long is now expected to feature for West Brom against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.

Irish Independent


From Belfast Telegraph