Football Psychology: Giovanni Trapatonni – The Reputation!

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Football PsychologySo finally Giovanni Trapatonni’s tenure as the Republic Of Ireland manager is brought to a close. Failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup was enough to bring Dr Reality into town.

Whilst this is the right decision, it is one that has come too late. Trapatonni’s reign should have ended after a poor display at Euro 2012, that showed his team lacking in ideas and imagination.

Trap’s legendary status in the game, ensured he had extra credit amongst his employers, but really this was a campaign too far for the Italian, and the Republic have missed an opportunity.

Being able to make tough decisions is the hallmark of all the best leaders. The Republic executive failed to see the writing on the wall last summer, and failed to act when the time was right to do so.

When you are dealing with someone who has achieved as much in the game as Trapatonni has done, it would be easy to be fooled into thinking that he would turn things around. To be in awe of him. But success as a leader in the past, is no guarantee of success today.

The game has moved on. Every good coach must challenge himself to learn, develop and evolve. Trapatonni was able to bring structure and organisation to the Republic’s football, but it was devoid of imagination and individuality.

Therefore his role should have been limited to creating a period of stability after the ineptitiude of the Steve Staunton era. Then once that stability was established, allow a coach with fresh contemporary ideas and thinking to take the squad forward.

The Republic have that stability. But the period of stability didn’t evolve into a phase of growth, and it was the Executive’s failure to recognize the difference during Euro 2012. Giovanni Trapatonni’s reputation secured him the job. And his reputation ensured he stayed in the post beyond his time.