Darron Gibson may have blown his opportunity to cement a place in the Republic of Ireland midfield following his latest withdrawal ahead of Friday’s game in Kazakhstan.
Gibson withdrew from the squad, citing a disillusioned Euro 2012 as the reason for his withdrawal.
The former Manchester United player had been set to start following Keith Andrews’ suspension and Paul Green’s injury before his surprising withdrawal.
However, manager Giovanni Trappattoni is not disturbed by the Everton midfielder’s absence as he said he has plenty of central midfielders willing to step up to the mark.
Speaking today, Trappattoni said he respected the 24-year old’s decision but he also said that his Republic of Ireland hold all the cards, and not Gibson, as there is an abundance of central midfielders to choose from.
“In the past we were frightened about missing players, but now we already have a squad,” Trapattoni told a press conference.
“He can think about it or we go with other players. We have David Meyler, Marc Wilson, then there is Glenn Whelan, James McCarthy. All can play (in midfield), and coming back we also have (Keith) Andrews.
“When we come here, if there are players who are not coming, we build the other team. We have been watching also new players; maybe we will discover a new Irish player. He has to decide whether he wants to play or not.”
Gibson made it clear that the disappointment of not playing at Euro 2012 despite three Irish defeats was the primary reason for his withdrawal, but the Italian manager defended his selections in Poland.
Trappattoni told reporters that he had spoken with the Everton midfielder and he listened to the player’s reasons for withdrawing from the squad.
“I spoke with Gibson for a long time,” Trapattoni said.
“He explained to me that he was disappointed. I understood but I said to him that we were all disappointed after the defeats in the Euro campaign, but I said that this is a time for a new opportunity (for Ireland).”
“It was impossible to change,” the 73-year-old said. “With 20 minutes to go in our match Italy could have gone out and Croatia could qualify. If we changed it and we lost it would have looked like I favoured Italy.”
Trappattoni knows his job is on the line in this campaign following a horrific showing during Euro 2012, and perhaps Gibson is waiting for the Italian to leave his post as the Derry man looks for a fresh start under any prospective new manager.