We see Tardelli blessing himself at the final whistle. His new boss Giovanni Trapattoni is not only a very devout Catholic but, as Dave Hannigan notes in his profile piece on page 27, a supporter of Opus Dei and an admirer of its controversial founder, Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. The group is best known, perhaps, for its use of the ancient Christian practice of self-flagellation, something Dan Brown brought to worldwide notice in “The Da Vinci Code.” Though neither ancillary or married members, and Trapattoni is both, are required to partake, his appointment does call to mind the fans’ song and slogan of the Charlton years, “Give it a lash, Jack!”
It might be another good omen. In any case, Trapattoni is a no-nonsense taskmaster in the Charlton mold. His own claim to YouTube fame is a rant in
broken German at a 1998 press conference when he was manager of Bayern Munich.
It’s going to be fun and Irish fans can hardly wait.