Giovanni Trapattoni has continued his war of words with Roy Keane after the ex-Republic of Ireland captain gave a second damning assessment of his side.
Ireland head into Monday night's final Group C fixture against Italy with their hopes of reaching the Euro 2012 quarter-finals long gone after comprehensive defeats by Croatia and Spain.
Keane, who struck his first blow in his role as a television pundit after Thursday night's 4-0 drubbing by the reigning champions, was even more withering in his Sunday morning newspaper column, suggesting Trapattoni should make 11 changes for Monday's game because the team which played in midweek is not good enough.
Trapattoni, who had his own say the following day, returned to the theme on Sunday evening when asked about the former Manchester United captain's latest verbal assault.
The 73-year-old said: "He has been a great player and had great success. I don't know if he achieved the same results as coach or manager.
"I can ask him why? I think for intelligent man, I can't understand it."
Trapattoni then made a remark in Italian which was not translated, but proved to be less than complimentary.
The coach had hoped to approach the final game with qualification still a possibility, but will instead send his players out for what is a dead rubber for them, but very much alive for his native country.
Italy need to win and hope that Croatia and Spain do not play out a high-scoring draw, which would eliminate them regardless.
Inevitably, minds have returned to Euro 2004 when Denmark and Sweden draw 2-2 to dump the Italians out of the competition amid cries of foul play, and the conspiracy theorists are already in full flow.
Trapattoni said: "When things like this go on, we are all ready to think that we Italians are masters at making these agreements.
"We are famous - in fact, infamous - for it. Everything is the same in other countries. These things have happened all over the place. Great scars were left by this.
"We need to play our own game and ask for commitment from players for the people who pay our wages and our supporters.
"We have worked well. We will not change our approach because we lost two games. It would undermine our honour."