The Ireland manager has Zlatan Ibrahimovic on his mind and is hopeful that Paul Green can get close to the Sweden captain on Friday
Asked if this selection affects Ireland's creativity, Trapattoni replied: "Despite my respect for James, whom I respect very much, you can't say he is creative.
"James is good, he's linear, he's an easy player but he's not creative. I saw many, many [of his] games. I hope he can get more personality. There are players who create time for other players. Robbie [Keane] is one of these, [Shane] Long is not. James is not this typical player. James can increase his personality, in one or two years he can be better than Whelan," added the 74-year-old.
The ex-Juventus manager added that he thinks Green's inclusion gives his full-backs, Seamus Coleman and Marc Wilson, more licence to attack.
"It's an away game, we also have Coleman. I want him to go [forward]. When he does we need a little bit of [extra cover]. The result is very important. We are going to play our game. We must also push.
"Paul Green has another attitude, McCarthy plays in teams with other attitude.
"Do you remember [Gennaro] Gattuso? Gattuso never could play because he was the player with attitude, character and mentality. He won the Champions League. There are players, like [Nobby] Stiles [who] don't have to be stars like Messi.
"Against England, Sweden played very well, running, running a lot. I think it's important we have protection in midfield. McCarthy also plays well but I couldn't ask him to go in this position," he told reporters ahead of the game.
"We are not great individual players, like Messi and Ibrahimovic, but we have a good balance, good attitude. We have a good team, I am confident of this. We must play our game," he added.
The Sweden game is the first part of a crucial double-header, which also includes a home game against Austria on Tuesday night. And after surviving intense speculation about his position after the 6-1 loss to Germany in October, Trapattoni was in a philosophical moods when asked about the pressures on him.
"Today I say, [it's] the results that matter. A win has 100 fathers, defeat is an orphan. Same everywhere, these are our jobs, the words are easy, the jobs are hard. Those are the rules of life. There are only three certainties: birth, life and death. A great philosopher said this."