Martin Oâ€™Neill and his band of not so very merry men, limp into our double header against Denmark and Wales with a weak squad, on a run of very poor results and behind the scenes rows between players and Roy Keane. As fans we can only sit and wait for what we assume for the inevitable to happen, we lose most of our final Nations Leagues games, hey we might even get a big draw and we finish bottom, the fall out between the players and manager gets worse and the fans have had enough and we are looking for a new manager. But, there is always a but, who the hell would manage us? In fairness to the FAI the last two appointments were high profile, Trappattoni was an unexpected and good coup at the time, but like Oâ€™Neill it looks like it was one campaign too many.
So here are some of the possible candidates to be the next Ireland manager.
He gets mentioned a lot, as a former Irish international player doing well as a manger he will inevitably get linked. But thatâ€™s the only reason.
Has been on record to say that he would be very interested in managing Ireland. When he was flying high with Liverpool and nearly winning the Premier League, he would have been every fans dream appointment, less than two years later he suddenly becomes a manager, â€™I wouldnâ€™t touch with a barge poleâ€™, fickle fans or what!!. Now that heâ€™s back doing a fine job at Celtic heâ€™s back in vogue, but wait now Celtic are doing poorly heâ€™s suddenly been prodded again with that barge pole.
HIGHLY UNLIKELY, but if there was a sudden change or row with Celtic and he left, would a quick European Qualification campaign and 18 month contract with Ireland be such a bad offer?
Never go back the wise fans say, not sure why as plenty of managers have gone back and done a good job. Heâ€™s out of work, would take the job and can get the most out of mediocrity and sadly we have a lot of that at the minute.
CHANCES ARE HIGH. As a short term one campaign manager Mick would be seen as a safe bet, he would be a mixed appointment among fans but after the mostly awful football weâ€™ve been watching for years, an even slight improvement on that would be gladly welcome.
Has done a superb job with Northern Ireland, getting them to the Euros was some achievement, particularly as he is working with a smaller and limited group of players.
NO CHANCE. What would be the point for him to switch over to the Republic?
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Assistant manager who makes all the headlines, he still loves everything to be about him and a new trove of a rent a quotes for click bait articles would keep the journalists happy.
NO THANKS. Maybe John Delaney would be so scared to sack him heâ€™d have to offer him the job.Â There would be some back lash if that happened.
The most obvious candidate from the LOI managers, the work he has done and style of play that Dundalk play would be very appealing if it transferred over to the national team, particularly when his team played so superbly in Europe. How often have you heard this line… But the players wonâ€™t respect him cause… theyâ€™ll say â€˜what have you done in the gameâ€™? What if he replies â€˜what have you done ladsâ€™? Touche.
WOULD THE FAI HAVE THE BALLS to hire him? Maybe, but itâ€™s the wrong time for him. With Ireland hosting some of the Euro 2020 games, they will be looking for a risk adverse appointment, which is a pity. Stephen Kenny with Robbie Keane and Damien Duff as part of the background team could be a master stroke.
Finally Big Sam got that big job that he had been talking himself up for all these years with the England national team (he missed out on the other big clubs due to those dastardly foreigners taking them). Â And just when things looked so rosÃ© with England it all went belly up over a pint of wine.
Ignoring the England stuff, he would be a good manager for Ireland. His last job with Crystal Palace getting them away from relegation was a two fingered reminder to the those that had laughed at his quick fall from grace with England.
A DARK HORSE: A short one campaign stint with Ireland, even with the wages way below what he would get with a Premier League club ( and he would be getting plenty of offers of jobs there for sure). A part time international stint with the Oirish might tickle his fancy. Buy that man a pint of pinot please.
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Words. Liam Murray