(12 Sept 2013) We thought we would being this post back to the front page. Considering we were the first site to break the story.
Grazie e buona fortuna Giovanni…..Translated as thanks and good luck (I hope!!) those were the sentiments of many Irish fans when it emerged that the FAI and Giovanni Trapattoni has parted company by mutual consent.
Only the third man to guide Ireland to a major international tournament, the Italian has had an uneasy last two years in the job with some elements of fans and media criticising the now ex-manager for his player selection policy and a brand of football designed to achieve results on the big stage.
There are no doubts that in certain aspects Ireland progressed under Trapattoni with the emergence of Seamus Coleman, Marc Wilson, James McCarthy and James McClean providing a glimmer of hope for whoever the FAI decide to fill the breach. An opening, that while still appealing in football terms, will lack the glamour associated with the deep pockets of the Denis O’Brien era.
While the salary on offer is set to drop considerably, picking up the pieces is likely to entail a lot more work for the potential new man. Brittle confidence at International amongst some key players, a lack of a plan B and the demise of the once impenetrable fortress that was Lansdowne Road will ensure that the initial overtime hours are heavy.
The immediate future for Irish football does not look overly bright with the league structure in Ireland which, contrary to Trapattoni’s claims, does exist needing an overhaul and review as does the structure of the under-age set up especially with some talented youngsters languishing in the lower divisions of England waiting for their break.
At present there appears to be a gap between those that have served Ireland so well over the years, amongst them Richard Dunne and Robbie Keane, and the new wave of talent such as Samir Carruthers, Mikey Drennan, Jack Grealish and Sean Maguire leaving the new manager tasked with guiding these players into the International arena. Think of the task faced by Mick McCarthy when he took over from Jack Charlton but without the under-age success that Ireland enjoyed at that time.
Of course in the short term Ireland, with no World Cup to look forward too, will need to ensure that they finish the group as strong as possible with one eye on the 2016 European Championship qualifiers.
At this point we have been informed that it is highly unlikely that any manager will be in charge for the away clash with Germany and given their imperious form during qualification that would not be a bad thing. The last thing a new manager wants is a heavy defeat in their first outing.
“We will meet and will determine a process. We do have time. The European qualifiers don’t start until next September. We will take stock of the last couple of days and then discuss the process.” said John Delaney
Noel King, the current under-21 manager, should be in the hot seat for the trip to Germany and home game against Kazakhstan. No one could expect a new manager to take charge of his first game against away to Germany without suspended experienced duo John O’Shea and Richard Dunne.
So who are the men linked with the job and what can they offer?
The early favourite for the job is Martin O’Neill. The former Sunderland manager rose to prominence with Leicester and Celtic and is regarded as one of the games best motivators. However his stock has fallen slightly following his stint with Sunderland but at 61, the Derry born O’Neill is the perfect age for International football, his prospects all the more appealing as there is no compensation involved. He is at present 4/9to take the job with Boylesports.com
O’Neill’s name was not mentioned by FAI CEO John Delaney during an interview with BBC Radio Leeds with the publicity loving supremo name dropping two of the three names on his initial short-list.
They say you should never go back but that would not appear to ring through for Mick McCarthy (6/1 with Boylesports.com) with Delaney also mentioning his name in the same interview. A lot of fans have called for “Captain Fantastic” to do what he did in the 1990’s and re-build an Irish team however the fact that he is under-contract could make life difficult while McCarthy may also worry about damaging his legacy by taking on a job that is arguably more difficult than the one he faced after Jack Charlton.
Another free agent who would suit International football is David O’Leary (33/1 with Boylesports.com) however the fact that he has spent a lot of time out of the limelight and out of club management could count against him while previous criticism’s of the FAI will no doubt ensure that the name of Roy Keane (22/1 with Boylesports.com), another popular choice amongst fans, is not considered.
Brian McDermott and Chris Hughton have ruled themselves out.
Of the outsiders that have been linked the name of Marcelo Biesla is perhaps the most intriguing with the former Argentine manager one of the games most highly rated managers however the fact that he can speak very little English and has been linked with the Mexico job makes his appointment very unlikely.
Whoever gets the jobs, one thing is for certain, they will need all the “fortuna” that they can get.