Category: Archive

Kerr, Kinnear deserve FAI’s consideration

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Apart from the usual band of suspects culled from the ranks of ex-internationals, there were several left-field candidates, like Howard Kendall, Dave Bassett, and our own personal favorite, Johann Cruyff. Yes, one
Sunday newspaper went as far as trumpeting across its front page on Christmas week that the mercurial Dutchman was about to do business with the denizens of Merrion Square. All our imaginings of audacious drag backs and sophisticated cigarette smoking in the dugout were ended around about the same time we discovered Santa Claus was not actually coming to town either.
We bring this up by way of a public service. Assuming we have now surely entered the final stages of Mick McCarthy’s term in charge and crossing our
fingers that his inevitable departure can be negotiated as painlessly and cheaply as possible, all speculation about his replacement should be handled with extreme care. No sooner had the FAI leaked that David O’Leary is not the sort of guy they envisioned working with than it emerges (or is at least heavily rumored) that John Aldridge and Ronnie Whelan have been sounded out about the possibility of working together in “a managerial dream team.” Both men were wonderful servants of Ireland, but neither of them have done enough in management to make them look like a dream ticket to anything.
It doesn’t stop there. Other names to figure in dispatches and likely to figure a lot more as this thing drags on are Roy Hodgson, formerly of Blackburn Rovers and Inter Milan, and John Toshack, who has previously taken charge at locations as diverse as Real Madrid, Besitkas and Swansea City.
Both these men boast CVs worth looking at, their spells in different countries making them appear well suited to the job of international
management. While there is an unmistakable sense that both Hodgson and Toshack are guys whose managerial stars have waned in recent years, their experience and the fact they have worked outside the stultifying confines of the English game makes them attractive.
That much cannot be said about Bryan Robson, and we can only hope the presence of the former Middlesbrough manager’s name in a story linking him
with McCarthy’s job was a classic tabloid flyer. Really, he is the last person in the world that any self-respecting fan of Irish football would want to see get the job. Bulwarked by enormous spending, he did manage to gain Middlesbrough a couple of promotions and a few decent cup runs, but there was nothing about his reign that makes him suitable for the Irish job. Apart from anything else, his own personal approach to drink isn’t the kind of quality the FAI should be looking for in somebody slated to take over a squad where alcohol is a serious issue.
When bandying about names, the subject of money crops up too. The size of the salary available to the new man is probably going to be related in some way to how much the FAI have to pay McCarthy to get out. In this respect, they will struggle to impress individuals coming from the Premiership world where good managers seem to drawn down at least

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