According to Sky Sports, the Republic of Ireland are set to appoint former-Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill as their new boss.
O’Neill was sacked by Sunderland in March and has been linked with a number of vacant positions since that dismissal.
Ireland dispensed with the services of veteran Italian Giovanni Trapattoni in September after their hopes of World Cup qualification ended and former-assistant Noel King managed Ireland for the remaining games of qualification against Kazakhstan and Germany.
Sky Sports claim that O’Neill had positive talks with the FAI on Friday night and is set to accept their offer to become the new manager of the Republic of Ireland.
The former-Villa boss has been the favourite for the job since Trapattoni’s departure and a lot of bookmakers have now stopped taken bets on O’Neill being appointed as Ireland’s new boss.
Former-Manchester United legend Roy Keane is also in talks to become O’Neill’s assistant manager. Keane has had some major falls out with the FAI in the past and famously walked out on the Republic squad at the 2002 World Cup.
However, he is still considered by a lot of Ireland fans to be a legend and one of the best players that the Republic of Ireland has ever produced.
It seems that the pair’s appointment is quite popular among fans of Ireland. O’Neill had always seemed like the fans first choice for the job and it seems the fans will now get their wish.
For the majority of his career Martin O’Neill has been a highly-rated boss. His man-management skills and approach with his players has been lauded by fans and fellow bosses alike. At one point O’Neill was even talked about as a prospective long-term heir to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
However, his managerial abilities were questioned after he endured a nightmare spell at Sunderland. When he joined there were high hopes for the club, with fans hoping that O’Neill’s arrival would inspire the club to better things.
It just did not work out for O’Neill, as injury to key players and poor form led to O’Neill losing his job. O’Neill failing to produce results at the Stadium of Light was very surprising, considering his reputation and perceived managerial ability.
Point to prove
Martin O’Neill may not think that he has point to prove, but after that spell at Sunderland he needs to re-establish his reputation as a talented boss. O’Neill spent a long time with the likes of Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa building a reputation as one of the best bosses in the British game.
Taking the Sunderland job was always going to be a career risk and that gamble really did not pay off. In fact it backfired in spectacular fashion.
Martin O’Neill needs to bring a fresh approach to the Republic of Ireland squad. The team seems to be stuck in something of a rut in recent months. Trapattoni got Ireland to Euro 2012, but Ireland’s style of play was criticised by fans and critics.
The Italian’s team selections were also questioned at times, as certainly players were excluded from the team and squad at times. Trapattoni was reluctant to play certain players and try out new ideas.
For a relatively small country Ireland have some decent talent available to them. The likes of Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy and Anthony Pilkington are regular starters for Premier League clubs. These are the sort of players that are the future of the Ireland.
If as expected Martin O’Neill is appointed as the Republic of Ireland boss, then I am sure he will do a good job. O’Neill needs to recover his reputation as a top class boss and he will be determined to do that in his new position.
The Republic of Ireland job seems like O’Neill’s perfect chance to do. They have a relatively good pool of players with a number of younger players starting to establish themselves in the Premier League.
Martin O’Neill and the Republic of Ireland seem like a good fit. The appointment of O’Neill is a popular one and I am surely he will be a very good appointment.
Is Martin O’Neill the right man for the Ireland job?