Monday, August 19, 2019

Should Ireland sack Martin O’Neill?

David Nugent in Editorial, General Soccer News 17 Oct 2018

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On Tuesday night, the Republic of Ireland suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Wales in the Nations League. The defeat leaves Ireland bottom of Nations League B4 and with little chance of winning the group.

Martin O’Neill’s team have now won just one of their last nine international games. There is now speculation that O’Neill could lose his job, especially after former Ireland internationals such as Phil Babb and Keith Andrews have been scathing about the boss’s performance.

Ireland lack a goal threat

The Republic of Ireland have never really been prolific scorers at international level. In recent history, Ireland have only had one prolific player in front of goal in the shape of record-goalscorer Robbie Keane.

When Keane retired, the Republic were always going to struggle for goals. O’Neill’s side have struggled for goals of late, as they have scored just four times in their last seven outings, while also failing to find the net on four occasions. When one of your main attacking threats is Southampton’s goal-shy Shane Long, you know you are in trouble.

In reality, O’Neill’s style of players does not help his teams cause. In the last few years, the Ireland team have been pragmatic but lacked the sort of spirit that previous Republic teams have had.

Granted, Ireland has a small pool of players from which to choose. However, previous regimes have managed to create decent teams that have played with passion and quality. What they lacked in quality, they made up for in passion.

The team have gone stale under the management team

It seems the current squad of players have gone stale under O’Neill and he is struggling to get any sort of performance from his team. The fact that assistant coach Roy Keane is falling out with the players has probably not helped either.

Keane recently made up with Cardiff midfielder Harry Arter after the pair had a heated exchange while with the Ireland squad. Arter decided to refuse a call-up during the last international break but joined up with the squad this time around.

Keane is no doubt a fiery character and it is not the first reported incident he has been involved with since moving into coaching. Judging by the current team’s performances, maybe he should spend more time coaching than arguing with the players.

Keane and O’Neill have been at the helm to good while and results have been poor for a while too. Maybe it is time for a new managerial team to come in.

Mick McCarthy favourite to replace O’Neill

With Ireland struggling so badly, it is understandable that people are looking at the options to replace Martin O’Neill. The current favourite is former boss Mick McCarthy who is odds of 7/2 to be the next Ireland boss.

The experienced boss previously spent six years as Ireland boss from 1996 to 2002. His latest job at Ipswich ended in April with his contract due to expire in the summer.

O’Neill’s assistant Keane is also one of the favourites for the job. Considering that he is such a part of O’Neill’s managerial team, maybe Keane being number one would not make that much of a change.

The third favourite for the job is Stephen Kenny, who has received massive credit for the work he has done in the Irish top division with the likes of Dundalk and Derry City. His ventures outside the Irish did not go to well.

Unfortunately, for Ireland, there is not exactly a list of top quality bosses looking to take the job. However, keeping O’Neill as boss at the moment looks unlikely to see the team progress in the near future.

Should Ireland sack Martin O’Neill?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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