Sur­pris­ing re­ac­tion to new man­age­ment con­tracts

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - THE TITLE -

THERE was no great el­e­ment of sur­prise that Martin O’Neill has agreed a new con­tract to re­main as Repub­lic of Ire­land man­ager.

Why there was so much neg­a­tiv­ity sur­round­ing the an­nounce­ment, I don’t know. The fact is who else are we go­ing to get? Who is avail­able? Who would want the job? Who could do it any bet­ter?

From the play­ers’ per­spec­tive, they are not nec­es­sar­ily look­ing for sta­bil­ity or as­sur­ances. The squad will change au­to­mat­i­cally over the next cou­ple of years and al­ready one or two new faces have come in.

But the tim­ing seems right to me. In the build-up to the Moldova game, the head­lines were all about Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane stay­ing on and there was no scru­tiny of the team or the team se­lec­tions.

Com­mer­cially O’Neill and Keane are a great at­trac­tion for the FAI. They know they will gen­er­ate a big­ger crowd with those two in­volved.

So what was the point of let­ting it drag on if they have both agreed to stay? Every­one can get on with the job now.

Be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the Euro fi­nals last sum­mer, their fu­ture was talked about far too much be­fore they even­tu­ally signed. This ends the un­cer­tainty.

Re­sults and per­for­mances could have been bet­ter in this cam­paign.

Of course I would much rather we had got the job done last month and won in Ge­or­gia, and then done the same against Ser­bia.

If we’d man­aged that we would be top of the group now, with every­thing sown up.

DEAL HIM IN: Roy Keane

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