Surprising reaction to new management contracts
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