• Help Support The Rugby Forum :

Steve Staunton sacked; who should take over?

  • Thread starter snoopy snoopy dog dog
  • Start date

snoopy snoopy dog dog

Steve Staunton finally lost his job. The FAI are getting specialists in (probably Bobby Robson) to head hunt a new boss. Who do you think it should be?

I'd love to see them take a punt on Didier Deschamps with Steve Heighway as assistant. Deschamps was a phenomenally successful player and has began his managerial career in similar fashion, taking Monaco to the Champions League final and winning Juventus promotion to Serie A. He's currently out of work so he wouldn't cost the FAI a penny in compensation. At just 39, he's young, enthusiastic and highly qualified. Potential problems could be a lack of knowledge of the Irish game, which is why somebody like Heighway should be brought on board.

Heighway was the Liverpool youth coach until a few months ago with great success. He won the FA Youth Cup three times (including the last two tournaments) and has coached the likes of Stevie Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen into their 1st team. As a former Irish international, he'll be familiar with our game while his contacts in underage football should steer him in the right direction when it comes to identifying young talent to bolster the full international setup.

Another problem would be the fact that Deschamps will have designs in the France job so it may not be a long term appointment. As such, the FAI should look to follow the French model (and that of Liverpool in the past) of promoting managers from "the boot room". Talented bosses like Stephen Kenny should be given control of the U21 and U19 teams. Somebody like Arsenal Head Of Youth Development Liam Brady or Brian Kerr should be head hunted as FAI Director Of Football to put in place a system to foster the next generation of Irish players and coaches.

Any opinions on who'd be in the frame for the job and why?
Well I know Kenny joined a sinking ship when he went to Dunfermline but his record there doesn't fill me with enough confidence to consider him for the national job, consider him for one of the underage jobs and see how he does there rather than take another monumental gamble a la Staunton.

As for successors to Stan, Deschamps is certainly an interesting proposition but a pipedream I'm afraid, someone of his ilk wouldn't be interested in a job like Ireland, he will very much have his eye on the French job and to be fair there's a decent chance of that becoming available if not after the qualifiers then certainly after the tournament as I don't think their world cup performance will be repeated in Austria and Switzerland.

So as for the realistic candidates, there's the obvious choice of David O'Leary, has a reasonable level of experiece both in Europe and the Premiership, having saif that his record with Villa was average at best and question marks over his ability to nurture players certainly remain, his solution at Leeds was to throw money at the team and look where that landed them, he didn't have that luxury at Villa and so was limited in his progress there. Still though he'll be in the frame I'm sure.

Souness is an interesting name that's been cropping up, interesting to see him placating Irish fans by writing in thr Star this weekend, saying he'd be concerned about how he'd go down with Irish fans after his stints at Rangers as both player and manager, I think the fact that he's a Liverpool hero will do him a lot of good in being taken to the hearts of the Irish fans. His work on RTÉ last year during the world cup also earned him a lot more respect around the country, certainly did from me anyway, it'd be a brave move by the FAI but one that I'm not overly against at this point in time.

Martin O'Neill is another name that would surely be touted by Irish fans, the fact that his teams are so damn hard to beat would in my opinion make him an excellent manager at international level and given his remarkable man management skills he'd probably be quite successful as well but whether he'll want to leave Villa now that he has Learner's money to spend is another thing and also whether the FAI could afford his salary is another.