Here are the top contenders to replace John Giles as RTE's 'Senior Analyst'
Published 24/03/2016 | 08:36
The three amigos will be just a duo after this summer's European Championships after John Giles announced today that he will leave his role at RTE after Euro 2016.
Not only will Giles' sensible stoicism be missed in the face of Eamon Dunphy's searing hot takes, but the departure of the legendary Leeds midfielder means that RTE will now have to fill the role - and the signature left-hand chair - of 'Senior Analyst'.
Here are five candidates for the coveted - and almost entirely superfluous - title.
In terms of seniority, this is your man, baby. Dunphy has soldiered alongside Giles since the very beginning, and although his comrade will be leaving the panel this summer, Ireland's most controversial pundit will likely still be doing post-match coverage when he is a futuristic head in a jar.
But although Dunphy has put in the requisite years to get the promotion, can a Senior Analyst really be such a maverick, renegade who plays by his own rules? We suspect not, especially when this video is consulted by senior management.
Brady is the best remaining player that RTE have on their deep roster of pundits, but that doesn't necessarily translate to TV gold. Brady is a reliable fixture on the panel but has never delivered his punditry with the panache of Dunphy. A good pundit, not a great pundit, as his colleague might say, and that might rule him out of taking the first chair.
The dynamic youngster - relative to the rest of the panel - would be our choice. Sadlier is often the voice of reason and also, you know, is up to date on modern football. He has the gravitas, knowledge and as this video shows, the self-depreciation, to roll with whatever chaos is going on around him.
Another pundit who will be in contention for the role. Cunningham can be every bit as 'edgy' as Dunphy sometimes and if you ever catch his appearances on Newstalk, you'll know that he can crack the odd joke while also giving top-quality analysis.
And wouldn't it be brilliant to get these Dunphy v Cunningham battles on a nightly basis?
Didi Hamman/Graeme Souness
Would it be controversial to replace national icon John Giles with a *gulp* pundit from abroad? Hamann has deputised well on his Irish appearances but may be a little inexperienced for such a prominent role. Souness? Well, he certainly has the presence of a 'Senior Analyst' and his honest opinions make him a natural bedfellow with the rest of the panel. Might be worth a €5 bet.