Thursday 19 October 2017

Mixed fortunes for top-flight Irish bosses

INCLUDING Mick McCarthy and Brendan Rodgers, a total of 12 Irishmen have managed in the Premier League since it was established in 1992.

There's an equal split between North and South when you take international football allegiances into consideration.

Rodgers is the only member of the dozen who hasn't represented his country.

Of the other 10 (not including McCarthy), five are former Republic of Ireland internationals, with the other five having played for Northern Ireland.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND

Joe Kinnear

Made his managerial name with his stewardship of Wimbledon's 'Crazy Gang' for the first seven years of the Premier League era before a heart attack ended his tenure.

Wimbledon were relegated the following season. Mike Ashley offered him a short-term return to the top table at Newcastle in 2008 before health problems struck again.

David O'Leary

Has come closer than anyone else on the list to seriously figuring at the top of the table, with his Leeds 'babies'.

Competed with distinction on domestic and European stage until fallout from Woodgate/Bowyer trial contributed to his demise. Ill-fated stint with Aston Villa delivered a blow to his reputation.

Roy Keane

Arrived in management with the look of a man who was made for it, and steered Sunderland to the top flight at the first attempt in 2006-07.

Kept them up in 2007-08 despite some erratic performances, and chose to walk away halfway through the following season after a fallout with Ellis Short. Will have to work hard to get back to that level.

Chris Hughton

His relationship with Ashley was of a different nature to Kinnear's. Managed to steady the ship through choppy waters to bring Newcastle back into the Premier League. Started last season with purpose, despite persistent speculation about his future, and was inexplicably sacked despite a good start to campaign. Now on a retrieval mission with Birmingham.

Owen Coyle

Capped once under Jack Charlton, the Glaswegian was joking this week about the missed chance to represent Scotland at the Olympics, although he has previously talked about managing Ireland at some stage in the future.

Performed heroics with Burnley before jumping ship to Bolton, where a difficult fixture list has contributed to a tough start to the new season.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Martin O'Neill

The Co Derry man is being floated as a possible successor to Giovanni Trapattoni, and remains highly sought after over a year since his abrupt exit from Aston Villa. Worked his way up the ladder to make a big impression at Leicester.

From there he went to Celtic, before a stint at Villa, where his team flirted with making a big breakthrough without managing it.

Danny Wilson

The former midfielder was responsible for Barnsley's brief excursion into the upper echelons. While their fairytale adventure only lasted for a season, he was offered a chance by former club Sheffield Wednesday. Alas, it failed to work out, and he has dropped down the leagues to stay in the game.

Ian Dowie

A leading candidate for the vacant Northern Ireland manager's job, Dowie has managed three clubs in the top flight. He took Crystal Palace up but failed to keep them there, then struggled at Charlton and was unable to succeed in a rescue mission at Hull two seasons ago. Regarded as a good coach.

Nigel Worthington

The former Sheffield Wednesday full-back was tipped for big things when he stylishly led Norwich to promotion in 2003-04. But the progress stopped there, with the Canaries flattering to deceive in the top flight and ultimately going back down on the final day of the season.

Worthington is jobless again after parting company with Northern Ireland after a poor attempt in Euro 2012 qualification.

Lawrie Sanchez

The former Sligo Rovers man was not to everybody's liking in Northern Ireland, but pulled off some remarkable results when he was given the managerial reins by the IFA.

Fulham plucked him away in 2007 when the North still had a chance of making Euro 2008. By the end of that year, though, Sanchez had been awarded his P45, and is now desperate for his old job back.

Irish Independent

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