Monday 22 January 2018

Eamon Dunphy: O'Neill and Keane could be a train wreck

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane
Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane

When Eamon Dunphy first heard of the new Martin O'Neill-Roy Keane axis he thought it could be a "train wreck" but has warmed to the idea of Ireland's new managerial team.

Dunphy described Keane as a "leader of men" on Today with Sean O'Rourke this morning on RTE Radio One but was adamant in his belief that O'Neill could control him.

"O'Neill and Keane are really strong personalities but there is the potential for a trainwreck. It'll be fascinating. I'm going to the first press conference," Dunphy said.

"There will be intrigue to see how Keane loses the plot but he is a great clubman and leader. He became a pain in the arse for a while but his two and a half years out of soccer will have helped him.

"Getting Martin O’Neill is an outstanding coup. He’s a difficult guy for his own part but there will be no more messing like we've had since the Steve Staunton era and Trapattoni never really worked out the job despite his stellar CV.

"Martin O’Neill will get rid of all that nonsense. We can be confident now that the best team will be picked.

"Decisions will be made on a reasonable basis.

"The Keane element when I first heard it, I thought it was a gimmick but reflecting on it and speaking to other people like John Giles, I think the Keane factor will create an impact and a buzz around the team.

"We have to remember that Roy Keane was a very great footballer and a leader of men for Manchester United and for Ireland. He thought he could win all the time and he wanted the bar put up for everybody.

"He has a lot of positive energy when things are right.

"Roy had a habit at Sunderland and at Ipswich of slagging off his own players in public and God knows what he was doing to them in private. That has to stop."

The veteran soccer analyst and broadcaster has outlined how he thinks the O'Neill-Keane dynamic will work.

"I think he’ll be a sounding board for Martin. You do need another person with experience of international, high octane game to talk to," he added

"I think they can tease it out together sometimes.

"I think at the heart of Keane there is a frustration at things not being right around but I think he and O’Neill can make things right."

Both Roy Keane and John Delaney have made comments in the media in recent years and Dunphy praises them for burying the hatchet for the good of Irish soccer

“I think for John Delaney who has been named by Keane who slagged him off saying he’d no respect for the man,” he said.

“John Delaney will have to swallow that and I applaud him for doing that. People have had to swallow their pride and make concessions and compromise.

“Martin O’Neill is the guy who made the call and I think if you hire a guy, he’s entitled to hire his staff.”

Martin O'Neill is expected to be confirmed as the new Irish boss later this week after he returns from Spain where he is working alongside Keane with ITV at the Manchester United-Real Sociedad game.

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