WATCH: 'I wouldn't like to be the man to tell him 'You're getting your P45'' - John Mullane on Brian Cody's future
It speaks volumes of the success that Kilkenny have enjoyed under Brian Cody’s stewardship that a three-year spell with ‘only’ a league title to show for it is considered a crisis.
The fact that there’s still an All-Ireland crown to be fought for hasn't stopped the chatter about Cody’s future. Indeed, the managerial strides made by former Cody charges such as Henry Sheflin and Eddie Brennan this year have only intensified the succession speculation.
"I wouldn't like to be the man to tell him 'You're getting your P45'. I wouldn't like that job now, I tell ya!," John Mullane joked to the local crowd at the Hotel Kilkenny where he was a panelist at Independent.ie's live broadcast of The Throw-In GAA podcast, in association with Bord Gais Energy.
"He’s a remarkable man. His CV speaks for itself. He’s the one man that is best equipped to get the best out of what’s probably not as good a Kilkenny team as some teams of the past."
While it’s a fair point in relation to the quality of Cody’s current panel, their big recent defeats have generally only been by the puck of a ball. The recent Leinster final defeat took a late Wexford penalty to split the sides and as Mullane pointed out, last year’s exit at Limerick's hands was only a two-point game at full-time.
"As we've seen before, he can get that extra ten or fifteen percent out of a team. We saw it last year against Limerick, they pushed that Limerick team to the pin of their collar for 73/74 minutes.
"Richie Hogan got that goal and we all thought it’d be curtains for Limerick. One thing Cork will have to do this weekend is they’ll have to hurl for 72/73 minutes. That’s one thing about Cody. His teams will keep going to the end, they’ll never give in."
For those within hurling who've witnessed Cody’s genius up close, there’s a broad consensus that the decision on when a role for a successor will be available should be solely down to the man himself.
"The man deserves to go when he feels the time is right," the ex-Waterford star finished.
"It’s a bit like Alex Ferguson at Manchester United. He went on his own terms and I think whenever Brian Cody feels he’s ready to step away he deserves that."