Wednesday 17 January 2018

Off the Ball: See who else is interested before giving it to O'Neill

Martin O'Neill
Martin O'Neill

Donny Mahoney

All the evidence in the print media and on the gambling markets suggests that Martin O'Neill is, to quote a former Ireland manager, a "shoo-in" for the Ireland job.

O'Neill may be the best man for the position, but a delay in his appointment would allow a few more left-field candidates to throw their hats in the ring.

It was fascinating to learn of Hector Cuper's "believed" Irish ancestry in this week's Sunday Independent, as well as his interest in the job. What other hard-up, out-of-work football men might declare interest if we wait long enough? (It's worth noting that Diego Maradona is currently unemployed).

Last time around, the FAI's strategy of playing the long game bore considerable fruit. We looked stuck with an El Tel or a Jewell or a Troussier and ended up with one of the best managers in the history of European football.

Maybe there's something to be said for reuniting Don Givens, Don Howe and Ray Houghton.

dm

Irish Independent

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