Saturday 17 March 2018

Ireland's manager run-ins


Fell out with Kerr during an underage international tournament in Cork. The player was unhappy to be left out of a game at which his family were present and departed before the final game of the week. Words were exchanged and Kerr told the youngster that he wouldn't represent his country at that level again as long as he was in charge.



Ireland seemed happy under Eriksson, yet when the Swede was sent packing and Mark Hughes arrived in his place, he was suddenly venting about life in the old regime. "It was wild," said Ireland, who suggested that there was a lax attitude around the club and that players didn't seem to care after a heavy defeat to Middlesbrough on the final day of the season.


Despite playing his best football under Hughes, and stating he was a "proper" manager compared to Kevin Keegan, Stuart Pearce and Eriksson, Ireland waited until the Welshman had been axed to stick the knife in his back. Ireland blamed Hughes for deploying him out of position and destroying his confidence as a consequence.



The Italian wanted to bring the midfielder back into the Irish fold, but communication issues removed the slim chance of it happening. While Trapattoni spoke of Ireland being shy -- "like a hedgehog" -- the player went further, expressing his opinion that the 71-year-old was arrogant and insistent on answering phones during a meeting at Manchester Airport.


Ireland's days in Manchester were numbered soon after the arrival of the Italian. Mancini rarely included the player and questioned his attitude, asserting -- through rough translation -- that he needed to 'change his head'. Unsurprisingly, when Ireland moved to Villa, he spoke scathingly of his former boss, stating he had no relationship with the dressing-room.

Irish Independent

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