Former Republic of Ireland captain, Roy Keane, has thrown his support behind Martin O’Neill to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni national team boss. Keane has been linked with the managerial vacancy himself, but the former Manchester United midfielder is well down the betting odds behind favourite O’Neill.
The Northern Irish coach currently finds himself out of work following a stellar career coaching the likes of Wycombe Wanderers, Norwich City, Leicester City, Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland.
A disappointing season at the Stadium of Light resulted in O’Neill leaving his position last March, but there have been reports from football betting pundits suggesting the 61-year old is looking for a chance to return to management, and would jump at the opportunity to manage Ireland.
And while Keane is still in the running for the job, the former Republic skipper has admitted O’Neill would fulfil every criteria that the position requires.
“I have not thought about it too much to be honest with you. I have more important things to be worried about. I know a little bit about Martin O’Neill and I think Martin would be a very, very good choice,” admitted Keane.
“I think the FAI have done the right thing in stepping back, taking their time and seeing what is out there. A lot of managers have been linked with it. A lot of good managers.”
It seems as though it’s only a matter of time before the amiable O’Neill is unveiled as the new Republic head coach, but any new coach won’t be able to salvage anything from the team’s World Cup qualification campaign, instead focusing on securing passage to the European Championships in 2016.
For Keane, though, it looks as though the more important things he has to think about are just how much more passive aggressive he can be in the live football commentary towards Adrian Chiles and Andy Townsend when he next works with the nervous duo.