New Republic of Ireland manager, Mick McCarthy, is the right man, at the right time, for the job, even if Stephen Kenny has progressive credentials, says Liam Mackey
Flash back to last week and reaction in certain quarters to the imminent appointment of Mick McCarthy as the new Republic of Ireland manager: a backwards step… regression not progression… an all too predictably conservative decision from the same old hapless powers-that-be when everyone can see that what is really needed is root and branch reform of a game in crisis and a brand new hand at the tiller of a national team whose confidence is shot to pieces at the end of a dreadful year.
Flash to 24 hours later and reaction in the same certain quarters to the news that Stephen Kenny will replace Mick McCarthy in August 2020: BUT THAT’S BONKERS! WHAT IF MICK WINS THE EUROS!?!
Say this much for the FAI: whether you judge them to have acted by accident or design, in self-interest or for the greater good, their novel plan for a managerial double-succession had the remarkably potent side-effect of sparking levels of wild optimism which would have been simply unthinkable only a few days earlier, around about the time the final whistle was blowing on yet another Irish football non-event in Aarhus and, as it turned out, also signalling the final act of Martin O’Neill’s reign as manager.
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