The Ireland succession stakes are extremely high

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.

Sign in or register for FREE to continue enjoying and to comment on our great range of opinion writers

Not a member yet? Register here

More in this Section

Emiliano Sala ‘left alone like a dog’, says father

‘I’ve got everybody against me. Let’s go’: Koepka says DJ chants helped with win

Brooks Koepka claims 'most satisfying' major at PGA Championship

Brooks Koepka overcomes final-round wobble to defend US PGA Championship title

More by this author

A Cup final five minutes for the ages in 1979

All up for grabs again on the Most Super of Sundays

Hellbent and heaven sent

FAI: The darkest hour before the dawn


Life on Earth is not as plentiful and may soon be extinct

Aonghus the white-tailed sea eagle has fans intrigued

Recalling genius of the German super man

Islands of Ireland: Under Quarantine in West Cork

More From The Irish Examiner