Prospective England manager Roy Hodgson could potentially have been leading the Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012 rather than his native country.
The 64-year-old West Brom boss is currently in talks with the English FA and could be announced as Fabio Capello’s successor later this week.
Hodgson, who has international managerial experience with Switzerland, the UAE and Finland, was approached for the vacant Ireland post prior to the appointment of Giovanni Trapattoni, who officially took charge four years ago today.
“Don Givens met with him,” FAI CEO John Delaney confirmed yesterday when asked about Hodgson. “He has a good international record and Don certainly met with him at one stage. I think he got a job quickly with Fulham and he rang to say ‘I’ve got a job’ and that was the end of that. He ended it at that particular juncture after Don had interviewed him to say he’d got a job that Christmas.”
Having endured the process of appointing a new manager himself, Delaney doesn’t envy his English FA counterparts.
“I’ve been through that. It’s a very difficult thing to appoint a manager,” said Delaney. “John Giles, when we were going through the appointment of Giovanni, wrote me a private letter saying appointing a manager for an international team is a very difficult thing to do. We see clubs don’t get it right over a sustained period of time. The pressure cooker of appointing a manager to the England team ... it’s a lot of pressure here, we’ve seen that. We’ve had difficult times, and good times, it’s a difficult thing. I wish the FA the best of luck because the minute you appoint a manager, you become responsible for the results.
“There are popular appointments and less popular appointments, but the one thing I know is if the manager is popular or not, he becomes popular out of results or he becomes unpopular if results aren’t good. I wish them luck. I would like to see us playing England in the Euro quarter-finals!”
Having been critical of then FAI chief Brendan Mention for not being in Saipan 10 years ago, Delaney said yesterday that he will be with the Ireland squad throughout their Euro 2012 preparations, liaising closely with Trapattoni and the players.
“Yes, I will be there. I think I should be there,” said Delaney. “One of the outcomes of the Genesis Report was that the chief executive should have been there (in Saipan). I think it’s the right thing to do because even though it’s just a training camp, there are issues. It also sets a tone. I have committed that myself, Giovanni and Robbie (Keane) will meet every three or four days to make sure everything is okay — to see if there are any issues bubbling. I don’t think you can just start that in Hungary or Poland — you have to start that from the off, from the very moment they arrive (in Dublin) on May 20.
“It’s something I suggested to Giovanni and Robbie and they were both very welcoming. Robbie has been very good to work with. He understands common sense and he understands issues that do arise. He is very strong on his word and he is somebody that the association has a very good working relationship with.”
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