Although he wasn’t the worst offender of Steve Staunton’s dismal spell in charge of the Irish team, it’s a little late for Richard Dunne to be leaping in to action.
“The players want to know who is (going to be manager) and get some sort of plan going for the next two years,” said Dunne, who added he was “annoyed” at how long it was taking to appoint a manager. He went on to promote the credentials of a man without a trophy since 1991, suggesting that Terry Venables was a better option than Giovanni Trapattoni.
Yes, the Trapattoni: 7 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italias, 3 UEFA Cups, 2 Bundesligas, 1 European Cup, 1 German Cup, 1 Superliga and several other minor trophies that managers of note would be loathe to even mention.
I’m sure the FAI can be accused of a lot of things – poor appointments, ham-fisted organisation, lack of communication, co-ordinated assualts on buffet trays – but delaying the new appointment might be the smartest thing they’ve ever done if they manage to nick The Trap.
The appointment of Terry Venables would be a real “job for the boys” moment, reminiscent of the FAI of old. For once Irish football fans are dreaming of a “real” manager, someone with a track record that is up there with the greatest managers in the history of the game.
But perhaps the likes of Richard Dunne and Robbie Keane are looking for the easy option, fancy a laugh on the training pitch and a few pints after the game. With Fabio Capello ushering in a new era in charge of England – banning mobile phones, insisting on smart dress and calling players by their surname – perhaps the thoughts of an austere Trapattoni is the last thing that the pampered stars want.