The hunt is on for a new Republic of Ireland football manager after Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign petered out last weekend.
From the very beginning Trapattoni told the Irish football fan and by extension his own players that we only have the quality of players to play the most basic of football, caveman football.
Difficult to watch and easy to contain it was this that lost Trapattoni the fans and his job. So what state is the Irish squad in and where is the quality going to come from?
Last weekend only 6 Irish player started in the Premier League, Seamus Coleman, Marc Wilson, Jon Walters, Keiren Westwood, Robbie Brady and Joey O’Brien this should be cause for concern but the future is not as bleak as that suggests. James McCarthy, Ciaran Clark, Anthony Pilkington and Stephen Quinn all made appearances throughout the afternoon and Shane Long is a regular starter for WBA. Wes Hoolahan is another regular starter who may get more of a look in now that Trapattoni is gone.
The new Irish manager has the opportunity to welcome back in from the cold some of the players that fell out with Trapattoni. Darron Gibson is comfortably a Premier League level player and should add some guile to midfield alongside McCarthy. Now this one may cause some controversy but Stephen Ireland is back under the tutelage of Mark Hughes where he last blossomed and has made positive noises about returning to the fold. We are not so overcome with creative goal scoring midfielders as to be so unforgiving of the troubled Corkman. Anthony Stokes seems to have rediscovered the form that made him one of the hottest underage players ever in Ireland and will offer another option up front with Robbie Keane on his way out.
There is plenty to optimistic about as Irish fans and with the right man in charge playing football that suits our players which brings crowds through the gates perhaps we can start enjoy our International football rather than receiving patronising pats on the heads as the best fans in the world. If we must endure The Fields of Athenry let it be for winning.