The news that Martin O’Neill will manage the Republic of Ireland with Roy Keane as his no 2 has brought much comment from near and far in the past 24hrs. Here just a brief selection of the early comments.
“I’m the bad cop and he’s the bad, bad cop. I’m looking forward to it greatly,” Martin O’Neill told ITV on Tuesday night.
What would it be like working alongside Keane he was asked : “I’ve asked myself that many times over the last 48 hours. He’s coming with me and personally speaking, I think he is going to be great for me and more importantly he’ll be great for the Republic of Ireland”
“We’re excited by it. It looks like we’ve got something to be going forward with. I’m looking forward to it. It’s great.”
“I’m delighted and honoured Martin has asked me to work with him. I’m looking forward to working with the players and getting to the Euros,” added Keane.
Meantime speaking on Newstalk earlier, FAI CEO John Delaney proclaimed :
”Roy and I would not have had much contact in the past. We met last week and there were no problems whatsoever”. “The meeting was absolutely brilliant from my point of view and I think from his as well. It was all about the future, not about the past.”
Delaney concluded: “”Irish football and our country is bigger than anything. Two icons of Irish football can work together with us. I just hope everybody gets behind us. This is a team effort.”
Celtic Manager, Neil Lennon who has worked with both joked :
“God help the players. It’s very interesting; they are two great characters with big personalities and a vast knowledge of the game. They are two very proud men.
“Roy Keane was a magnificent player for both club and country; he was one of the best of his generation.
“He will lift any team, walking in that dressing room, he’ll certainly have the players on their toes and we all know what Martin is about as well. It’ll be exciting to watch them in action.”
BBC Football Correspondent Pat Murphy on BBC 5 Live:
“Both men have things to prove. Opposites attract. For O’Neill, it’s a risk worth taking to bring Keane on board. Despite the doubts I think this one won’t need the fastened seatbelts for a bumpy ride.”
Niall Quinn via Daily Express:
“It will be very exciting as they are two of the best in Irish football,” The Express quotes Quinn as saying.
“It will be interesting to see as well how Roy will adapt to being a number two. They will need to kick on and build legacies.”
And via Twitter these early thoughts:
Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane: have bookies opened a book yet on how long the oddest of couples will last? I’ll give it three months…
— Jim White (@jimw1) November 5, 2013
If I were an Irish football fan I’d be hot about Martin O’Neill becoming Ireland’s new manager, and luke warm about Roy Keane being his No2.
— Ian Stafford (@IanStaffs) November 5, 2013
Good luck to Martin O’Neill & Roy Keane in new jobs @FAIreland lots of different opinions but all that matters is we qualify for the euros