Football

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane set to takeover Ireland

The pair have already lined up together as commentators. (©GettyImages)
The pair have already lined up together as commentators. (©GettyImages).

Martin O'Neill is very close to becoming Republic of Ireland manager and will bring Roy Keane in as his assistant.

O'Neill will replace Giovanni Trapattoni, who left in September after Ireland failed to qualify for the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro.

The Irishman has had success with Celtic, Aston Villa and most recently Sunderland - until he was sacked after not winning any of his last eight games.

Before that, he won two League Cups with Leicester City; the only competition they've won in their history (three times). With Celtic he won a domestic treble as well as three league titles and three Scottish Cups; he also led Celtic to the UEFA Cup Final in 2003. With Wycombe Wanderers he won back-to-back promotions in the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.

Roy Keane has had a turbulent relationship with the Irish FA to say the least. He quit the Irish World Cup squad in 2002 having heavily criticised the training facilities chosen by the FAI and having had rows with coaches Patrick Bonner and Alan Kelly.

Even after he retired it didn't end there, as in 2007 he criticised the FAI selection policy, claiming that most of the Irish players were picked on reputation.

"Once you keep playing them on the reputation they've built up through the media or because they do lots of interviews, then it's wrong," said Keane. "There's a fine line between loyalty and stupidity."

It will be interesting to see whether Keane can keep his nose clean in his time as assistant manager. He is reportedly incredibly enthusiastic about the prospect of working with O'Neill.

Nothing is confirmed yet, and former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland midfielder Ray Houghton told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I'm involved in the process of bringing the manager in.

"At the moment there are a few things under way but until things are signed we just have to wait and see.

"Something, hopefully, in the next few days will come about."

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Topics:
Football
Roy Keane
Martin O’Neill

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