Is the FAI taking the Mick?

by Will Cullen

Mick McCarthyYou know when you break up with a girlfriend and all your friends say “oh she was bad for you, move on now and have fun. Forget about her, it’s over.” Then out of nowhere, you’re thinking about going back. You’re lonely, miss the company and someone who is familiar to you. You are too lazy to try meet someone else so you decide “ah, why not, maybe it will be better this time”. Incorrect, follow the rule and that rule is never go back, EVER.  FAI, are you listening? John Delaney, please stop for a second and think about this. There must be someone else, anyone else.

Surely this cannot be real can it? Are the FAI really considering bringing Mick McCarthy back in as the Irish manager. Is John Delaney really going to go back to the man who forgot to bring footballs to football training? Is the FAI really going to pick a Championship manager who has his team drifting around the middle of the table?  An article in the Irish Independent suggests that Big Mick is a front-runner for the vacant role. There are not many things more embarrassing than Noel King’s recent post match interview, but re-hiring Mick would be one step better. Imagine Sam the Eagle from Sesame Street back in the dugout.

Don’t get me wrong, Mick did a good job in his previous spell and I’m thankful for that. He brought us to a World Cup where we did well. He had to deal with the circus surrounding the Roy Keane incident in Saipan too and he did it with dignity.  But he resigned for a reason. It is suggested that Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne are in favour of a return for Mick to the hot-seat. Hmmm I wonder why, two ageing players, one playing in the Championship and edging towards the end of his career and the other playing in America with the legs of a 75 year old man.

I don’t really need to go into the highs and lows of Mick’s managerial career. I’m not here to say he is a bad manager. He has a decent record. What I am saying is that he is not the right man for the Irish team at this moment.

The Irish team needs a young, technically sound and educated coach. When I mean educated, I don’t mean he has to be a doctor of quantum physics. What I mean is, he needs to know the current game. He needs to know the new formations, the new tactics and one main thing, he needs to be good a developing a style of play.

For far too long Ireland have been known more for their fans than they have for their football. Trap played his Catenaccio style, or defensive style of play. Under Big Jack we had a system. We were direct and aggressive. We need to move away from that. We need something more. We need something more expressive and modern. We need a fluid and modern identity. We are not a passing team, not a pressing team or counter attacking team. We need someone who knows how they want to play and stick to it. We need a coach as opposed to a manager. We don’t need big team talks or an arm around the shoulder guy. We need someone, who in a few days can get the squad playing a system that is modern and open. For far too long we have been on the back-foot and defensive. We have had the odd result here and there but the majority of the time, we sit back and hope for the best.

The squad is a poor one compared to some of our previous ones. But there are still some very good technical players in that squad who can play. Hoolahan, McCarthy, Long and Coleman are very good footballers and understand the game. We have other players doing well who need a chance. In one of my previous articles I mentioned some of the players that we need to look at. We don’t need Mick coming in picking the same players Trap picked. I guarantee that if Mick was in charge, Kevin Doyle would be in his first squad. That just can’t happen and we all know why.

“So who would you suggest be the manager, who else can we pick”. Well, my idea would be to pick a good technical modern-day coach. Someone like Rene Meulensteen or Raymond Verheijen. Then beside them, a young Irish coach. Not a “FAI man” like Liam Brady, but a coach who is young eager and bold. There are many young Irish coaches abroad learning the game, learning new cultures and new ways of playing the game. If we got someone in like Rene Meulensteen or Verheijen, it would be a good idea to look at some of these young coaches and place them in beside him. Two coaches who can develop young players. Again, no offence to Mick, but we can’t take a step back. We need to go forward.  Let me use Wales as an example here. OK, they are not doing great at the minute, but under Gary Speed and Verheijen, they had a style. They had a system and they knew it would take a while to achieve success. But the football the played was bright and modern. Older players, like Bellamy, spoke so highly of the new ideas, the new coaching and just the new set up that was brought in from the new management team.  That is what Ireland needs, something new, modern and fresh.

Martin O’Neill was mentioned a few weeks ago but still nothing has happened. My feeling is that he has been scared off the position for whatever reason.  So if Martin isn’t keen, then like the lazy boyfriend, the FAI just go back to the old familiar, knowing only too well how it will end. Not bothering to look elsewhere for something new and exciting.  It’s never the same as it was. And it never will. FAI, it’s time to move on.

We’ll take this opportunity to post the greatest gif of all time!

2 Responses

  1. Shane Kearney says:

    That is the greatest gif of all time.

  2. BiffoGZ says:

    “We need someone, who in a few days can get the squad playing a system that is modern and open.”

    I like it! While we’re at it, I think we need a team full of Messi clones. We’d be well on our way to Euro 2016 qualification then.

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