Reputations can make a huge difference in the ego-driven world of modern football, so the FAI have reason to smile now that Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane are on board.
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Who’s likely to fit into O’Neill’s rigid system?
Once the hype settles down from the FAI landing their dream management ticket for the Republic of Ireland, it will quickly sink in that slick, attacking football won’t be on the menu.
O’Neill’s backroom team – The men behind the duo
When the Republic of Ireland players lace up their boots and trot out onto the pitch at Gannon Park on Monday afternoon, they won’t be led by Martin O’Neill or Roy Keane.
Jon Walters – ‘There’s nothing better than giving something back’
Tucked behind a middle-class housing estate and next to a Michelin tyre factory is Stoke City’s training ground. It’s a modern complex without being plush, yet the trappings of the Premier League are clear to see.
Stephen Kenny – Rags to riches for Dundalk
In an era when success stories are treated like myths, Stephen Kenny knows Dundalk’s rise from the edge of extinction to possible champions is a tale worth telling.
Luke Chambers – Cool hand Luke has heart set on Ireland
For 18 months now, Luke Chambers has left his Irish passport sitting in a dusty drawer. But the defender is hoping that the dawn of a new era may finally bring his international career to light.
Graham Kavanagh – Contender Kav out to seize chance
From Mick McCarthy and Paul Jewell through to Paul Ince, almost every manager Graham Kavanagh has ever known has been in touch to relay the same message: make the most of this opportunity.
Darragh MacAnthony – ‘I bought this club to have a little fun’
Scheduled to sit down for a one-on-one interview with Darragh MacAnthony in Portmarnock Hotel. We are, instead, treated to an audience with Peterborough United’s three wise men and it’s the first sign that the Dubliner doesn’t do anything by half measures.
John Thompson – Thompson’s trauma left him with no confidence
Preparing for a match was something that John Thompson always took for granted. But when his heart began to race, his vision blurred and his mind spun as part of an anxiety attack, he knew that football would never be the same again.