FORMER IRELAND STRIKER Frank Stapleton believes it would be foolish for the FAI to put all their eggs in one basket in their hunt for a manager.
The search for a new senior boss is underway with speculation rife last week that Martin O’Neill was set to be named as Giovanni Trapattoni’s successor.
However, an announcement that U21 boss Noel King will take the reins for next month’s remaining two World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan suggests that interest in the former Sunderland and Celtic manager may have cooled somewhat.
Ex-international Ray Houghton and new High Performance Director Ruud Dokter have now been handed the task of sourcing the new man. And Stapleton, who captained the Boys in Green at their first major tournament in ’88, believes that the search must be widened.
Martin O’Neill is at the forefront of it certainly from people’s speculation but you have to widen your spectrum,” the 57-year-old said. “You have to open it up.
“What if Martin decides that it’s not for him or he suddenly gets a job in England? You can’t be left high and dry and need alternatives.”
Stapleton captaining Ireland against England at Euro ’88. Credit: INPHO/Billy Stickland
That said, Stapleton added that the association should not go down a similar route to the Trapattoni appointment by bringing in a manager from outside Ireland and the UK.
I think that we should look at everybody but I do feel it has to be someone from the British Isles. Somebody who knows all these players. You need somebody who sees these players regularly.
“I can’t say that we’ve got a huge pool of players that play in the Premier League to choose from. Most of them come from the Championship.
“What we’ve always had regardless is the spirit. When I started playing in the 70s and when we got that bit of success in the late 80s and early 90s, we always had that spirit as a base.”
Frank Stapleton was in Ireland to promote the Setanta Sports Pack, which will broadcast five Manchester United games between 28 September and 1 December. For more information visit Setanta.com