EAMON DUNPHY HAS backed Martin O’Neill as the man to lead Ireland to the next European Championships.
O’Neill is the bookmakers’ firm favourite to replace Giovanni Trapattoni whose five years as manager came to an end following last night’s defeat in Austria.
David Alaba’s late winner effectively ended Ireland’s chances of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil next year and Dunphy, who has been one of Trap’s strongest critics, says Derry native O’Neill is the man to take this side forward.
“This Trapattoni experience has been an unhappy one for him,” Dunphy told Aine Lawlor on RTÉ News at One.
“It has been an unhappy one for the team and for the fans who are the most important people in all of this.
The short-term project is to get the right man in place now and I think Martin O’Neill is the right man.
He has an outstanding record in the game in Britain. He will be more attentive to detail, he will go to matches, and he will understand the footballing culture here more than Trapattoni ever did.
Looking back on Trap’s tenure, former international striker Niall Quinn said that the Italian should be judged on the squad he leaves behind for his successor.
“He had at least five top players in Shay Given, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane, Richard Dunne and John O’Shea, all in the prime of their career.
I think that stood to him and he was able to bring guys on alongside them, but did he really bring them on so that they could take over from that group in the future? I don’t think so.
I’d worry about the new manager coming in more so than Giovanni’s attempts. I think what he has left us with isn’t great.