O’Neill set to be named Giovanni Trapattoni’s successor, with Keane as his assistant.
We can confirm that the management appointment process with Martin O’Neill & Roy Keane is at an advanced stage.Updates from @FAIreland today
— FAI (@FAIreland) November 5, 2013
The FAI have confirmed Martin O’Neill is close to being named Republic of Ireland manager, with Roy Keane as his assistant.
The pairing, which is being described as ‘fire and ice’ in Ireland, will replace Giovanni Trapatonni, who ended his five-year tenure in September after failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Former Celtic boss O’Neill has been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland in March, while Keane’s only managerial experience came during a two-year period at the Stadium of Light and a consequent two years at Ipswich, which ended with his sacking in January 2011.
Although Keane is one of the finest players ever to emerge from the Emerald Isle, his potential appointment is not without controversy. In 2006, the then-Republic of Ireland captain walked out of the country’s World Cup training base in Korea amid concerns about the FAI’s chosen facilities.
The ex-Manchester United midfielder was also criticised by former boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who revealed in his autobiography that other players were scared of Keane.
Northern Irish O’Neill won the SPL three times during a five-year spell at Celtic Park and led Aston Villa to three consecutive sixth placed finishes in the Premier League.
Like Keane, O’Neill was also a central midfielder and won the European Cup twice with Nottingham Forest as a player.
Update: FAI chief executive John Delaney has said the duo will be unveiled on Saturday.
Delaney says Keane and O’Neill will be unveiled on Saturday.
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) November 5, 2013