John O’Shea, James McClean, Séamus Coleman  and Robbie Keane celebrate after Keane’s goal for the Republic of Ireland in last night’s friendly international against Latvia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Ideal start, I suppose, but Martin O’Neill would be disappointed with the lack of quality shown by Latvia. Then again, a decent manager always takes s(...)

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill with assistant Roy Keane during last night’s training session at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

A pal of mine was at a sports conference not so long ago sitting beside a predecessor of Martin O’Neill at both Celtic and Aston Villa. Dr Jozef Vengl(...)

The Dream Team: Martin O’Neill greets Roy Keane during their Premier League days in 2008.

What is the role of a number two? Well, that depends on the number one. I did it just the once, under Mick Lawlor at Home Farm for two years and six m(...)

Republic of Ireland interim manager Noel King: in just two games,  King tried to address the serious issue of been outnumbered in midfield.

I feel last night’s system is definitely the way to go or at least a viable option to remain competitive in international football. Far too often we’v(...)

Noel King: criticism of his tactics and team selection against Germany were ‘ludicrous’.

At last, the final game of a qualifying campaign that lacked joy, provided little good football and was weighed down with negativity towards the depar(...)

 The Republic of Ireland’s Anthony Stokes and Jerome Boateng of Germany contest an aerial ball during the World Cup qualifier in Cologne. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

There was so clearly a defensive game plan put in place by Noel King’s Republic of Ireland. It didn’t work but not many plans will work against this G(...)

According to Brian Kerr, Republic of Ireland interim manager Noel King’s jovial manner 
this week 
with the media has 
concealed the competitive zeal and no-holds-barred approach which makes him the correct 
man to guide Ireland 
through the current
at this juncture. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Noel King, as well liked a man as you could find in Irish football circles, has gone about his business of interim manager this week with the passion (...)

The consensus towards Martin O’Neill’s appointment as the next manager of the Republic of Ireland team might allow it to turn into a painless exercise. Photograph: Ian Hodgson/Reuters

It’s over 10 years ago, but in January 2003 my appointment as Republic of Ireland manager brought an end to the period of speculation we are now re-en(...)

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni in Vienna last night. “We can’t call ourselves unlucky against Austria at home. They deserved that draw. And still we heard excuses about injury time and bad luck. Austria also deserved to win last night.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Let’s not linger on last night in Vienna. From the very start of this qualification campaign we were riding our luck. That Kazakhstan match on day one(...)

James McCarthy will be vital for the Republic of Ireland against Austria; pictureed also is Marc Wilson, who voiced his frustration with the Irish set-up recently. Photograph: Inpho

In the last week, sport gave us the magnificence of Dublin v Kerry and the majesty of Sunday’s hurling final. In between, Irish soccer gave us another(...)