FAI board to discuss new manager this evening
Martin O’Neill still the most likely successor to Giovanni Trapattoni
FAI chief executive John Delaney with former Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni
The board of the FAI is set to meet, most likely later today, in order to weigh up where its search for a successor to Giovanni Trapattoni stands almost two weeks after the Italian departed in the wake of Ireland’s defeat by Austria and the team’s effective elimination from the World Cup.
There has been no clarification of the position in relation to Martin O’Neill but it has been expected that the northerner would have been approached about his interest in the job prior to the board’s meeting and that if the feedback is positive, the association is likely to pursue a deal with the man who had been clearly identified as the preferred candidate. That still appears to be the case.
In the event that O’Neill hasn’t given a clear indication that he is interested in the post and on terms that are at least seen as the basis for taking the matter further, then the board’s members are likely to discuss ways in which a wider recruitment process might be conducted.
Barring a swift appointment, however, the more immediate concern is likely to be the naming of a squad, even a greatly extended one, for the Germany and Kazakhstan games with the association obliged to inform clubs by the end of this week which players are required. In the most recent instances of similar circumstances arising, then under-21 manager Don Givens took charge and it seems almost certain that the association will again turn to one of its existing staff, most likely current under-21 manager Noel King with goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly having an input.
Any interim arrangement may well still be in place for the games themselves with a growing sense, it seems, that a permanent appointment will not be made in time for the final two World Cup qualifiers.