Troussier shows interest in Irish job

Has David Dein a role to play for the FAI?

Has David Dein a role to play for the FAI?


Omar (formerly Philippe) Troussier and Ron Atkinson are the latest managers to express an interest in the Republic of Ireland job, a position that former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein could play a role in filling.

Independent advisors will be appointed to find Steve Staunton's successor after the FAI's Board of Management washed their hands of the task this morning.

The 10-man board will meet over the next fortnight to discuss the make-up of the selection committee following Staunton's dismissal. 

Only people with "considerable football experience in the professional game" will be sought by the FAI as they set out to find a new manager. 

Frenchman Troussier, a former Japan and South Africa manager amongst others, believes the Ireland job would represent "an exciting challenge".  

"I'm already thinking about the 2010 World Cup in Africa," the 52-year-old, once favoured to succeed Mick McCarthy, told the BBC.

He steered Japan to the second round of 2002 World Cup finals and was in charge of South Africa at the 1998 finals in France. But he has not managed since quitting as Morocco boss almost two years ago.  He now lives in Morocco having recently converted to Islam.

"Right now I am open to suggestions," he added. "I'm available. I have a lot of managerial experience behind me, more than 200 matches at the highest level and managed at two World Cups."

David O'Leary remains the bookmakers favourite to succeed Staunton although former Manchester United and Aston Villa manger Atkinson has also thrown his hat into the ring.

"One of the regrets I've always had is that I would have always fancied managing a national team. I know I could do a job like that", Atkinson told Newstalk.

"I've always felt international management is for more experienced managers. Club management you have got to have loads of energy. At international level, the man at the helm, is the man that can look, spot and think right and make decisions and that's the way my team will set out to play."

Dein, meanwhile, has been strongly tipped to lead the selection committee. He has also served as vice-chairman of the Football Association and brought Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to the Premiership.

He would be familiar with the selection task having played a strong hand in the appointment of Sven-Göran Eriksson as England manager.

Dein was then co-opted on to the panel to find a successor to the Swede, and is believed to have pushed the case of Luiz Felipe Scolari before the FA eventually turned to Steve McClaren.

Dein also forged a strong friendship with Wenger, so much so that the Frenchman reportedly considered his position at the club when Dein resigned from the board. Having Wenger's input, no matter how casual, could sway the FAI to consider Dein.

Having faced relentless criticism for appointing Staunton - a man with no managerial experience - FAI chief executive John Delaney has removed himself from the selection process this time around. 

He spearheaded a three-man sub committee charged with finding a successor to former manager Brian Kerr and was the key player in Staunton's appointment 21 months ago.

But following last week's 1-1 home draw with Cyprus, Delaney distanced himself from that appointment. It was a move that drew criticism from many quarters.

Bryan Hamilton, the former Northern Ireland manager and player, assisted the FAI in appointing Brian Kerr but the association are unlikely to chose him for a second time.

Bobby Robson is expected to stand down as Ireland's international football consultant after next month's game in Wales but, despite poor health, could be asked for his input.

But former Ireland manager John Giles has ruled himself out of contention for the selection panel. He said any involvement would compromise his media work.

Liam Brady expressed an interest in the vacant job last night but conceded his chances of getting it were slim. He could perhaps play a head-hunting role instead.

"We will take a week or two to consider who we are going to approach to appoint," said Delaney earlier today. "Whoever those individuals are will appoint the next manager of the association. They will come forward with the individual and we (FAI board) will ratify the appointment at that given stage."

The FAI will not want to rush into an appointment but ideally would like to have the new man in situ ahead of February's rumoured home friendly with Brazil.

Staunton, meanwhile, has made no comment since losing his job but one of his representatives said the former manager would go public soon.

"Stan is keeping his head down at the moment," the spokesman said. "But it could be that he will want to speak about the situation soon."