Monday, June 17, 2024

O’Shea named Republic of Ireland interim coach

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John O’Shea has been named as the Republic of Ireland head coach on an interim basis.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has announced that O’Shea, 42, will take charge when Ireland face Belgium and Switzerland in two friendlies in Dublin next month. They do not play again until June.

Paddy McCarthy, who is an assistant coach at Crystal Palace, will assist O’Shea during the March games.

O’Shea has been part of the FAI coaching set-up since 2020 with the under-21s and was assistant to senior men’s team manager Stephen Kenny until both left their roles in November.

At club level, O’Shea has coached with Stoke City and most recently at Birmingham City with Wayne Rooney. He left the latter role six weeks ago by mutual consent when Rooney was dismissed.

Ireland have two further friendlies in June before the Nations League campaign begins in September with a match against England in Dublin.

A sensible solution

O’Shea will be considered a sensible interim appointment. The former Manchester United and Sunderland defender won 118 Irish caps in a 17-year international career.

The temporary appointment buys the FAI some time. The Association is under scrutiny once again for its governance and has not been able to secure the permanent appointment to follow Kenny it desired. It is thought England under-21 coach – and Ireland international of 40 caps – Lee Carsley was the FAI’s first choice.

But Carsley’s standing within the English FA is high and while the Ireland job offers the opportunity to work with players such as Caoimhin Kelleher at Liverpool and Evan Ferguson at Brighton & Hove Albion, the squad came fourth of five in Euro 2024 qualifying. Ireland lost all six matches against the top three sides in that group — France, Netherlands and Greece — with their only points coming from two victories over Gibraltar.

(Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

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