Monday, January 9, 2006
Staunton in line for Republic of Ireland job
Steve Staunton is poised to be appointed as the new manager of the Republic of
Ireland by the end of the week.
Staunton, currently assistant manager to Paul Merson at Walsall, is understood
to have held talks over the weekend with officials from the Football Association
The FAI have been buoyed by the success of the talks, but they remain at a
delicate stage and have yet to be concluded.
The FAI are also looking for a guiding mentor, with former England manager Sir
Bobby Robson believed to be in the frame due to Staunton's lack of managerial
Robson has been out of work since being sacked as Newcastle boss in August
Should the duo be officially confirmed, their first game will be a Lansdowne
Road friendly against Sweden on Wednesday, March 1.
That will begin a six-month countdown ahead of the start of the qualification
programme for the 2008 European Championships.
Staunton is Ireland's most capped player, making 102 appearances including 16
as captain. He played in two World Cup finals, with his last game the
second-round penalty shoot-out to Spain in South Korea three-and-a-half years
His potential appointment will bring an end to a near three-month search for
the FAI in the wake of Brian Kerr's dismissal following his failure to guide the
Republic to this summer's World Cup finals in Germany.
Saddlers boss Merson said late last year he would not stand in Staunton's way if
the international post was available.
'He is respected in Ireland, and I think the fans would want it,' said
Merson on Sky Sports News.
'I'd back him. Everybody who plays football would love to manage their
country one day, so if it came along, then of course I'd let him go. No worries
Staunton took the side of former Republic boss Mick McCarthy in the dispute
with Roy Keane on the Pacific island of Saipan, which resulted in the then
Manchester United player walking out on the Ireland squad just before the 2002
World Cup finals.
However, Keane has since retired from the international game, so there would
be no potential personality clash.
Staunton joined Liverpool in September 1986 from Irish side Dundalk. He
enjoyed two spells at Aston Villa, between 1991 and 1998 and 2000 and 2003, and
returned to Anfield between July 1998 and December 2000.
The 36-year-old has also played for Bradford and Crystal Palace on loan,
Coventry and Walsall.