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Harte of the Matter: Is Keane the man to replace Martin O'Neill?

Could Shay Given be part of a new managerial team?

Jimmy Harte

Reporter:

Jimmy Harte

Email:

sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Harte of the Matter:  Is Keane the man to replace Martin O'Neill?

After the recent poor results against Georgia and Serbia, the question must be asked, where do the Republic of Ireland go from here?

It will take a strange set of results to see us through to the finals in Russia next year. Unachieveable I fear.

I'd be concerned for Martin O'Neill at this stage. He has been a great player and had some tremendous success as a manager, but I think his time is coming to an end, which is a shame.

He gave the Irish team great confidence but they were unable to return it as he would have wanted.

He legacy will live on and he has brought a level of professionalism to the cause, if we look back to previous managers like Steve Staunton, Eoin Hand, Johnny Giles to name but a few.

Who will replace him if he goes ? A tough question for any soccer follower but the day is coming when this will happen. The obvious choice would be Roy Keane but his past managerial stints wouldn't exactly put him in the lead. But he probably has the support of those who make the decisions in the FAI, that will be for another day.

The latest news coming out today is that Shay Given has Roy Keane as the new manager, something that may surprise many but they have a long history in the Ireland set up. Perhaps Shay is remembering the great support Roy gave him during his time lining out for Ireland.

It's no coincidence that Shay is plugging Roy Keane at this time as he is at the end of his distinguished career. Is he hoping to be part of a Keane management team? Not a bad move from the Lifford man and it may pave the way to Given being the Republic of Ireland manager in the future. Not a bad choice in my opinion and if we had the captain and manager from Donegal it would be a great coup for the soccer fraternity.

The mild-mannered Given and the workhorse that is Roy Keane together in the dressing room would certainly put the team in the frame for future World Cups or Euro championships. The thought of that combination is exciting as we come to the end of Martin O Neill's tenure in charge.