Monday, January 16, 2006

Stans the Man

The new era in Irish soccer dawned today with the uncomfortable reading of a couple of statements (undoubtedly written by FAI). Steve Staunton and Bobby Robson are now in charge of the Irish soccer team.

I was listening to the press conference on the radio this morning. Staunton did seem uncomfortable reading his statement. It wasn't surprising that he was a little uneasy in front of the cameras. In the run up to this press conference the media had vented its spleen on the poor chap and had already written his tenure as Irish manager off as a failure.

Robson also sounded a bit uncomfortable at the start of his statement, but got into his stride. He said he would call Staunton "Stan" and "The Boss" emphasing their friendship and his position in the organisation. However that means nothing really. He didn't really have alot to say, just cliches "We're not looking back, we're looking forward" and that we need to rebuild and find good young players. I'm also pretty sure he said the "curry" did not qualify for the World Cup. As he spoke he got a bit more assertive, saying Stan will be going to the European Cup draw and listed the tasks they had to do. He did sound more like "The Boss".

Staunton then fielded questions from the press and did seem alot more comfortable doing this than reading the statement. He batted away questions about his lack of experience with a glass is half full attitude basically saying he hasn't proven anything one way or the other but he believes he can do the job. He also said that he was the boss, the gaffer and whatever he says goes and the buck stops with him. He did say that Bobby would deal more with after match things and not the lead up to games. It did almost sound like Bobby would be a media consultant.

Unfortunately the radio coverage was then cut off by Pat Kenny, no idea why he couldn't let a few more questions be covered.

We'll see how Staunton-Robson get on. I'm a bit more concerned about Robson. Will he be happy in the background or will he push Staunton out of the way? A power struggle wont do the team any good.

Only time will tell and we should all give them the time to rebuild the team. Inexperienced managers have been a success elsewhere so Staunton could easily prove a success.


Johnny K said...

Declan, I really don't care about experience. There are enough cases where lack of experience has not made any difference to the appointment of managers. The most famous being Franz Beckenbauer, who won 103 caps (Staunton won 102) for his country, took Germany to two World Cup Finals, winning the second one.

Robson has forgotten more about football than most people know. I think he's a good man, and will be able to answer some of the questions Staunton will no doubt need to ask.

The main thing Staunton brings to the table is knowing how important it is to play for Ireland, and how to make the most of limited talent. He did that himself throughout his career, and worked to make himself Ireland's best left-fullback of all time. Here's hoping he makes a success of the manager's job as well.

Declan said...

I think we agree. I think they could be good, but just so long as they get on together and dont end up undermining each other.