The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) have confirmed that Martin O’Neill will become the new manager of the Republic of Ireland, replacing the departed Giovanni Trapattoni while former Ireland captain Roy Keane will be his assistant.
— FAI (@FAIreland) November 5, 2013
O’Neill told ITV Sport on Tuesday that:
“Roy’s coming with me, personally speaking he will be great for me and it will be great for Ireland.” O’Neill, in a jokey reference to Keane’s fiery temper, said: “I’m the bad cop and he (Keane) is the bad, bad cop. We are excited by it and I’m looking forward to it greatly.”
“It’s fantastic news, I’m delighted and honoured Martin has asked me to work with him,” Keane added. “I’m looking forward to working with the players and getting the team to the (2016) Euros.”
Keane of course famously criticised then-FAI treasurer John Delaney, now the governing body’s chief executive, following his walkout at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™. But earlier Tuesday, Delaney said events in Saipan would be no bar to his working with Keane and he also stressed how the former Manchester United captain had been O’Neill’s choice.
“I was very taken by him (Keane),” Delaney told Sky Sports. “He wants to come. He’s been a great footballer. Martin wants him to be his assistant. He was Martin’s choice. I come from a school where the manager chooses his backroom team. People need to draw a line in the sand. It’s gone. Saipan was 11, 12 years ago. Now is the time to stop talking about it.”