One of the main complaints aimed at previous Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni was that he very rarely went to watch his international players live.The wily Italian chose to watch the players on TV in the comfort of his home in Italy.In fact it was only after he had a dressing down from his FAI bosses after the six one home defeat to Germany that the Italian started to visit the grounds in England on a Saturday.In my opinion this was one of the reasons he survived after that dismal performance against Germany.
One of the promises the new management team of Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane made at the outset was that they would get to see as many Irish players as they could, at all levels over the coming months.True to there word the pair have been out and about every weekend since they got the job.In particular Roy has been turning up everywhere and anywhere to scout talent for the Irish set up. It is so refreshing to see the lads in directors boxes when you turn on any game now televised live in Dublin.This is a huge plus and the players involved in these games must be so excited to hear the guys are in the stand,and there to watch them.
As we all know, Ireland will not have a competitive game till next summer,when we start our qualifying for the 2016 European Championships.With Keane at the games and watching these players it gives the Irish management team loads of options to find talent and blood them for the upcoming friendlies.They are throwing the net far and wide and if they can invoke the famous granny rule who knows what player they can bring on board.
It is a little known fact that over the period that Roy Keane had been out of management,he was scouting players all over the country in preparation for his return to management at whatever level. Roy has a vast knowledge of all the Irish players playing in England and not just at Premier league level.He has looked as low as reserve teams were a lot of the Irish lads are plying there trade.He is also passing on his knowledge to the youngsters,to help them gain first team experience and he has always been available to these youngsters on the end of a phone.
One thing Roy will not do is interfere in club managers attitude towards the Irish lads but it has to be comforting to all the Irish players that Roy is just a phone call away for these lads.It has been a breath of fresh air to see him around the games and it can only bode well for the future of the Irish set up at all levels that he is scouting these guys.The FAI have obviously given him an expense account and I for one hope it goes through the ceiling if it means he find players to get us through to France 2016.Good on you Roy,wonder what game you will be at this weekend ?.