Never shy to share a thought or two on Martin O'Neill and (un)suitability for the Ireland manager's position, RTÉ's Eamon Dunphy has today suggested that his brief foray with another managerial role is "embarrassing" for Irish football.
While it now seems likely that Ireland will not lose O'Neill and (potentially) his backroom team to Premier League side Stoke City, Dunphy feels that even a shadow of doubt has put the FAI in a position that "the English FA or any other Association" would never allow itself be led into.
Speaking on RTÉ's News On One show, Dunphy compared O'Neill's admittedly flexible position to that of "being engaged - you shouldn't' be going out with other people."
This idea of an "engagement", as opposed to a full-blown marriage, rests on the fact that neither O'Neill or his backroom team have actually finalised the contract extensions that were agreed between O'Neill and the FAI.
A gentleman's agreement that almost left the FAI without any compensation for the loss of their well-payed managerial team, Dunphy believes the onus is now on John Delaney and the association to clarify what was almost an even more embarrassing situation:
The FAI now need to explain why having reached an agreement and made and offer, their manager hasn't accepted the offer and was making himself to other suitors if you like.
The fans are in the dark, largely the press are in the dark, and it's disrespectful.
Although Stoke City have yet to confirm whether or not they have chosen to appoint former Watford manager Quique Sánchez Flores, let alone chosen O'Neill as Mark Hughes' successor, serious questions regarding O'Neill's future in the Irish role will certainly be forthcoming.
While the former Northern Irish international was under no obligation not to talk to the Premier League side, some will wonder how committed he remains to the role he is currently in, and, would he be as quick to turn if another attractive offer came along.
See Also: O'Neill's Dublin Trip Appears To Confirm He's Staying On, But At What Price?