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Former Spain Boss Javier Clemente Wants The Irish Job

Gavin Cooney
By Gavin Cooney
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Former Spain manager Javier Clemente is interested in the vacant Republic of Ireland manager's job.

Balls understands that Clemente's representatives today made known his interest to the FAI, although Mick McCarthy remains the main frontrunner for the job with Stephen Kenny viewed as the main alternative.

Clemente, now 68, managed the Spanish national team between 1992 and 1998, and has also had spells in charge of a host of La Liga clubs including Espanyol, Atletico Madrid, Real Betis, Real Sociedad and was twice manager of Athletic Bilbao. He has also been in charge at Marseille, and has had stints at international level with Serbia, Cameroon and Libya.

Clemente was interested in replacing Giovanni Trapattoni in 2013, and has always been interested in a 'British style' of football.


Five years ago, he and his representatives pitched to the FAI a management team involving Gaizka Mendieta and Albert Ferrer, whose fluency in English would help him bridge an early communication gap with the players. He also pledged to get up to speed with the English language within 90 days of his appointment.

He accentuated his managerial track record with Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Espanyol, and also made specific reference to his win as Spain manager over Jack Charlton's Ireland in October, 1993.

Clemente also said his varied tactical approach would suit Ireland - while he used Pep Guardiola as a playmaker in the Spanish national team, Clemente also cited his work with Bobby Robson's Ipswich in the 1970s as proof he was learned in a style more closely associated with what was then Trapattoni's Ireland.

Martin O'Neill ultimately got the Irish job in 2013, and Clemente assumed the role as manager of the Libyan national team, with whom he won the African Nations Cup in 2014.

Clemente left Libya in 2016, and has been out of work since.


See Also: Matt Doherty Opens Up On "Old-School" Training Under Martin O'Neill


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