The race for the Republic of Ireland manager job is heating up. Mick McCarthy remains the favourite support for Stephen Kenny to acquire the role remains strong with several prominent football figures publicly declaring their support for the Dundalk boss.
Last night Andy Townsend appeared on Sky Sports' Debate Show and outlined the pros and cons of both candidates.
"Stephen Kenny is a League of Ireland manager who's done exceptionally well and there's something quite interesting about giving the job to someone like him.
"It is quite exciting to see someone like Stephen in with a chance, but you also want to qualify and with Mick's experience, he would score heavily with that."
Per the Irish Independent, the FAI will speak to Mick McCarthy this week but his main rival is Kenny, who remains in the hunt. There have been some shock contenders with both Jurgen Klinsmann and Carlos Queiroz reported to be interested in the role.
Speaking to today's Irish Times for a lengthy interview, Kenny refuted the idea that his lack of experience in England would inhibit his ability to do the role. He dismissed the idea he would be unable to command respect as a "non-argument."
I actually find the question quite insulting. You have to earn respect. You earn it on the training ground every day with your level of preparation and attention to detail; no matter who you are you have to earn it every day. I’ve been with the Dundalk team for six seasons but every day I feel I have to go in and earn the respect of those players again. The minute you drop your standards, you receive nothing. Nothing.
But I know a lot of the [international] players. I gave Stephen Ward his debut at Bohemians; gave James McClean his debut at Derry, then sold him. Obviously, there are some former Dundalk former players involved and a lot of the others . . . Sean Maguire, Enda Stevens, David Meyler. a high percentage of the players have been in the league. Shane Duffy was around the scene at Derry, even though he went away at a young age so I don’t consider that an issue.
This is the main argument offered as a reason Kenny should not secure the role. Interestingly, former Irish international Damien Duff also dismissed this suggestion when asked would it be a factor.
The FAI did opt for a relatively quick appointment last time around, having announced Martin O'Neill less than a month after Giovanni Trapattoni's departure. The Euro 2020 qualifying draw is scheduled for December 2 in Dublin which may be a factor for filling the role swiftly.
There is also the vacant Ireland U21 role, which Kenny had been linked to prior to O'Neill's departure. However, Lee Carsley is the man most recently touted for that position.
You can read the full Irish Times interview with Kenny here.