BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
    You are in: BBC Pundits  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

   Tuesday, 28 January, 2003, 17:30 GMT
Kerr talks a good game
New Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr
Brian Kerr was introduced to the media in Dublin
Lyle Jackson on the Republic of Ireland's new manager

Brian Kerr looks like having a protracted honeymoon as the new Republic of Ireland manager.

Kerr's appointment, a surprise perhaps outside Ireland, has been broadly welcomed by the Irish media.

That is hardly surprising as sections of the Irish press were consistently critical of his predecessor Mick McCarthy and openly campaigned for his removal.

McCarthy's replacement met the reporters and camera crews on Tuesday afternoon, in the splendid surroundings of the Shelbourne Hotel's 'Great Room'.

Kerr could talk for Ireland.

Before a question could be asked, the new man launched into a speech about how proud he was to get the job and how he would work tirelessly to bring success.

He cracked jokes, addressed journalists by their first names, and generally wowed his audience.

Former skipper Roy Keane had an infamous bust-up with Mick McCarthy before the World Cup finals
Roy Keane is valuable to the Republic team

The thick Dublin accent no doubt helped too. Kerr was among friends, at least for the time being.

Kerr is the first Irish-born man to manage the Republic on a full-time basis, following on from Jack Charlton and McCarthy.

One thing was clear - Kerr lacks nothing in enthusiasm for the job which lies ahead.

And the fact that Ireland have made an awful start to the European Championship qualifying campaign could actually work in his favour.

He will be hardly hung out to dry if they just miss out, although miserable failure would be another matter.

Much attention is now being focused on Kerr's mission to get Roy Keane back into the fold.

Ireland's next game is a friendly against Scotland on 12 February and it will be a big day for Kerr.

But, even if the Manchester United skipper was fit, in favour, and prepared to play, it is unlikely he would have been involved in such a low-key fixture.

Kerr wants Keane back for the forthcoming Euro qualifiers against Albania and Georgia.

There are many who believe Keane may prefer to opt for Shearer-style retirement from the international scene.

You could see Sir Alex Ferguson nodding his approval to that.

However, Roy Keane's country needs his skill, experience and influence, especially as Kerr is likely to favour a new-look youthful Irish side.

Kerr can talk okay, but can he talk Keane into an international comeback?

lyle.jackson.01@bbc.co.uk

Top BBC Pundits stories now:

Links to more BBC Pundits stories are at the foot of the page.


 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more BBC Pundits stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales