Eamon Dunphy believes Pep Guardiola will face his greatest test as a manager when the Spaniard takes over the reins at Manchester City during the summer.
The club confirmed today that Guardiola, currently in charge of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, would succeed Manuel Pellegrini on 30 June.
The former Barcelona boss has agreed a three-year contract at City, but Dunphy anticipates the celebrated manager faces a severe test of his managerial abilities.
“I think it’s a massive test for him,” the RTÉ analyst told 2fm’s Game On.
“He won’t have the quality he had at Barcelona - Messi and people like Xavi, Iniesta. He won’t have Robben, and Ribery, and Muller, and Neuer and Lahm.
“What he’ll have is a load of rogues - with one or two exceptions - David Silva is an obvious exception.
“It’s amazing for the Premier League, I think, and it’ll be totally fascinating. We’ll find out what he’s made of, that’s for sure.”
Dunphy went on to offer a mixed appraisal of the Chilean’s spell in charge, saying: “Pellegrini has always conducted himself with dignity and seems a very charming man.
“The team that he’s putting on the field every week are letting him down and I’d have to blame him for that.
“They’re not performing, they’re not trying some of them, visibly and patently not having a go.
“Given the resources he’s had, he hasn’t done a great job.”
The former Republic of Ireland midfielder also welcomed the news that a current member of the Boys in Green had gone out on a loan in an attempt to bolster his international prospects ahead of Euro 2016.
Reflecting on the news that Everton’s Aiden McGeady had agreed terms to join Sheffield Wednesday until the end of the season, Dunphy said: “He hasn’t played at all this year. So he’d no chance staying where he was and if he goes to Sheffield Wednesday, who actually have aspirations to be promoted, and does well there, it gets him fit and mentally and physically and in match fitness for the championship.
“That’s important for Ireland because he has the potential always - even as an impact sub - to make things happen. So, that’s good news.”
Dunphy was also delighted by Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph’s performance in West Ham’s scoreless draw against Liverpool in the FA Cup at the weekend, adding: “The other good news is that Darren Randolph, who's the reserve goalkeeper at West Ham, was man of the match at Anfield. So we’ve nothing to worry about in terms of the goalkeeping situation.”
Despite being a divisive figure, Dunphy believes John Terry will be badly missed after the Chelsea legend revealed he would part company with the Blues after more than 20 years at the club after failing to secure a new contract.
“I think his on-the-field performances are really what matters,” Dunphy said.
“Some of the off-the field stuff is crazy, like parking his 4x4 in a disabled parking spot and also selling tours around Wembley when he was captain of England because he had a box there. He’s done a lot of stuff.
“I think as a players he’s been the greatest defender England have had for a very, very long time. If you think of their World Cup team, even Jack Charlton, Bobby Moore, I think Terry’s up there with the all-time greats as a footballer, as a leader of men.”