It’s almost 11 years to the day since Mick McCarthy last managed the Republic of Ireland, but RTÉ pundit Liam Brady would like to see the current Ipswich Town manager back in the hot-seat.
2002 was the year of Saipan. There is no need to revisit that. On the pitch, Ireland’s World Cup campaign in the Far East ended with a penalty shootout defeat against the Spanish. McCarthy was still in charge when the Euro 2004 qualifiers commenced.
However, defeats against Russia and Switzerland in their opening matches had the Irish on the back foot from the off. The manager did not survive.
Much water has flowed under the bridge since then and the FAI are again in search of a manager. Martin O’Neill, Roy Keane and one Mick McCarthy are the names getting most mention as of now.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, Liam Brady was in no doubt which one of that trio he would like to see get the job.
The former Ireland international said: “I don’t know what Mick’s contractual situation is at Ipswich. What I do know is that he has demonstrated before his capability to do the job.
"He has broad shoulders and had to put up with an awful lot of messing when Saipan happened. People turned against him; public opinion turned against him and most of the media turned against him on the back of how popular Roy Keane was.
"However Mick got on with it and he demonstrated since then that he is a very capable manager. I don’t whether it would be possible to get him, but he would be number one on my list.”
"He (Mick McCarthy) has broad shoulders and had to put up with an awful lot of messing when Saipan happened" - Liam Brady
When asked about the process so far in finding a successor to Giovanni Trapattoni, Brady did not give it a ringing endorsement.
“I haven’t been impressed, but maybe that’s the circumstances. I think we all expected that Martin O’Neill would be the next manager, but that hasn’t happened. I believe that rules Martin out.
He may think that the expectations are too high within the country as to what the team should be achieving.
“I don’t like the process and I feel sorry for Noel King after he was told that he will not be considered for the job as full-time manager.”
Live television coverage of Republic of Ireland v Kazakhstan from 19:00 on Tuesday 15 October on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (ROI only). Live radio coverage on Game On from 19:00 on RTÉ 2fm and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).