And so we have the The Italian Job at Dundalk FC.

But will it be a case of Filippo Giovagnoli blowing the bloody doors off to get Dundalk motoring again? Time will tell.

As League of Ireland appointments go, the hiring of Giovagnoli as the man to kickstart Dundalk's season is certainly a surprising one.  

The owners at Oriel Park, we believe, first approached Robbie Keane and Mark Kennedy about filling the vacancy left by Vinny Perth's sacking last Thursday. And then it was on to their next choice - a 49-year-old Italian who spent his playing career in Serie C, before serving as a Technical Director of AC Milan's Junior Camps and then working as Director of Coaching at the Metropolitan Oval Academy in New York.

The reigning Premier Division champions now have a man at the helm who has never managed an adult team, and does not currently possess a UEFA Pro Licence.

Should Dundalk fans be sceptical?

That was the question that RTÉ Soccer Correspondent Tony O'Donoghue put to Giovagnoli.

"Of course they should be sceptical and I have no problem accepting that," he replied.

"What I have to do is work hard and show that I can be part of this club. It's not a problem for us. We just want to do well.

"It's a big task, but more than a big task for us it's a big opportunity. We want to do well. We feel the challenge because we know that people are sceptical about us. That is going to drive us to be more focused and to work hard. 

The new management team

"Giuseppe Rossi (assistant) and I are going to spend the majority of our time here (at Oriel Park) and go home just to sleep."

When asked what has gone wrong with Dundalk, Giovagnoli answered: "I don't know. Teams have good moments, then they go down. Maybe the pandemic has created a bit of a situation. I don't want to talk about the past. The ball is in my court and I want to do well."

There is no denying that Giovagnoli wants to make his mark at the County Louth club since arriving on these shores last weekend. He has watched Dundalk's last six or seven games, is studying up on the history of the club and is adamant that he and not the owners will be picking the team that goes on the pitch.  

"I'm putting myself in a situation with my shoulder on the wall and then I'm perform better," he boasted.

"If I feel pressure I perform better, I'm more focused.

"I don't know the league - but we are starting. We will need to study the league but we will get there.

"The owners called me and interviewed me. And then they picked me. I think I deserved to get this job. I am an Italian guy who was working in the United States but I am prepared."

Giovagnoli's first match in charge will be away to Cobh Ramblers in the FAI Cup on Sunday.

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