Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane have relinquished their posts as manager and assistant manager of Republic of Ireland, as confirmed by The FAI on Wednesday morning.
The pair “mutually agreed” to part company with the association after O’Neill met with FAI chief executive John Delaney the previous night.
O’Neill and Keane had been in charge of the Ireland team for five years but a downright dismal record in 2018 has seen that all come to a tepid end, with one win in 11 games and subsequent relegation from the UEFA Nations League B tier on the back of it.
There were highlights too, of course, with qualification for Euro 2016 (beating Germany on the way) and then making it through to the knockout phase at the finals undoubtedly among the most memorable of all.
FAI president Donal Conway said in a parting statement:
On behalf of the FAI board, I would like to thank Martin, Roy, and the management team for their work with the Republic of Ireland team over the last five years.
Martin ensured that we enjoyed some great nights in the Aviva Stadium and on the road in Lille, Vienna, and Cardiff, which were fantastic high points for Irish football.
Fair enough, but morale has since tanked and something drastically needed to change, hence the O’Neill and Keane axis has bitten the dust.
Who next? Depending on how much ambition they’re willing to show, The FAI could do worse than Sam Allardyce back into the mire.
Mick McCarthy is available for a return, as is fellow straight-talkin’ football man Brian Kerr.
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see…