Redknapp tips Keane for Irish manager jobMike Finnerty 11 Jan 2024
Veteran English manager Harry Redknapp has tipped his former striker Robbie Keane for the vacant Irish manager job.
Speaking to RTÉ, the former Tottenham Hotspur manager said that Keane had the knowledge and enthusiasm necessary to get a job at the higher level of the sport.
Redknapp sang the praises of his former player, who he managed at Tottenham Hotspur in 2009.
When asked who would he pick to be Irish manager, Redknapp replied “you know who I’d like to see back in? Who deserves better than what he’s got in football since he finished playing? Robbie Keane.”
“He’s got great knowledge of the game, he’s got a great personality. He’s a great guy, everybody loves him”
Keane took up a job at Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv last summer, a move that proved controversial off the pitch.
The move was received poorly by Liverpool and Celtic fans, both clubs that Keane had played for and with a fanbase that displays strong support for Palestine.
TDs such as Sinn Féin’s Mark Ward criticised the move at the time, with Ward saying he was “disappointed” at the move.
“Obviously Keane is a legend in Irish football, we all loved watching him play and he is our record goalscorer, but surely an Irish player, who has played for Celtic, would be well aware of people’s opinions on the issue,” Ward said last July.
The Dublin Mid-West TD noted that “Ireland and Palestine have a strong, shared history and sense of solidarity, and it is disappointing that Robbie is so blind to that.”
The controversy surrounding the manager and the ongoing war has seemingly not phased the team however, with the team currently sitting at the top of the Israeli Premier League and handily qualifying for the knockout stages of the UEFA Conference League.
Redknapp made the pitch for his former player, saying “he was a fantastic footballer, he worked his socks off every game, gave everything. I think he should be managing somewhere at a good level, I really do.”
“His knowledge of the game, his work rate, his enthusiasm is fantastic.”
“I’m really surprised that no one’s given Robbie a go.”
Redknapp was the overwhelming favourite to become England manager after the resignation of Fabio Capello in early 2012 but the job went to Roy Hodgson on that occasion.
The Irish manager job is vacant after the FAI parted ways with Stephen Kenny last November following a miserable Euro 2024 qualifying campaign which saw Ireland record just two wins against Gibraltar.
The leading candidate for the gig, former Ireland international Lee Carsley, has not been drawn into comments about taking the job, while it is understood that the FAI are examining how Chris Hughton performs as Ghana’s manager at the African Cup Of Nations before attempting to lure him.
Gus Poyet stated before Christmas that he was very interested in taking the Irish job, noting that his contract as Greek manager was due to expire shortly and was very open to a move after being impressed by the atmosphere at the Aviva.