Sack Steve Staunton sign now

This is a petition to right a serious wrong, to change things before it's too late, to arrest the perennial bad taste that's left in the gullet of the Irish people after watching a game of football, and to help you, the FAI, to make a decision which you seem totally incapable of making on your own.

Earlier this year Steve Staunton was appointed manager of the Irish football team. As an ex-player Staunton is loved by the fans, he gave great service over the years and became one of Ireland's most talented defenders. But the fact remains he has no managerial experience. He may have passion, he may have the desire to win, but, as has been proven in the games against Holland and Germany, he is unable to effectively select a team that can play anything other than long ball football. It seems that if Ireland fall behind in a match he does not possess the knowledge and experience to change how the team plays to counteract the oppositions system and get back in the game.

We don't totally blame Staunton. Firstly he should never have been given the job in the first place. And secondly he does not have the strongest squad to choose from. But any good manager should be able to take whatever players are available, form them into a cohesive team who can string a few passes together, and at least challenge for a place in major tournaments. As it stands we may be lucky to finish ahead of Cyprus. The game against Germany showed Staunton's naivety. He selected numerous players out of position, most notably Steve Finnan, John O'Shea, Kevin Kilbane and Steven Reid. He also left the team down by getting sent to the stands midway through the second half. And lastly his substitutions left a lot to be desired. Replacing arguably Ireland's most accomplished and flamboyant player, Damien Duff, a player who can make something out of nothing, with Aiden McGeady, a promising young player who's unproven at international level and I don't remember getting a touch of the ball. It also seemed that a like-for-like substitution was not what the team needed to get going. Perhaps a new central midfielder would have been the better option, someone creative who could get the ball to the feet of the two strikers, instead of constantly over their head where they had to chase lost causes. In the end, three substitutes were used and all three were largely ineffective. To sum up we were a shambles.

The whole team performance, with a notable exception in Shay Given, left a lot to be desired and unfortunately the manager must share the majority of the blame. To make matters worse Staunton praised his players to high heaven in the post-match interview, suggesting that he was happy with how they played and is unlikely to change that next time out. Some will say that the passion was back in the Irish team against Germany so he did a good job. We say the passion should always be there. These players are representing their country, the greatest honour a sportsperson can achieve. Its the managers job to take that passion, assess the opposition, select the right team to play them and set them up tactically to win the game. We dont feel Staunton can do this.

We feel we need a change of manager as soon as possible to give us the best chance of qualifying for a major tournament. This is not an attack on Staunton as a person or an ex-player, but as an inexperienced manager who has been place unfairly out of his depth by you, who is only going to sink further the longer he is left in charge, and unfortunately the team and our hopes will be dragged down with him.

So we appeal to you, the muppets of the FAI, consider Stauntons position. Find him unsuitable for the job at the moment. Grow a pair and do whats right; spend the money to find a good manager, with a proven record who is enthusiastic about the job, who isnt afraid to criticise the players after a poor performance, who will put together an Irish team that can play football and take the game to the opposition. And finally, give us a chance to qualify for a major tournament.

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Evangelina KleinBy:
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