Noel King

Noel King won’t get the Ireland job and he probably knows it ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan next week.

King is the interim Irish manager, and that’s as good as it is going to get for the affable Dubliner, currently filling the shoes left vacant by Giovanni Trapattoni.

The Irish under-21 team manager in his day job, King has been busy of late looking at the players eligible for our senior team.

He’s been over and back to England like a yo-yo.  One wag has even suggested that King has seen more Irish players in the flesh in the last fortnight than Trapattoni saw in five and a half years.

He has also made one telling move for whoever succeeds Trapattoni – and my money is warming towards Mick McCarthy in that race again.

When King announced the Ireland squad on Monday for the upcoming World Cup games it contained four very important names.

Andy Reid, Darron Gibson, Kevin Doyle and Anthony Stokes are all back in favor with the incumbent Irish boss, and that is very important.

Each of the four fell out with Trapattoni in their own way, each of the four was ostracised by the Italian.

If results had justified Trapattoni’s persistence with ignoring four quality players then he might have got away with it.

But the fact that Ireland were losing key games and still leaving Messrs Doyle, Reid, Gibson and Stokes out of the picture was mind boggling to those of us who care about Irish football.

There is no certainty that the next Ireland boss will rate any of the four or use them. There are no guarantees in football at any level, and the players involved will know that better than anyone.

But at least they have a chance to play for their country again. At least they will be back on the radar and the fuss all over before the next manager comes in.

When the dust has settled and King is back with the under-21s, that may well be regarded as his finest moment in Irish football.

He has brought an ugly episode in our game to a close in one fell swoop.

More than Andy Reid, Anthony Stokes, Kevin Doyle and Darron Gibson should thank him for that. We all should.