Mick McCarthy backs Robbie Keane for club role and he’d be happy to join as assistant

Robbie Keane

Mick McCarthy hopes that the rumours of Robbie Keane taking over at LA Galaxy eventually come to fruition.

Mick McCarthy watched Robbie Keane develop from a promising young forward into an elder statesman for the Republic of Ireland and he has backed the Dubliner to take his knowledge into a managerial position.

When McCarthy enlisted the help of Keane upon his return to the Ireland set-up in 2018, he was impressed by the national team’s record goalscorer’s approach to coaching.

Speaking on Paddy Power’s From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, McCarthy said: “I didn’t know anything about him as a coach, but he put sessions on and they were very good – and he was very insightful during games. You can’t spot everything during a game and I’ve got Terry Connor, but having Robbie as well helped no end. I was delighted to have him.

“I’m hoping he’s going to get the LA Galaxy job at some time and he’s going to need an elder assistant!”

Keane, who scored 104 goals in 165 appearances for LA Galaxy, was recently linked with taking over at the MLS club following the sacking of Guillermo Barros Schelotto in October.

That appointment never took place, although Robbie and wife Claudine made the decision to move back to Ireland earlier this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Current Ireland boss Stephen Kenny dismissed suggestions that he could offer Keane a role in his backroom team despite the fact that Keane will go down as Ireland’s greatest-ever goalscorer who used to inspire rounds of applause with his talent.

“They used to applaud him in training,” McCarthy revealed. “There were times when you would just have to clap him, even if you were the one that he had nutmegged and turned before putting it in the top corner.

“The other fella who was special was, of course, Shay Given. He’d pull saves off that would get the lads applauding. I was lucky – I had some special players. Damien Duff, when he was firing, was another really, really good player.

“Roy Keane was an amazing player. We had him during the qualification campaign for the 2002 World Cup and I’m not going to knock him out of the team when I remember them because he deserves respect – because of the player he was and what he did for the team.

“We had some damn good players. When I look back at that squad, Ian Harte and Gary Kelly were playing for Leeds United, most of them were playing in the Premier League. Alright, there were some that might be in the Championship but pretty much they were Premier League footballers, and they were good Premier League footballers. They were recognised as good players.”

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