Florent Malouda: 'John O'Shea has the confidence to excel as the next Ireland boss'

Florent Malouda: 'John O'Shea has the confidence to excel as the next Ireland boss'

Former Chelsea and France star Florent Malouda believes that John O'Shea has the "confidence to excel as the next Ireland boss."

This week, O'Shea, formerly of Ireland, Manchester United, Sunderland, and other clubs, was announced as the interim manager of the senior men's Irish team.

The Waterford native, who retired from playing in 2019, has now gone into coaching and worked under various different coaching setups around the English football pyramid.

The 100-capped Ireland player transitioned into coaching, initially joining Reading as a first-team coach until July 2021. In April 2020, he became the assistant manager for the Republic of Ireland U21 team. He later joined Stoke City as a first-team coach in July 2022 but left in May 2023.

O'Shea then served as assistant manager for the Republic of Ireland senior team from February 2023 to November 2023. Following this, he joined Birmingham City as a first-team coach under Wayne Rooney's management but left after Rooney's departure in January 2024 and is now the interim manager for the senior Republic of Ireland team for the March friendlies in 2024.

Who knows what the future may hold for O'Shea's full-time Ireland prospects? But according to Malouda, a man he has worked with on coaching courses, he believes that O'Shea can go on to do great things with Ireland.

“My friend John O’Shea will excel as Ireland manager. Post-retirement, creating opportunities like this is crucial. John is investing in his development, just like me. We both completed the UEFA MIP Masters together. He has a strong coaching background, having worked with Wayne Rooney at Birmingham. Confidence is key, and both O’Shea and I possess that,” Malouda said exclusively to Ladbrokes fanzone.

Another Ireland player, Roy Keane, has continued to be linked to the role. Like O'Shea, Keane is a former Ireland player and has also spent time in the Ireland coaching setup. Formerly an assistant manager to Martin O'Neill, Keane as Ireland boss would be very interesting.

Malouda also believes that Keane has the personality to energise the young Ireland squad.

“I last saw Roy Keane at a charity event in Bulgaria. He would be a great fit for the Ireland job in the future. Roy is refining his leadership skills and communication style. His passion for Ireland would undoubtedly motivate the new crop of players,” Malouda added.

Ireland will next play Belgium on March 23 and then Switzerland on March 26.