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Sunday 11 December 2016

O'Neill ideal for England

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former England striker Robbie Fowler believes that Martin O'Neill is the sort of manager needed by his native country to make the national team a force again.

Fowler finds that morale is low in the English game on the back of their Euro 2016 exit. He was in the England side when the FA considered hiring O'Neill a decade and a half ago and while Fowler is not putting forward the 64-year-old as a contender to succeed Roy Hodgson - Arsene Wenger is his choice - there's a lot in O'Neill that he admires.

"He probably would be," says Fowler when asked if O'Neill could be a candidate now if he was a free agent.

"I think in terms of characters, and him and Arsene Wenger are chalk and cheese - Arsene is very reserved. I love managers like Martin. You look at Conte, Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, managers who will play the game with the players from the touchline, I wanted to see that

"That's why if Wenger was to get it then you'd probably need someone with a bit of character to do all this on the touchline, someone showing passion in the way the fans want to see because it can galvanise them as well.

"Certainly Martin has got that, he will be on the touchline playing the game and as a player you want to see that," added Fowler, a fan of the current boss of his former club. "I like Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool probably lacked a lot of consistency last season but I think we are expecting a bigger season this year."

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