“I spoke to Tony Mowbray” – John O’Shea reveals stance on Sunderland job and drops Xabi Alonso claim

Interim Republic of Ireland manager John O’Shea has indicated interest in the Sunderland position. Former Sunderland captain John O’Shea has indicated interest in the vacant managerial role at the Stadium of Light.

During his seven-year career with the Black Cats, O’Shea appeared in 256 games. The solid defender joined Sunderland on a permanent basis from Manchester United in 2011.

The 42-year-old is presently the interim Republic of Ireland manager. Following Stephen Kenny’s departure, O’Shea took on a temporary role in international management.

John O’Shea would “love” to take the Sunderland job.

This week, he featured on the ‘No Tippy Tappy Football podcast’ alongside ex-Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce. When questioned about his interest in the top job on Wearside, O’Shea said that he would “Love” to be appointed as Sunderland manager.

However, he did communicate doubt about the club’s current model. This season, Sunderland have placed a real impetus on developing younger players for the future. The Black Cats fielded the youngest starting XI in the Championship this season in their 4-2 defeat against Southampton.

John O'Shea reveals stance on Sunderland job and drops Xabi Alonso claim

He said: “When you think I was there for six, seven years. I had an amazing time there and it’s an amazing club, it really is. We had an amazing time there and yeah, ultimately I would love to be Sunderland manager. It’s a tricky one, I spoke to Tony Mowbray when he came into Birmingham about the model they have there with young players.

“It’s a fantastic idea on paper. But look at Bayer Leverkusen: the first thing Xabi Alonso stated was that he wanted experience, so he went and grabbed Granit Xhaka. It’s nearly his first thought: he needs a central figure to take care of things for me.

John O'Shea reveals stance on Sunderland job and drops Xabi Alonso claim

“You need a mix, having young players in the team and assets to sell on is brilliant, but the cutthroat nature of winning promotion and then staying in the Premier League… you need a blend.”

O’Shea might become the next Republic of Ireland manager.

Although the Republic of Ireland has yet to find a permanent replacement for Kenny, O’Shea is unlikely to be handed the position because of his lack of managing experience.

Despite this, he was eager to express his intention to take on the role: “Managing your country is an incredible honour. I’ve had nearly 30 years of experience coaching and playing for Ireland, and that’s enough for me.”

John O'Shea appointed interim head coach of Republic of Ireland | Football  News | Sky Sports
There may yet be time for O’Shea to land the position. With Lee Carsley, one of the previous favourites for the role, out of contention, his chances of becoming Ireland manager have improved.

He said: “Hopefully it gets sorted quickly because there’s a bit of a knock-on effect in terms of, we’re planning for two games. Lee Carsley was high on their list but he’s obviously happy at England U21s and doing what he’s doing there. We’ll see what happens, of course [I’d do it permanently].”

Will Still remains heavily linked with the Wearside Club
Current Reims Head Coach Will Still has been consistently linked with the managerial position at the Stadium of Light since the departure of Michael Beale in February.

The 31-year-old has enjoyed a second successful season as manager of the Ligue 1 side. Under his guidance, the club have routinely punched above their weight. Reims are currently placed 10th in the French top-flight and the side are still in the hunt for European football.

Still stated earlier this year, in an interview with The Athletic, that he would be willing to work for a championship club.

“If there’s a Championship club that’s ambitious, that wants to work the right way and be open and honest about things, and try to push to get somewhere, I would love to do that.”

While Still would be a desirable goal for the Black Cats, the Reims manager has proven himself at the highest level and has a track record of developing young talent and achieving success on a limited budget. He appears to be the top candidate for the position.

However, if Sunderland does not make significant headway in landing him as manager for next season, bringing in someone who is already familiar with Sunderland fans’ expectations may be the wisest move the club can do.

O’Shea may out to be a wise choice, but his lack of managing experience is troubling.

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