In some ways it seems the obvious choice, Ireland’s most successful manager and player coming together to take over the national team. Ireland have under performed recently and have not won a game at any major finals since Roy Keane’s famous walkout in 2002. Surely this must be the dream ticket and the odds against Ireland reaching the Euros in 2016 have probably reduced dramatically.
Martin O’ Neill has had a great managerial career with massive success at Leicester and Celtic where he restored their dominance over Old Firm rivals Rangers. He also managed 3 consecutive 6th place finishes at Aston Villa which looks more of an achievement as a result of the teams failings since then. His last managerial post at Sunderland did not work out however, and he was sacked in March this year.
O’Neill was often talked about for some of the biggest jobs in football including the England role but nothing materialised at the right time, so the Ireland job at the age of 61 looks right for him. He has an interesting combination of a sensitive, empathic Pisces Sun with a powerful Grand Cross consisting of the Moon in Taurus opposite Mars in square to Venus and Pluto. The Moon / Mars opposition is a classic manager’s aspect shared by Jose Mourinho and with a Pisces Sun it shows an ability to get under the skin of his players and to make them run through walls for him.
But will O’Neill’s partnership with Keane work ? Roy Keane is a Leo Sun and so not a natural number two. He also has an exact Sun / Mars opposition with the Moon in Aries in opposition to Uranus. Keane was of course a dominating central midfielder, noted for his aggressive and highly competitive style of play which was a major factor in the success of Manchester United. Alex Ferguson once said of Dennis Wise ” he could start a row in an empty house “, but he could equally have been talking about his own captain.
Up to this point Keane’s managerial experience has been mixed to say the least. He initially galvanised Sunderland and got them promoted but results in the Premier league led him to resign. His harsh management style was not appreciated by the Sunderland players, who were reported to have celebrated when they heard of his resignation. He was sacked by Ipswich after a promising start and this looked to be the end of his managerial career. Since then Keane has concentrated on a career in media where he has focused on providing sound common sense observations about football although you get the feeling that the main reason for ITV having him there in the first place was the hope that he would say something really controversial.
O’ Neill and Keane have very strong astrological connections between them. Keane’s Sun / Mars opposition fits onto O’ Neill’s Grand Cross and is square the latter’s Moon / Mars opposition. This is a very powerful connection and it should work to inspire Ireland to success, but it could well create lots of arguments between them. The success of the partnership will depend on how each is able to deal with the strong spirit of the other. Its not the usual combination of one clear leader and an assistant who knows his place.
At the moment Saturn is to the fore being conjunct O’ Neill’s Mars and opposite his Moon and square to Keane’s Sun / Mars opposition. This is perhaps appropriate as both men have recognised that their managerial careers have fallen on hard times recently and this is an opportunity to get back to work. Saturn would hold all this Mars in check for the time being and on the face of it would not guarantee success in the short term. The short term does not matter however, as Ireland have no competitive games to worry about until next Autumn by which time Jupiter will be conjunct Keane’s Sun and throwing aspects to O’ Neill’s Moon and Mars.
Many people suspect that the partnership is attempting to establish a dynasty with Keane taking over as number one in time. This is quite possible as Neptune comes to conjunct O’ Neill’s Sun in 2016 -17 and given his age, retirement is fairly likely.
With all this Jupiter around Ireland should qualify for the Euros in 2016 but expect much of the credit to go to Keane for his role in the dream team. Credit should also go to the Irish FA who have appointed the pair of them despite any reservations they may have had over Keane’s past. The Irish job may be the making of him just so long as they don’t leave him in any empty rooms.