FAI officials have come in for fierce criticism after Steve Staunton was unveiled as new Republic of Ireland manager, despite having failed to achieve success in his first stint as boss.
The FAI have been accused of panicking and going for the wrong option by most sections of the Irish media, a charge that chief executive John Delaney, speaking from FAI headquarters - which also doubles as a fish and chip shop - flatly denied:
"I'll be the first to admit that we've had our problems. Firstly, we completely forgot about the search-you know how it is-there's the washing-up to do and you've got to pay the bills, and before you know it, it's slipped out of your mind completely. Secondly, Republic Of Ireland Manager Idol, a planned proposal for a reality TV show to choose the new man had to be scrapped when John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady refused to be the chaired judges alongside Sharon Osbourne. Thirdly, several of the candidates on our shortlist-Hugh Hefner, Sly Stallone, Bono, Anna Nicole Smith, Bert & Ernie, Barack Obama, Rod Hull & Emu-either turned down the position or were surprisingly long dead; complications which we surely couldn't have predicted. Finally, our list was whittled down when we concluded that Terry Venables was too fat and Houiller was too French.
The remaining two contenders were Steve Staunton and Steve McClaren, so I'm sure you'll agree that we did the best job we could, under the circumstances.
Now, would you like vinegar or salt with that?"
Staunton, in his usual robotic, self-deluded tone had this to say: "I'm delighted for this opportunity. I thought my chance had gone, especially when my fake beard fell off when they were interviewing me for the job, thus exposing my disguise and pesky charade, but the lads were almost relieved to uncover my true identity and gave me the job on the spot. My aim is to beat Cyprus. Bastards cost me my job."
Staunton, nicknamed 'Stan' because he has the tactical nous of Stan from South Park, also revealed that his formation will be 2-3-0-5-0 with Shay Given on the right wing and Robbie Keane at centre back.