Everton midfielder Darron Gibson will make himself available to the newly appointed Republic of Ireland manager following his self-imposed exile from the national team.
Gibson, who was refusing to play for Ireland while Giovanni Trapattoni was in charge, claimed he was “embarrassed” to be associated with a team that lost its way under the guidance of the veteran Italian, but he is ready to return ahead of the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.
“I’m ready [to come back] because Trapattoni is gone and if I’m called up, I’ll come straight back in,” Gibson stated in an interview with the Irish Independent.
“I never really wanted to make a big deal of it, but after what happened at the Euro 2012, I just felt I couldn’t play under him anymore. I was embarrassed when I came back from the Euros [after] not winning a game and not getting on the pitch.
“I was playing every week at the time for Everton and we finished in the top six of the Premier League. Obviously I didn’t get on and I just felt he had some sort of problem with me, but I felt he had a problem with me before the Euros as well as I never played.
“Like I said, I didn’t want to make a big deal about not playing under him, so I kept myself quiet, but I am available to come back now. There were people saying that I didn’t deserve to put the green jersey back on, but they don’t know what happened and don’t know how I felt because I’ve never spoken about it.”
Martin O’Neill is the firm favourite to replace Trapattoni as Ireland boss, with Gibson also eager to endorse Roy Keane as a viable candidate for the post.
“I think O’Neill would be quite good, he’s experienced and I think he’d get on quite well with all of the lads, he’s supposed to be really good one-on-one with players,” Gibson said.
“Roy (Keane) would be quite good, I’m not sure how some of the fans would react. He’d be good, but I am sure the FAI will pick the right manager.”