Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


"We did this at Sunderland with Roy Keane and it was a huge success"

Niall Quinn does not believe Andrea Pirlo’s lack of managerial experience will be an issue afte...

Niall Quinn does not believe Andrea Pirlo’s lack of managerial experience will be an issue after he has been swiftly announced as Maurizio Sarri’s predecessor.

The former Juventus player was recently appointed as the club’s U-23 manager but will take the first-team coaching role without ever serving in that position.

Although the 41-year-old World Cup winner has yet to experience management at the top level, Niall Quinn, speaking on Virgin Media Sport's coverage of the Champions League, dismissed the notion that this will work against the Italian as he prepares to take up the new role.

Furthermore, Quinn likened the appointment of Pirlo to Sunderland's decision to go after Roy Keane as manager of the club during his tenure as Chairman.

Andrea Pirlo Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn (left) shakes hands with new manager Roy Keane during a press conference at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

"It's fortunate for him," suggested Quinn, "he arrived in the door at the right time to take up a smaller job and he finds himself where he is now. 

"No experience of course, but I would not have to look very far past my own sort of blinkers, and when I look at an appointment like this because at Sunderland we did this with Roy Keane and it was a huge success."

Appointed as manager of the English club in 2006, the former Manchester United captain Keane led Sunderland from the EFL Championship back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

In replacing Maurizio Sarri, however, Andrea Pirlo faces into an altogether different challenge. Having won the Serie A title during his one season with the club, failure in the Champions League was deemed sufficient reason for his departure.

"There's not a lot of room for Pirlo to be successful," admitted Quinn. "When the manager gets sacked after winning the league title, so it's Champions League or bust and that’s a tough gig for anyone."

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Andrea Pirlo Italy Juventus Maurizio Sarri Niall Quinn Roy Keane Sunderland