BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter
After being turned down by Philippe Troussier and not too keen on Marcel Desailly, another new name has emerged as another candidate which Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is pondering his suitability for the job of the head coach of the national team. The Irishman, David O'Leary is one more name thrown into the hat which has already seen the likes of Zdenek Zeman being linked with the top job in Malaysian football according to The Star.
Datuk Subahan Kamal who heads the national coach selection committee has until June to submit the proposed name to Tengku Abdullah for endorsement. However, Datuk Subahan is adamant that FAM will not rush the decision and prefer to be thorough to find the coach who has the sufficient experience who can contribute to the country's football improvement and development.
O'Leary is Arsenal's record holder in terms of appearance, playing 778 times for The Gunners, 53 times more than the most successful captain that Arsenal ever had in Tony Adams. Alongside Adams, O'Leary is another stalwart in Arsenal's past defence that George Graham built.
Leeds United was O'Leary's first managerial bow and arguably his most successful stint on the non-playing front. He led Leeds to the Champions League with a 3rd place finish in the 1999-2000 season. In the following season in Europe's most elite club competition, his debutant Leeds side were only knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual champions, Valencia. That Leeds side contained the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate and Harry Kewell, making the Irishman very experience in terms of dealing with star names.
Though, his latter appointments after Leeds were less than successful. He lasted less than 2 seasons with Aston Villa and less than 1 year with United Arab Emirates side, Al-Ahli. All 3 coaching/managerial job that O'Leary has held are club jobs. Whether he's the right person to take helm for a national team job, remains to be seen.