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Republic of Ireland Next Manager Betting Odds and Predictions
Aaron Rogan
Aaron Rogan
November 21, 2018
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Before becoming a Sports Journalist for Free Super Tips, Aaron spent three years studying Sports Journalism at the University of Sunderland while taking in the Black Cats' 'glory years' under Martin O'Neill. Now back in Northern Ireland he turns niche stats into predictions for FST, while he's one of the few people on this island who is equally comfortable at Windsor Park and the Aviva.

After a dreadful Nations League campaign, Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane’s time with the Republic of Ireland is over. The pair left their roles on Wednesday, following a 12 month spell without a competitive win. Their departures can’t be seen as a huge shock. Just last month we pointed out major issues, and things haven’t improved.

While it seemed like the perfect time for a change, O’Neill and Keane were contracted through to 2020. It seemed too expensive for the FAI to sack them any earlier. However, the two Turkeys decided to vote for Christmas in November, clearing space for a fresher face to take charge.

It pains me to say it, but England seem like the template for the Republic of Ireland to follow. They went through Fabio Capello, Roy Hodgson and Sam Allardyce to little success. Now, Gareth Southgate leads a youthful side who seem full of ideas. Basically, everything O’Neill failed to deliver. With the pressure on to feature at the Euros – where the Aviva Stadium will host some games – just who will take charge of 2019’s qualifiers? Here’s the run-down the latest betting odds and favourites.

The Favourites

Stephen Kenny

The clear favourite as things stand is Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny. The last Republic of Ireland manager to be appointed from within the domestic league was Eoin Hand back in 1980, but Kenny could change that. The appetite for change is clear, so going for a younger boss seems to be the way forward for the FAI.

It helps Kenny’s cause that he’s been fantastic for Dundalk, who have won three league titles and three FAI Cups during his time in charge. His biggest achievement arguably came in Europe, as Dundalk became the first side to reach the Champions League play-off round in 2016. He then took them into the group stages of the Europa League.

That makes for an interesting parallel. The last man to take an Irish side into the Europa League group stage was Michael O’Neill. He’s had a solid reign north of the border with Northern Ireland, with his side outplaying the Republic at the Aviva last week. That plays in Kenny’s favour, as has the excellent job he’s done with Dundalk.

Mick McCarthy

While there’s a push for a new approach, young candidates aren’t exactly lining up. That’s left Mick McCarthy as the second favourite to take charge. He took them to the World Cup in 2002, while he is out of work after leaving Ipswich last season. That’s key for the FAI, who aren’t looking to break the bank on a new boss.

His job at Ipswich looks much better now that they’re sat bottom of the table. He’s still got support after captaining the side at Italia 90, so it’s not surprise that he features high in the betting. However, winding back the clock 16 years after the way that the O’Neill reign ended might be seen as a step backwards.

Other Contenders

Sven-Goran Eriksson

The Swede is a surprising third favourite, but unlikely to wind up being a real contender. There are plenty of reasons which make him look too short at 14/1. Chief among them, he took up a six month contract with the Philippines last month, whilst meeting Cameroon and Iraq for potential jobs. At 70 years old he seems too old for the FAI, while their experience with Giovanni Trapattoni probably rules out a big name European boss taking charge.

Sam Allardyce

Given that we started by saying that the FAI should follow England’s lead in promoting a younger, progressive coach over the likes of Big Sam, this is disappointing. The former England boss is likely to point to a 100% record in charge of the Three Lions. He spent time as Limerick’s player-manager, but that was 26 years ago. His disappointing spell at Everton works against him, but he’s likely to be considered.

The Outsiders

There are some surprising names in the mix, and a few unlikely shouts. Among them is 33/1 shot Chris Hughton. There’s little doubt the former Republic of Ireland international would do a good job, but getting him into it is the problem. Prizing him away from Premier League side Brighton is a tall order, so he’s likely a choice for the future.

Both Roy Keane and Robbie Keane feature, but they won’t be chosen due to recent experience and lack of experience respectively. Something we can praise O’Neill for is the timing of his resignation. He’s perfectly lined it up with Harry Redknapp’s isolation from the outside world, effectively ruling him out.

While the betting includes interesting names like Marcelo Bielsa, it seems like Kenny will take charge. While the last five years brought some huge highs early on, it now seems like they need a major change. The next international break isn’t until March, but expect this move to be wrapped up pretty quickly. Kenny’s Dundalk aren’t back in action until February, so there’s a window for the FAI to make the move. Of course, any new boss faces a big job. We recently looked at the five big issues facing the Republic of Ireland moving forward.

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