Sunday 17 February 2019

Who are the leading candidates to take over from Martin O'Neill? - Mick McCarthy the early favourite for the Irish hotseat

Sam Allardyce, Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny
Sam Allardyce, Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Mick McCarthy has been installed as an even-money favourite to return as Ireland manager after Martin O'Neill parted ways with the FAI this morning.

So just who will the FAI turn to in order to improve the fortunes of a Republic of Ireland side that has not scored in four successive matches and is without a competitive victory since October 2017?

Here are the leading contenders (odds via Paddy Power):

1. Mick McCarthy 5/6

McCarthy led the RoI from February 1996 to November 2002. The highlight of his six year reign was qualification for the 2002 World Cup finals, which was overshadowed by the infamous training ground bust-up with Roy Keane, who was sent home before the tournament began. McCarthy went on to guide both Sunderland and Wolves to promotion to the Premiership before a six-year spell at Ipswich. McCarthy left the Tractor Boys in April, abruptly announcing his departure in a post-match press conference following a 1-0 win over Barnsley. When asked about the supporters' negative reaction to his decision to substitute debutant Barry Cotter, he said: "I won't have to listen to that again, that's my last game. I'm out of here."

2. Stephen Kenny 4/1

The last manager to go from the League of Ireland into international football has done ok. Could the Republic follow Northern Ireland's lead by appointing Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny? NI swooped to bring in Michael O'Neill in 2011, just a few weeks after he left Shamrock Rovers, having guided the Dublin club to successive League of Ireland titles. Kenny had led Dundalk to the league crown four times in the past five years, only losing out to Cork in 2017. Kenny began his senior managerial career aged just 27 when he took over at Longford Town. Since then, he has won a plethora of trophies at six clubs including Derry City, who he led to the First Division title and five cup successes across two spells.

3. Sam Allardyce 10/1

The former England boss is currently out of work, having left Everton at the end of last season. He guided the Merseyside club to eighth position but fans were unhappy with his style of play. Allardyce managed England for just two months and one match in 2016 before leaving by mutual consent after an undercover investigation by the Telegraph. Allardyce is no stranger to football in Ireland, having begun his managerial career as player/manager at Limerick.

4. Steve Bruce 10/1

Another experienced boss currently on the look-out for a job is the former Aston Villa chief. He left the Championship club last month following a poor run of form saw the club win one game in 10.

5. Harry Redknapp 10/1

The former Tottenham boss is currently in the jungle taking part in 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here'. Could he get out of the ITV show and into Dublin for negotiations? He left his last managerial role, at Birmingham, over a year ago, stating that there was 'every chance' it would be his last.

6. Roy Keane 16/1

Martin O'Neill's assistant manager is also likely to be in the frame. He hasn't taken charge of a side since a spell at Ipswich from 2009 to 2011. Keane was appointed as O'Neill's number two in 2013 and he also had a spell as assistant to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa in 2014. Keane was in the headlines earlier this year after a spat with Ireland player Harry Arter, who made himself unavailable for matches in September as the assistant coach was reported to have accused the Cardiff midfielder of missing too many training sessions due to injury. Arter has recently confirmed the confrontation is now 'water under the bridge'.

The Outsiders

Lee Carsley is available at 14/1, while Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill and Neil Lennon are 25/1. David Moyes is 33/1 and Chris Hughton at 40/1. The real outsider in Eamon Dunphy, who you can get at 500/1.

Paddy Power also reported seeing a number of bets on some seemingly less likely candidates for the job.

Sven-Göran Eriksson has come in from odds of 66/1 to 25/1 while Robbie Keane has seen his odds shorten to the same.

Online Editors

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport