Next Ireland manager betting: Who could replace Stephen Kenny?

Is it time for another reset as automatic qualification seems to have slipped from Ireland's grasp?



*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Defeat in Ireland’s two qualifiers against France and The Netherlands has ended the Republic of Ireland’s dream of qualifying for EURO 2024. In a very tough group, Stephen Kenny’s men have amassed a measly three points to date, which came via the Group’s whipping boys, Gibraltar.

Kenny has had over three years at the helm now and support for the former Ireland U-21 and Dundalk manger is under the spotlight.

Despite the highs of promising performances against France, Serbia, Portugal, Belgium, Ukraine and Scotland, only one of those games ended in a victory. We beat Scotland at home last year, but then lost in the return game in Glasgow.

While Kenny has blooded many new, young and exciting players under his tenure and has tried to make the team play attractive football, it’s a results business and Ireland aren’t getting many positive ones.

Now as we look forward to the Republic’s next World Cup qualifying campaign, if Kenny’s not in charge, who will be? A few of these names are sure to be mentioned.

Lee Carsley

Former Premier League baldy midfield hardman turned England Under 21s manager Lee Carsley features highly on Paddy’s traders’ list at the time of writing. Carsley led the England U21s to their first European Championship win since 1984, beating Spain in the final. The FAI might be tempted to turn to the 49-year-old to nurture some of their emerging talent on the big stage.

Lee Carsley Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Roy Keane

Roy Keane

Now, this would be box office. Roy Keane worked with Martin O’Neill in the Irish set up and has been the top dog at Sunderland and Ipswich to varying degrees of success. He led Sunderland to Premier League promotion in 2006/07 before leaving the club the following season on typically less-than cordial terms as the Mackems’ form nose-dived. More used to being a No. 2 or a pundit these days, would he be tempted to return if asked?

Roy Keane Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Chris Hughton

Chris Hughton’s name features prominently at the time of writing and it would be something of a return to the old days for Ireland with the former Nottingham Forest and Brighton boss preferring to put defence first and keep things tight. He would come in at a pretty low ebb following a dire spell at Forest where he got the boot at the start of the 2021/22 season.

In February of this year, Hughton was appointed Head Coach of the Ghanaian national team, and has won two of his four games in charge there, seeing them qualify for the African Cup of Nations in February. A former Ireland international, he was part of Brian Kerr’s back-room team during his reign in charge of the Irish national side and might just be tempted to take the job.

Chris Hughton Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

John O’Shea

While John O’Shea might be lacking in international managerial experience, or any managerial experience for that matter, perhaps a change in direction might do the trick? The former Ireland and Manchester United defender won the lot as a player at club level and would bring a wealth of recent-playing knowledge to the set up. He’s currently working as part of Stephen Kenny’s backroom team.

John O’Shea Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Sam Allardyce

One for the purists. After sealing back-to-back relegations in his last two Premier League jobs Big Sam Allardyce might fancy another crack at international football management and comes with a beaming 100% record from his time in charge of England. How did that end? Don’t worry about that. Just look at that 100 per cent winning record, eh?

Sam Allardyce Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Damien Duff

The former Irish international seems to be following in Stephen Kenny’s footsteps and is plying his trade in the League of Ireland with Shelbourne after a spell coaching the national team’s youth ranks. He guided the Reds back into the Premier Division where they currently sit in a healthy sixth position at the time of writing.

Known as a wily and tricky winger, we’ve yet to see this style in Shels who prefer to break quickly and keep pretty solid at the back. Might be just the thing this Ireland team need.

Damien Duff Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Keith Andrews

Another former Ireland international who is currently Kenny’s assistant in the national team hot seat. The continuity candidate but does Ireland now need ‘continuity’ or a fresh start?

Keith Andrews Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Neil Lennon

The former Celtic boss is probably the name on this list with the biggest heft if we’re talking silverware. He won the lot in Scotland and despite leading Greek side Omonia to the Cypriot Cup in 2022 and good showings in the following Europa League campaign, he was let go last October.

Neil Lennon Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Rafa Benitez

This one would surely made the Liverpool-supporting Irish fans jump for joy. The rest of us might grumble a bit though. One thing you can’t argue with however is his experience and record of landing silverware. Long-known for getting the best out of players he’d surely fit the bill for the job at hand.

He’d likely need an assistant who knows the set-up too so we could see a rekindling of the Benitez-Robbie Keane relationship or Damien Duff would fit too. Benitez’s style of football isn’t the prettiest at times but it is effective and his coaching would surely do the current squad the world of good.

Rafa Benitez Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

Anthony Barry

Liverpudlian Anthony Barry was part of the Ireland coaching set up from 2021-22 under Stephen Kenny. He’s currently fulfilling two pretty high-profile jobs in an assistant role, one with Thomas Tuchel at Bayern Munich and another with Roberto Martinez with the Portugal national side.

On leaving the Belgian team, Martinez took Barry with him to Portugal. During his time with Ireland he was also involved with Chelsea so he has plenty of experience coaching. Would the FAI take a risk and go for a good coach with no managerial experience? They’ve done it before.

Anthony Barry Next Permanent Republic of Ireland Manager

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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