Gambling is as much about knowing which bets to avoid like the plague as it is identifying which ones to get your money on, and any punter that knows their stuff will recognise Martin O’Neill at 10/1 to become the next manager of Crystal Palace falls firmly in the former category.
The Premier League basement boys are still on the look-out for a new boss after dispensing with the Ian Holloway Comedy Roadshow, which might have been funnier than Michael McIntyre’s, but managed just one win all season, and that against Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland, which doesn’t really count.
But despite being out of a job and easily boasting the most accomplished record in the betting, former Aston Villa boss O’Neill looks unlikely to be heading to Selhurst Park and will instead make the move into international management by replacing Giovanni Trapattoni at the Republic of Ireland, with Roy Keane as his number two.
How that will work out will be fascinating – isn’t the assistant manager meant to be the good cop? – but it leaves the Eagles searching for a new boss and Palace fans must wince when they look at the betting for next manager – it is the most depressing list since Schindler’s.
I’m not sure what is worse, the fact that Chris Coleman is odds-on or that Avram Grant is 14/1 fourth favourite, but whatever way you look at it, relegation (a 1/10 chance) is all but certain.
With the usual uninspiring names – will somebody please give poor old Alan Curbishley a job? – Tony Pulis would be the best option for Palace, but I wouldn’t be rushing to back the 2/1 – if the former Stoke boss fancied the job, he would surely be in situ by now.
Which leaves Coleman as the 4/5 favourite which is probably a worthy price given he looks as if he is about to get the bullet from Wales, has an affinity for the club and will just be grateful to get another undeserved shot at Premier League management.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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