Ireland’s 2-1 loss at home to Sweden has left their World Cup dream in tatters, and should they lose to Austria in Vienna then it is all but confirmed that the Green Army will miss out on Brazil.
In that case, Giovanni Trapattoni is likely to be given his marching orders by the FAI, with Martin O’Neill and Mick McCarthy leading the betting to replace the Italian at 3/1 and 4/1 respectively.
Ireland fans have become increasingly dissatisfied with the 74-year-old despite qualifying for Euro 2012, with outmoded tactics and a baffling approach to man management undermining the side.
Trapattoni has said himself that he will not leave until the end of his contract next June, but the FAI might take action before then to avoid a series of half-full grounds in dead rubbers.
O’Neill has been out of work since being sacked by Sunderland in March and is reportedly keen on returning to management, although he has previously suggested he would not want to switch to international football.
Mick McCarthy might be tempted back for a second spell in charge after steering Ireland to the World Cup in 2002.
Also in the running are Roy Keane at 16/1, despite the midfielder’s outspoken criticism of the Irish team in recent years, and Liam Brady, also priced at 16/1, who is set to leave his role as head of youth development at Arsenal in May 2014.
Norwich manager Chris Hughton is third favourite to replace Trapattoni at 8/1, but having spent a busy summer in the transfer market with the Canaries, he might take some convincing to leave Carrow Road.
After five years of Trapattoni, a malaise has settled over the Irish team and opting for a dramatic overhaul under the auspices of someone like Keane will be tempting for many fans.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing
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