The Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 defeat in Austria confirmed what was largely already assumed, that Ireland would not be qualifying for the 2014 World Cup.
In reality, it was the home draw with Austria and Sweden’s recent triumph at the Aviva Stadium that effectively ended their challenge and it’s almost guaranteed now that Giovanni Trapattoni has no future as manager.
It is a shame for the Italian after a dubious Thierry Henry handball was arguably all that prevented Ireland from qualifying for the 2008 World Cup and then the nation reached a first major tournament finals for a decade at the last European Championships.
However, much of the nucleus of those squads has now surpassed their peak and it seems that new ideas look a necessity to get the best out of the current crop of players.
Man management has always been one of the strong points of Martin O’Neill and he has shortened from 3/1 into 5/6 to be the next permanent Ireland manager.
Whether he gets the job could ultimately depend on what financial compromise can be agreed with the Irish FA.
At present, a portion of Trapattoni’s wages is paid by Irish businessman Denis O’Brien and it would have to be decided if he was willing to do something similar with a new manager.
If yes, O’Neill would look an obvious pick, especially given money could also be saved as he is without a club.
Compensation would have to be paid to the majority of other managers in the betting to be next Irish boss because they are in charge of club sides and looking specifically at Chris Hughton, Brian McDermott and Owen Coyle, it is unlikely that they would want to trade-in their domestic roles to take over what seems a difficult position.
Meanwhile, if O’Brien wishes to pull out his funding, there could be a real problem affording a high-profile boss, which could make the 33/1 that current Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon is appointed a big price.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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