Our latest poll with OffTheBall explores the popularity of a number of options for the job of manager of the Republic of Ireland.
Roy Keane was the most popular with 39% opting for Keane, followed by Chris Hughton on 20% and Lee Carsley also on 20%. The bookies favourite for the job, Neil Lennon is next on 9%. Thereafter Allerdyce (7%), Bruce (4%) and Coleman (1%) bring us the total. There is a clear preference for one of the three players who played for the country during it's more prosperous, in a footballing sense, period.
Roy Keane: A legendary figure in Irish football, Keane's name is often linked with the national team's managerial position. His most notable success in management came with Sunderland, leading them to the Premier League. Keane also served as an assistant manager for the Irish team under Martin O'Neill, reaching the last 16 of EURO 2016. His strong personality and passion for the game are well-known, and while he has been out of a coaching role for some time, his previous experience with the Irish setup makes him a significant contender.
Chances: odds 14/1, effective probability 7%
Chris Hughton: Hughton, with a wealth of experience in managing various clubs like Newcastle, Birmingham City, Norwich City, and Brighton, has been suggested as a strong candidate for the Ireland job. Familiar with the Irish set-up, having served as assistant to Brian Kerr from 2003 to 2005, Hughton's tactical approach and experience could be a good fit for Ireland. He has expressed interest in the past and has been seen as a misunderstood candidate who could bring much-needed expertise.
Chances: odds 11/2, effective probability 15%
Lee Carsley: A former Ireland international with an impressive coaching resume, Carsley has been linked with the job. Having led England to glory at the U21 Euros and holding a modern tactical approach, he is seen as an ideal fit. However, he may face competition from club positions, which could affect his availability for the Ireland role.
Chances: odds 13/2, effective probability 13%
Neil Lennon: The Northern Irishman, who has a long managerial career including two spells at Celtic, has openly expressed his interest in the Ireland job. Known for his managerial success, particularly in Scotland with Celtic, Lennon sees the Ireland role as a significant opportunity and a dream position.
Chances: odds 3/1, effective probability 25%
Sam Allardyce: Known as 'Big Sam', Allardyce is a well-known figure in English football, recognized for his pragmatic approach to the game. He has expressed interest in the Ireland job, emphasizing his style of "winning football". Allardyce's managerial career includes stints at clubs like Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle, West Ham, and Everton. Despite his success at club level, some fans may have reservations about his defensive style of play and his brief and controversial tenure as England manager.
Chances: odds 25/1, effective probability 4%
Steve Bruce: Bruce has recently expressed his interest in the Ireland job, seeing it as a role that would suit him. He has been out of management since leaving West Brom in October 2022 and is open to a return, potentially even in a consultancy role to help guide a young coach. Bruce's managerial experience includes spells at Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday, and Aston Villa, and he believes the Ireland job could be a good fit for his return to the game.
Chances: odds 20/1, effective probability 5%
Chris Coleman: Former Wales manager Chris Coleman has been endorsed for the Ireland job by ex-Ireland player Mark Lawrenson. Coleman, known for leading Wales to the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2016, is currently out of a managerial position since leaving the Wales job in 2017. Despite concerns about his time away from management, Lawrenson and others see Coleman as a potentially good fit for Ireland, especially given the foundation laid by Stephen Kenny.
Chances: odds 6/1, effective probability 14%
The full results include those that are not interested and those that don't know. The total sample size was 1,517 with a margin of error of 2.6%. It was conducted on 13th-19th December 2023.
Demographically, women prefer Keane and older people prefer Hughton over Carsley: