The six bookies' favourites to become the next Ireland manager 3 weeks ago

The six bookies' favourites to become the next Ireland manager

By Aaron McNally

Time's up for O'Neill.

Martin O'Neill and Republic of Ireland parted ways on Wednesday morning leaving the country in search of a new boss.

Who should take over from the Derry man? There are six favourites in the running.

Mick McCarthy 8/11

McCarthy is the favourite to succeed O'Neill as the manager of the Republic of Ireland. The former Irish manager was in charge of the side from 1996 to 2002, during which time he had an infamous bust-up with current assistant Roy Keane.

McCarthy resigned in November in 2002 but, 16 years on, some fans are calling for his return to try and get Ireland back on track.

Stephen Kenny 15/2

Kenny has led Dundalk to four of the last five League of Ireland titles. Before he arrived at the Lilywhites, they hadn't won the league since 1995. Dundalk are now the best team in Ireland and Kenny is one of Ireland's most successful managers ever.

Kenny would create an organised team and could get Ireland playing well enough again.

Roy Keane 16/1

Keane has been O'Neill's assistant since he took over in 2013, and would therefore have an in-depth knowledge of the squad.

The fact of the matter though is that Keane was favourite for this position just a couple of months ago. Bust-ups with Jonathan Walters and Harry Arter since have lengthened his odds and now surely it wouldn't be a good idea to make him the main man if there is tension there

Steve Bruce 16/1

Bruce has had a solid managerial career to date with clubs such as Wigan, Birmingham, Hull and Aston Villa. He has been often called upon to bring a club back from the brink of huge trouble and has often succeeded.

Bruce may not be the most glamorous choice of all the candidates but he might be able to do a job and get Ireland back to having a certain pluckiness and being able to compete with teams like Wales and Denmark.

Chris Hughton 22/1

Hughton was previously assistant Ireland manager to Brian Kerr from 2003 to 2005. Hughton has a good resume and he did earn 53 caps with Ireland as a player so he was always going to be linked with the job but it remains to be seen if he could bring anything to he Irish setup.

Neil Lennon 22/1

Lennon had a very successful stint as Celtic manager leading them to two league titles along with a few Champions League appearances. Celtic beat Barcelona in the 2011/2012 Champions League and qualified to the Last 16.

Lennon's Celtic were able to get results despite maybe not being as good as their opponents which Ireland could do with as a quality especially if they were drawn into tough qualifying group.

Brendan Rodgers 100/1

Rodgers and Celtic have been dominant in Scotland in the last few years and although he's struggled to carry that form into Europe, Rodgers job there will be safe at least until it starts to go seriously downhill.

There is little to no chance that Rodgers will be the next Irish manager as he looks to be safe at Celtic at the moment. If something happens there, it might be worth looking into by Ireland.

Meanwhile, here are some other 'candidates' at the other end of the scale...

Willie Mullins 500/1

Marty Morrissey 500/1

Francis Brennan 500/1