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Republic of Ireland Manager-The Contenders

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After the failure to qualify for Euro 2008 and some dreadful results under Steve Staunton, this is a managerial appointment that the FAI have to get right. A number of names are being thrown around.

Paul Jewell

The ex-Wigan boss has been generating column inches almost since he stepped down at the JJB Stadium. He’s been linked with nearly every meaningful vacancy and the news that he’s been chatting to Irish officials has pushed him to favourite status with the bookies.

After two Irish choices who failed to continue the success of Jack Charlton and Mick McCarthy, the public is ready for another English manager and as a Liverpudlian Jewell will be familiar with Irish culture.

For Paul Jewell this is a chance to broaden his experience if offered and could set him up for the step to an elite Premiership side in the future. Far more experienced than Stan Staunton but there may still be question marks about whether he’s ready to go on the international stage- but they said that about Lawrie Sanchez at Northern Ireland

Terry Venables

When an international job appears Venables name is always thrown into the ring. The best England coach of the last 20 years but is his aura the same after abortive stints with Australia and Leeds?

In terms of experience and knowledge few can match him but Barcelona was 20 years ago and it’s over a decade since Euro 96. His reputation outside football still clings and may put off some administrators.

David O’Leary

Probably the outstanding Irish (available) candidate and a former World Cup player. O’Leary is available immediately but baggage from the Leeds United implosion hangs around him and his stint at Aston Vila was moderate.

There is the belief that O’Leary needs to be working with top class players and may not be a coach who can get the best from modest resource.

Liam Brady

A contemporary and team mate of O’Leary, Brady has built a fine reputation for working with young players. A brilliant playing talent, there are those who see his style as a bit too cerebral and more suited to a back up or coaching role.

Gerard Houllier

Would Ireland go for their first non-British Isles manager? Houllier had a good pedigree with France before he moved to club management with Liverpool and he rebuilt his reputation with Lyon after his time at Anfield soured.

Graeme Souness

Like Jewell, a name very much in the frame for most jobs recently. It should be remembered that the ex-Liverpool and Rangers boss has stints in Turkey and Portugal on his CV as well as his playing time in Italy.

A more cosmopolitan person then his hard man image would portray, Souness may actually be better suited to more irregular contact with players that is the norm at this level.

Roy Keane

A man seemingly destined to manage Ireland but not yet. Paddy Power’s 80/1 quote is realistic because having taken on the Sunderland job he’s not likely to leave it unfinished. If the new man stays in place for decent run, Keane could be his successor.

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