Wednesday, May 22, 2024

New twist in next Ireland boss hunt will only rub salt in wound of dismayed fans

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LEE CARSLEY could be in the dug-out when Ireland welcome England to the Aviva Stadium on September 7 after all.

The only problem is that it will be within the English technical area if it does happen.

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John O’Shea will return next month as interim boss for the friendlies against Hungary and Portugal on June 4 and 11 respectivelyCredit: Sportsfile
England's U21s are currently in the middle of a qualification campaign for the 2025 Euros in Slovakia

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England’s U21s are currently in the middle of a qualification campaign for the 2025 Euros in SlovakiaCredit: Alamy
FAI director of football Marc Canham has acknowledged the new boss' first game will be September's Nations League opener against England

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FAI director of football Marc Canham has acknowledged the new boss’ first game will be September’s Nations League opener against EnglandCredit: Sportsfile

Carsley’s odds of being the next England boss have shrunk to just 7/4, making him favourite to replace Gareth Southgate, according to sports betting Site BetVictor.

Southgate has been in charge since 2016 and did strongly consider calling time on his reign after the 2022 World Cup.

So him departing after this summer’s Euros seems a natural timeline to unfold.

The likelihood of the scenario becoming reality is aided by continuing murmurs that Jim Ratcliffe is eyeing him up to succeed Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.

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Sam Boswell, spokesperson of BetVictor, said: “The ambiguity surrounding the managerial positions at England and Manchester United have seemingly become interlocked in recent weeks, with Lee Carsley reportedly pushing for Gareth Southgate’s role as England boss.

“Carsley is now the joint favourite to replace Gareth Southgate, sharing odds of 6/1 with Graham Potter and Eddie Howe after being as big as 16/1 last week.

“Southgate is reportedly viewed fondly by new United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe and has seen his price shorten from 2/1 to 7/4 since late April to replace Erik ten Hag.”

It’s been common knowledge for some time now that the 40-times capped ex-Ireland midfielder was the FAI’s number one target at the start of its never-ending recruitment process.

But he confirmed in March that he had no interest in taking the role.

Furthermore, he claimed he’d only met with Abbotstown chiefs once all the way back in November.

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However, this suggestion contradicts the reporting of multiple well-placed journalists and has been disputed.

Late last month saw FAI director of football Marc Canham own up and apologise to fans over its farcical search for a permanent replacement for Stephen Kenny.

The internal interview didn’t do much to quell frustration among the fanbase of The Boys in Green.

For what it’s worth, incumbent John O’Shea is currently a 5/4 favourite to ultimately get the gig.

Georgia boss Willy Sagnol also looks a viable candidate though with the FAI seemingly having banked on them not qualifying for Euro 2024 via the play-off route.

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