Who will be the next Republic of Ireland manager?

Published on 28 September 2023 at 20:00

Stephen Kenny has had a torrid time in charge of the senior Republic of Ireland team since he assumed responsibility for the role in April 2020.

There have been a number of factors that contributed to his poor beginning as Irish manager, but the excuses and reasoning behind poor results and performances have now stopped being accepted by many pundits and fans alike.

Kenny has been in charge for over three years, and despite bleeding in new young talent for the squad, they have not won the necessary points or qualified for the tournaments necessary to keep the Dubliner in charge of the national team.

The FAI will keep Kenny in charge to see out the rest of the Euro 2024 qualification campaign, allowing them time to find a suitable replacement to take this young team further than the former Dundalk manager could.

Who will be the next Irish manager?

Lee Carsley

Lee Carsley has been touted as the favourite for the role following the success he brought to the England Under-21 team, as he led them to the European Championship title.

The former Irish international has impressed with the style of football he has managed to bring to his England side, with many hoping that he could do the same with the Irish squad. He may be able to, but with the ability of the current Irish squad, there may be doubts about whether he could achieve this with the Republic of Ireland.

Carsley would be an intriguing choice as manager of Ireland, as he has not had much experience as a manager in his career, but he has been a proven coach throughout his career, so the FAI would be smart should they put the former Everton player in charge of Ireland.


Keiran McKenna

The likelihood of Keiran McKenna becoming manager of Ireland now in his career is incredibly unlikely. However, many Irish fans have begun talking about their interest in having the Fermanagh man in charge of the senior side.

The Ipswich Town manager has been impressing many during his stint in charge of the Tractor boys as he took them back to the Championship in his first full season in charge and now has the squad pushing for an unlikely promotion to the Premier League.

His tactical approach home and away has been heralded as groundbreaking, as he makes his side hard to beat on the road and plays incredible free-flowing attacking football at home.


Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce has recently announced his interest in getting back into management following his nightmare on Tyneside with the club he supported as a boy.

Newcastle United fans chased him out of the club, believing he was not the man to lead them under the new Saudi regime. They may have been right, but we will never know, as he was not given the time under the new owners to build a side he could call his own as he struggled to get the money from Mike Ashley.

The Premier League winner has had a long career in management and has had much success through this time; however, many Irish fans would look at him as a return to defensive football like Kenny’s predecessors, Martin O’Neill, Mick McCarthy, and Giovanni Trapattoni.


Damian Duff

The Shelbourne manager may be a choice that the FAI might struggle to convince to take the job following the breakup of relations after the England match controversy.

However, Damian Duff has been extremely impressive while in charge of Shelbourne, managing to guide them to the final of the FAI Cup in 2022.

The former Irish international would be a popular choice for the Irish public, as he is sure to continue the good feeling among the fan base that League of Ireland managers are being considered for the top role, and he has talked about his desire to remain in Ireland for the foreseeable future.


John Eustace

John Eustace was previously part of the Irish coaching team, similar to Damian Duff, but the Englishman left the set-up to take the Birmingham City managerial job.

However, should he be offered the senior position in Ireland, he could potentially take it after doing a good job with the Blues thus far into his managerial career.

Eustace may not be on everybody’s radar, but the FAI would be making an intelligent choice to have him among the candidates.


Kenny is still employed as manager of Ireland and still has many fans amongst the public, but his time looks to be up once his contract expires. Despite the progress that the country has made, the results have not come, and the FAI will be forced to look elsewhere for the man to take the team back into a tournament as they look to end their eight-year absence from an international tournament.

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