Who will be the next Ireland manager? Bayern assistant and international managers in contention

Who Will Be The Next Ireland Manager? Bayern Assistant And International Managers In Contention
Chris Hughton is among the managers being considered for the Ireland job. Photo: Getty Images
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James Cox

After Stephen Kenny's disastrous three years as Republic of Ireland manager, the hot seat remains vacant.

However, the FAI have indicated a desire to have a new manager in place for the March friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland.


Here, we have a look at some of the options for the position.

Anthony Barry

Bayern Munich assistant manager Anthony Barry has emerged as one of the favourites for the Ireland job.

According to the Telegraph, Barry is the preferred candidate to replace Stephen Kenny.

Barry (37) spent a year as an Ireland coach along with his coaching duties at Chelsea.


He was well-liked by the Irish squad according to reports, and his time with the team came during some of the more notable results of Kenny's time, including the home draw with Portugal.

Anthony Barry coaching with Belgium at the 2022 World Cup

He is also highly-rated by Thomas Tuchel, who took Barry to Munich when he was named as manager of the Bundesliga giants.

He left Ireland to take up a coaching role with Belgium, and Roberto Martinez subsequently took Barry with him to join his Portugal backroom team, which he currently serves on along with the Bayern Munich role.


Following the rumours linking Barry with the Ireland job, Tuchel claimed the Liverpool native would be going nowhere.

When asked at a press conference, Tuchel replied "forget about that".

This doesn't mean Barry won't be tempted by the role though, and it will depend on whether the FAI can sell the role to him and finance the severance payment they would owe Bayern.

Lee Carsley

Lee Carsley won the European Championship as England Under-21 manager. Photo: Getty Images

Former Ireland international Lee Carsley, currently the England Under-21 manager, is another name consistently linked with the Ireland job.

He won the Under-21 European Championship with England and is highly thought of by the FA.

However, he is unlikely to be considered to replace senior manager Gareth Southgate when the time comes due to his lack of experience.

Ireland could be an attractive option for his first managerial number one role.


Like with Bayern, it remains to be seen if the FAI would have the necessary funding in place to pay compensation to his current employers.

Chris Hughton

Hughton would be another exciting option for the Ireland job.

The former Ireland international has managed the likes of Newcastle United, Birmingham City and Brighton. Hughton was also Ireland assistant between 2003 and 2005.

He is currently the manager of the Ghana national team.

While a move closer to home may appeal to him, the FAI may struggle to convince Ghana to let go of Hughton.

Steve Cooper

Recently sacked by Nottingham Forest, Cooper would be an interesting option for Ireland.

He plays a positive, but organised, style of football that would appeal to both the FAI and Ireland fans.

However, he would have to take a significant pay cut.

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce is probably the biggest name who has indicated he wants the job.

When asked at a recent Second Captains event, the 69-year-old said: "Yes, I would always have an interest and always like to speak to them, of course. It would be nice to be interviewed and see where they’re going and what they’re thinking. Of course, it’s just a short journey over by plane."

The former West Ham and Everton manager added: "Nobody has officially made any offer, in terms of whatever shortlist may have been brought up. Obviously, that is all done through my agent, which is the way things go today.

"Whoever they choose is a big decision for them... of course. They have failed a bit recently in the last few seasons, to say the least. I don’t know whether that’s the manager, or a combination of the manager and the team.

"I’ve always been pragmatic in terms of how good are the players and we will suit a system or style for those players and play to their strengths... and try and cover their weaknesses when all is said and done.

"I play winning football, that’s what I play."

He also mentioned his brief spell as Limerick FC player-manager in 1991.

The defensive style of football played by 'Big Sam' is the opposite of the open style Kenny tried to employ.

However, he would point to the success he has achieved with different groups of players in the past.

Allardyce may also feel has he has unfinished business in international football after his brief spell as England manager in 2016. He only lasted one game in his dream job as allegations of payments made to him by agents emerged following a Daily Telegraph 'sting' operation.

Sam Allardyce has vast managerial experience but may not be the ideal fit for Ireland. Photo: Getty Images

Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce feels the Republic of Ireland job “would suit me” as he considers a return to management.

Bruce (62) has been out of the game since leaving West Brom in October 2022.

The former Newcastle, Sheffield Wednesday and Aston Villa boss, though, believes the time is right to consider a return.

Bruce told Ladbrokes: Fanzone: “I’m led to believe I’m there or thereabouts in the betting for the Ireland job. It’s a job that would interest me, that’s for sure."

Like Allardyce, Bruce's style of play would not sit well with Ireland fans.

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