Next Permanent Northern Ireland Manager Odds - 04/05/20

Northern Ireland

Michael O'Neill Leaves Northern Ireland

As of April 22, Michael O'Neill is no longer the manager of Northern Ireland, which is one of the least surprising news bulletins of the year.

O'Neill agreed to take over at Stoke City back in November, but agreed with the IFA and the Potters to see his country through the European play-offs he got them to. However, with the current climate forcing the delay to Euro 2021 and the play-offs from March until November, the Northern Irishman has left his role with the national team.

Here, we take a look at the BetVictor odds for who should be the next man in charge of Northern Ireland ahead of their play-offs against Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Tommy Wright Northern Ireland Manager Odds

Tommy Wright has bounced up to the favourite for the managerial job with Northern Ireland. The 56-year-old has now left St. Johnstone after seven years in charge, with reports suggesting this is all because of the vacant role with his country. Now, the Belfast-born is the 8/11 favourite to take the job.

Wright was in charge of St. Johnstone for most of last decade and holds a relatively impressive record for a club that often fights around mid-table, winning 126 of his 309 matches at the helm and achieving three consecutive fourth-placed finishes.

The ex-keeper also won the Scottish Cup in 2014 with the club, beating Dundee United 2-0, which remains his most notable achievement alongside his League Cup win with Lisburn Distillery in 2011.

Now that Wright has left his role out of the blue, it will be quite surprising to not see him lead out his country as their manager. After seven strong years with St. Johnstone, there was no real reason to leave the club, besides this vacancy. Now, at 8/11, the deal could go through very soon.

Stephen Robinson

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has moved down to joint-favourite to take the helm at Northern Ireland at 11/4, from an EVENS price prior to Wright's departure from St. Johnstone.

Robinson is a familiar face within the Northern Ireland coaching squad, having taken charge of the Northern Ireland U21s side before making his way into O'Neill's senior coaching setup for Euro 2016. At the European finals in France that year, Robinson helped in the famous 2-0 win over Ukraine, which earned them a place in the round of 16, where they would lose to Wales.

The 44-year-old took over at Motherwell in 2017 and guided the Steelmen to both a League Cup final and Scottish Cup final in 2017-18. His memorable first season with Motherwell has only continued to grow into something more special, as the club sit third in the Scottish Premiership, behind only the Glasgow giants - this could well secure the club's first European spot competition since 2014.

Now, Robinson is 11/4 to reunite with the Northern Ireland squad, but this time, as the manager.

Ian Baraclough

The current Northern Ireland U21 manager, Ian Baraclough, has also moved down from the joint-favourite to second in the list. Baraclough has been much more involved with the first team when O'Neill agreed to take the job with Stoke, giving a strong idea that he already is the man to naturally take the helm.

Similar to many other managers who are improving national sides, such as Gareth Southgate with England, this national progression seems to make more sense than gambling elsewhere.

Baraclough is a League of Ireland winner with Sligo Rovers in what was his first year at the club. The Englishman also won an FAI Cup and a Setanta Cup, giving him the label as one of the Rovers' greatest ever managers.

A move to Motherwell would follow where he helped ensure Premiership survival thanks to a two-legged play-off win over Rangers. Now, the U21s manager is 11/4 to take the helm with the senior side and is, when all considered, the most sensible option.

Austin McPhee

Outside of the former favourites and the frontrunner Wright, there is a big jump to 16/1 for the next man in the list Austin Mcphee.

McPhee has been part of O'Neill's backroom staff since 2014 and is, as of now, set to remain within the squad as a coach at the very least. The 40-year-old could be the go-to man, should Robinson and Baraclough stick within their current roles, however.

McPhee does seriously lack managerial experience, which is why he is a 16/1 outsider and will not be on the immediate list of strong candidates. The former Hearts man took charge of the club for five weeks as caretaker boss when Craig Levein was dismissed, but other than this, McPhee has remained an assistant coach throughout his career.

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Outside Odds

  • Oran Kearney - 33/1
  • David Healy - 25/1
  • Kieran McKenna - 33/1
  • Grant McCann - 25/1
  • Chris Coleman - 33/1
  • Sam Allardyce - 33/1
  • Roy Keane - 33/1

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