What Next For Martin O'Neill And Roy Keane?

What Next For Martin O'Neill And Roy Keane?
By Eoin Lyons

With the resignation of Martin O'Neill along with Roy Keane from the Ireland set up, the chatter immediately moved to who was going to step in to replace them.

Mick McCarthy, Sam Allardyce, Stephen Kenny... Carlos Queiroz, the internet was awash with suggestions, though no one seemed very bothered as to what was next for O'Neill and Keane.

For O'Neill his brief dalliance with Stoke City while the club was still in the Premier League would suggest the Derryman would be happy with a low to mid level Premier League team.

Perhaps Claudio Ranieri would have had sterner competition for the Fulham job had O'Neill given up the Ireland job earlier. Should Roy Hodgson's weary stint at Crystal Palace come to an end perhaps O'Neill would be in with a shout of that job, though having watched O'Neill struggle to elevate a team to become more than the sum of its parts, Premier League owners may not be willing to take a risk on the 66-year-old.

No doubt O'Neill will want to get back into management as soon as possible, with his statement today revealing as much:

Having had these great experiences in my spell as the Irish international manager, I am looking forward to my next adventure in football.

You'd have to imagine that the next big sacking in the Championship will see O'Neill become the bookies favourite for the job, and it's hard to see him staying out of football for too long.

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For Keane, the former United captain has recently mentioned his hunger for getting back in the hot seat, but stopped short of naming what clubs he would like to manage:

This idea I’d be looking at a club and thinking, ‘I fancy that one’ – I don’t work that way, I don’t network. I just focus on the job in hand and that’s a big one with Ireland. But hopefully soon I’d like to become a manager again.

It’s just getting that offer and challenge that will rock my boat.

Keane has been pragmatic about what level of job would be available to him, stating that he is not holding out for a job in the Premier League but that a job in the Championship would be realistic:

I’d be realistic, it’s hardly going to be a Premier League offer, realistically in the Championship. But there are a lot of brilliant clubs there.

There’s no doubt in my mind that I could go in there and get a club promoted, with the right support. It would depend on the club and the people involved.

After the relative nadir of the final months of O'Neill & Keane's tenure at Ireland, both will have to choose their next step wisely.

O'Neill has the luxury off calling back to his successful stints at Celtic and Leicester, for Keane, his brand is somewhat less marketable, especially considering his recent spats with Jon Walters and Harry Arter, though with their reputations sullied from the mess that is the Ireland football team, both will be looking to prove themselves at the top level once again.

See Also: Martin O'Neill Releases Statement After Irish Departure

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