Irish fans react to the idea of Chris Coleman becoming the next Ireland boss

Irish fans react to the idea of Chris Coleman becoming the next Ireland boss

Last weekend, it was announced that former Wales and Sunderland manager Chris Coleman was a strong favourite to take over the vacant Republic of Ireland manager's job.

The Welsh native, who played for the likes of Manchester City and Fulham during his career and managed Wales and Coventry City, has become the bookies' favourite to replace the long-departed Stephen Kenny.

After retiring, Coleman started his coaching career at Fulham. In his first full season as manager, he guided the club to ninth place in the 2003–04 Premier League. Stints at Coventry City and Greek side AEL weren't as fruitful. However, his best work came when he took the Wales job in 2012. Wales achieved their highest-ever FIFA ranking and made it to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 despite being huge underdogs.

The chase for a new Ireland boss has been going on since November, and the FAI claimed that they were close to an appointment a number of weeks ago. However, reports around candidates having second thoughts and salary requirements have delayed the process of finding a new Ireland boss.

Lee Carsley, the main target, was the favourite, but he seems to be slipping away. Shay Given, his former teammate, said last week that he couldn't see his old teammate taking the Ireland job.

Coleman has now become the new favourite to take the Ireland job. Some bookies have Coleman close to even odds to take the job.

The Mirror reports says that "The FAI is hoping to appoint a successor to Stephen Kenny in the coming days, with the managerial hunt now into a third month. And former Wales boss Coleman is this evening viewed as a live contender for the post, with betting markets also suspended. Mirror Sport understands his longtime assistant Kit Symons and Ireland legend John O’Shea would form part of a backroom team if a deal for Coleman is secured."

Despite the potential appointment of Coleman, fans on social media have not warmed to the idea of the Swansea native being the next Ireland boss.

One account on X said, "Chris Coleman for the Ireland job? Please no, Jesus Christ." While another said, "Brutal appointment. FAI is a shambles."

Other users on the popular media site have offered a more nuanced take and hit back at the narrative that Coleman was only successful because of the brilliance of Gareth Bale, the former Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur, and Wales legend.

"Chris Coleman. On the positive side, I would say he’s a good communicator. This is also proven at the international level, which is different from managing a club team. But… Gareth Bale. Nevertheless, he maximised Bale’s talent. "I'm definitely not excited by him, but I could do a lot worse too," added one user. Another said, "I don’t hate the idea of Chris Coleman as Ireland manager. I’m not sure he’d bring the same success as we don’t have Bale, Ramsey or Allen, the emotional connection or the brilliant groundwork Gary Speed did for him, but he’s more appealing than most of the serious links.

The Mirror also added on Sunday that "an announcement on the identity of the new manager is imminent and could even be made in the next 24 hours."

Here's hoping the saga is put to an end sooner rather than later.