Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

The Punter: Stan's still the man for Republic

David O'Leary is tipped by Paddy Power (2-1) to succeed Steve Staunton as manager of the Republic of Ireland who like Northern Ireland, have several mountains to climb if they are to make the Euro 2008 finals.

The Republic are 1-100 not to make it (16-1 to qualify), but if they beat Germany at home - albeit a tall order - then they would be back in with a chance.

William Hill also make O'Leary favourite to succeed Staunton but at a more generous 5-1.

But the Dundalk man has done enough in Group D to justify leading them into the next World Cup campaign.

O'Leary would certainly bring little new to the set up and 'Stan' is a great bet at evens, courtesy of William Hill, to be in charge at the end of this year.

Those who believe he will be ousted, can have 8-11 on a new man coming in.

The Republic were very unlucky to come out of Prague without a point against the Czechs and that has to be seen in context. If that point had been taken, there would be no talk about replacing Staunton.

And if anyone thinks he won't be in charge against Germany on October 13, then there is something amiss in their heads.

Don't be persuaded by Power's cutting that prospect from 5-1 to 3-1. Instead, lay the 5s on Betfair as it's money for old rope.



Next permanent Ireland manager (Paddy Power): 2-1 David O'Leary; 7-1 John Aldridge; 9-1 Roy Keane; 9-1 Chris Hughton; 10-1 Stephen Kenny; 14-1 Don Givens; 16-1 Martin O'Neill; 20-1 George Graham; 22-1 John Sheridan; 25-1 Peter Reid, Paul Jewell; 28-1 Graeme Souness, Glenn Hoddle.

Steve Staunton specials: 1-5 Steve Staunton to be in charge against Germany; 3-1 not to be in charge.

Ireland not to qualify for Euro 2008 (Hill's): 1-100; 16-1 to qualify.

Will Staunton be in charge of the Republic of Ireland team on December 31: Evens yes, 8-11 no.

Next Ireland manager: 5-1 David O'Leary, 7-1 Neil Warnock, 12-1 Don Givens, 14-1 John Aldridge, 16-1 Steven Kenny, 20-1 Roy Keane, 25-1 Brian Kerr, 50-1 Gordon Strachan, Niall Quinn, Mick McCarthy, 66-1 Martin O'Neill, 100-1 Marcello Lippi, Pat Dolan, Pat Fenlon, Pat Scully, Kenny Dalglish. Others on request.

Who will leave their position first: 1-3 Steve Staunton, 2-1 John Delaney (chief executive of FAI)

Don't be tempted to tinker McClaren

Steve McClaren has stumbled onto a winning England team that has much to commend it after disposing of Israel and Russia in impressive fashion.

So any idea of tinkering with it, is madness.

And that should mean no return for the likes of David Beckham, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney unless England fortunes change.

The worst thing the England boss can do now, is to become a 'tinker' man unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

So talk of replacing the new midfield star in the England side, Gareth Barry, is the stuff of nonsense and the 2-1 from Ladbrokes on Barry starting against Estonia, has to be worth a thumping wager.

Take that along with the 1-2 that Beckham is not in the team line-up, now that Shaun Wright-Phillips has found a new lease of form.

Also, Becks is unlikely now to reach his 100 caps and 'railway shunters' can have 11-10 that he doesn't.

As for Rooney being 1-3 to start against Estonia, that has to be the worst value of the season.

Better to take the Hill's price of 2-5 that he plays in the match as he is more likely to come on as a sub. McClaren should keep the Emile Heskey and Michael Owen partnership intact and in fact, ought to name an unchanged team which gets a 7-1 quote.

Hill's: To play against Estonia: W Rooney 2-5 yes; 7-4 no; F Lampard 8-13 yes; 6-5 no; D Beckham 1-2 no; 6-4 yes. England to be unchanged 7-1.

To start in central midfield (Ladbrokes): 1-6 Gerrard; Evens Lampard; 6-4 O Hargreaves; 2-1 Barry; 16-1 M Carrick.

To start up front: 1-8 Owen; 1-3 Rooney; 3-1 Heskey; 6-1 P Crouch; 16-1 A Johnson; 33-1 J Defoe, D Bent, A Smith.

Date when Owen breaks England goalscoring record (49): 11-8 during World Cup 2010 qualification; during a friendly; 4-1 never; 9-2 during World Cup 2010; 5-1 during Euro 2008; 25-1 during Euro 2008 qualification.

New is the rage

New Approach is the 15-8 favourite for the best two-year-old race of the season at the Curragh tomorrow.

The unbeaten son of Galileo is just one of nine runners in the Bank Of Scotland National Stakes - a Group One race which will have a major bearing on next year's 2000 Guineas market.

Taking him on are the Prix Morny winner Myboycharlie, and Godophin's top two-year-old Rio De La Plata, who are a rated 2-1 and 9-4 shots respectively.



Aidan O'Brien has entered four horses in the race, relying Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island, Magna Cum Laude, and Minneapolis.

But it will be a major surprise if this race is not won by one of the three market leaders with New Approach the one to beat.

William Hill betting: 15-8 New Approach, 2-1 Myboycharlie, 9-4 Rio De La Plata, 12-1 Famous Name, 14-1 bar.

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