Like with a lot of things Stephen Kenny has said during his tenure, there was more than a ring of truth about his comments on Monday — and an element of selective memory bordering on spin.
He’s right; Ireland weren’t battered in Amsterdam the other night or anywhere any other night on his beat “like we lost 4-1 to Wales” during Martin O’Neill’s final days or “got hammered in Cyprus” 5-2 in Stan’s early days. Up to a month ago Kenny had never lost a competitive game by more than a goal.
You could even stretch it like he did and claim that he didn’t have a Macedonia either, at least away from home, in a Euros or World Cup qualifier, the way Mick McCarthy and Jason McAteer had a horror show over there back in ’97.
Yeah, he had an Armenia but that was only a Nations League game. And yeah he had a Luxembourg too but that was at home against a country that just finished third in their Euro qualifying group underlining they’re not the minnows of old.
Virtually every Ireland manager has had a howler of a result. Kenny a Luxembourg, McCarthy a Macedonia, Stan a Cyprus, even Jack a Liechtenstein. And almost every Ireland manager has had that sinking feeling like Kenny experienced against Greece in the Aviva last month where everyone else feels and thinks and deep down knows that it’s all over. Hand against the Danes. Jack in Lisbon and Anfield. McCarthy against Switzerland with ‘Keano’ ringing around Lansdowne. Trap when it was 6-1 to the Germans. O’Neill sometime between when it was 5-1 to the Danes and 4-1 to the Welsh.
What Kenny omitted to mention though was all those managers and those that came before them all achieved and experienced something he never did. A National Moment where the whole country held its breath or had itRead on irishexaminer.com