Joe Molloy was joined on the ROI hour this evening by Dion Fanning, Keith Treacy and Shane Keegan to reflect on Ireland's 2-1 defeat to Scotland on Saturday and discuss the case for and against manager Stephen Kenny.
In between the impressive performances and the fine margins of football outcomes that have underlined the Irish game as of late perseveres a lasting legacy, a constant debate as to the tenable nature of the man in charge, Stephen Kenny.
Following the 2-1 loss to their latest opponents Scotland in Hampden Park, their second from bottom position in Nations League group E has reignited the same deliberation over which mark of the game is more important; wins or progression?
Onlookers opinion’s on that discussion wrangle on, as too does the question, why should fans remain steadfast by Kenny?
“The first one I’d say is, are you not entertained?” asks Fanning, who points out that “Ireland matches now are far more engaging and exciting than they have been for a long time.”
“People will say well we want the victories and we want the qualification, but for these types of matches to be as exciting as they are, that hasn’t happened in a long time.
He’s actually trying to get them to do things that are adventurous…it’s a daring type of football and I think I find it that way perhaps because you know that anything can happen” he said.
The “foundations” visible in their systems deployed, attacking nature and renewed hope in Irish football are also met with the fact that in reality “it’s only been two years which is not a long time really.”
“It’s a short period of time and the Euros are going to decide things. So really there’s been a lot of noise over what? Failure to qualify for a World Cup? I don’t think anyone would have qualified us for a World Cup” he concluded.
Keith Treacy also weighed in on the conversation, stating that he believes “we’re exactly where we should be in the group, the only issue is for me that Stephen came out at the start of it all and said that he expects us to be there or there abouts to win it.”
“We are a team in transition, we’ve hard workers and we’ve got some really good, decent young players but we just don’t have that sprinkling of stardust yet.
“If that comes along or if someone develops into that, then brilliant, but at the minute we’re a hard working team that are trying to do things right and we are progressing but in that final third we’re just lacking and toothless,” the former Irish international said.
No matter your stance on the manager, Irish fans alike will be hoping that such magic and the shooting boots to come with it may surface in the Aviva Stadium come 7:45pm, when The Boys in Green take on Armenia.
Football with Sky Ireland.