Club form is only one of a “combination of factors” that would have come into Ireland manager Stephen Kenny’s selection choice, outlined Brian Kerr with OTB’s Joe Molloy today.
Thursday’s Republic of Ireland team announcement confirmed to former national team boss Brian Kerr that the current man at the helm of the Boys in Green, Stephen Kenny, has the foresight to look beyond immediate club form.
With Scotland and Armenia to play in the upcoming weeks, Kerr insists that while players such as Troy Parrot and Michael Obafemi haven’t performed at a consistent level for their clubs recently, they have the potential to “blossom to that level.”
“If they’re performing for Ireland and performing the way they did in the last two games against Ukraine and Scotland they can go on from there.”
We’ll settle for that irrespective at that they are doing at club!”
While Kerr admits that “It helps if you’re in good form at club level and confidence is high”, what is more important he marks out is that the players are “playing well for Ireland and for Stephen to be picking the players that get results on a more consistent basis for us.”
With a “settled” midfield now surfacing in Jayson Molumby and Jason Knight, it appears to be the case that fans must trust that Kenny knows best, Kerr drawing on his own experience when there were debates about his team selection’s.
“Sometimes as manager I’d be hearing people making comments as to which players should play and not play, but they haven’t really got a clue because they don’t see the players.
I think it’s a combination of factors. It’s what they’ve done in the last couple of matches, club form, and what condition they’re in.
The most crucial bit of all is what they do when they’re playing for YOU, for the international team, with Irish players, with an Irish manager who believes in them enough to pick them.”
This, coupled with the pressures of fan reaction are what differentiates club and country form according to Kerr.
“They’re also not under pressure from the supporters who can be very fickle. In general, Irish supporters stick with Irish players and give them the benefit of the doubt when players are making mistakes, because as along as they’re making the effort they’ll stick with them.
At club level fellas are under pressure, supporters want instant results, they want every player to be brilliant and take every opportunity they get.”
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