Brian Kerr speaks some home truths about Martin O'Neill's management of the Ireland team 11 months ago

Brian Kerr speaks some home truths about Martin O'Neill's management of the Ireland team

"It's not good enough for the manager to say, 'Brian Clough, he didn't do it, he just let us go out and play'. That was 40 years ago!"

Brian Kerr has questioned Martin O'Neill's management of the Republic of Ireland team following the defeat to Wales. Ireland were hammered 4-1 in Cardiff in their opening match of the Uefa Nations League on Thursday night. They have now conceded nine goals in their last two competitive games.

O'Neill's tactics and approach have been challenged by some since the result. The Ireland manager himself has admitted that he doesn't name the starting line-up until the day of the game. And some of his former players - including Shay Given and Craig Bellamy - have claimed that he doesn't work in training on team shape or a plan to stop the opposition.

These are practices that have brought O'Neill great success in the past. But on Thursday night, they no longer seemed to be working for the Ireland team.

Kerr has argued that O'Neill and his coaching staff have not got the most from the players available to them.

The former Ireland manager said that the players appear unsure of their roles, and there didn't seem to be even the most basic tactical plan in place, such as picking up Joe Allen and preventing Gareth Bale from cutting inside on his stronger left foot.

"We've not made the best use (of our players) and that responsibility comes down on the management and coaching of the team," Kerr said on Virgin Media Sport on Sunday.

"Too often it looks like nobody is exactly sure of their role when they go out to play the match. Tactically, the other night I would have said, 'Who is responsible for picking up Joe Allen?'

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"Any team, whether you were running the team, I was running the team or you were running the team, the first thing I would have said would be, 'Joe Allen and Gareth Bale are the two key players. How do we deal with Allen getting the ball from the goalkeeper when they play it out from the back?'

"Was there any plan to deal with it? No. Gareth Bale, take your chances. Let him go inside and shoot on his left foot. We might get lucky. It's not detailed enough. It's not good enough for the manager to say, 'Brian Clough, he didn't do it, he just let us go out and play'. That was 40 years ago!"

You can watch Kerr here:

Earlier in the show, Kerr criticised the leadership of Irish football, calling it a "shambles."

"We've had the same leadership for about 20 years now. Many of them are far too old for the modern game, to even understand it, yet they're directing operations. And right through the system, the system is failing us, we're not producing players and it needs radical action."

You can watch that clip here: