Mick McCarthy analyses Stephen Kenny's first game in charge as Ireland manager 3 years ago

Mick McCarthy analyses Stephen Kenny's first game in charge as Ireland manager

We waited 21 months for Stephen Kenny, and we were forced to listen to Mick McCarthy talk about crosses all night.

We waited 21 months for Stephen Kenny, and Ireland conceded first before scoring a last minute equaliser through a Shane Duffy header. To draw 1-1.


The new era is here and defenders are still pulling the country out in injury time. But it was a bright start.

Stephen Kenny's first game in charge saw the team finish with 63 per cent possession, they pressed in the opposition half, and they had some chances - if not loads - to make their dominance pay.

On co-commentary for Sky Sports was the manager being replaced by Kenny, Mick McCarthy.

It was a decision that rose eyebrows around the island but Mick isn't the type for self-preservation or sticking the boot in so it went by painlessly enough - apart from his simple obsession with crosses.


Mick reacts to the team sheet

"He's certainly gone for it up front anyway, with a bit of pace, that's for sure."

That, in a nutshell, is why everyone's excited about national team football again.

Ireland trying to win the ball high


"Ireland are pressing them really well. They've not let them out of their half most of the time. The front three and the three midfield players are pressing them really well."

On Aaron Connolly

"Very capable, Aaron in front of goals. Was it a hat-trick he got against Spurs? And he did brilliantly for a while and then lost his place in the team. But his pace is a real asset, he could cause them problems. I thought he was that good I though he scored a hat-trick against Spurs!"

On the Shane Duffy penalty shout


"For Duffy to get a penalty you'd have to knock him out with a baseball bat."

Get the ball into the box

"Conor Hourihane, put those crosses in. Because it doesn't look to me like they want to defend. And Ireland will get players on the end of them."

Get the ball into the box

"I'm trying to think back to the goals we scored against Bulgaria... two of them were from crosses. Sticking the ball into the box."


Get the ball into the f**king box

"I think they'll score from crosses. I really do."

The second half begins

Get the f**king ball into the f**king box

"I think Ireland will get chances if they put good crosses in from wide positions."

Bulgaria goal

"Between the two centre backs. That's far too easy. Big Shane there will be disappointed he didn't get back into his slot."

Bang on. Duffy's positioning and sense of danger was poor for that goal.

Ireland behind but the balance of play?

"The real shame is when you've conceded a goal like that when you've been the better team, created the most chances and been better in possession. It's disappointing to concede a goal like that."

Robbie Brady subbed on for James McCarthy

Hourihane moved into defensive midfield.

"Sometimes defensively people might run off him (Hourihane) but on the ball, boy, can he find his passes. He'll pick passes all day long."

Ireland need a corner

"You'd need something to change the way the game's just drifting out. And that might be from a tackle, from a corner kick, from a throw in..."

Ireland get a corner

"I don't think they're that good, Bulgaria. I think Ireland have been the better team all round and certainly deserved the goal."

Get the ball into the f**king box.