Niall Quinn goes against public opinion with Stephen Kenny stance
"I don't think we should go to Stephen Kenny's funeral just yet."
After failing to qualify for the Euros this summer, it looks like time is up for Kenny in terms of his managerial stint with Ireland, and speculation has already begun regarding his replacement.
With one dead rubber game and a friendly left play in the 2023 calendar, it is widely expected that the FAI will part ways with the current boss before the end of the new year.
However, former Ireland striker Quinn exclusively told LadBrokes Fanzone that he doesn't believe that the end is as inevitable as people think.
"I don't think we should go to Stephen Kenny's funeral just yet, he's got two games left in this campaign; Netherlands and New Zealand. Speculation, of course, is that he'll be moved on.
"But on that, I don't think the decision is as simple as identifying a big name out there and going and getting him. The first question we need to address is around the current policy; are we going to carry on trying to move the game a certain way?
"Are we trying to implement a brand of football which will be instilled into future generations of Irish players? Or do we go back to being more defensive, giving ourselves a chance of qualifying, by becoming really tough to beat, like Jack Charlton did in my day.
"Maybe turning the clock back a bit, although it's where a lot of people hope we don't go, you've also got to ask how we're going to get to major tournaments, and encourage the next batch of youngsters if we're not at those major tournaments?"
Stephen Kenny's position as manager is not the only crucial decision FAI have to make.
Kenny's position as manager of Ireland is not the only thing that needs to be taken into consideration, and it isn't a case of just replacing him with the next candidate based on their name and availability.
The former Dundalk manager has tried to implement a new brand of football, one that isn't typically associated with Ireland, so the decision needs to be made on whether they continue with developing that, or go in a different direction.
"It's not in a great place at the moment, Irish football, there's no doubt about that. I'm not in the FAI, I have no say in this decision - whether Stephen Kenny stays or not - but the crucial decision, really, is: what follows?
"Do we believe someone is going to come in and slightly tweak things, or do we go all the way back to a big name and hope we can make a big tournament - like Martin O'Neill did, to be fair to him. Like [Giovanni] Trapattoni did, too. Like Jack Charlton did, like Mick McCarthy...
"Look, whatever happens, I'd just like to say fair play to Stephen Kenny in many ways, coming in at the time he did, under the pressure that he was. He's built up huge respect in this country for literally changing the way Ireland play. Unsuccessful, to this point, but where it leads, who knows?
"I'd have time for Stephen because of his devotion to young players, and the way he's changed the game, getting us to play a type of football which will hopefully one day reap rewards. He won't be around for that day, probably, but hey, that's football."
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