Richard Dunne criticises Ireland performance in defeat to Armenia 6 months ago

Richard Dunne criticises Ireland performance in defeat to Armenia

"I just don’t know where the Irish team goes from here."

Richard Dunne criticised the Republic of Ireland's performance against Armenia on Saturday. Ireland lost the Uefa Nations League tie 1-0 in Yerevan after Eduard Spertsyan scored a long-distance strike in the second.

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Stephen Kenny's team dominated possession in the match but failed to break down their opponents, who are ranked 92nd in the world.

Former Ireland defender Dunne was critical of the performance and suggested that he is worried about the team's progression under Kenny.

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Richard Dune: Ireland made the 'same mistakes' against Armenia.

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"If you look at that game today, it’s very similar to the games that we’ve played previously," Dunne said on Premier Sports.

"So, you need to analyse them and you need to understand why are we still making the same mistakes 18 months down the line.

"The ones that we made against Finland, Luxembourg and stuff like that. The results are all that matters now because the performance wasn’t good enough.

"The results haven’t been good enough for a long time and I just don’t know where the Irish team goes from here."

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Richard Dunne Ireland Armenia

The former Manchester City defender went on to say that Ireland's play lacks 'variety'.

"There’s been a lot of new players who’ve come in, and there’s been a whole change," Dunne said.

"You spoke about the vibrant style of football, we didn’t see much of that today.

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"Ireland very rarely made it difficult for Armenia. We never really turned them and made it difficult for them. There needs to be more variety in Ireland’s play to put pressure on teams. It’s almost like a dirty word to play a long ball or something like that.

"It all becomes desperate towards the end. It’s like, 'Let’s play lovely football and then we panic, we’ll just knock it long'."

Dunne: Ireland have struggled against 'half decent' teams under Kenny.

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Dunne also said that Ireland have found it difficult to beat any 'half decent' side that they have faced under Kenny.

"Armenia had a look at Ireland in the first half and they thought, 'There is nothing really here to threaten us'," Dunne continued.

"Ireland were too narrow, too slow and too predictable. It was a difficult game but try to keep this positive thing going. It is very easy to be negative about them.

"There wasn’t anything creative about the team, it was passing for passing's sake and we tried to lob the ball into the box in the end.

"The players are not fools, they know what it takes to win football games and they are trying to stick to a plan. There is no real threat.

"This is not a one-off performance, this is the standard. Anyone that has been half decent we struggle against."

Kenny: Ireland didn't deserve to lose against Armenia.

Meanwhile, Ireland manager Stephen Kenny said that Ireland didn't 'deserve' to lose against Armenia, but admitted that his team didn't create enough chances in the game.

"We lost a tight game," Kenny told reporters in Yerevan.

"It’s not a game that we deserved to lose, you couldn’t say that on the balance of play or chances. But we have lost and only ourselves to blame and we’re disappointed.

"For the last 25 minutes of the first half we were in control, but we didn’t start the second half like we ended the first and were susceptible to counters.

"We watched Armenia’s last 20 games and they don’t usually play with five at the back. We found them difficult to break down and we only had half-chances."

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Ireland's Nations League campaign continues on Wednesday against Ukraine at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

They then host Scotland at the same venue next Saturday before wrapping up this international window with another game against Ukraine.