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14th Oct 2023

Stephen Kenny’s strange analysis of defeat to Greece sums up his tenure perfectly

Lee Costello

Stephen Kenny

“We dominated.”

Stephen Kenny’s post-match analysis of Ireland’s defeat to Greece, was a pretty strange take on things, and really it sums up his time in charge perfectly.

Greece beat Ireland comfortably at the Aviva Stadium, winning 2-0 and officially ending any remaining hopes of qualification for Euro 2024.

The mood after the match was low, as angry fans let their voices be heard with boos echoing across the stadium, while ex Ireland players like Richard Dunne and Shay Given were saying that the time for a change in management, is now.

However, Kenny was strangely upbeat in his post-match conference and gave an interview which highlighted ‘positives’ that few others were able to see.

“I think we started really well, had a couple of chances,” said Kenny.

“They had a period where they got on top and controlled the game – for the first [goal] you need not to give that free header away.

“We had a lot of play then towards the end of the first half, particularly down the right-hand side. Our high press, Jason Knight intercepts, you’re thinking he’s in on goal, just a heavy touch took it away.

“Liam Scales whips it across the front, Chiedozie Ogbene you think he’s going to gamble and just put that in, and it doesn’t quite happen. We had a lot of shots just going wide from our midfield players, we were looking for just a bit more accuracy from that point of view.

“I think set plays maybe weren’t of the quality we would have wanted, obviously then we concede on the 45th minute. It was a killer for us to concede that goal. We were having a good period in the game.

“2-0 at half-time is difficult. But I actually thought we played well second half for long periods. Ball retention was good, we dominated. There were a lot of crosses because they were a little bit deeper, but they defended their box very well.

“We had chances, we had saves off the line. We missed the target a few times as well on strikes. It wasn’t enough. It’s a disappointing night, and a disappointing result. Greece were clinical at taking their opportunities. We weren’t.”

You have got to hand it to Kenny, he actually made that performance sound like a positive, but that sums up his whole time in charge of Ireland.

Time and time again the team failed to get results, or just fall short, and afterwards we would hear about all of positives, the small improvements, and how we’re on a journey that takes time.

Unfortunately for Kenny, it looks like his time is up.

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