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Five talking points from Ireland’s dominant win v Qatar at the Aviva

Ireland v qatar talking points

A great win.

Ireland secured a dominant 4-0 win at home to Qatar on Tuesday evening, with a number of players impressing in the process.

The win was Ireland’s second on the bounce, the first time Stephen Kenny has managed that, as Callum Robinson came to the fore once again for the Boys in Green with a hat-trick.

It may have only been Qatar, and it was at home, but the victory was a crucial one in terms of gathering momentum for next month’s last round of World Cup Qualifiers against Luxembourg and Portugal. Here’s our talking points on another positive night for Ireland in Dublin 4.

Callum Robinson.

What a brilliant week that was for Robinson, all things considered.

After he started off the week in the news for all the wrong reasons, the West Brom forward came to the fore again as he helped the Boys in Green ease past Qatar.

His first, a deflected effort on goal proved key in terms of unlocking the Qatari defence, while his second, from the spot was taken with confidence and vigour.

It wasn’t just that, however. His industry up front as the focal point of the attack created space for his teammates, like Jamie McGrath. And McGrath realised that as he won a penalty that Robinson dispatched with ease.

His third, a delightful finish to an even better move was Ireland’s first hat-trick scored since 2014 – and there was probably no better time to get it.

Stephen Kenny.

“There’s only one Stephen Kenny.”

There may be noise surrounding his position as manager, but the Ireland fans packed into the Aviva Stadium have well and truly bought into Kenny at least.

Perhaps it is no surprise that Kenny’s upturn in fortunes have come with the return of fans to stadia, but this Ireland side are playing with a gusto and tempo not seen in a long time.

This team feels more and more like a Kenny side with each passing game, excuse the pun. But not only is this a Kenny side, it feels like this Irish side is starting to erode a long-term inferiority complex when it comes to playing attractive football.

It turns out that we may have the players after all, Mr. Trappatoni.

The Project.

Whether or not Kenny is the man to lead this team forward feels irrelevant at this moment in time, but this international window, if anything has shown signs of what can be achieved going forward.

Yes, Ireland may be 50th in the world rankings, and they may have only beaten Azerbaijan and Qatar – but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Ireland v qatar talking points

Granted, it may not be as good as what some are suggesting, but this is an important step in the development of this new, young, and vibrant team.

There is a mix of pragmatism at times as much as there are signs of excitement and promise, but the pragmatism is not a bad thing. There may be light at the end of this dark, dark tunnel.

Young Guns.

Since his tenure began, Kenny has not been one to be afraid of giving young players a chance, and Tuesday night was no different to that.

There were starts for Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher and Andrew Omobamidele who looked at home on the Aviva Stadium stage along with their more established teammates.

ireland qatar talking points

Saying that, neither had an awful lot to do against a relatively poor Qatar, but regardless, it is encouraging nonetheless for Kenny that his young stars are continuing to take to life in senior international football.

Jamie McGrath.

He may not have got his goal, but it was a night to remember for Jamie McGrath in Stephen Kenny’s side as the former Dundalk midfielder ran rings around the Qataris.

McGrath almost made a move to the Championship during the summer from St Mirren, but that fell through at the last minute. While that may have been disappointing for him at the time, he may end up elsewhere if he continues to play like he did on Tuesday night.

The Meathman’s journey is similar in concept to Liam Scales‘ – although he is a step ahead of his Ireland teammate. McGrath’s journey and rise may be one that we may get used to seeing more and more from the League of Ireland to the Aviva Stadium for the Boys in Green.

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