Paul McGrath believes that the Republic of Ireland should cut their losses with Stephen Kenny and begin the process of finding a replacement.
With Stephen Kenny presented with a fantastic opportunity to register his first win as Ireland manager, the boys in green succumbed to an embarrassing defeat at home to Luxembourg on Saturday night.
Many are calling for cooler heads to prevail and to keep the faith with Kenny despite the fact that Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup now appear non-existent but Paul McGrath does not fall into that category.
McGrath, who played for Ireland between 1985 and 1997, is of the opinion that Kenny has had his chance and the national team should already be looking for a replacement.
“I never like kicking a man when he’s down. I was down myself many a day. But I’m sorry, Stephen Kenny – it is time to go,” McGrath wrote in his Irish Independent column.
“International football management is about making the most of what you have got.”
After Saturday night’s 1-0 defeat to Luxembourg in Dublin, Kenny insisted that his job was not in jeopardy but concerns have been raised about the 49-year-old’s suitability to take Ireland forward.
McGrath doubts that the Ireland role would be appealing to many high-profile managers but the former Manchester United and Aston Villa defender did single out Neil Lennon as a potential option.
Lennon has been out of work since resigning from his position as Celtic boss last month and McGrath suggested that he might be one of few managers who would consider the Ireland job at this point in time.
“We’re now out of the World Cup realistically,” McGrath continued. “We’re not going to make a play-off with this result hanging around the team like a noose around our necks. So the FAI have to get in a new leader for Irish football with a bit of big-time experience, who can make the best of what we have.
“Is there anyone out there? Maybe Neil Lennon would take on the job?
“I can’t think of too many others who’d be rushing to get involved when it is clear the country is going through a phase where we just don’t have the football talent.
“The money is not out in Abbotstown to get in a big name who would do the job for the dosh and shut his eyes to the other problems.
“But the simple fact is that Qatar 2022 is over for us now.”