Vinny Perth has outlined that he was ‘shocked’ by comments made by former Republic of Ireland midfielder Jason McAteer regarding the appointment of Stephen Kenny.
Kenny will make his bow as Republic of Ireland senior manager next month when the Boys in Green take on Bulgaria and Finland.
Speaking to Off the Ball on Saturday, McAteer questioned Kenny’s pedigree as Ireland manager and compared his appointment to that of Brian Kerr’s in 2003.
“When I think of Stephen’s appointment then, it is a pretty big ask from a guy who has only really managed League of Ireland teams and a team in Scotland.
“I think the step up is massive, and I’m always worried about the pedigree of a manager stepping into an international role.
“I don’t think Brian’s playing career was basking in glory and I think sometimes players might have questioned whether he knew what it takes to manage a team of elite sportsmen, elite players.”
McAteer’s comments have been widely criticised by many who believe that Kenny is deserving of the role given the exceptional job he did at both Dundalk and with the Irish U21 side.
Kenny’s former Dundalk assistant Vinny Perth was highly critical of McAteer’s comments branding them ‘disrespectful and shocking.’
“I was shocked by them comments,” he told Joanne Cantwell on RTÉ Radio 1’s Saturday Sport.
“And then part of me isn’t shocked, because there’s no doubt the old brigade, the old players, there’s a little bit of bitterness towards new people coming through.
“The comments were shocking and they were disrespectful. There is an audience for those comments, that’s the problem. Irish football has come a huge way but we still continue, and a lot of people who support it continue to make the same mistakes.
“They look to the UK, the old pros on these panels and in studios talking about the game, but it’s moved on and it’s changed.
Perth continued outlining that Kenny is the ‘perfect manager’ for the Boys in Green and that McAteer’s comments were an attempt to ‘stay relevant.’
“We’ve got to learn from the GAA. I know it’s not played on a global level, but if Brian Cody or Jim Gavin were given the international job to run GAA, no one would ever question it. Stephen Kenny is exactly what Ireland needs now. He is the perfect manager for that job.
“McAteer even made reference to, ‘I know this is going to make the headlines’… that’s why it’s done. It’s to stay relevant, to stay on these panels, but it’s so disrespectful to Irish football.
“We need to learn from it ourselves, look at ourselves and understand that our coaches and managers belong at this level. What Stephen has achieved means he is rightly in the position he is in. He deserves it. I couldn’t be any stronger than that without a few expletives.