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Noel King questions whether Stephen Kenny is ‘up to the job’ of managing Ireland

noel king ireland

“Maybe Stephen Kenny is not up to the job?”

Noel King has questioned whether Stephen Kenny is capable of succeeding as manager of the Republic of Ireland.

King, the former Ireland under-21 coach, was writing in the aftermath of the national team’s results over the past week and Kenny’s first full week in the job.

Ireland drew with Bulgaria and lost 1-0 at home to Finland. According to King, questions must now be asked of the manager.

King questions Stephen Kenny

“Stephen Kenny’s promise of revolutionising Ireland’s style of play has not started the way he planned,” King writes in his column for

“As a result, he will face a torrid time in the coming days as sections of the supporters and media voice their anger and opinions – and it won’t be nice.

“Potentially in some quarters, there are those who may want him removed. It will make for interesting reading and viewing to see how he handles himself in his first crisis as the manager of the senior team.”

Noel King Ireland

“Maybe it’s because we don’t have a tradition of playing this way.”

King goes on to criticise Ireland’s performance in the defeat to Finland. Ireland had more possession than their opponents in the match at the Aviva Stadium.

Yet, Kenny’s team struggled to create any clear-cut chances and were caught out by a sloppy goal.

One could give the new Ireland coach and his players the benefit of the doubt.

They are attempting to play in a new way, they are seeking to press high up the pitch and play out from the back. There are no more aimless hoofs up the field and the team will need time to adjust.

The two Uefa Nations League matches were also the first games this season for the Irish players, with the new campaign not due to begin until next weekend.

Unsurprisingly, most of the players did not look sharp.

“Maybe Stephen Kenny is not up to the job?”

However, King doesn’t appear to factor any of this into his argument. Instead, he has questioned if Kenny is capable of doing the job.

“It was promised but not delivered. Maybe it’s because we don’t have a tradition of playing this way, or else our players are simply not at the right standard to carry out the game-plan,” King writes.

“Maybe Stephen Kenny is not up to the job?

“The Slovakia playoff game next month will focus Stephen’s and the squad’s attention, and hopefully, they can turn around a difficult start for the new coaching team.”

Ireland’s next match is a big one. Kenny’s team take on Slovakia on October 8 in a European Championship play-off semi-final.

King was Kenny’s predecessor as Ireland Under-21 manager. He was also briefly the caretaker manager of the Ireland team following Giovanni Trapattoni’s exit in 2013.

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