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Roddy Collins says Stephen Kenny is ‘out of his depth’ as Ireland manager

roddy collins

“To go into international football, and actually believe you can create a Dundalk at international level in a short period of time, is off the wall. Honestly.”

Roddy Collins has said that Stephen Kenny is “out of his depth” as Republic of Ireland manager. Kenny has failed to record a win in his 11 games as coach of the national team. His attempt to implement a more progressive style of play has yet to bear fruit, and Collins believes he was given the top job in Irish football “too soon.”

The former Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers, Cork City and Carlisle United manager said Kenny lacks the “experience” and “tactical cuteness” required to excel at senior international level.

roddy collins

Roddy Collins: Stephen Kenny is out of his depth at senior international level.

“Stephen is out of his depth,” Collins told Second Captains.

“When I managed against Stephen, I’d make a tactical switch and there’d be no reaction. And that came to light in the Serbia game. They made a switch at half-time, and I was forensically analysing that game, and I wrote down, ’52 minutes… 60-odd minutes… 70-odd minutes’ – nothing changed from their tactical switch that pinned us in and killed us.

“Tactically, Stephen, for me, wouldn’t be up to speed for international football. (But) He has a lot of good attributes. He’s a good man-manager, he’s a likeable person.”

Roddy Collins: Success in the League of Ireland doesn’t warrant getting the Ireland job.

Collins also questioned whether Kenny had the credentials to be named Ireland manager. The former Monaghan United manager spoke about Kenny’s career to date and concluded that his achievements with Derry City or Dundalk should not “qualify” him for the Ireland job.

“I’m not a supporter, I’m a football analyst,” the Dubliner said.

“At Derry (under Kenny), they played good football… One-dimensional, it’s only one way with Stephen and it was always 4-4-2 or 4-4-1-1. To see him play three at the back against Serbia and Luxembourg was a big, big surprise…

“As regards Dundalk… (It was a) Good time to be there. Good budget. Good club. They got into the European group stages.

“(But) If you gave me half the budget, I’d win a league in two years in Irish football. I’d win a Premier League in two years, I’m absolutely certain of that one. So, I don’t really give great credence to winning Premier Leagues in the League of Ireland, unless if Finn Harps won it, because they’ve nothing.

“Dundalk, who won the four leagues (under Kenny), would struggle to win League Two in England. I’ve worked in League Two in England and I’ve worked in the League of Ireland.

“To go into international football, and actually believe you can create a Dundalk at international level in a short period of time, is off the wall. Honestly.”

Roddy Collins

Roddy Collins: Stephen Kenny needed more time with the Ireland under-21s.

Collins also criticised Kenny’s team selection for the 1-0 defeat to Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium in a World Cup qualifier, saying that the former Dundalk coach made a mistake by omitting some of Ireland’s more senior players. According to Collins, this show Kenny’s “lack of experience and tactical cuteness.”

“I always said, give Stephen Kenny six years, or thereabouts, with the under-21s, let him learn on his feet in those situations,” Collins said.

“How long do we wait for this to translate? There are loads of excuses, and there are valid excuses – injuries, Covid. Now, the one with no crowds, I wouldn’t buy into that, I think that’s a plus because people can turn very quickly and a full Aviva Stadium booing at the end turns the board very quickly.

“At the end of the day, what brought it home for me was at half-time against Serbia. They changed and we didn’t.”

stephen kenny

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