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'The leadership is a shambles... Many of them are far too old for the modern game to even understand it'

Former Ireland boss Brian Kerr was heavily critical of the national side’s set-up following the loss to Wales.

FORMER IRELAND BOSS Brian Kerr has issued a strong criticism of the international set-up following the team’s disappointing 4-1 Nations League loss to Wales last Thursday.

Speaking as part of his role as a pundit for Virgin Media Sport, Kerr claimed a lack of cohesiveness and continuity in the Football Association of Ireland was having a negative impact on the team’s performances.

“We’ve shown a remarkable ability to get rid of people who are very strong in the coaching structure in Ireland,” Kerr said.

“We’ve no leadership at the top of it. The leadership is a shambles. We’ve had the same leadership for about 20 years now. Many of them are far too old for the modern game to even understand it, yet they’re directing operations.

“I think the system is failing us. We’re not producing players. It needs radical action.”

He added: “We knew the era of Robbie Keane, Damien Duff and Richard Dunne was going to end. What were we doing to prepare? The people who are running the FAI… They’ve managed to keep themselves in power for years and years. Their job is to oversee the well-being of Irish football and they’re not doing the job very well. They’ve lost too many good people on it. People like Packie Bonner… Even in the administration side, people have drifted away. There are lots of good people there, I’ve no doubts about that. But the experience required to keep producing good players when it’s not so easy to break into teams at the top level anymore… I’m not sure that type of guidance is around.”

Kerr was also critical of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill, while comparing the whole structure and organisation of the Irish team unfavourably in comparison to the Northern Irish and Welsh set-ups.

“Martin said it’s not his job to ensure we’ve players coming through. I would dispute that. It’s part of his job to be part of the whole structure and the mentality of the players.”

He continued: “For too long, our team looks like nobody is exactly sure of their role… It’s not good enough for the manager to say, ‘Brian Clough didn’t do it, he just let us go out and play’. That was 40 years ago.”

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