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'This is the fault of a lack of proper player development and coaching structure in Ireland for many years'

Brian Kerr says tonight’s disastrous result has been ‘coming’ for a long time.

FORMER IRELAND BOSS Brian Kerr was heavily critical of the way Irish football has been run in recent times, following the national team’s shock loss against Luxembourg in tonight’s World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.

Speaking on Virgin Media in the aftermath of the match, the Dubliner claimed the embarrassing defeat for Stephen Kenny’s side had been “coming” for a long time. 

“Tonight isn’t just down to Stephen’s faults or the team’s faults,” he said. “This has been coming for a good while.

“This is the fault of a lack of proper player development structure and coaching structure in Ireland for many years. There has been a dearth of talent coming through from the teams.

“Suddenly, Stephen is pouring players through to the senior team from the U21s that were successful for him for about a year who aren’t ready. But there was no real quality or depth to that, that has been proven.

“And the people who are in charge of that development should seriously be looking at themselves tonight, rather than just criticising the manager. 

“We know how the FAI has been run for years and years, but there’s also been other people in charge of player development and the structures in charge of those players. It’s been sticking out for a long time. It’s been sticking out tonight.

“These lads were thrown into the team. The three centre-backs, I don’t like that system. It’s kind of an acceptance that you’re probably not going to be dominant in the games. You’re giving the opposition the impetus to come at you a bit. And tonight, there was no area of the team that functioned well. The core of any team, your defensive work has to be good and your midfield has to dominate a game, whether that’s in a defensive way, letting the opposition come at you, taking the ball from them, structuring your passing and getting players up the pitch. We were way off tonight.”

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Former Ireland and Crystal Palace defender Damien Delaney was similarly critical of the performance, criticising the 3-5-2 system and adding:

“We’re playing Luxembourg. We have enough good players to put on a better showing than that. I’m not saying if we were playing Portugal we should outplay them, but my god, we should compete better against Luxembourg.

“Tonight, their tactics were better than us. They were hungrier than us. They looked more in tune. They looked like they wanted it more than us, just in the way they applied their system.”

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