Dublin: 12°C Sunday 20 June 2021

'A comment from the press box was 'So much for the revolution'. You're thinking 'Cop yourselves on''

David Sneyd and Johnny Ward join Gavan Casey and Gavin Cooney to preview Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off on our new show, The Punt.

THE PUNT IS a brand new show from The42 that looks ahead to the major Irish sporting events each month.

Source: The42.ie/YouTube

The Gavs — Gavan Casey and Gavin Cooney of this parish — will be joined by some great guests to dissect the main talking points, while regular contributor Johnny Ward brings his predictions and the latest betting odds from William Hill. 

To kick off, we’re previewing a massive week for Irish football as Stephen Kenny takes his side to Bratislava to face Slovakia in a Euro 2020 play-off this Thursday. 

The former Dundalk manager recorded a draw and a defeat from his opening two Uefa Nations League matches last month, but football journalist David Sneyd speaks passionately about the ‘culture war’ Kenny finds himself in and the unfair criticism he has received during his short time in the job.  

“This is the sort of game that Ireland could easily lose 1-0 playing the same way they have been playing for the last 20 years, or they could lose 1-0 by trying to play differently,” said David.

“It’s just about what you want from your team. One of the comments from someone in the press box after Stephen Kenny’s second game was ‘So much for the revolution’. You’re thinking ‘Cop yourselves on here’.

“Obviously, you have to win football matches, but how often have Ireland done that over the last 20 years? It’s not as if Kenny is coming in and doing a Brian Clough at Leeds United, saying ‘Right lads, throw your medals in the bin’. 

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member

“Ireland have achieved big results sporadically. Yeah, the German win [in 2015] was great. We qualified for Euro 2016, we were at Euro 2012 but got destroyed, and you had nothing in between the 2002 World Cup and that. 

stephen-kenny Stephen Kenny speaking to his players during yesterday's training session in Dublin. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Kenny isn’t coming in and ripping up a masterplan of Irish football that has been working. He’s thinking this needs a change, a different way of thinking. It may lead to the same conclusion, but I don’t think anyone expects Ireland to win every game and qualify for every tournament. That’s delusional to think like that. 

“They’ve got Premier League and Championship players, and I think it’s fair to say we need to get more from them. There needs to be more of a plan than paying a big-name managers who is coming to the end of his career, or one who can’t get a club job. 

Some of the commentary over the last while has been so frustrating. It’s almost as if Stephen Kenny is going to destroy Irish football, but it has been broken for years. Nearly every facet of it needs some sort of overhaul.”  

The lads also give their thoughts on Dundalk’s Europa League group after the Lilywhites qualified for only the second time in their history. 

This latest achievement is a huge boost for the club financially, but Johnny believes Dundalk have been “bang average” at best in Europe this season and says he fears for inexperienced Italian coach Filippo Giovagnoli and his team when they go up against Arsenal, Rapid Vienna and Molde later in the year. 

Always gamble responsibly. For more information, see BeGambleAware.org

About the author:

The42 Team

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel