In 2020, it’s a bit dull about the historical references Stephen Kenny relies on to try to motivate his players at Wembley.
But two years ago, Kenny failed to attempt to carry out exactly what he thought was a damaging influence on English football during the game in Ireland.
Kenny just saw his Dundalk side win the Irish League Cup for the fourth time in five years.
He is talking excitedly about how European football will again take precedence in 2019 with the focus on winning back that year’s championship, unaware that, within five weeks, he will be hired by FAI to manage the U21 team and then senior level. Irish team.
When seeking to explain why his side succeeded while others failed with an impressive Europa League in 2016, he said: “Zenit St Petersburg has much better players. compared to many recent international teams.
“Axel Witsel and Javi Garcia in midfield, Giuliano, Aleksander Kokorin, Artem Dzyuba, all the Russian players up front, and Domenico Criscito from the Italian team in the back, and you go out and play with them and you go. each foot. and you return to yourself.
“People are institutionalized in the way they think and the ideology of the game. I find it very frustrating, the narrow view of people. We were too influenced by England. There is no English coach, the best is Eddie Howe. The rest is old fashioned in the way they think and the way they play.
“We need to look to Europe and South America for our influences, not Britain. Why do we narrow ourselves to that? We need to look at the broader picture of how the game is played.
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“There are a lot of really good technical players in the league, a lot of good coaches, you can see that. We have to stop putting limits on what you can do.
“There are so many talented players and coaches that have a duty to unlock it and have the vision to see what can be created.
“I am not here to lecture others. . . As it sounds, I don’t want to, I’m not sitting here in an ivory tower giving people lectures, I’m just giving an opinion.
“But now you see, many of the teams this season have improved in the way they play. It’s good to see that.”
At the time, Martin O’Neill’s reign as Ireland manager was coming to an end with performances in 2018 being a particularly difficult one.
Kenny took great pains to point out that he wasn’t talking about anyone in particular and, in any case, that’s a broader point than any individual. Essentially, if all of your international players – and almost all of your managers – are to be dropped from the English club game, your team will almost certainly show off their special characteristics. your score, for better or for worse.
Kenny has been trying to change that, ironically, since last year, with the help of an England coach at Anthony Barry.
Initial results were certainly bad but improved with his team’s attacking potential unlocked in the last few games of last year.
But, again, it’s broader than an individual, and cultural change over time is much easier if the player experience is expanded than it is to create a shift in elimination.
Much was done last October by the Ireland U17s starting with Andorra. Eight players have played for Irish League clubs, with one living in Italy, Spain and Scotland.
No one can remember the last time a team played without a player attached to an English club.
This week, one of his hometown players, Cathal Heffernan, agreed a loan deal from Cork City to AC Milan with the goal of a permanent transfer, along with his international colleague, Inter’s Kevin Zefi, in Italian city.
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Last week, James Abankwah also moved to Italy, joining Udinese.
The vastly different fees associated with those two moves show the challenges involved in getting young talent adequately compensated, regardless of whether the buyer is from the UK or beyond.
It is for the clubs to rise to the top, but, even so, there is a clear and definite benefit to both the players themselves and the national teams they reside in by expanding. their vision.
Of all the things that Brexit voters predicted would be better for Britain outside of the EU, perhaps Irish football didn’t get over their heads.
But the inability of players to move from here to England until they turn 18 has certainly prompted the agents to look further and therefore clubs across the continent to take a closer look here.
A small portion of the British public may have dreamed of sunny highlands but Ireland would benefit from some of its young people moving to a warmer climate.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/8293748/irish-youngsters-the-unlikely-beneficiaries-brexit-promised/ Young Irish people who do not benefit from the sunny highlands that Brexit promises to bring