Being an Irish football fan, at times like this can be tough. Plenty of negative results have left us fans scratching our head as to what has gone wrong. We used to be competitive in most groups, even if the style was poor. But for long recent periods we have been both non competitive and also playing a poor style, the rot had set in long into Martin O’Neill’s tenure and has continued through Mick McCarthy and into Stephen Kenny’s reign.
Have we now though, turned a corner? The 2nd half of the World Cup qualifying performances have greatly improved, while the results haven’t been too bad either. Losing 2-1 to Portugal away, having been in front for so long was sickening but the performance was encouraging, similarly the draws against Azerbaijan and Serbia at home, while nothing to shout about at least were improvements.
But things seemed to have fallen into place in the last two games, a 3-0 victory away in Azerbaijan and a friendly 4-0 victory at home against Qatar, with Callum Robinson scoring 5 goals in the process suddenly have Ireland fans daring to dream again. With the Portugal game a complete sell out too, a result against a top side like Portugal will really have a positive affect on Kenny’s managerial credentials.
The real crunch test, is the Luxembourg away game. They are no longer minnows that are to be expected to be swatted aside, they are a very well organised team with a squad of players playing at a good level of European football. They have been on an upward trajectory for a 2-3 years while Ireland has been getting the lift down in that time.
An away win for Kenny, will 100% ensure he gets to stay on as the manager for the Nations League games next Summer. So green shoots are appearing finally.
There are a number of promising young players that have come through the ranks and have proven they have massive potential. Some of them include:
When you look at recent results under Kenny, it looked so bleak, but for the first time in a long time, Irish fans have plenty of reasons to be excited for the future in regards to the squad. Who knows, Ireland can look ahead and think Euro 2024 qualification, why not? If you are a betting person, it might even be worth backing. However, that is quite the while away. If you want to fill the void before then, you should check out https://www.jackpotcitycasino.com/ireland/.
Here are some reasons why the future is promising.
Adam Bazunu and Caoimhin Kelleher: These two players could be vying for a place in the Ireland team for years and could also be the Number 1 keepers at Liverpool and Man City as well. Mark Travers is 3rd choice for Ireland and he has been brilliant for Bournemouth this season, what an embarrassment of riches we know have in goals.
Adam Idah and Andrew Omobamidele: the Norwich striker Idah and defender Omobamidele have been very impressive for Ireland, while their club have been rubbish in the Premier League. It’s only a matter of time before their manager Farke gives them starts for Norwich.
Gavin Kilkenny: Another Ireland Under 21 starlet for Kenny, he has broken into the Bournemouth 1st team and could be included in our next squads, for so long we have looked so weak in midfield but Gavin is one of several young midfielders for the future
Crowds are Back: A sold out stadium for the visit of Portugal will be a special night, and the 12th man of the fans will give the team such a lift. Could this be the standaout result of Kenny’s management to get belief flowing again for the future?