Brian Kerr believes blame for Saturday evening's World Cup qualifier defeat to Luxembourg should not fall solely at the feet of Stephen Kenny.
Though he thinks Kenny did make tactical mistakes in the 1-0 loss, he also feels long-term player development issues are a factor.
"Tonight isn't just down to Stephen's faults or the team's faults," Kerr told Virgin Media.
"This has been coming for a good while. This is the fault of a lack of a proper player development structure and coaching structure in Ireland for many years.
"There has been a dearth of talent coming through for the teams. Suddenly, Stephen is pouring players into the senior team from the U21s that were successful for him for about a year who aren't ready. There was no real quality or depth that has been proven.
"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. There's also been other people in charge of player development and the structures around those players. We just haven't got players that are good enough. It's been sticking out for a long time, but it's sticking out tonight; these lads were thrown into the team."
Kerr added that he does not like the 3-5-2 system deployed by Ireland in their most recent games.
"It's kind of an acceptance that you're not going to be dominant in the games," said Kerr.
"You're giving the opposition the impetus to come at you a bit.
"Tonight, there was no area of the team that functioned well. The core of any team - your defensive work has to be good - but your midfield has to dominate the game. Whether that's in a defensive way, letting the opposition come at you, taking the ball from them, and structuring your passing, getting players up the pitch. We were way off tonight."
"Tonight isn't just about Stephen's faults, or the team's faults. This has been coming for a good while.
"This is the fault of a lack of a proper player development structure and coaching structure in Ireland."
Brian Kerr on Irish football.#COYBIG #IRLLUX #WCQ pic.twitter.com/plFwZRugR2
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 27, 2021
Picture credit: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile