Perhaps unsurprisingly, Eamon Dunphy has once again aired his doubts as to whether Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane possess the ability and suitability for their as manager and assistant of the Republic of Ireland.
In what amounted to a devastating conclusion to Ireland's attempts at qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, Dunphy, speaking on 2FM's Game On, was particularly vociferous in his damnation of Keane's continued presence:
He's been there three years and he doesn't fit into it at all.
He just gives press conferences, there is no [indication] that he gives any input.
Where the long-standing analyst sourced his information regarding Keane's role within O'Neill's managerial set-up is uncertain. However, in the performances of two Irish midfielders Dunphy believes he has his proof:
James McCarthy and Glenn Whelan are the two midfielders that have played most since O'Neill and Keane took over.
There was no evidence, as far as I could see, that James McCarthy or Glenn Whelan were better players [after working with him].
Where Dunphy limits his definition of a midfielder here is uncertain, but, for arguments sake, Jeff Hendrick has been a mainstay of the squad since both took over, and has appeared more than the two players Dunphy addresses.
With Keane's public persona, Dunphy is equally unhappy. Although such issues on Dunphy's part tend to appear part of a greater settling of scores, he did not hold back on the deficiencies he perceives in Keane's capabilities compared to his reputation:
I don't know if Keane has any sort of ability as a coach. The evidence from Sunderland and Ipswich is that he doesn't.
You see him now on ITV as a pundit. ... He is withering. He takes people out for fun and people talk about me, I wouldn't say the things [he does].
What's he trying to do? Considered analysis or rip people to shreds?
A touch of 'pot', 'kettle', 'black' there from Dunphy certainly.
Regarding O'Neill himself, whether he still possessed the qualities that once made him a good manager was the question on Dunphy's mind.
Once more, Wesley Hoolahan was the stick Dunphy reached for in his latest assessment of his most disliked duo.