In the space of just a few days, Ireland have seemingly lost all of the momentum that had built up under Stephen Kenny over the last 12 months.
The latter half of 2021 offered some hope that the team were travelling in the right direction, playing with a distinct style and looking like they were ready to take the next step in their development.
After losses to Armenia and Ukraine, the same questions that were common in the early days of the Kenny era have now returned. The team are completely lost in attack, looking like a side who have no idea where the next goal will come from.
It is difficult to watch, especially at a time when this group of players should be feeling the benefits of having almost two years to work with their manager.
Eamon Dunphy unconvinced by Ireland squad
Eamon Dunphy certainly isn't impressed by what he is seeing from Ireland at the moment. While he is a fan of Stephen Kenny, he believes the current national team is the worst he has ever seen.
Writing for Buzz, he also questioned the hype around Josh Cullen in midfield and asked why Kenny still seems unsure of his best team at this stage in his tenure.
There is so much focus on Stephen Kenny that it’s easy to forget that players are kind of important too.
And the more I see of Ireland, the more I feel for the manager. He has a huge job on his hands if he’s to do anything with this bunch.
There are a lot of good lads in that squad, fellas who are completely committed to Ireland and really want to do well.
But they’re just not at the level needed. That’s hard for me to write because I want Kenny to succeed.
He is a breath of fresh air and thinks about the game in the right way.
I’ve been watching Ireland for a long time, though, and I can’t remember Ireland ever being this poor...
Hype is something we always have to be wary of, and I just don’t get the hype around Cullen.
He got a huge amount of praise after some games just for doing the basics adequately — no more than that. To anchor a midfield, you need to be at a high level. Cullen is nowhere near that...
As for Kenny, there has to be consistency in terms of selection as well as approach.
Knight was outstanding last night — why didn’t he start on Saturday? Troy Parrott started in Yerevan, but didn’t even get off the bench at the Aviva.
We still seem to be at the stage where Kenny is trialling players. Kenny should know his best team by now. He has to get away from this chopping and changing.
You can read the column in full here.
Kenny will certainly be feeling the pressure after the poor start to this Nations League campaign, one he entered with ambitions of topping the group.
That already looks highly unlikely, while two more defeats in the coming days will likely restart a debate around his future that many assumed had been settled quite some time ago.