Despite most supporters being hugely excited for the start of Stephen Kenny's time with Ireland, some have still questioned the experience is bringing to this level.
While he has had massive success in the League of Ireland with the likes of Dundalk and Derry City, it is fair to say that is quite a step up to international football. The fact that his only spell in management outside of this country, a 12-month spell at Dunfermline, did not go all that well has also been held against him.
Those comments do seem misinformed, especially in relation to his time in Scotland. Kenny guided the club to a Scottish Cup final, despite inheriting them in incredibly difficult circumstances. Still, some remain sceptical.
Gary Breen recently said on Off The Ball that Kenny still had plenty to prove after failing in other jobs away from Dundalk, while Stephen Hunt said on Sky Sports that some players in the squad, such as Seamus Coleman or James McClean, may be unconvinced with the decision to replace Mick McCarthy with a manager who has spent most of his career in Ireland.
While we would think it unlikely that any Ireland player would think in that way, you can guarantee James McClean certainly doesn't.
He played under Kenny at Derry City, winning the League of Ireland First Division together in 2010. He helped develop the winger into one of the finest players in country, earning a move to Sunderland in 2011 as a result.
As someone who knows about the impact his former club manager can have, he has rubbished the comments from Breen and Hunt (h/t Derry Journal):
I have seen a few comments from a few players, for example Gary Breen. I think Gary has spent too much time in England.
I’m pretty sure Gary doesn’t know much about the League of Ireland. The fact he said Stephen (Kenny) has failed everywhere other than Dundalk proves that point.
Gary doesn’t know the League of Ireland. If he did, he would know Stephen (Kenny) fully deserves this job and he hasn’t been a failure anywhere else.
I have also seen people like Stephen Hunt saying senior players are going to be worried and this and that, but Stephen Hunt’s international career didn’t really pull up many trees.
Stephen is probably best known for his clash with Petr Cech, so for him to give his opinion on Stephen is a joke.
I’m sure it will be water off a duck’s back as far as Stephen Kenny is concerned.
I don’t think Stephen is going to be too worried about what Stephen Hunt has had to say because, like I said, he hasn’t pulled up a lot of trees throughout his international career.