Football

James McClean Believes Irish Media Take Satisfaction In Seeing Team Perform Poorly

James McClean Believes Irish Media Take Satisfaction In Seeing Team Perform Poorly

The general sense amongst the Irish footballing public is that the Irish media have been quite kind in judging the Stephen Kenny era up to this point, some might even say perhaps too much so.

It is clear the manager is trying to make major changes to the international team, one which were always going to have teething problems. The long-term benefits of such an approach could yet bear fruit, although it is clear the team is going through a tough time at the minute.

Despite this, most remain committed to seeing where this team goes under the current boss.

Some stories did circle this morning that Kenny's job could be under threat if there is a poor result tomorrow against Serbia. That is something that would go against what we have heard from both the FAI and the manager himself up to this point.

Very few in media circles would be anyway satisfied with such an outcome. However, James McClean is not impressed with the way the media often conduct themselves in this country.

Speaking ahead of the Serbia game, the Wigan Atheltic winger said that he gets the sense that the Irish media get some sort of enjoyment out of the national team performing poorly. He also slammed any suggestions that Kenny's position is currently under threat.

Funnily enough, the media in Ireland as as bad, if not worse than the media in England. They get a kick out of us not doing well.

As senior players who have been around a long time, we know how it works. The younger player are new to that.

We have to tell them it's part and parcel of football and to pay no attention. People are fickle, as soon as you start winning games you're the best in the world again...

Where is that (rumour about Kenny's future) coming from? People have no inside information that we don't.

People like to speculate and everyone has got an opinion. Funnily enough, the ones with the biggest opinions have never kicked a ball in their life. Unless that has come from the FAI then I wouldn't pay attention to that, I'm sure Stephen won't either...

It's not just under Stephen, I'm talking about that it's always been that way. You seem to almost get a kick out of us not doing well.

I've been there and experienced it. I've been around ten years, there's nobody going to convince me otherwise.

Sometimes it's fair, sometimes it's not fair, sometimes it's a bit over the top. That's just my opinion on it.

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McClean himself has had an often fraught relationship with the media during his career, although it must be said he is treated with far more respect on this side of the Irish Sea.

While it could be said Stephen Kenny has been treated very fairly, the player believes this is an issue that is a longstanding one and he can see the tide turning against the current manager.

You've got young players, and I don't want to use that as a cop out, but it's their first time playing international football. This is the manager's first time in international football.

We are going on a different path to what Irish teams have produced in years in terms of style of football.

Not even that, when you take into consideration the whole covid thing, this is the first time these lads have played in front of a crowd, that spurs you on alone.

Obviously I would ask for patience with them, but football is cutthroat. The media is harsh. I can ask for patience, but when you're not winning games it falls on deaf ears. I can understand that...

I go back to Martin O'Neill. That World Cup campaign was a fantastic campaign until the very last game.

Then the daggers and knives were out after the 5-1. I remember thinking at the time 'this is madness'. It was astonishing the reaction after that considering the group we were in and how close we came.

After Wales we were brilliant, unbelievable, nobody could speak highly enough of us. After Denmark it was a complete over the top reaction. That is always going to be the case...

We're going through a difficult period at the moment and the reaction, even from people who supported [Kenny] at the start, has completely flipped. It has gone completely the other way.

If we win on Tuesday night and a put a run together, the same people who have the knives out now will be the biggest supporters again.

A positive result tomorrow night would certainly help in easing some of the pressure on this team, although there would be few that would calling for a real look at managerial change were it not to be achieved.

SEE ALSO: Doyle Says 'Civil War' In Irish Football Makes It Impossible To Discuss Stephen Kenny

Gary Connaughton
Article written by
Beleaguered Westmeath man, constantly trying to recreate the buzz of the 2004 Leinster final replay.

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