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Giles And Dunphy Adamant Kenny's Ireland Will Only Get Better

Giles And Dunphy Adamant Kenny's Ireland Will Only Get Better
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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After a nervy win over Latvia last Wednesday, Stephen Kenny's Ireland showed clear signs of progression with an encouraging performance against France on Monday night.

Though France would ultimately come away 1-0 winners thanks to Benjamin Pavard's goal early in the second half, Ireland gave them a fierce run for their money. They nearly snatched a point in the dying seconds, but for Mike Maignan's stunning save, and there was a lot to like about the energetic and positive performance from the Ireland team.

RTÉ's punditry team on the night praised the quality of Ireland's play, with Kevin Doyle in particular waxing lyrical about the Irish performance.

Now, two members of the iconic RTÉ panel of old, John Giles and Eamon Dunphy, have both given their two cents on the current senior Ireland setup.

Giles - a former Ireland manager - praised manager Stephen Kenny for his approach to the game, and that he was adamant that the young players introduced to the squad would only continue to get better. Dunphy, meanwhile, had similar sentiments, saying that Ireland should give Kenny the time he needs to build a winning team.

Ireland v France: Giles and Dunphy hugely impressed with Irish performance

Though it was a blockbuster fixture, and drew a sell-out crowd to the Aviva Stadium, a qualifying campaign opener against the recently defeated World Cup finalists is about as tough as they come.

And yet, Ireland put in the best performance of the Stephen Kenny era, and were unfortunate not to take a more positive result out of the game.


Stephen Kenny Didier Deschamps

27 March 2023; Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny, left, and France manager Didier Deschamps, right, before the UEFA EURO 2024 Championship Qualifier match between Republic of Ireland and France at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

What we would have given to have Giles, Brady, and Dunphy on the sideline for Monday's match, with the weight of the occasion - although Giles and Dunphy gave us almost the real deal on Tuesday afternoon.


On Dunphy's podcast The Stand, Giles was a special guest on Tuesday, when the iconic pair discussed Monday night's match.

After much praise for how Seamus Coleman had handled the threat of Kylian Mbappé, and for how well Chiedozie Ogbene had led the attack, the topic of discussion turned to manager Stephen Kenny.

Giles gave a detailed answer which explained why he believes Kenny is on the "right track," and that Ireland will only get better from here on out:


I think there's no doubt about the belief in the team now. The great thing about football is that if it's being done properly it manifests itself on the pitch. You can see lads having a go, that's you're starting point. Having a go is half the battle, as we know.

There's no doubt that those players are having a go for Stephen when they're out on the pitch, all of them. At times they would have been outclassed but they stuck it in, stuck in, stuck in all the time.

If you get a badly run team, Eamon, you would have packed it in at that stage. They stuck in, and might have had a draw at the end. I think it looks good for the future in what he's doing and how the players are responding to what he wants.

I think Stephen is on the right track, and I think we'll get better as they go along. The young players who are coming in have to get better, they will get better - Ferguson, Collins, they're young players coming in to the team but you can see they have the right attitude, and that's a starting point. We're playing in the right way.

If I was a betting man, I'd put money on Stephen getting better, and the team getting better. I don't think there should be any talk at all about Stephen or what he's going to do in 12 months time.

Eamon Dunphy went on to stand by his long-held belief that Kenny should be trusted to continue his "brave" project with the Ireland team, appraising him for moving Ireland's game away from the long-ball tactics of old.


Giles did, however, err on the side of caution, saying that fans should not look too far past the end of the EURO 2024 qualifying campaign, saying that the right call on Kenny's future would "manifest itself as we go along."

One thing's for sure - if performances continue in the vein of Monday night's, the results will soon follow for Stephen Kenny and his Ireland team.


SEE ALSO: An Evening In Dublin With Kylian Mbappe

kylian mbappe ireland france


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