Football

Giles Sees Doherty/Coleman Mistake In Kenny's First Two Games

Giles Sees Doherty/Coleman Mistake In Kenny's First Two Games

John Giles believes that the one major error which Stephen Kenny made in his first games in charge of the Ireland team was the selection of Matt Doherty over Seamus Coleman.

Giles feels that Doherty - more accustomed to playing wing-back than full-back during his at Wolves - was played out of position.

"There's been a lot of controversy about Coleman not playing with Doherty in his place," Giles told Eamon Dunphy's podcast, The Stand.

"I think he's making a mistake there. Doherty, when he played for Wolves, was a wing-back.

"The wing-backs have the freedom to go and attack whenever they want. When he's played for Ireland in the last two matches, he's not playing as a wing-back, he's playing as a fullback.

"There's a huge difference in it because you don't have the freedom to go and look for goals as he did pretty well for Wolverhampton Wanderers [when you're playing with] the Irish team.

"That's a big thing that has to be rectified. He either has to play as a fullback or Seamus Coleman has to come back into the team.

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"My take is that Seamus Coleman should be playing. He is a fullback and he gets forward at the right time. Doherty is a very good player, doing what he did for Wolverhampton but he's asked to do a totally different job for the Irish team."

Giles's preferred midfield is one featuring Harry Arter and Robbie Brady. He liked what he saw from Jayson Molumby on Sunday against Finland but was uncertain exactly what position the Brighton midfielder was playing.

"Arter's a very good player at what he does but when we was getting on the ball in that central position, it was very predictable, A to B, mostly sideways, mostly going back," said Giles.

I don't think he has it in him to get on the ball and really do what needs to be done.

Our best bet for that is Brady. I would have Arter and Brady as two central midfield players with Brady played to the left. Brady on the ball has more vision than any of the other players that we have available to us.

I'd have McClean on the left-hand side, O'Dowda on the right.

Giles said that he would definitely have Aaron Connolly in the starting team but would prefer to see him play more centrally than the Galway man did against Bulgaria and Finland.

He added that Stephen Kenny should be given at least six games before conclusions are drawn about his performance as Ireland manager.

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"In my experience, a manager that is in the situation he's in needs at least six games to know what your best team is," said Giles.

"You have to experiment. You have ideas in your head. From my time managing West Brom, I had certain ideas which proved after six, seven, eight matches totally wrong.

"When Martin O'Neill took over, we had seven, eight or even nine friendly matches before we played our first competitive match.

"Even if he'd won both of these matches 3-0, he wouldn't have learnt everything. You don't change the culture in two matches."

Picture credit: Sportsfile

See Also: We Need Some Perspective On What These Results Really Mean For Stephen Kenny

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