Football

Richie Sadlier Sums Up Why Brady's Kenny Contract Stance Makes No Sense

Richie Sadlier Sums Up Why Brady's Kenny Contract Stance Makes No Sense

Has Stephen Kenny done enough to show that he is the right man to take Ireland forward? Considering the progress made in recent times, most would agree that he should lead the team into the Euro 2024 qualifying group.

However, some are of the opinion that the FAI should take their time before deciding on that.

Kenny's contract runs until the summer of 2022, with Ireland set to play in two friendly games and four UEFA Nations League games in the first half of the year.

It is expected that the FAI will make a decision on a potential contract extension later this month, although some feel that date should be pushed back. Liam Brady is among that bunch, believing that we should wait and see how the teams fares in those six games before deciding on Kenny's future.

The former Arsenal star shared this opinion once again on RTÉ this evening ahead of the game against Luxembourg. However, fellow pundit Richie Sadlier perfectly summed up why such an approach makes very little sense:

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The Nations League has become an important tournament, and it's certainly important for us because there's a potential route to a major tournament.

So the prospect of us going into those June fixtures with a manager in charge that we're not sure of, or maybe isn't up to it, I don't think that's a runner.

If there is a doubt about Stephen, then get him out of there. If there is no doubt about Stephen, then sign him up.

There are only two friendlies between now and those June Nations League games, so if you weren't to make that decision...

Lets say the FAI don't make the decision, lets say they announce next week 'we've had the meeting and we're going to hold off until the summer'. That will read like a public vote of no confidence because of what they said previously, but it will also completely reframe how we approach the March friendlies.

All of a sudden the results of those games matter, the selections of the teams that Stephen picks matters, so his selection of opponent will matter. He could easily just rig it so we get easy opposition, he plays his strongest team, we win, and he stays in the job.

Whereas if he knows he's in the job, [Caoimhín] Kelleher can get a game, [Mark] Travers can get a game, Troy Parrott, Nathan Collins. You can use friendlies in the way they should be used, which is to give lads a game that you can't risk in a match like [Luxembourg].

Sadlier summed it up perfectly.

If the FAI feel Kenny is not the long-term solution for the team, then they should replace him immediately and give those games next year to the new manager so that they can shape the team in their image. If they are happy with what Kenny is doing, they should waste no time in handing him a new deal.

Waiting around on this helps nobody and would only serve to heap more pressure on this team, just when it looked as though they were on the road to recovery.

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Gary Connaughton

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