Ireland disappoint in Kenny home debut…06/09/2020

Ireland went down to a disappointing one nil defeat by Finland this Sunday afternoon in Manager Stephen Kenny‘s first home senior international. The visitors were deserving victors and save for the exploits of Darren Randolph the score line might well have been more emphatic. While Ireland just shaded the possession statistics they were found seriously wanting in the crucial goal scoring area.

Stephen Kenny retained eight of the eleven that started in Sofia with the three changes coming in the midfield area where debutant Jayson Molumby, Harry Arter and Robbie Brady replaced Hendrick, McCarthy and Hourihane. Ireland again sought to build from the back and their pass statistics were again in the higher zone but in the latter stages with tiredness becoming fairly evident there was something of a falling off.

Again, like Thursday last, there are concerns surrounding the back four with full backs Doherty and Stevens looking somewhat out of sorts with neither making any real impact akin to their club form. The central duo of Duffy and Egan also had some shaky moments and the fact that all four operate in a 3-5-2 system with their clubs perhaps points to a formation change. Duffy of course will soon revert to a back four scenario following his loan transfer to Glasgow Celtic.

Harry Arter was his usual energetic self and was arguably the best of our outfield players. On the basis of our two outings to date he may well supercede James McCarthy as the midfield anchor man. Robbie Brady delivered some teasing dead balls and he may just shade Conor Hourihane in that department. Jayson Molumby, the young Waterford man, had mixed fortunes and did collect a booking but his endeavour and work rate could not be faulted but he is unlikely to supercede Jeff Hendrick.

Our youthful front three all offered much endeavour but there was very little end product. They were all less effective than they had been on Thursday last and the introduction of the more seasoned trio of Callum Robinson, David McGoldrick and James McClean provided a more significant threat but sadly again no end product.

With just over four weeks to the EURO 2020 play-off semi-final in Slovakia, manager Stephen Kenny will hope to see the majority, if not all, of his squad in competitive club action which brings about significant improved performances.

Player Ratings
Darren Randolph       8
Matt Doherty          5
Shane Duffy           6
John Egan             7
Enda Stevens          5
Jayson Molumby        6
Harry Arter           7
Robbie Brady          6
Callum O’Dowda(-59)   6
Adam Idah(-66)        6
Aaron Connolly (-77)  6
Callum Robinson(59)   6
David McGoldrick(66)  6
James McClean (77)    6