Kenny's difficult start exacerbated by video controversy

By Stephen Leonard

WHILE Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has had his hands full in getting his team motoring since the start of their UEFA Nations League campaign back in September, it is matters off the pitch that could now pre-occupy the Tallaght man as the FAI is reportedly examining a video shown to the squad ahead of their recent international friendly against England.

A report in the Daily Mail has suggested that elements of a historical nature included in the video were anti-English while other sources are believed to have interpreted it as merely pro-Irish.

Stephen Kenny 1

Stephen Kenny

Either way, the FAI is looking into the video which is reported to have included famous Irish goals against England together with a small snippet of historical content regarding relations between the neighbouring countries.

For Kenny, this is certainly not something he will have wanted to be dealing with in the wake of what has been a difficult start in his new post.

Constantly plagued by the loss of players for a variety of reasons, most often Covid-related, throughout their Nations League campaign, Kenny's side struggled for results and, in light of that, did well to avoid relegation from Tier B.

The team also saw their hopes of European Championship qualification snuffed out following a heartbreaking penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Slovakia.

Many point to the positive football that the players have endeavoured to produce under the former Dundalk manager, although the lack of goals has been particularly worrying with Ireland having failed to find the back of the net in seven straight games.

Indeed it has not been the start that Kenny would have wanted to his tenure and the issue of the pre-match video shown to his team before the England game will not make anything easier.

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