Sideshow overshadows poor Ireland showing as apathy replaces anger at the Aviva

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Avoidable distractions have disrupted Stephen Kenny’s three years in charge of the national team

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Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu concedes a goal to Giorgos Masouras of Greece during the Euro 2024 qualifier at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Poyet, despite being close to the 37-year-old, kept him away from any specific preparation because, being “proper Irish”, he might have been tempted to help his own.Paul Smyth stars as Northern Ireland see off San Marino at Windsor ParkIreland’s assistant manager Keith Andrews insinuated the opposite last Tuesday. At only his second formal press conference in three years, he suggested that Dicker fed information to Poyet about how Ireland would set up at the Opap Arena.

“It is a big plus for us to have this situation now and be able to beat the Republic of Ireland twice, because, I tell you, the support in . I would like to be in charge of the team here.” Did Andrews put Dicker in a difficult situation? “I don’t know, listen it is what is it, it’s not something I’m getting into.”Ireland manager Stephen Kenny late on in the Euro 2024 qualifier against Greece. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ultimately, when pressed, the former Dundalk manager blames the current situation on Irish talent facing increasingly clogged routes into a Premier League club. Only seven Irish players have featured in the English top flight this season.

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