Hawkeye Sidekick

Opinion: FAI woefully out of touch (yet again)

Stephen Kenny now realizes that there are enemies from within

The Republic of Ireland set of results under Stephen Kenny have not been great. I think everyone can accept it but given the circumstances and the number of squad withdrawals that the head coach has had to deal with, then any international football manager would struggle.

The lack of goals is something that previous Republic of Ireland managers prior to Stephen Kenny have had to contend with. The lack of final third quality asperated by the constant changing of attacking players. It is a problem area and the hope is that Kenny and his backroom staff can analyze and make the adjustments to solve this goal scoring crisis.

FAI decided in their wisdom to schedule a friendly fixture against England in Wembley. The lure of appearance money was too great to turn down and with the Republic of Ireland looking for form and confidence, this was not the friendly game to take on.

The game itself went along familiar lines and England cruised to a 3-0 home win. This could have been worse, a whole lot worse. Fast forward yesterday evening and the news of this three minute video montage.

This is where this opinion piece starts. I have so many thoughts on this news story. If you read the article last night, then you would have thought that the material was politically charged but if this is true, 2:30 minutes of the montage is filled with goals that Republic of Ireland have scored against England. Stuttgart and Ray Houghton has obviously knocked someone out of kilt?

The question for me is who is the mole within the camp? Who is the player, coach, backroom staff member, FAI personnel member that has leaked this story? This happened in the dressing room, a place where these sort of things are kept in house. Whoever it is should be exposed and relieved of their duties with the national side?

This was a despicable act. The sneakiness of it galls me. I am looking to become an aspiring Scrum Master. The values of Scrum are: Commitment, Focus, Openness, Respect and Courage. The same ethos can be applied in any organization or team setup in any walk of life.

The leak last night to a media outlet is a non-story. Someone’s nose out of place and instead of discussing within the international team group, they went to the press with the story. Cowardly, lacking courage and commitment.

Remember those Scrum five values in the previous paragraph. This group is in a forming stage (Tuckman model); the storming phase where people are challenging other viewpoints in open is not there yet. Perhaps, understandable given the short tenure of the Kenny era. New faces, time to bed in and with the squad changes, understandable.

The individual(s) who have leaked the story are ultimately impediments to the group. They are negative energy and for the head coach Stephen Kenny is realization of enemies from within. The individual(s) must be identified within the group. If this does not happen, it spirals out of control.

The culture and atmosphere in this group is completely undermined. A group retrospective is required here and not a mass investigation of a three minute video montage to the public masses.

FAI decided to launch an investigation on this while they have sat back and reneged on an investigation on their Messiah (sorry former FAI chief executive) John Delaney. The investigation resources being used for this Kenny review should be put into the Delaney expose.

FAI grassroots and underage development is a shining light but the top brass element to this organization is dysfunctional and needs urgent review. This investigation is a stalling tactic; putting Stephen Kenny under the pump and under more pressure for no reason.

The results have put Stephen Kenny under pressure as it is (despite the good vibes and patience messages from many). This video montage and team talk investigation is a sad chapter in the FAI and Republic of Ireland men’s senior team. I rank this worse than Saipan; at least there was an openness to the issues in Saipan where this is sneakiness to the extreme.

FAI. Smell the coffee. Get on with reforming your own house, bringing accountability for the John Delaney era before looking to put up a sacrificial person in Stephen Kenny to distract.