Giovanni Trapattoni, Kevin Doyle, Richard Dunne & Stephen Kelly & Ireland Training in 2009 – BSI

Kevin Doyle On Who Next For Ireland Job, Kenny’s Failings & Ferguson’s Future

Here at BoyleSports, we caught up with former Republic of Ireland international Kevin Doyle for an exclusive interview.

Doyle, who was a key player for both Reading and Wolves in the Premier League, is currently embarking on a career in horse breeding.

He spoke to us about the development of the rising stars of Irish football, his assessment of the Stephen Kenny era and who could replace him at the Aviva Stadium plus his take on Leicester’s quest to break Reading’s Championship points record.

The Rising Stars of Irish Football

It’s a really young squad now, actually and I do think it’s again, it’s sort of a starting point for them.

We’ve not got a manager at the moment and it’s been a poor couple of years, but on the flip side, they’re young players. There’s a lot of talent at the moment right now, I think we’ve more Premier League players than we’ve had in a few years.

You have a stand out in Evan Ferguson. A proper centre-forward who can score all types of goals. He’s quick, over six foot and could be a real player.

He’s at that point in his career and he’s young, very young and not playing every week, but he’s learning.

He’s only a kid and there’s a lot of pressure on him playing for Ireland because of a lot of expectation.

They’ve had a tough time, but you know the only way is up for them. And I said they’re all starting to play at a good level.

I see the youth age groups in Ireland with my kids and the amount of effort that is going into it. It’s way ahead of when I was younger, so much more organised, pitches are better, facilities are better.

All the coaches now have to be highly qualified and there’s so much potential in the future for us to keep improving.

Assessment of the Stephen Kenny Era for the Republic of Ireland

I’m not sure – it was a tough job. I think he focused so much on development and trying to play, you know, a certain style, no matter who we were playing against.

It seemed to me we played the same style whether we were playing France or whether we were playing one of the so-called minnows. He just needed to work out a way to get a few more results in that last campaign.

You know, we played Greece twice, home and away, and we got beat by them twice. I watched both games and we deserved to get beat twice.

If we’d have got one or two wins along the way while still developing and still playing a decent style of football. He just needed to find a way to get to a couple of wins to keep his job.

He had two full campaigns and he just couldn’t manage to get a few wins just to keep the thing ticking over, we didn’t necessarily need to qualify.

I don’t think anyone expected them to qualify, but some of the results just weren’t acceptable.

We played well against France, actually, we just didn’t play well against the teams where we should be getting results against and that’s what let him down

At the end of the day, you know that’s where he lost his job and I suppose in the four or so years he was in charge, we didn’t seem to improve from that.

I think he did a good job developing players. I think the next manager has a good basis to work from. So there are positives from his time in charge and I really wanted him to do well.

There are a few links that are interesting, especially with Lee Carsley who’s doing well with England under 21s.

Doyle Names His Preferred Picks For Rep. of Ireland Job

It’s a difficult one because Lee is sort of on the same profile as Stephen Kenny. Stephen managed more men’s teams in the League of Ireland and obviously he was successful at that.

With Lee, I’ve seen his England team and they were exciting to watch and he’s done a very good job.

I suppose the negative point of it he’s he has been a caretaker manager of senior men’s teams but he hasn’t had a full time job as manager of a men’s team, which is different to kids.

People say you need older managers, you need people who are there, but that’s not the case at all. There have been young managers who have been successful in international football.

In the past, Ireland had Mick McCarthy, who took over in his mid-thirties. Also, remember Gary Speed at Wales, who did a fabulous job with them as a very young manager.

It’s not set in stone whether you have to be young or old and experienced and wanting to wind down, either can work.

I think that the group of players who have worked very well with Lee Carsley at England are young players, so that side of it should be fine. In my opinion, you’d be excited to see him get the job.

Another name who hasn’t been much in the discussion so far is Chris Hughton, who was assistant manager when I first got into the squad. He’s one who’s available as well.

I think he’d be a good option at the experienced side of things, he has managed teams under pressure who are underdogs.

He got Newcastle back into the Premier League in 2009/10 and did a very good job at Brighton over the years while he was there. He started things at Brighton with them getting up and being as successful as they are now.

Evan Ferguson Ready For Move To A Bigger Club?

I think in another couple of years. I think he’s still very young and it’s good for him to learn now while he’s in and out of a team not playing, you know, there’s a lot of pressure on young lad.

He’s been so successful very quickly and it’ll do him no harm as long as he keeps his head. Physically, football wise, he’s got everything.

Can he keep his head? Can he stay focused doing his job and not get carried away? He’ll have been given a big contract now, can he still do the day-to-day? Do the extras? Do all the bits that make you an athlete, a professional footballer you know on that side of it is more important than anything else.

There’s loads and loads of people who are very good when they’re young and don’t have a long term career. The side of being out of the team and learning to deal with that and learning to improve sitting on the bench and watching games is important.

It could be good not being under as much pressure coming on and maybe scoring a goal or two and then developing over the next year or two into a serious player and then moving would be the way I look at it.

I think moving now would be a big, big ask for him. As long as he’s patient and there’s working hard and living, living the right way off the pitch, then he’ll have some career because he’s got everything.

*Evan Ferguson’s club Brighton are 40/1 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season according to the latest football betting odds at BoyleSports.

How Will Ireland Fare Against England In The Nations League?

It has definitely raised their game, historically, over the years. My first memories of football are like 1988 in the Euros and the 1990 World Cup and we didn’t do too bad then against England.

They’ll have no problem raising their game. We actually never mind England or other big teams in general.

It seems to not be too much of an issue and we always play well. Look, they might get a result against some big teams over the years. Ireland need a big team. It’s the lesser teams, especially in recent years, which we’ve struggled against.

Difficult To See Leicester Beat Reading of 05/06’s Record Championship Point Total

There have been a few over the years chasing that 106 points. I do smile when every year someone looks like they might break the record and every year it’s like ‘the best championship team ever’.

We never get a mention even though we have it there on record. You know things are there to be beaten. But that was such a ridiculously exceptional year. I find it difficult to see anyone beating it to be honest with you.

It was Burnley last year who came close for a while and they just couldn’t maintain it. Reading in 2005/06 was just a freak year and that year, like every year, you hear people saying this is the hardest Championship season ever.

It’s a great thing to have, and it always gets brought up every year. Someone always mentions it, but it was a freak year of football and great times.

The results actually in the last few weeks have been quite good, we’ve turned it around a bit. How Dai Yongge was allowed to buy the club in the first place is a disgrace. How did he pass any of those tests?

*Leicester are 1/8 to win the EFL Championship this season according to the latest football odds at BoyleSports.

*Prices subject to fluctuation

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