Dara O Shea

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 Stephen Kenny:  things should  improve defensively ahead of the campaign’s resumption but it is no clearer now than it was before the recent  window of games where the goals are going to come from.   Photograph:  Trenka Attila/PA

Having put a bit of distance between himself and his predecessors in recent weeks with all the talk about the scale of change he is trying to achieve (...)

Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu makes a save during the World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Winners Gavin Bazunu The 19-year-old didn’t look like the finished article but then . . . he’s 19. Did pretty well overall in the two games he start(...)

Ireland’s James McClean celebrates scoring the opening  goal with Jeff Hendrick and Robbie Brady during the friendly international against Qatar at the Nagyerdei Stadion in Debrecen, Hungary. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Qatar 1 Republic of Ireland 1 An early Irish goal, Luxembourg leading Portugal at the break and Azerbaijan getting an equaliser against Serbia in Bak(...)

Ireland’s Alan Browne  in action against  Serbia’s Uros Racic  and Sasa Lukic during the World Cup qualifier in Belgrade. Photograph:  Novak Djurovic/PA Wire

The great advantage of your team not winning any competitive games for two years is that you learn to appreciate the little things. Like a prisoner c(...)

Republic of Ireland goalkeeper Mark Travers dives in vain as Serbia’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (not pictured) scores their second goal during the  World Cup qualifier in Belgrade. Photograph:  Novak Djurovic/PA Wire

Serbia 3 Republic of Ireland 2 For a short spell in the second half it seemed as though we might have been watching a re-run of Ireland’s last World (...)

 Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has named his side for the opening World Cup qualifier against Serbia. Photograph: Novak Djurovic/PA Wire

Stephen Kenny has dropped the only player to have scored a goal since he took over as Ireland manager with Shane Duffy among the substitutes for the o(...)

Ciaran Clark in action during the friendly international against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium in November 2019. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

It’s just over a decade since Ciaran Clark declared for Ireland and though the now 31-year-old has 34 senior caps to show for his involvement with the(...)

Ireland defender and  Sheffield United player   John Egan during the Premier League match  against West Ham   at London Stadium on Monday. Photograph:  Charlotte Wilson/via Getty Images

Lamenting the loss for two months to injury of John Egan at his pre-match on Friday, Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder suggested the club has been “c(...)

West Ham’s Michail Antonio scores his side’s second goal  during the Premier League match against West Brom at the London Stadium. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/PA Wire

West Ham 2 West Brom 1 Nobody hires Sam Allardyce if they want fantasy football. They bring him in because of his ability to organise a defence and h(...)

Matheus Pereira celebrates scoring West Brom’s winner with Callum Robinson. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/Getty/AFP

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 West Bromwich Albion 3 West Brom grabbed a survival lifeline after Matheus Pereira’s penalty double helped seal a thrilling(...)

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