One year is a long time in football. The last year has felt like the longest ever. As the Republic of Ireland go in search of their first win under Stephen Kenny (in their 11th game of asking), it seems a long time ago since the team's last win - November 2019 versus New Zealand under Mick McCarthy..
There are undoubtedly a combination of factors that have made the past twelve months extremely challenging. Empty stadiums, travel restrictions, Covid withdraws, the list goes on. For me, the most worrying aspect of the team's performances is the contrast between McCarthy's second reign and that of the current manager.
McCarthy's second spell in charge lasted 10 games, the same as Kenny to this point. He's record W5 D4 L1 GD+6. This includes competitive and friendly games but would result in 19 points under normal circumstances. In fact, this record is bettered by only one of the last 10 Irish managers (back to John Giles) for the first 10 games - Brian Kerr (21 points).
Of course, the counter argument to this is that the new manager is attempting something revolutionary and changing the "way we play". I have moved to John Maynard Keynes school of thought when those in favour of this now argue it is a long run project. "In the long run, we are all dead".