'When you set the bar high, your fall can be acute' - Kenny reflects on dream job as instinct tells him it's over
The higher you set the bar, the harder the fall; that’s how Stephen Kenny described his decision to come into the Ireland job with the loftiest of ambitions.
Upon taking the role as national team manager, Kenny painted a picture of an Ireland team competitng with the very best in Europe, and doing it in style.
Kenny declared that Ireland had enough talented players to create a possession-based philosophy, with the ability to play out from the back and compete on the international stage playing front-foot football.
As it would transpire, the manager would have to build an entire new squad, cope with a global pandemic, while continually having to justify his position in a role that many felt he was not qualified to perform.
By his own admission, there were stumbles along the path to where the squad are currently at, and while he was "one game away" from being relieved of his duties on more than one occasion, he managed to see out his second contract and get to the culmination of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
A disappointing one, as it would turn out, and as a result, Kenny’s gut feeling is telling him that he has managed his last game as Ireland boss, with the FAI to definitively decide next week when the board meets.
"It would be a dream to carry on and manage the team," said Kenny, speaking at the post-match press conference, following Ireland’s 1-1 draw with New Zealand.
"But my instinct is that it’s not going to happen, and evidence suggests that it probably won’t happen.
"From my point of view, there’s no greater honour than to manage your country, it’s a huge privilege. And whatever you did in life, it would be a step down, no matter what you did."
"I've always been a big picture person. Rather than build something step