Ian Walsh’s Home Views looks over an eventful week in Irish football as St. Patrick’s Atheltic ends Jeff Kenna’s time in the managerial hot seat.
‘We want Kenna out’ were the cries from the St. Patrick’s Athletic supporters after a 2-0 defeat to Waterford United in the FAI Ford Cup mid-week.
And what the fans wanted, the fans got, as Jeff Kenna resigned as manager on Friday morning just hours before the Saints game against his other former club, Galway United, which they went onto lose 2-1.
The former Blackburn defender resigned after a clear the air meeting with the St. Pat’s board, where it emerged they had lost faith in his management. While it was clear the club were not enjoying much success at home, Kenna did guide Pat’s to within one win of qualifying for the group stages of the Europa League, beating sides such as Krylya Sovietov and Valetta FC along the way.
Time is something managers aren’t given enough of these days, but when you start losing support from the fans and the board then it’s time to move on. For Kenna that should not have been the case, while St. Pat’s league form has been poor their European experience should have made up for that because it did bring in some much needed funds.
As we know fans are small minded, but when their team is not winning then the boos ring out. However, this should not be the case, a bad performance or a loss doesn’t mean a team should be booed, quite the opposite, they should be cheered instead of jeered. These fans who chanted ‘We want Kenna out’ are the same fans who a little over two months ago were cheering when St. Pat’s beat Krylya Sovetov at Richmond Park.
Kenna, who joined the Saint’s from Galway United at the start of the season finds himself looking for another job after eight months. In a statement on the clubs website the 39-year-old said:
‘I have given my all to the job since my appointment but I believe now is the right time to leave the club.
“It hasn’t been an easy decision for me but I look forward to taking on a fresh challenge in the game.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience at St Pat’s and would like to wish everyone connected to the club the very best of luck for the remainder of the season and beyond.’
A manager resigning in what is the business end of the season, is never good for a club, but this is especially true in the case of St. Pat’s who find themselves in a relegation scrap, and now must get out of it without a manager, perhaps the board will come to regret not backing the man who saved a club from relegation last season.
On the brightside, Jeff Kenna has shown his capabilities as a manger, and made his name in the country that he won 27 international caps for; he can now look ahead to a new challenge because he has a bright future ahead of him.