After the goal rush: What now for Irish football?

Investigating the failure of the Irish football team on the international stage starts at the fault lines of Ireland’s sporting structures. But how did things get so bleak? And how can we achieve redemption?

The Republic of Ireland’s 1-0 defeat to Luxembourg in a World Cup qualifier last month was a shock to many – mainly those who had not been paying attention.

Ireland have yet to win a game from Stephen Kenny’s first 11 matches, and a humbling loss at home to a country 98th in Fifa’s world rankings felt like the nadir, yet it hardly happened in isolation.

Two years ago, Liam Brady described Ireland’s “worst week” ...