MNS analyst Richie Sadlier believes Shamrock Rovers face a crucial decision on the future of manager Stephen Kenny following last Friday’s humiliating defeat to rivals Bohemians in Dalymount Park.
Speaking on Monday's programme on RTÉ Two, Sadlier said that the performances of the Hoops players during the 4-0 loss and overall this season point to a need for change, but at possibly a large cost to the club in terms of a compensation package if they choose to terminate the former Derry City man’s contract.
Sadlier said: "The football argument is pretty straight forward that Stephen Kenny should not really remain in that job much longer.
"If you look at the performances, the results, the goals conceded, it is pretty conclusive. We don’t know whether he has lost the dressing-room or what is going on behind the scenes. The significant thing is he is on a three-year-deal. It is going to cost money to sack him.
"You have to weigh that up and say what is the cost of keeping him which nobody knows the answer.
"You can take a chance and say the relationship the dynamic, the situation with everyone isn’t working and 'we need to change it', because it isn’t working. But the cost of change that is what we don’t know."
Reflecting on the 4-0 drubbing against an inexperienced Bohs side, Sadlier compared the Rovers showing to the 2011 Galway United side that finished the season with just six points thanks to 33 defeats out of 36 games.
He stated: "I don’t think Stephen Kenny could defend the performances of any of the players. It was like watching Galway United from last season. It was that bad. They were completely humiliated, right through the team. Oscar Jansson in goal had a howler, the two centre-halves were very poor.
"Kerrea Gilbert at right-full is completely out of his depth and has looked like that for a long time. In midfield they had no impact. There were times you look at them and think are they a long ball team, but nothing was sticking up front.
"When they tried to pass it they were giving it away. There was no point in the game where it looked like the Rovers players were capable of a response. It wasn’t a case of they dropped their performance when they went one or two or three goals down, or when they went from 11 men to 10 men.
"They were poor from the start and right through the game. I’ve never seen a good team play as badly as they did. They were awful and Bohs completely deserved to win. They wiped the floor with them from start to finish.”
Sadlier was particular critical of the Rovers defending for Bohemians’ fourth goal as Karl Moore was allowed to advance on goal and goalkeeper Jansson let a low shot slip under him and into the net.
The former Republic of Ireland international concluded: "If 10 or 12-years-olds did that on the pitch, you’d stop the game and say 'lads, this isn’t how you play football’.
"Nobody tackled, went with him or give any indication that they gave a toss. That was near the end of the game and they were 3-0 down but it was like that from the start."