Ireland finally got off the mark under Stephen Kenny last week with a 4-1 win against Andorra.
But for Brian Kerr, himself a former occupant of the international hot seat, it was an exercise of limited value.
"I didn't think we should have been playing Andorra," he told RTÉ Sport. "If Andorra are drawn in your group you have to play them but otherwise why would you be picking them to play in a friendly? There’s hardly a financial advantage to it.
"I would have thought we’d be better off playing a squad match – 11 v 11 with referees and linesmen. You would have got as much out of that as playing Andorra."
There were first goals in green for Troy Parrott (2), Daryl Horgan and Jason Knight but Kerr felt Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Hungary was a more useful evaluation of where Ireland are ahead of September's World Cup qualifiers against Portgual, Azerbaijan and Serbia. He was pleased to see what he thought was a more effective game plan from Ireland on the night.
"People might point out that surely it was positive for Troy Parrott getting a game and scoring a few goals, I’d say, 'Well, did it really matter'?
"How did he do in the next match and is he likely to play against Portugal because he scored twice against Andorra? I would say no because you’d evaluate his performance over the two friendlies.
"Hungary was a better evaluation of real international football because they had aggressive, strong defenders. They’re playing at reasonably high level, the likes of Willi Orban at RB Leipzig.
"I saw a more sensible and pragmatic style of play, rather than talking about building up possession and dominating every area around the pitch. I don’t think the players we had were good enough to do that particularly well.
"(Shane) Duffy played a few very good balls in behind. They were basically long balls from the back but were good passes. There was an understanding that you can't always play out through the back nor through the middle.
"But the front players have to be good enough when the ball is played up to them.
"Adam Idah got knocked off the ball so many times when it was played to him. As a central striker, you’ve got to hold it up and bring midfielders into the game.
"What we saw against Hungary is that as Idah develops as a player by getting older, stronger and more games – Parrott if he gets more games – they'll be more ready to deliver for us at international level.
"At this stage, are they going to knock Pepe, Jose Fonte or Rúben Dias against Portugal in September? Let’s wait and see but on the basis of the last games, they’re not ready."
Kerr is also concerned at the number of players in Kenny's squad who are on the fringes of their club teams but starting for their country.
"All the players need to be playing at a decent club level to deliver for Ireland," he said.
"It usually works that way. If you’re playing well at club, you come into the international team and do well.
"It seems to be other way and doesn’t work that way. You have to earn it at club level."
The ex-Ireland boss was impressed by the display of young goalkeepers Gavin Bazunu (19) and Caoimhin Kelleher (22) in Budapest.
"In fairness to Gavin Bazunu he's played in three in a half games. He would give confidence to the defence by his comfort on the ball, which is very impressive.
"He's developed physically since his time at Shamrock Rovers.
"He didn't have a lot of saves to make in the first half against Hungary. He had a comfortable night against Andorra despite the goal. Luxembourg as well.
"His general play and ability to come out and catch the ball between the defenders was really important. He made a really, really good save from the header.
"We didn't see any incidents, always the big one for goalkeepers, where he had to decide to stay or go. International football is more about those decisions as well making the occasional big save.
"I was glad to see Caoimhín Kelleher get a game. He was the busier of the two. His saves were even better but we didn’t see the type of distribution he did while playing for Liverpool in the Champions and Premier Leagues. His calmness on the ball and ability to work off either side looks really good.
"It bodes well for the future. I wouldn't like to say who Stephen should pick because if Darren Randolph starts the new season, be it for West Ham or somewhere else, he’s still the one in possession. He needs to get over his injury to play a game or two.
"It’s good news that we have young goalkeepers making their way, not worried about them being raw. Having to play the goalkeepers and them doing their stuff has been a plus of Stephen’s reign."