Lisa Fallon joined Joe Molloy on The Football Show on Wednesday to discuss Ireland's performance against Qatar.
Ireland's convincing win over Qatar may have been just a friendly, but it's winning over those who were previously reluctant to praise Stephen Kenny.
The control of the game, the variety of the goals and the assuredness in defence made it a near-perfect performance. Lisa Fallon covered the game for RTE and saw the same as those who are singing Kenny's praises this week.
"We controlled the game in possession, we controlled the game out of possession," Fallon said.
"We created different types of chances, we scored different types of goals. Callum Robinson had an outstanding game and he gets all the headlines for the hattrick but for me Jeff Hendrick was incredible. He ran the midfield, he dictated it. His creative passing, he broke lines, he saw the runs that the lads were making ahead of him.
"He was so important in everything that Ireland did."
Fallon agreed with Off The Ball's assessment that Hendrick was the best player on the field despite Robinson's hattrick.
Hendrick's rejuvenation is one of Fallon's favourite aspects of this team.
"For me, one of the nicest parts of this performance is the types of performances we're starting to see from players who we haven't seen those types of performances from in a while. That is indicative of the response of the players to the way they're being asked to play and the work that's being done with them."
Ireland scored seven goals, didn't concede and won two games after spending a week with Kenny's coaching staff to prepare. That's likely not a coincidence, even when you consider the weakened calibre of the opponent.
The amount of time that Kenny has invested in these players has begun to show fruition. He was previously playing these same teams and getting worse performances, but he didn't have as much preparation then.
Fallon's observations match the comments that have come out of the squad. Multiple players and coaches over recent weeks have passionately defended Stephen Kenny, including the likes of Matt Doherty and Keith Andrews.
Not long ago, Ireland struggled to retain possession against Gibraltar. Too many Ireland teams have been aimless in possession, lacking creativity and diversity of thought. So it shouldn't really matter that the quality of opposition wasn't high on Tuesday night.
Beating bad teams well is a sign of progress for Kenny's Ireland. Fallon believes that's exactly what happened.
"Qatar are a bad team, but they're probably not as poor as Ireland made them look last night."
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