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Eamon Dunphy Lashes Back At Martin O'Neill Over 'Failed Footballer' Abuse

Eamon Dunphy Lashes Back At Martin O'Neill Over 'Failed Footballer' Abuse
By Conor Neville
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The long war between Eamon Dunphy and the position of Irish football manager witnessed one of its bitterest skirmishes this week.

The latest incumbent Martin O'Neill is unusual in the sense that he seems to spend more time attacking Eamon Dunphy than he does being attacked by Eamon Dunphy.

In an interview on Matt Cooper's The Last Word in the Cork Opera House the other day, O'Neill described Dunphy as a failed footballer.

It doesn't bother me in the slightest... seriously. To be criticised by a failed manager is bad enough but to be criticised by a failed player like Eamon Dunphy...

I have to laugh at this, I heard Eamon once said, and I can't do the Dublin accent, 'I was a good player, not a great player...' No Eamon, you weren't even a good player.

You can't call yourself a good player if you've never played in the big league. He couldn't make the grade at Manchester United and he's been pontificating for years.


As we noted the other day, it's Martin's own lookout if he wants to talk down Millwall Football Club or an FAI Cup win with Shamrock Rovers or, indeed, 23 caps for Ireland.


One can't help but wonder if there are members of Martin's squad currently reflecting on their manager's belief that the second tier of English football is the home of bad footballers.

(We're also fairly sure that Eamon Dunphy never described himself as a 'good player, not a great player'. He may have described Michel Platini as that in 1984 but not himself). 

Certainly, Eamon Dunphy is wondering. In an interview with the paper he writes for, the Irish Daily Star, Dunphy accused O'Neill of 'childishness' and 'football snobbery'.


Even if I’d never played football at any level, I’d be entitled to express an opinion on the game.

This is silly, childish stuff. You’d expect better from an international manager. This is football snobbery.

Look at the players O'Neill is bringing to France. Keiren Westwood, Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick... none of these have played in the big leagues.

I have 23 caps from a time when there were far fewer international caps.

I’ve been a journalist for 40 years and have a background in football as well. I did my coaching badges… I know what I’m at.

Fine response. He over-egged it, however, with his fears about O'Neill getting 'distracted' ahead of the Euros.


I think Ireland can go to the quarter-finals in France. But it worries me that O'Neill is getting distracted by childish nonsense.

Read more: The Death Of English Cockiness And The Genius Of Roy Hodgson

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