independent

Monday 21 April 2014

A team for all the rages -- Eamon 'bruiser' Dunphy's 11 most controversial spats

Dunphy promptly took aim in the national press and buried one past Bono into the top right-hand corner and branded him a "pompous git".

2 Castigating Charlton: An Irish team playing in the World Cup for the first time should have been enough to make us all proud. But Dunphy declared himself "ashamed to be Irish" after Big Jack's team drew against Egypt. He was later ejected from a press conference by the Irish boss.

3Hammering Heaney: Séamus Heaney may have been riding high after bagging the Nobel Prize, but it did not stop Dunphy slating his work and lambasting the poet for continually lapsing into " Mary Robinson speak", and that he was merely "a good poet, not a great poet". Heaney's response was as calm as it was cutting when he dished it out almost a decade later: "Even at the time, I realised he was unwittingly doing me a service. He queered the pitch for stealthier people capable of more informed criticism." Zing!

4 Mocking McCarthy: When Mick McCarthy took over from Big Jack in 1996 there was little hope of Dunphy declaring a ceasefire. A vicious verbal volley began almost immediately with Dunphy calling the new Irish manager "a boil on the arse of humanity." Maybe Dunphy remembered that when he had declared he was "ashamed to be Irish" under Charlton's reign, McCarthy had quipped, "I agree. I am ashamed Eamon Dunphy is Irish too."

5 RTE's Red Card: When Dunphy arrived in studio for the Japan V Russia match in the 2002 World Cup he was red-carded after just five minutes for slurring his words and slumping in his seat. A spokesperson for RTÉ said, "Eamon Dunphy has been unable to fulfil the terms of his contract and he has been suspended." However, a tired and emotional Dunphy eventually apologised, declaring, "I had a few drinks and wasn't fit to provide a proper commentary."

6 The Roy Keane Rollercoaster Ride: After the Manchester United midfielder's bust up with Mick McCarthy in Saipan, everyone knew where Dunphy's loyalties lay. "He's a gentleman. He's a class act. He's a rebel. And he stands up to bullies," he ranted.

But a few years later, Dunphy had decided his rebel had gotten too big for his boots. "I think what has happened to Roy Keane is he began to believe the Roy Keane mythology. I think he has lost the plot." A true case of kettle calling the pot black.

7 Jostling With Giles: With friends like Eamon Dunphy, John Giles hardly needs enemies. In 2002 the pair fell out after Dunphy accused his buddy of deliberately breaking the leg and ending the career of Manchester United player John Fitzpatrick. He then called Giles "a notorious merchant for going over the top of the ball".

But Dunphy was caught out telling fibs when it transpired that Fitzpatrick had never broken his leg and after the tough tackle with Giles, played on for many years.

"I never broke John Fitzpatrick's leg," Giles responded the next day, "and I am very surprised Eamon would say that. First of all, you have to get your facts right. I will plead guilty to a lot of things and I have done so in the past and that is just not true.

"It was a bad tackle. It was nothing to be proud of, but I did not go out to 'do' John Fitzpatrick."

So why did he blast Giles with both barrels? Well, it seems that Giles's only crime was to tackle Eamon on his support for Roy Keane in Saipan.

8 Ranting, Then Raving About Ronaldo: Contradictory comments are one of Dunphy's most consistent hallmarks. "What they saw tonight was an impersonator, a clown, a self-indulgent idiot really, doing crazy things," said a fuming Dunphy of Cristiano Ronaldo. However he was soon eating humble pie, confessing: "In the history of the game, I can't remember another winger who has been so prolific in front of goal."

9 Venting at Venables: Dunphy used his soap box on RTÉ's Champions League programme on November, 2007 to throw a wobbly over Terry Venables's possible appointment to replace Steve Staunton. However, Venables fired back a blast of his own afterwards by asking, "How can a self-confessed cocaine-user and convicted drink-driver lecture me on my character?"

10 Taunting Trapattoni: True to form, Dunphy turned from hailing the Irish manager as the Messiah when he arrived to quickly lambasting him as "The Poor Man's Jack Charlton". The Italian legend responded saying: "I don't even know who he is." Ouch.

11Hunting the Hunter: Dunphy might be used to dishing it out, but Republic of Ireland and Hull winger Stephen Hunt gave the soccer pundit some of his own medicine in 2009. After Dunphy branded a performance against world champions Italy "shameful" Hunt fired back by branding Dunphy a "skinny little rat".

Subs: Slagging Steve Staunton: "Would you let him drive the train to Cork?" Michel Platini: "Not a great player." Maradona: "Not a great player." Zinedine Zidane: "Not a great player."

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