Eamon Dunphy slates ‘traffic cop’ James McCarthy after anonymous performance
Eamon Dunphy was heavily critical of James McCarthy’s display as Ireland were held to a 1-1 draw with Sweden in their first game at Euro 2016.
Martin O’Neill’s men put in one of their best performances of his tenure, taking the lead just after half time following a brilliant finish from Wes Hoolahan.
However, Ireland lost a grip on the game thereafter, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic creating an equaliser for Sweden when his cross was headed to the net by Ciaran Clark.
Dunphy lambasted McCarthy for his ‘traffic cop’ performance in centre midfield, with the game appearing to pass the Everton player by.
“Disappointed,” Dunphy said when asked what his overriding emotion was after the game.
“It was a very brave performance and we improved a lot but we can’t go on with James McCarthy doing nothing in midfield.
“He strolls around like a traffic cop, pointing here and pointing there but doing nothing. He got his manager sacked at Everton this season.
“He is a waste of space, there is no other word for it.”
Dunphy expressed a similar view at half time, although he did reserve praise for McCarthy’s midfield partner, Glenn Whelan, a player who has been regularly panned by the pundit throughout his Ireland career.
“I thought Whelan – a player who I have been very critical of – was very good tonight.”
Brady expressed a similar view to Dunphy when analysing McCarthy’s performance.
“He doesn’t have the character,” Brady said.
“He seems quite prepared to let other people do his job.”
Ultimately, it was two points lost for the Boys in Green, who dominated their group opener for long periods. Brady was very enthused by the display, but regretted Ireland’s inability to slow the game down after taking the lead.
“It is a good point,” Brady said.
“It is alright but it could have been so much better. Wes Hoolahan was the most skilful player on the pitch tonight.
“We were the better team and it is a pity that we didn’t get all three points.”