Monday 24 October 2016

'Starting James McCarthy against Belgium would be a cardinal sin' - Eamon Dunphy

Published 14/06/2016 | 11:23

Eamon Dunphy has slammed James McCarthy once more
Eamon Dunphy has slammed James McCarthy once more

Former Republic of Ireland international Eamon Dunphy believes Martin O'Neill must drop James McCarthy for their crucial Group E clash against Belgium in Bordeaux on Saturday.

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The outspoken pundit was heavily critical of the Glasgow-born midfielder during RTE's coverage of the 1-1 draw with Sweden last night and continued in that vein on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One this morning.

McCarthy's performance has got mixed reviews with former England striker lauding the Everton man's display on the BBC.

Speaking this morning, Dunphy said: "I have a piece in a newspaper which I'll read, there's pen pictures on how the players did... ' James McCarthy rock solid in midfield as he covered the ground, plugged the gaps, kept possession and allowed the others to break forward', James McCarthy contributed nothing to the game.

"There were three Irish analysts last night, John Giles and Liam Brady, both great midfield players, and they shared my view that McCarthy contributed nothing but he has a kind of profile and brand in England.

"I am surprised with Alan Shearer.

"The point about analysis is that you offer your forthright opinion and it's your real opinion and you're doing it live.

"Starting McCarthy again against Belgium would be a cardinal sin."

After watching the much-fancied Belgians last night, Dunphy claimed that Marc Wilmots side are vulnerable and Ireland should target a win, a result which would almost certainly book their place in the last 16.

"I think Belgium will be low on morale when we play them on Saturday, we should be high on morale. I thought the lads did themselves proud and we can get a result, which means a draw or a win against Belgium and we've got to think that way.

"Belgium are a mess. Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard are indulging themselves. They have no guts. Lukaku was invisible.

"Kevin de Bruyne cost £55m. He is hyped up by the English media who say he is a great player - he's not. He's lazy [there], he looks tired.

Look at that cross. He cost £55m. I'd be having nightmares if I signed that check. He will be very lucky to survive the Guardiola era."

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