Saturday 1 October 2016

'In terms of the modern game, Martin O'Neill isn't at the races' - Eamon Dunphy

Published 14/12/2015 | 20:03

Martin O'Neill's football values were questioned by Eamon Dunphy
Martin O'Neill's football values were questioned by Eamon Dunphy

Outspoken pundit Eamon Dunphy has claimed Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is out of touch with the modern game.

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Speaking on Game On on 2FM, Dunphy lauded O'Neill for his achievements as a club manager but feels the game has changed and the Ireland boss has failed to adapt.

"There are some guys who were really successful 10-15 years ago and they're no longer up to speed with the modern game," he said.

"Martin O'Neill is the name I was thinking of. Martin had a stellar career in club management with Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa, he was absolutely brilliant.

"In terms of the modern game, I don't think Martin is at the races.

"It won't please anybody but that's what I think.

"They are 4-4-2- men, they like it a certain way. The fluidity of the modern game is different, the modern player is different.

"There are lots of things in the modern game that Van Gaal gets.

"He gave (Daryl Murphy) two games, the Germany game and the Scotland game, he's a good player at Championship level but it was an old-fashioned thing to do.

"He bought Emile Heskey twice.

"In the modern game, Barcelona don't use any centre forward.

"You don't need big guys up front, that's light years away... Stone Age stuff."

Dunphy also disagreed with O'Neill's assertion that Ireland's group for Euro 2016 was the worst possible outcome.

"(O'Neill) said it was the toughest draw imaginable and it isn't. When you get to these finals you expect to meet good teams. You don't expect them all to be the Faroe Islands.

"I think Sweden isn't horrendous, it's eminently winnable. I saw both of their playoff games and we played in the last World Cup qualifiers. There's nothing to be scared of with Sweden.

"They have good players Italy but they struggled to score in qualifying. Pelle has three, Chiellini has five and he's a defender and he's about 38.

"I think Italy will be touch and go, it won't be like 2013, Sweden is winnable and Belgium underperform a lot.

"They have great players but their coach Marc Wilmots is under considerable pressure.

"We need to concentrate on our own game.

"The spirit is amazing. Robbie Brady has come of age as an international footballer.

"We don't have anything to be afraid of, we should enjoy it."

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