'Media bully Dunphy can come talk to me any time he wants'
GLENN WHELAN has branded Eamonn Dunphy a "media bully" and claims he has been singled out for unfair criticism in the fall-out from Ireland's World Cup failure.
However, the Stoke midfielder has admitted it was time to change the Ireland management and repeated his frustration with Giovanni Trapattoni's preferred tactics.
The Dubliner was vocal in his concerns about Trapattoni's style of play and revealed that attempts to talk the Italian and his assistant Marco Tardelli went down like "a bag of cement." He added that Keith Andrews was admonished for seeking to become more creative from his central midfield role.
In that context, Whelan is desperately unhappy with scathing comments from Dunphy and has challenged the pundit to visit the Stoke training ground to say the same words to his face.
Last weekend, the RTE panellist described Whelan as a terrible footballer who couldn't run, pass or tackle. That was the final straw as far as the player was concerned and it drew an angry response yesterday.
"I have held back on saying something until now, but I won't hold back any more," he said.
"For him to say that I am a terrible player and was lucky to get 50 caps, well let's put our records and our achievements on the table.
"What has he done in football? Compare his stats and his achievements to what I have done and that speaks volumes.
"I have played 50 times for my country, played at the European Championship finals, played in the Premier League for a long time, played in Europe for two clubs, played in an FA Cup final.
"For someone who has achieved nothing in football to speak so harshly about footballers from his own nation is hard to understand.
"Maybe it goes back to the very first start when I first came into the squad and he had it in for me. You had the whole Stephen Ireland and Andy Reid story and he wanted them in the squad.
"He sits in front of the camera and causes controversy so people can laugh at it, but I won't be standing for it. He is welcome to come down to our training ground – he knows where we train – and he can talk to me then, get things off his chest if he wants."
The 29-year-old also wanted to get a few things off his chest about the collapse of the Trapattoni regime. He is grateful for the opportunity he was given by the veteran boss, but is looking forward to an alternative approach.
"We need a change, a manager with fresh ideas, a different set-up and a different system to give us all a boost again," he said. "If I am asked by any manager to do a job, I will do it. He picks the team and if I don't do as I am instructed, I won't be in the team.
"It's not always nice; as a player you want to go out and score goals, create goals, but that wasn't the case with this manager. He was worried about conceding goals and I was the one who had to try and stop that.
"I will hold my hand up and admit that I have played badly in some games, but I can't just take a battering all the time.
"There were times when I spoke to the manager and to Marco (Tardelli) as well to say that we needed a bit of help in midfield as teams were playing 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 and it went down like a bag of cement. In one ear and out the other.
"But he was the manager, he did what he thought was right, so who I was to complain about it?
"Keith was the one who tried to get forward, to create something. But then you get into the dressing room after and words would be said, both to me and Keith, about being more defensive.
"I can't speak badly of the manager, but with the results of the last year and the disappointment of the Euros, if it was in club football this would be seen as the right decision."