Sport Soccer

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Whelan tells Dunphy - 'Come down to training and criticise me to my face'

Published 13/09/2013 | 07:26

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Glenn Whelan
Eamon Dunphy. Photo: Collins

IRISH soccer star Glenn Whelan has invited Eamon Dunphy to meet him face to face after the pundit slated the midfielder live on RTE.

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"He [Dunphy] is a media bully. 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," Whelan said.

Following last Friday's loss to Sweden, Dunphy tore into Whelan on live TV.

"He's a terrible player. He can't run, he can't pass, he can't tackle, he doesn't see anything.

"He drives two Ferraris; I think he's a very lucky lad to have 50 caps for Ireland," Dunphy said on RTE.

Whelan issued his own retort after the national side lost out on qualification to next year's World Cup and Giovanni Trapattoni lost his job as manager after a 2-1 loss to Austria on Tuesday night.

"I only found out what was said about me and I felt it was way over the top.

"He is a bully who wants to get under people's skin. I have held back on saying something until now but I won't hold back any more.

"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.

"Since I first came into the squad, for whatever reason, Dunphy has picked on me. 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.

"Over this campaign we as a team have been battered in the media but he [Dunphy] has battered me."

Whelan feels he has been made a scapegoat for the failures of this qualifying campaign even though he played in only half of the group games.

"I only played in four games in the qualifiers and we got seven points from those," he said.

"If we concede a goal, it's said that the midfield aren't strong enough, if we win 3-0 the midfield is still not creative enough. He comes at me from every angle. No matter how well I play, I am the No. 1 suspect."

Meanwhile, RTE broadcaster Bill O'Herlihy has hit out Trapattoni, saying he is 'delighted' the Italian is gone.

"He has been dead man walking for at least a year."

He said he believes Trapattoni was awarded the contract to manage the Irish international soccer team too early.

"I think it was a premature thing, I think he kind of railroaded a contract through," O'Herlihy said.

By Barry Duggan and Aidan Fitzmaurice

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