Monday 19 November 2018

Controversial Selection dunphy's Starting Eleven

1 Official Ireland

Dunphy really established his own inimitable style while writing for the Sunday Independent in the 1980s and 1990s, targeting what he termed "Official Ireland".

Mary Robinson, Pat Kenny, Prionsias de Rossa, John Hume, Fintan O'Toole, Michael D Higgins and Dick Spring -- the two-footed tackles went flying in.

Charles Haughey, on the other hand, was held up as a shining example of the real, Unofficial Ireland. It was almost as if he was trying to wind people up.

2 Seamus Heaney

He may have just been awarded the Nobel Prize. But that didn't save Seamus Heaney from being comprehensively "Platinied" by Dunphy in October 1995.

While resisting the chance to lapse into self-parody by labelling our national laureate a "good poet, not a great poet", Dunphy attacked the quality of Heaney's work, declared he should never have been given the Nobel Prize and described him as a sham national poet who continually lapsed into "Mary Robinson speak".

However, in a rare instance of a Dunphy target having the last word, Heaney waited a decade before deftly responding; "Even at the time, I realised he was unwittingly doing me a service. He queered the pitch for stealthier people capable of more informed criticism." Ouch!

3 Bono

Dunphy's 1988 U2 biog, Unforgettable Fire -- The U2 Story was well received by the fans but critics close to the band spoke of many inaccuracies. A verbal war erupted in the press during which Dunphy called Bono a "pompous git". We might have to give him that one.

4 Jack Charlton

Having had enough of the national euphoria surrounding Italia '90, Dunphy ramped up his criticism of Jack Charlton, his team and the "fans with typewriters" in the press box and promptly got thrown out of a press conference by the bluff Geordie who didn't want to talk to that "bitter little man".

His car was attacked by fans on his return home to Dublin airport but Eamon stuck to his guns and won a strange kind of admiration from an Irish public who have always secretly suspected that we are, in fact, a bit s***e.

5 Cristiano Ronaldo

In the post-match commentary following a Manchester United V Roma champions league game in 2007, Dunphy observed that the way the Portuguese golden boy "clicks his heels" was the "most wicked thing in the game".

Before the second leg, he branded Ronaldo "a simple cheat" and a "Poof ball who's never done it in the big games".

He also called Michael Carrick a "nothing player" and described Roma as "a cut above" United.

Carrick and Ronaldo each scored two goals as Manchester United won the match 7-1. Following the match Dunphy reluctantly praised the United performance and he recently admitted: "Ronaldo is something special. I was wrong."

6 Roy Keane

Keane and Dunphy are the Richard Burton and Liz Taylor of our times, their tempestuous love-hate relationship a story for the ages.

Keano is either The Last Honest Man in Football ("He's right! He's right about everything!") or a "bullshittter and a politician", depending on what kind of mood Eamon is in.

7 Giovanni Trapattoni


8 The Scots

Eamon and Bill O'Herlihy discuss the Alex Ferguson V Gordan Strachan feud.

Eamon: "Scots! They're either nice or they're horrid and these two are horrid."

Bill: "The Scots won't like that, Eamon, that's bordering on racism".

Eamon: "It's not racism, Bill, it's ethnic criticism".

9 Liam Brady

On Liam Brady (After Ireland lost a two-goal lead against Holland in 1983): "He is often looked on as a great player. He is nothing of the kind. His performance on Wednesday was a disgrace, a monument to conceit adorned with vanity and self-indulgence, rendered all the more objectionable by the swagger of his gait. He was deemed by many observers to have had a splendid game."

10 Garth Crooks and Sven Goran Eriksson

After a particularly chummy post-match interview between the former Spurs player turned softball TV interviewer and the then England manager: "Ha, ha, ha, that's the first time you'll see sex between two men live on the BBC."

11 John Giles

After the Leeds legend had been unusually animated during the post match analysis: "Usually it takes a bottle of Bacardi and a gallon of Coke to get John out of his seat."

Irish Independent

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