Sunday 21 January 2018

'It turned into a circus' - Ciaran Whelan and Colm Cooper weigh in on Aidan O'Shea selfie row

Aidan O'Shea with Mayo supporters after a recent league game against Donegal in Castlebar
Aidan O'Shea with Mayo supporters after a recent league game against Donegal in Castlebar Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Dublin star Ciarán Whelan has called on pundits and analysts to judge Aidan O'Shea on his playing performances and warned against forging opinions on the Mayo player based on perception.

Whelan's comments come on the back of scathing criticism O'Shea received from Meath All-Ireland winner Bernard Flynn on RTE's GAA podcast for signing autographs and taking selfies with fans after a recent challenge game with Meath.

Speaking on RTE's The Sunday Game last night, Whelan said: "It's a tough station, Mayo come under a lot of scrutiny and he's one of their big players so he's expected to deliver and I think he should be judged on the field of play.

"I think it's dangerous to have perceptions of people based on innuendo and rumours and stuff that we don't know. We're not inside the Mayo camp, we don't know what goes on behind the four walls.

"Judge Aidan O'Shea on the pitch. There was a helluva lot of crap written this week about it, it turned into a circus."

Whelan's fellow analyst Colm Cooper believes that the situation has prompted a complete overreaction and that he had had similar experiences after games.

"I've been in that situation numerous times when kids are coming for selfies and autographs and I think it was a complete overreaction," he said.

"To be fair, he probably should have done the warm-down with the team but that's up to the management of someone to coordinate.

"I think it's blown out of all proportion."

O'Shea's off-field conduct was also debated last December when former managers Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly claimed he  had complained after being informed in early 2015 they would not sanction his participation in the 'Toughest Trade' TV documentary, which would have seen him link up with Sunderland soccer club.

They also said that later in the season they received an email from O'Shea expressing his and other players' surprise that a certain panel member was not making the match-day squad for the All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Donegal.

In a recent interview, O'Shea said he would deal with the claims made by the former join manager's in the future.

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