Thursday 18 January 2018

Dissenting voices shout loudest over O’Shea’s standing in Irish top 50

John O'Shea
John O'Shea

THE prominent position of John O'Shea was a main talking point yesterday as discussion of our Soccer Legends iMagazine rumbled on.

On Monday, we published our list of the top 50 Irish footballers of the last 50 years, a decision reached by a panel of Irish Independent journalists.

Roy Keane came out on top, pipping John Giles, Paul McGrath, Liam Brady and Ronnie Whelan in that order.

However, the positioning of his former Manchester United colleague, O'Shea, has raised the ire of online viewers.

O'Shea was placed in 21st, ahead of his current international colleague Richard Dunne on the basis of his sustained spell in the first-team picture at Old Trafford in contrast to Dunne's sometimes turbulent club existence and the fact that his medal cabinet is bare.

A majority of readers believe that Dunne's excellence in the green jersey should have him ranked well ahead of O'Shea.

The interactive magazine can still be accessed on

and it includes archive footage of the players, some classic old photographs, and our panellists discussing the top-10 performers in more detail.

Clips and pictures range from black-and-white images of a packed Dalymount Park in the 1960s to some of the memorable internationals of recent years.

The online mag also provides the opportunity for readers to vote for their best Irish XI of 1962-2012. And you can tweet our sportsdesk @IndoSport to extend the debate.

Alternatively, we can be contacted via email at or via post at Soccer Legends, Irish Independent, 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. Here is a selection of your comments:

Based on genuine defensive ability, there's no way O'Shea can be ahead of Dunne. It shouldn't be about who got further in Champions League etc

– Cormac Ring

O'Shea? I can't remember one standout game he had for us. Unlike McCarthy or Stan or others like Sheedy

– James Parker

John O'Shea is a legend! Only joking. However, for a man of very limited football talent, he's managed to make a good living from it. How he could be ranked ahead above Richard Dunne is incomprehensible. He wouldn't tie Dunne's laces

– TM25

Mick Martin earned over 50 caps and surely rates a mention, even if he never saw any glory days. I set out on reviewing the top 50 expecting to argue many choices. In fact, the Irish Indo team did an excellent job, with very few arguments from me other than the absence of Mick

– SheasSuas

How come Dave Langan isn't in the top 50 and Chris Morris is?

– Miley

Roy might have been the most successful but Liam Brady was by far the most talented. List was unfair to Stan & more so to Gerry Daly. Daly had more talent than Ray Houghton just born too early. Daly was part of that magic Utd team that attacked as a complete unit, the red wave

– Cannon-ball

Irish Independent

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