Eamon Dunphy: Irish management have disrespected Jack Grealish and England could swoop
Eamon Dunphy believes that it would be "stupid" not to pick Jack Grealish for the European Championship qualifier against Scotland and it could have far-reaching consequences.
Grealish’s stock has soared since his FA Cup semi-final man-of-the-match performance in Aston Villa’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in Wembley last Sunday.
The teenager was last year’s Ireland U-21 Player of the Year and has been capped by the Boys In Green from U-15 up to U-21 level, but martin O'Neill said last week that the player was "not ready" for the crunch qualifier in June.
That statement was made before the virtuoso Wembley performance and speculation is mounting that the English FA will look to re-open talks with Grealish to persuade the midfielder to declare for England.
Club team-mate Shay Given said last night that the player is "confused" over the decision, while his father Kevin declined to answer questions on his son's preferences on BBC Radio 5 live last night.
RTE pundit Eamon Dunphy says Ireland need to move quick to secure the services of the player and questioned statements made by the Ireland management team.
"Roy Keane made a cutting remark about Grealish's father a couple of months ago, which is really dumb, and Martin O’Neill talked about the Scotland game being too big for him and didn’t seem too keen on him there on Thursday or Friday [last week]," he said on 2FM's Game On show last night.
"We need to be respectful of him and his family. They [the Ireland management] haven’t been and it’s ugly to watch.”
“We’re really making a really stupid mistake. He’s going to be a really top class player; he is now.
“He’s a very a very good young player and we need him.
“The fans deserve people responsible for decisions to be making good decisions. He should be in the Ireland squad for the Scotland game and he’s a contender to play. He played really well the other day."
Dunphy added that the failure to respect the Villa teenager could push Grealish towards declaring for England
“It seems to me that’s [respect] lacking," he said. "And that’s going to edge him towards maybe deciding to play for England.
"We could have played him against Gibraltar when the result was assured. And he was our player then. We didn’t do any of those things. So, whoever is responsible for that is not behaving very intelligently."