Sunday 19 November 2017

'It was an embarrassment to Irish soccer'- Eamon Dunphy blasts 'crass' Martin O'Neill for wives remarks

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and John O'Shea during a press conference
Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and John O'Shea during a press conference

Tom Rooney

Eamon Dunphy has criticised the FAI for not demanding that Ireland manager Martin O’Neill apologise for last week’s controversial comments regarding players’ significant others.

Last Thursday in the Aviva Stadium prior to Ireland’s friendly with Switzerland, O’Neill was asked whether or not he would follow the example of his Welsh counterparts in banning the wives and families of players from the team hotel during Euro 2016.

O’Neill said the following to a shocked press corps: “It depends on how good looking the girls are,” he said with a wry smile. “If they’re really attractive they’re very, very welcome. The uglier ones? I’m afraid no.”

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While his answer was quite clearly intended as a joke, it did evoke serious backlash from some quarters, though he or the FAI have made no reference to the incident since.

Writing in his Daily Star column this morning Dunphy - who has tended to reserve his critiques of the former Celtic boss for the supposed conservative tactics he employs - claimed that the 64-year-old was way out of line.

Eamon Dunphy

And, that his employers, the FAI, should have made him atone for the faux pas.

“So the FAI should have insisted that O’Neill apologise for his remarks. What O’Neill said was crass and unfunny. It was something nobody in his position should ever come out with. It was embarrassing for the Irish soccer community that he said those things.”

Switching to matters directly relating to football, Dunphy gave a mixed review of Ireland’s performance during last night’s 2-2 draw with Slovakia.

Paul Shane, who was debatably at fault for both the Slovak’s goals, including an OG, came in for some flack. As did the midfield duo of Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy.

“Paul McShane simply isn’t good enough for this level,” Dunphy wrote. “And the midfield partnership of Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy is still a big problem. Game passes them by.”

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