Sunday 21 January 2018

'We've been playing with nine men for eight years': Dunphy savages Irish duo and hails new midfield

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eamon Dunphy has once again hit out at the contributions Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy make to the Irish team, saying that he hopes Martin O'Neill sticks with the midfield that saw out the famous 1-0 win over Austria in Vienna on Saturday.

An injury to McCarthy ruled the Everton player out of the crucial World Cup qualifier, with Whelan making way for David Meyler after picking up a knock early on.

Meyler played a crucial role in the decisive goal, winning the ball back before feeding Wes Hoolahan, who played James McClean with a sumptuous pass.

Speaking on 2FM's Game On tonight, Dunphy praised Meyler while also having a go at the injured Ireland pair who usually anchor the midfield.

"We have been playing with nine men for eight years because Whelan and McCarthy don't turn up ever," Dunphy said.

"There is no mystery why our results have improved. We wouldn't have won in Moldova without Wes Hoolahan and we wouldn't have won in Austria without Wes Hoolahan and James McClean.

"There is no way that Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy would have been where Meyler was. There was no way they would have won the ball and there is no way they would have given the pass."

Ireland enter 2017 with a two point lead over Serbia at the top of Group D, and a four point lead over Wales, who visit the Aviva Stadium during the next round of qualifiers in March.

Dunphy doesn't think Wales are a particularly formidable prospect outside of Gareth Bale, and says that Irish supporters should be very encouraged by the team's prospects as we enter the Christmas period.

"Ramsey is a bit of a poser, he is a dangerous and can score goals," Dunphy said.

"Then they have Ashley Williams but besides that they don't have much else.

"I wouldn't worry about Austria, they are gutless. We have made a brilliant start and we should be very happy eating our turkey."

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