A Deja Vu moment from Dunphy to set up the summer

Last night was hardly a memorable one for fans of both Irish international teams, with the Republic of Ireland needing a late Simon Cox goal to draw with the Czech Republic, whilst Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland lost 3-0 at home on his debut outing as new manager.

But Irish soccer fans will certainly have fond memories of the summer of 1990, when Jackie’s Army surprised many on their way to a quarter final showdown with hosts Italy in the World Cup. But many will remember the summer as much for the heated debates in the RTE studios and elsewhere instigated by Eamon Dunphy’s stinging attacks on the manager and his tactics. This youtube clip of a younger Bill O’Herlihy with John Giles and Eamon Dunphy minutes after the penalty shoot-out triumph over Romania illustrates the remarkably durable public appeal of the broadcasting trio, now approaching what must be a quarter of a century as a studio team.

Fast forward twenty two years and it would appear that one of those deja vu moments is upon us. Following the one-all draw with the Czech Republic in Dublin last night, Eamon Dunphy has launched one of his most stinging attacks to date on the current Irish international manager, Giovanni Trapatoni, labelling the veteran Italian manager as “amateurish” and the performance as”embarassing:”

Here’s Eamon in his own words:

“It was embarrassing at times the amount of possession they had. They looked like Barcelona. It was a badly set-up Irish team and a bit of a shambles.”

“If we play like that in the championships we will be humiliated and embarrassed.”

There’s nothing like a winning formula, eh?


  • The balance of probability…..and I hope for better obviously …is that we wont do too well in Poland. What can I say? I am a pessimist.
    But it seems to me that Keane, Dunne, Duff who have been mainstays of our team for a decade are now just a little bit past it and the new boys in our team such as McClean and Gibson are at this stage just a little short of the full deal.
    Im hoping for better but this tournament I look on as a learning curve.

    But I am intrigued that Dunphy has endured so long. “Stinging attacks” on Jack Charlton and anything else that moves are no substitute for real talent.
    On the subject of “amateurish” which is a lack of professionalism………….surely it was from a studio discussion that Dunphy was sent home for being ahem….”unprofessional”.
    McCarthy, Trap and Charlton have not been unprofessional. Arguably Dunphys friend Roy Keane acted unprofessionally.

    Just how Dunphy gets away with being a guru is beyond me. Beside me sits “A Strange Kind Of Glory” his biography of Matt Busby.
    His analysis is somewhat undermined by his recollection of him sitting in the bath alongside Noel Cantwell talking tactics that Busby could not understand.
    Even more risible is his comparison of himself to Johnny Giles.

    Dunphy never played a game for Manchester United yet somehow he believes that Matt Busby sold him to lowly York City even though Birmingham City had made an offer to United.
    Seemingly Busby regretted selling Giles to Leeds……and did not want Dunphy to be a “threat” against United.
    I find that hard to believe.
    As a consequence I cant really take him seriously.

  • john

    Dunphy just does it because he doesnt know any other way. Regarding Trap it is a difficult one. There is no doubt under Trap with the exception of the game in Paris Ireland have been pretty awful to watch but they by and large get good results. They struggle agaist minnows for most of the match but beat them and then against the better teams they are played off the park but still get a draw. Trap has a system and it is working, if he picked the better players who are available and allowed them to play football then they may have done even better or they may have failed to qualify – we will never know. Regarding the finals I can see 3 draws for Ireland as Trap will set them up so they hard to beat whether that is enough who knows, they may even nick a win against the Italians, fingers crossed.

  • keano10

    It may hurt some to hear this but Dunphy is right. Trap’s rigid 4-4-2 system with two pedestrian holding midfielders means that we are getting over-run in central midfield in just about every game we play now.

    We are too predictable and we have been sussed out by other Nations. In the first half on Wednesday Night the Czechs had 62% of posession against us. I dread to think how much The Spanish will have, come Mid-June.

    Trap has an inherent fear of players with creativity and energy, so the likes of Cox and the magnificent young James McCleaan will do well to even get on the plane come mid-summer. The two aforementioned players brought a real spark to proceedings when they came on the other night, but I would’nt reckon that anything will change Trap’s mind in terms of his projected squad selection.

    I dont want us to be set-up to be “hard to beat” this summer. There is no reason for us to be afraid of Croatia or Italy for that matter. The Italian National team were turned over by the USA the other night and have been on a downward spiral for some time. We will have to play it tight against The Spanish, but the other two games are winnable, but only if we approach them beleiving that we can actually win.

    I’m just not sure that Trap has the postivity to make our team believe that. You can ‘t teach old dogs new tricks and all that ….

  • Mark

    Jackie Charlton asked Alf Ramesy just before the 66 World Cup why he had picked him ahead of more naturally talented centre halfs and Ramesy told Charlton that he fitted into and understood the system he wanted to play and that’s why he got the nod . England as we know then paid off a Russian linesman and the rest is history ……

    Trapatoni is from the same old school . In his eyes , there is no ” i ” in team and no amount of tabloid headlines will change his mind . He should probably take a chance on McClean . Most tournaments throw up a couple of unknown stars and who knows …… if McClean does get a chance – stranger things have happened .

    What can you say about Eamo that hasn’t been written on the toilet doors of Lillie Bordellos . That youtube clip brings back the memories . After drawing with England 1-1 ( lineker’s handball goal ) at Italia 90, we ( Ireland for those Unionist readers ) were due to play Egypt in our next match .Rumour has it Eamo lost his ass when we ( Ireland for those Unionist readers ) drew the game 0-0 . He threw his pen accross the RTE studio and proclaimed he was ashamed to be Irish after watching the match . It was reported in the press that he said he was ashamed to be Irish full stop and he didnt help his cause when he flew out to Italy and disrupted a press conference Big Jack was giving . When he got home a few taxi drivers beat the shit out of him in the Spar on Baggot street .

    Dunphy once wrote that he had received four death threats over articles he had written . One was because of the beef tribunal , one was over the Provos and two were because of what he’d written about Man Utd – you wouldn’t know anything about that Fitz ? ….. Great bloody perm though ( not you fitz )

  • Mark

    Just heard the news that Jack Charlton had a fall at his home and has injured his hip – get well soon Jack !!

  • HeinzGuderian

    Nothing like getting the excuses in early boys. 😉

    We,(that’s people with large wallets),shall be putting our easy earned Great British Pounds on Spain !! 🙂

  • keano10

    Did you have a few of those easy earned pounds on Norway the other night Heinz?

    I did – easiest money I’ve earned in a long time…

  • Dec


    Good for you. I’m glad you’ll be able to occupy yourself during the tournament somehow. I’ll be backing Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in similar fashion in 2013.

  • Keano10. Looks kie Trap is only making do with humans playing under him when he’d much prefer robots. It’s been said that Trapatoni didn’t invent football but semms to think he did. I still think a win over Croatia [which is a pre-requisite to getting anywhere], is perfectly possible with the players let off the leash as in Paris that time, but Trap seems to need them not believing in themselves for him to lead them.

  • Charlie Sheens PR guru

    Anyone heading to any of the games this summer by the way?

    I’m in the draw for tickets to the Spain – Ireland game. Will find out later this month.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    ‘Just how Dunphy gets away with being a guru is beyond me.’

    He doesn’t. No-one takes very seriously what he has to say about the game – including, one suspects, himself. But he’s a bit of craic.

    Giles knows what he’s talking about and sheds light on the game. He’s probably the best actual pundit on the circuit – even if he does usually ascribe all successes and failures to what he calls ‘moral courage,’ or lack thereof.

    Meanwhile, Dunphy is the one who can be relied upon to call Niall Quinn ‘Mother Theresa,’ or Rod Liddle a ‘creep,’ or C Ronaldo a ‘brat,’ his performances ‘pure spooferism.’

    He was also Trappatoni’s biggest supporter, before he was appointed. (One of my favourite Dunphyisms was when he said replacing Steve Staunton with Giovanni Trappatoni was ‘like replacing Captain Mainwaring with Field Marshal Montgomery.’)

    And Bill O’Herlihy is the best traffic cop in the business.

    In fact, I admit to sometimes tuning in for the Statler & Waldorf-style analysis even for games I couldn’t care less about. Sometimes I even skip the match itself!

    And during the major tournaments, we get the Apres Match lads on, to satirize the whole thing.

    I’m not a huge fan of RTE generally, but its soccer coverage has been a joy for decades.

  • MonkDeWallyDeHonk


    Frankly I’d be amazed if the Republic get a point given the group they’re in.

    I’m not making excuses, I appreciate the fact that Trap got us through a tough group and I’ll enjoy all the Republic games – it’s nice to be there.

    Good luck with your bets – like all fans of the North, your only interest will be in picking another team to support since your team has as usual failed to qualify.

    I see your new management team is off to a flier. If I were you, I’d start thinking about which team to support at the 2014 World Cup.

    Your “Great British” pounds may be easily earned – well over 70% of them come from British subsidies – the late Harold Wilson summed up so-called NI Unionists very succintly.

    One good thing – at least fans of the North won’t have to lay out their easily earned “Great British” pounds on tickets to watch the North in Brazil in 2014.