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'James McCarthy is a talking horse' - Eamon Dunphy

The RTÉ analyst, meanwhile, had more encouraging words for Robbie Brady and Daryl Murphy.

McCarthy featured as Ireland drew 1-1 with Scotland today.
McCarthy featured as Ireland drew 1-1 with Scotland today.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

RTÉ PUNDIT EAMON Dunphy took another dig at Ireland midfielder James McCarthy following the Boys in Green’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Scotland this evening.

Following the match, the analyst was heavily critical of the midfield in general and especially scathing when it came McCarthy.

“James McCarthy is a talking horse,” he said. “Horses that produce the goods on the Gallops in the morning, but never do it on the racecourse.”

Dunphy has been less than impressed with the Everton player in the past, branding him “a terrible flop” after Ireland’s 1-1 draw with Poland.

He added, on the back of this evening’s display: “Look at the work and the ground Wes Hoolahan covers… You just don’t see McCarthy. And you don’t see Whelan at all. You can’t go into a game minus two in the midfield.”

“I was having a conversation with Brian Kerr the other night and Brian had him in the underage teams.

“As someone I respect, I asked: ‘Brian, can you tell me what Glenn Whelan does?’ He said ‘he fills a space’. That’s not good enough — you’ve got to have someone who can pass the ball and who can close people down and bite in tackle. We can’t go on with this myth that these are good international-quality players — they’re not good enough. Stephen Quinn sat on the bench for 90 minutes.”

However, Dunphy had more positive words to say about Robbie Brady and Daryl Murphy, adding: “I don’t want to be too negative, because I think the positives are important for the future of the team, no matter who’s in charge of the team.”

Meanwhile, fellow analyst Liam Brady gave a more bleak assessment of the Irish team, saying:

“They’re all much of a muchness. We just don’t have a player who can dictate play in the middle of the park.”

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Paul Fennessy

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