Soccer Punditry At Its Best: Eamonn Dunphy

Keith GriffinSenior Analyst IJune 13, 2008

There is probably no-one within Bleacher Report who will know who I am talking about in this article (apart from maybe Marc Kaveh), but I urge you to read on regardless.

If you are lucky enough to ever watch the coverage of any Champions League or Euro 2008 match on Irish television, it’s absolutely brilliant.

It’s hosted by a man on the wrong side of 60 named Bill O'Herlihy and the pundits who accompany him are none other than the Ireland and Arsenal legend Liam Brady, Liverpool great Graeme Souness, and Leeds' former midfield maestro Johnny Giles who would all be considered very respectable figures within the football world.

But another pundit who also joins them is the real gem in this group of past masters: Eamonn Dunphy.

Although not on the same legendry player status as the others, (although he did play for Manchester United if only for three games and Milwall) Dunphy has a far more potent weapon to wield than football skills and shiny medals of leagues and cups won in the years gone by.

He can just slate any football figure on television without as much as thinking of the repercussions, and in fact, he just doesn't seem to actually care if he is right or wrong. He makes his opinions and sticks by them.

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Eamonn Dunphy is a renowned journalist within Ireland and also the author of a number of bestsellers including 'Only a Game?' and more famously and controversially Roy Keane's autobiography.

He especially hates Cristiano Ronaldo. And I do mean hate. He will single him out for criticism at the very first minute of the program, as you will see by the some of the quotes I have listed below.

He is very fond of Roy Keane and considers him an Irish legend, as he does Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes as well as John Terry and Michael Essien.

So you can see what sort of player he prefers, the hard grafting, old fashioned footballer who plays the game to for the team and always looks to win with good simple passionate football.

Maybe that's how we can explain his hatred for Ronaldo.  He doesn't like the step-overs and dummies etc.

The reason so many people listen to Dunphy is simple.  What he says about players is absolutely hilarious. Even if you love Ronaldo or Gerrard or whoever he is slating that day, you can't help but laugh.

Listed below are some of my favorites, and I guarantee you won’t hear Gary Lineker or Alan Shearer saying this stuff.

On Luis Garcia:

"They (Liverpool) should put Garcia where he belongs—in the dustbin."

On Cristiano Ronaldo:

"The way Ronaldo clicks his heels, is the most wicked thing in the game." 
"a simple cheat" 
or  "Poof ball."

On Kevin Kilbane:

"Kilbane's head is better than his feet. If only he had three heads, one on the end of each leg."

On Michael Carrick:

"Carrick was signed for Spurs a few years back for £3m. That's the level he is at. He is a nothing player. He is one-paced. He doesn't have the personality to always get on the ball like a United player should. "

A "nothing player" is one of Dunphy's favorite sayings.


On the Alex Ferguson and Gordon Strachan feud:

Eamon: "Scots they're either nice or they're horrid and these two are horrid. 
Bill: "The Scots wont like that Eamon, that's bordering on racism". 
Eamon: "It’s not racism its ethnic criticism Bill."

Ok, that one ain't funny but shows how far Eamonn Dunphy can go, and this you must remember is on live television.

On the very hostile boardroom at Real Madrid:

"Bill, Bill... those directors over there are on another planet. They're on mushrooms or something...THEY'RE ON ACID BILL!!!"

On John Hartson:

"Bill, Hartson is not a 7million pound player...it’s a disgrace, a shambles! This is the state of football today Bill. I have a clip here of why Hartson is NOT a £7million player....Roll it there Bill!(literally 1 second in to the clip) OKAY, HOLD IT THERE BILL!!! (draws a circle around Hartson's arse) Bill, that is NOT the arse of a £7million player!''

On Rio Ferdinhand:

"Ferdinand is a clown. He was a liability for the first goal and he is always a liability. It was Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink against Rio Ferdinand of Barclays Bank."

On Liverpool vs Barcelona:

"I was hoping in the last fifteen minutes that Barcelona would beat them. I've made my mind up on Benitez tonight. He's a nice man but he's got a huge negative streak running through him. Liverpool was terrible in the second half. They didn't play football. If that was a concert, you'd boo. Gerrard: found out. A nothing player. They were terrible. Terrible."

On Fabio Cannavaro:

"If Rio Ferdinand is worth £100,000 a week, then this guy is worth EUR100 million . . . . . a day."

On Harry Kewell:

"Kewell should have been yanked off the pitch at half time and put in a hot bath, a boiling hot bath."

"Fat and a clown. A fat clown for all to see"

On Djibril Cisse:

"Here we have Cisse, right wing, attempts to put in a cross, BANG...hits the full back, again BANG hits the full back, BANG...off the full back again, and once more, BANG...smacks the full back again.... Millions of euro and he can't clear the first man, I mean...what's he trying to do to the full back here, Kill him??"

On Sergio Ramos:

"He's a nothing player, he's like Paul McShane on steroids, costs more but just as likely to get you shot in the head."

Before Man United hammered Roma 7-1:

"O'shea not good enough, Ferdinand and Brown dodgy, Ronaldo a puff ball, Fletcher and Carrick nothing players, Rooney has never done it on the big stage."

So as you can see, 'the Dunph' takes no prisoners. And if you can imagine this on live television, it brings quite a few gasps! Included here are a few links to watch the man in action.

Slating Ronaldo after semi final 1st leg vs. Barcelona.

Dunphy and Liam Brady argue over Liverpool vs. Arsenal game semi final 2nd leg. Remember Liam Brady is coach of Arsenal youths and is slightly biased, but the Dunphy doesn't seem to care.

Dunphy slating BBC pundits Lineker and Shearer.

Dunphy calling Ronaldo a "brat"

And last but not least, the major fight between the pundits over Roy Keane leaving United. Sound quality is poor to start, but it's a worthy watch. Believe me

Anyway, check it out and hope you enjoy. It really is pure cheekiness on television.