FORMER Republic of Ireland midfielder Eamon Dunphy has savaged James McCarthy in the wake of Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier with Scotland.
The Dublin showdown ended in bitter disappointment for the Irish, who took a first-half lead through Jon Walters only to succumb to Shaun Maloney’s shot that deflected in off John O’Shea just two minutes after the break.
The Scots managed to see out the 1-1 draw for a point that leaves them third in the table and in the box seat to finish above the Irish on the road to next summer’s finals in France.
And Dunphy has pointed the finger of blame firmly at former Hamilton Accies midfielder McCarthy, who was born in Glasgow, and Stoke City’s Glenn Whelan, neither of whom he believes are good enough to anchor the Irish midfield.
Dunphy, who was capped 23 times for Ireland between 1965 and 1971, blasted: “We can’t go on with Glenn Whelan and James McCarthy.
“McCarthy’s just a talking horse – a horse that’s supposed to do great things in the gallops in the morning and never produces on the racecourse.
“This guy never produces a real performance for Ireland and he rarely produces it for Everton. He’s just no good.
“He wasn’t in the game at all. There’s nothing from McCarthy, you really just don’t see him. You don’t see Whelan at all.
“You can’t go into a game minus two in midfield. We can’t go on with this myth that these are good, international-quality players – they’re not.
“They’re not good enough and that’s got to be addressed.”
Dunphy, who began his career as a trainee at Manchester United before spells with York City, Millwall, Charlton Athletic, Reading and Shamrock Rovers, fears Saturday’s result has put paid to Ireland’s hopes of qualifying from Group D.
O’Neill’s side are away to Gibraltar next but then host Georgia and Germany before concluding the campaign away to Poland.
Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE, 69-year-old Dunphy added: “I’m sad, because it’s unlikely now that we’ll qualify as one of the 24 nations in France. That’s very, very sad for Irish soccer.
“But there were good things to take out of it and a sense, also, that there is a spirit in the team.
“It’s not time for the wake yet.”