A regional newspaper in Stoke-on Trent has come to the defence of Glenn Whelan after Eamon Dunphy launched a stinging broadside at the Ireland midfielder. The Sentinel took exception to remarks made by one of RTE’s wise men in the aftermath of last week’s home loss to Sweden.
Dunphy labelled Whelan a ‘terrible’ player’ saying: “He can’t run, he can’t pass, he can’t tackle, he doesn’t see anything…he drives two Ferraris and I’m entitled to say what I think.”
The Sentinel’s Martin Spinks called Dunphy’s outburst an ‘unwarranted verbal assault’ adding that the outspoken former Irish international is known for regularly coming out with outrageous comments. Spinks defended Whelan observing that both Giovanni Trapattoni and former Stoke manager Tony Pulis (who handed Whelan around 120 Premier League starts) saw fit to regularly include the Dubliner in their sides.
“Now Whelan is no Roy Keane, we are all agreed, but he is surely the best available to the Emerald Isle in the role of holding together a midfield invariably competing against superior opposition.” he wrote.
Spinks acknowledged that Whelan might possess more heart than ability, but added that the same could be said of “just about every Irish player since the halcyon days of Charlton and McCarthy.”
Adding that as an Englishman he too wanted to see Ireland do well, and anyone who did likewise would acknowledge the effort of Whelan to the cause.
However, in the eyes of Eamon Dunphy, the midfielder was “a very lucky lad to have 50 caps for Ireland.”