The Eamon Dunphy file on the wonder of Wes Hoolahan

The street footballer who nearly saved the football nation was lauded in the RTE studio

Republic of Ireland’s Wes Hoolahan celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016  match between Ireland and Sweden at the Stade de France.

Republic of Ireland’s Wes Hoolahan celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Euro 2016 match between Ireland and Sweden at the Stade de France.

 

After the announcement from Wes Hoolahan that he is retiring from international football, it seems only fitting that we look back on some quotes from his biggest fan, Eamon Dunphy.

Dunphy on Morning Ireland on Thursday following Hoolahan’s announcement he will retire from international football

“If you put together his showreel, he was wonderful... He wasn’t strong but he was brave. He learned his skills on the street like many of the best players... Liam Brady, John Giles, players like that. Players like Wes have gone out of fashion unless you’re Lionel Messi or a player like that.”

After Ireland’s 5-1 defeat to Denmark in November 2017

“He’s been left out wilfully and stupidly all through the campaign and that tells you something about Martin O’Neill’s football values. If we had had him on the pitch when we were 1-0 up, we wouldn’t have lost control of the game as easily as we did because we would have had the ball more.”

Before the same game...

“When Wes Hoolahan is on the pitch we score every 46 minutes, when he’s not on the pitch we score every 133 minutes”.

October 2015, after home win over Germany

"He's my love child!"

In response to Dunphy's comments and to a photo of the pair doing the rounds, Hoolahan said: “It was five-a-side in the Monto in Liberty House when I was about 12 or 13, and I got player of the tournament. Eamon was handing out the trophies. Or my Dad, I should say.”

June 2015, after home draw against Scotland

“I love him {Hoolahan] he’s a real footballer”.

June 2013, after a home win over the Faroe Islands

Wes is “delightful, original, cheeky and inventive – all the things Italian coaches over the decades have really resented”.

And an Irish Times letter writer’s take on the Dunphy obsession with Hoolahan

Sir, – Eamon Dunphy as usual has the solution. Jack Charlton couldn’t manage; Mick McCarthy couldn’t manage; Giovanni Trapattoni couldn’t manage; and Martin O’Neill cannot manage. On the Tonight Show on TV3, he has now added Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to his list of people incapable of management. May I suggest to the Taoiseach as he targets reform that the answer is simple and Eamon is right – bring Wes Hoolahan into the Cabinet to provide real leadership and vision. – Yours, etc,

PAT O’CONNELL, Adare, Co Limerick.

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