Dunphy: Players like Wes have gone out of fashion

2018-02-09 04:40:57

And so Wes Hoolahan has called time on his international career. Nobody will deny that the Dubliner possessed a creativity that was lacking in Irish teams of late.

Quite simply, he could play that killer pass and we all remember that cross to Robbie Brady against Italy at Euro 2016 and the  winning goal that followed.

Eamon Dunphy has been a long admirer of Hoolahan and paying tribute to him on Morning Ireland said: "I loved how clever he was, how brave he was to get on the ball in difficult situations. He had the guile and the vision to open up defences.

"He was reminiscent of a different era, a street footballer. He had the same skillset as Lionel Messi. Of course I'm not suggesting he was as good as Messi, but he had that little wriggle of the hips, the little deft touch he and there. He was a joy to watch and joy to play with.He was reminiscent of a different era - a street footballer."

That said, Dunphy felt Hoolahan suffered under managers who were overly cautious.

"He was the link man, linking play up between defence and attack. Some managers like the ball to go direct, to cut out the link man and cut out the possibility of the play breaking down. It's a simplistic view of football but it does hurt people with Wes's skillset," he said.

Referencing particular managers, the RTÉ pundit went on to say: "Giovanni Trapattoni exiled him for the whole of his period. Trap didn't trust him not to give the ball away. Martin O'Neil was the same, he only played him when he couldn't avoid it. Wes really should have started both games against Denmark.

"Players like Wes have gone out of fashion unless you’re Lionel Messi"

"He had a chequered career in England because he played during a time when the first quality people looked for was someone who won't make mistakes and someone who's physically strong.

"Players like Wes have gone out of fashion unless you’re Lionel Messi."

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