Eamon Dunphy has wasted no time in responding to recent comments from Martin O’Neill, branding the Republic of Ireland manager a football snob.
Dunphy hit back after O’Neill took pot shots at him in an event at Cork Opera House earlier this week.
O’Neill told the audience: “I heard Eamon once said, 'I was a good player, not a great player. No Eamon, you weren't even a good player.
“You can't call yourself a good player if you've never played in the big league.”
“He couldn't make the grade at Manchester United and he's been pontificating for years."
The RTE pundit responded in an interview in today’s Irish Daily Star.
“Even if I’d never played football at any level, I’d be entitled to express an opinion on the game,” he said.
“This is silly, childish stuff. You’d expect better from an international manager. This is football snobbery."
Many of O’Neill’s current Ireland squad ply their trade in lower leagues, something Dunphy was keen to point out:
“Look at the players O'Neill is bringing to France. Keiren Westwood, Cyrus Christie, Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick... none of these have played in the big leagues.”
Dunphy also strongly defended his record as both a player and a pundit.
“I have 23 caps from a time when there were far fewer international caps.”
He continued: I’ve been a journalist for 40 years and have a background in football as well. I did my coaching badges… I know what I’m at.”
"I think Ireland can go to the quarter-finals in France," Dunphy concluded. "But it worries me that O'Neill is getting distracted by childish nonsense."
The ball is now back in O’Neill’s court. Should the two make up before the tournament?