Thirty years after being ridiculed by his Tottenham clubmates while playing for Ireland, Tony Galvin believes the superiority complex remains alive and well amongst Europe’s elite.
Christian Eriksen may be his standout player at Spurs these days but one of the last Irishmen from the club to represent Ireland took offence at the Denmark playmaker’s remarks following the latest of two stalemates 12 days ago.
The 62-year-old felt it was mere commonsense that Martin O’Neill, since deposed, learned the lessons of 12 months previous when the Danish destroyer bagged a hat-trick.
“Eriksen just wanted us to open up in the Nations League games so he could attack and score more goals like he did in the World Cup play-off,” noted Galvin.
“Again, as happened back in my day, it smacked of arrogance towards Ireland.”
Galvin, the Huddersfield-born winger who declared for Ireland at 1982 through his Limerick grandfather, traces the syndrome back to his own heyday, the infancy of Jack Charlton’s team taking a grip of the nation in 1988.
He was delighted to get the last laugh when his cross set up the chance for Ray Houghton to bury the header which shocked England in Germany.
“England had that superiority complex, even their players at Spurs used to look down at us,” explained Galvin, in Dublin last night for another reunion of the squad.
“I had got a lot of abuse in the warm-up from England fans calling me a traitor but then Chris Waddle just looked at me in the line-up and laughed.
“He was saying ‘what the f*ck are you doing there?’ and ‘we’re going to beat you’.
“When Ireland used to get stitched up by referees, like the World Cup qualifier in Belgium in 1981, Chris (Hughton) always became annoyed that people saw us as gallant losers. Everything changed after beating England.”
Meanwhile, another of the ’88 heroes, Kevin Sheedy, admit he was pleasantly surprised to see his former club Everton managed to keep hold of Séamus Coleman.
The Ireland captain had been linked with a move to Manchester United before Neil Taylor’s horrific lunge broke his leg in Ireland’s game against Wales in March 2017.
Now fully recovered and back in his favoured right-back slot at Goodison, the Donegal native has recently suggested he’s content to see out his career on Merseyside.
“He was the best full-back in the Premier League during his mid-twenties so I was surprised that he didn’t move on,” said Sheedy, who only last year left a coaching role with the Toffees.
“The days of players staying on into their testimonial years, like Jamie Carragher at Liverpool, are long gone.
“You don’t get many strong characters like Séamus staying at one club but he’s a proper Everton player, and that’s all the Evertonians want.
“He was a brilliant signing for us from Sligo Rovers and hopefully he goes on to win that trophy he wants.”
BULLET To celebrate Dublin’s hosting of the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw tomorrow, Tony Galvin teamed up with Dublin City Council and the Football Association of Ireland to launch the National Football Exhibition giving people the chance to experience some of the excitement. Open to the public on Sunday, December 2nd, at the Printworks, Dublin Castle, until the 9th December, the Exhibition celebrates 60 years of UEFA European Championship and Irish football.