Since it seems everyone is writing Open Letters these days, here’s mine. It’s to Eamon Dunphy.
Eamon, last Tuesday, post Ireland’s victory over Kazakhstan, you called interim Irish manager Noel King a ‘bully’, and ‘immature, out of his depth, and a little bit unpleasant’, after his behavior in interview with reporter Tony O’Donoghue. You further stated that Noel King ‘attacked’ Tony O’Donoghue. When RTE panel presenter Darragh Maloney suggested that King had received ‘some fairly harsh criticism himself’, you sought to draw a distinction between the professional and private, becoming most barrister-like with Maloney in the process. It was ok for the panel to call King ‘tactically inept’, but not ok for King to respond by calling the panel ‘a comedy show’. ‘Tactically inept’ is professional, apparently, while ‘a comedy show’ is personal.
Eamon, earlier this year you publically, on RTE’s now-defunct Premiership Soccer Saturday, referred to former Manchester City Manager Roberto Mancini as ‘a clown’. Did you mean he is a professional clown, or a clown in his private life? If, giving you the benefit of the doubt, you really meant that Mancini is ‘tactically inept’, i.e. a professional clown, perhaps you can countenance that when Noel King called the RTE panel ‘a comedy show’, he was intimating that he perceives your punditry to be of a poor standard, and not to be taken seriously, rather than suggesting you are dimwitted in your personal life. How inept is Roberto Mancini in his personal life? You see, it’s a fine line, isn’t it Eamon, this professional/private divide?
Since we are being forensic about our arguments, you claim Noel King attacked Tony O’Donoghue because, according to you, King said: ‘You gotta do your homework, you don’t know what you’re talking about’ to O’Donoghue. Incorrect. If you take the trouble to listen back to the interview, King actually said: ‘…if anyone wants to do their homework.’
Furthermore, when you put Darragh Maloney on the spot, you claimed that when Maloney said that King had taken ‘some fairly harsh criticism himself’, implicit in that question/statement was that it was personal criticism of King. That was not ‘implicit’ at all, and Maloney should have defended himself in that regard. Leastways, no more personal than King’s criticism of the panel.
You see, you are criticising King professionally, just as he is criticising you professionally, whether the terminology is ‘tactically inept’, ‘comedy’ or clown’. Otherwise, all hell will just break loose into vulgar name-calling. Or, could it be that you really do have a personal grudge against King, against Mancini, and against Manchester City Football Club? How big a clown is Roberto Mancini in his personal life? How big a comedy show are you in yours?
Or maybe you’re just a professional, and maybe even personal, hypocrite.
Make up your own minds, folks: