Former Republic of Ireland international Ronnie Whelan insists Robbie Brady must adapt his game if he is to be anything more than a super sub at Burnley.
Whelan knows a thing or two about having a successful career. He was a constant in the Ireland squad for fourteen years and a first team regular in the great Liverpool team of the 1980’s and early 90’s.
The former midfielder won six English league titles, three FA Cups and the European Cup during his 15-year spell on Merseyside.
He also won 53 caps for the Republic of Ireland and was in squads for the European Championships in 1988 and two World Cups.
Whelan recently gave his opinion on current Ireland international Brady. He believes the 25-year-old hasn’t absorbed what manager Sean Dyche wants from him at Burnley.
In his column for the Irish Independent, Whelan wrote:
“Robbie Brady didn’t get to play any part in Burnley’s very timely 2-0 win at Selhurst Park on Saturday.
“No team finds it easy against Crystal Palace and Sean Dyche is an organised man.
“Brady didn’t fit the bill for him in a game he needed to get a result from and that suggests to me that Ireland’s top player in Euro 2016 hasn’t yet absorbed what Dyche wants from him.
“For Ireland, he’s Martin O’Neill’s go-to man if he needs a moment of magic and he is trusted to play at left-full or on the left side of midfield no matter how big the game is.
“Dyche has different ideas and Brady will have to fight to adapt his game to suit what the boss wants.
“It is a bit of a worry because I thought Robbie had more than enough momentum from the summer and his work for Ireland in France during Euro 2016 to really kick on and make a name for himself in the Premier League.”
Since joining Burnley from Norwich City in the January transfer window, Brady has only made eleven appearances for The Clarets. Five of those appearances have been from the substitutes bench and he’s only been part of a winning team once. He hasn’t offered much in attack for the team either, only scoring one goal and assisting one since his arrival.
It’s a poor return from a player who was considered to be Ireland’s best player at Euro 2016. He scored twice at the competition as the Irish reached the last 16. He was also named FAI Senior International Player of the Year in 2016.
At Burnley, he has linked up with his friend and international teammate Jeff Hendrick. Whelan continued, stating Ireland’s exploits at Euro 2016 could be the reason for them both having a below-par season.
He also says he would like to see more from both players.
“Neither Brady nor Hendrick have had what could be described as really good seasons and perhaps both are feeling their legs after France.
“Hendrick is in the Burnley team because he can still run all day, tackles and has a physical part to his game which Dyche likes. There’s no mystery there.
“But I’d like to see more than that from him and much more from Brady.
“No time to waste in the Premier League.”
It’s sound advice from a player who won everything at the top level of club football.
Hopefully, Brady will heed that advice and be a bigger part of the Burnley team next season.
Peter Reynolds, Pundit Arena
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football podcast, we catch up with Cillian Sheridan, review all the latest fixtures and look ahead to this week’s League of Ireland matches.