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Jimmy has written 83 articles so far, you can find them below.

Teenage Dream’s So Hard to Beat

Grealish (1) October, 1974, Dublin. Wavy haired 18-year-old Liam Brady is thrust into the spotlight by player-manager John Giles at a pulsating Dalymount Park and plays his part is one of our finest-ever victories. Brady, Keane, Duff – Martin O’Neill says Jack Grealish is not ready but he wouldn’t be our first teenage star. Continue reading →

On Top of the Poles…10 Talking Points

brady It was almost all over. Instead Shane Long’s stoppage-time equaliser capped off a second-half Irish display full of fight and spirit that hasn’t been seen in years, especially at the Aviva Stadium. The Euro dream is still alive, just. Here’s ten talking points from a dramatic week in Euro 2016 qualifying. Continue reading →

Saints and Sinners

fcsp 3 Bottom of Bundesliga 2, St Pauli, once dubbed ‘the world’s coolest club’, are in danger of becoming a footballing irrelevance. But the team from the port city of Hamburg have been there before and weathered the stormy waters to survive and prosper. Continue reading →

Brazil’s Carnival Atmosphere

carnival Few love a party as much as the Brazilians and with the fiesta of music, dance, and colour in full swing this weekend, the nation besotted with football indulges in its other great passion, Carnival. And yet, there are more than a few links between the country’s two great loves. Continue reading →

No German Panic but Fighting Irish Could Strike Another Blow

germany fans Call it a World Cup hangover, but the Germans are still feeling a little delicate since their caipirinha-fuelled conquest by the Copacabana. Retirements and injuries have certainly affected ‘Die Mannschaft’ and their performances since the Maracana triumph have been sluggish. A friendly-drubbing at the hands of Argentina was followed up with the nervy win over Scotland, and a shock defeat to Poland. But German football fans don’t necessarily care. They are the world champions. And the country is still basking in the Brazilian glow. The flags remain on cars and outside houses, if a little more ragged now, a bit like Jogi Loew’s squad. Continue reading →

When East Beat West

east germany 2 At the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, East Germany were drawn in the same group as the tournament hosts. In their first and only appearance at the finals, the East shocked the watching world by beating the defending European champions. Continue reading →

Neymar, Portrait of the Artist

neymar art He’s the darling of the Brazilian national team and the poster-boy for a host nation desperately in need of a World Cup good news story. In Europe, they question if he deserves the hype after a difficult first year at Barcelona but his personality is at odds with the reputation that preceded him. As we saw in last year’s Confederations Cup, Neymar Jr could be about to light up the tournament and live up to the legend that it seems has already been created for him. Continue reading →

O Canarinho: The Most Iconic Shirt in History

10294412_10152501176183767_209850273929590421_n Known ‘O Canarinho’ The Little Canary, it is one of the most iconic images in sport. Yellow flashing with blue on bronzed skin, dancing, darting, with a ball moving like paint strokes. Zig-zags, turns, pass, pass pass. Brazil. The cradle of football. Movers. Masters. The jersey of the Selecao epitomises soccer and the World Cup, and when the tournament kicks off in Sao Paulo on June 12, millions will wear the beloved shirt in a nation besotted with the beautiful game. And yet, the garment wouldn’t exist – certainly not in its current form – without the devastation of Brazil’s loss in the 1950 World Cup final and the subsequent imagination of a 19-year-old from the city of Pelotas. Continue reading →

Ireland and the 1950 Brazil Rejection

worldcupposterbrazil-01 When Sepp Blatter ridiculed Ireland’s rather embarrassing request to be installed as the 33rd team at the World Cup in South Africa, it was in stark contrast to what had happened 60 years earlier. Ahead of the 1950 finals, also in Brazil, FIFA were faced with a mass exodus of nations with just 13 teams eventually pitching up by the Copacabana. Back then it was the world governing body pleading with Ireland to participate. Incredibly we refused, and wouldn’t appear at the finals for another four decades. Read why in the latest installment of The Brazil Series, a collection of articles inspired by the world’s greatest footballing cradle. Continue reading →

Torres’ Atlético Shoot for the Stars

540898_335465823221308_872921764_n When Póg Mo Goal spent some time living in Madrid, the Galácticos hype was at its peak. The Bernabéu Stadium was a mecca for day-trippers as the glamour of the game’s biggest names proved intoxicating. Across the city, however, beleaguered Atletico supporters still packed the Estadio Vincente Calderon and sang the name of ‘El Nino’. Atletico Madrid, then the poor relations in Spain’s capital, have just clinched a first La Liga crown in 18 years, and, having dispatched Fernando Torres’ Chelsea along the way, now stand on the brink of European glory. Continue reading →

Dublin in Running to Finally Land Euros

euro cup The Football Association of Ireland will only have to see off six rivals in its bid to host games at the multi-nation Euro 2020 with 13 cities to be chosen from just 19 formal applications. With Scotland, Wales, and England also in the running, there’s plenty of regional competition for Dublin but the Irish are confident of success this time around despite various hurdles, including football’s usual seedy politics, scuppering us in the past. Continue reading →

Torres Still Atleti’s Galáctico

540898_335465823221308_872921764_n When Póg Mo Goal spent some time living in Madrid, the Galácticos hype was at its peak. The Bernabéu Stadium was a mecca for day-trippers as the glamour of the game’s biggest names proved intoxicating. Across the city, however, beleaguered Atletico supporters still packed the Estadio Vincente Calderon and sang the name of ‘El Nino’. Continue reading →

Why the Republic Still Needs Robbie

robbie keane While Ireland still basks in the light of the Brian O’Driscoll love-in, his counterpart on the national football team doesn’t always enjoy 100% support. But when the history of the Irish game is written, Robbie Keane will rightly be spoken of in the same breath as our retired rugby icon. Keane still has a vital role to play in the Republic’s future fortunes. Only when he’s gone will we realise what we’ve missed. Continue reading →

Happy Birthday Ronaldinho

ronaldinho11 PORTO Alegre is known as “Cidade Sorriso” or Smile City. It’s appropriate then, that it should export the most famous buck-toothed grin in world football. An odyssey that traversed three of Europe’s most renowned cities came full circle when Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, better known as Ronadinho, returned to his homeland where his career has continued to glitter. He celebrates his 34th birthday this week. Continue reading →

Carnival Atmosphere’s Unlikely to Last

carnival In the next of our Brazil Series, amid continuing anger ahead of the World Cup, the contrast couldn’t be greater between Carnival, now underway, and the summer’s festival of football. Revellers on the streets brought Brazil to a stand-still at the weekend. A repeat in June could spell a nightmare for FIFA and the image the tournament hosts want to convey to the watching world. Continue reading →

Celtic Warriors Face Battle to Reach France

Mark Lawrenson Scotland The draw for Euro 2016 has paired Ireland and Scotland together for the first time since 1986, and while the Irish are placed in Group D as second seeds, with Germany already installed as favourites for the tournament, and Poland and the Scots involved, new boss Martin O’Neill would have wished for a far easier road to France. Continue reading →

Taxi for McGeady: Everton’s Irish Story

peter farrell everton crop “He’s English on the outside, but, pure Irish on the inside.” The elderly woman in the ‘Western’ pub in Liverpool was referring to her grandson, Wayne Rooney. Most are Toffees in this part of Merseyside and Aiden McGeady’s arrival at Goodison Park to bolster the green contingent is a reminder that traditionally Everton were the Irish club in the city. The common football phrase “Taxi for” even owes its origins to a former Irish manager. Continue reading →

Irish Fans Keane to Move On

roy keane eyes It was one of the ugliest scenes witnessed at Lansdowne Road. Not the rampaging of English fans hurling rubble onto Irish supporters. Rather Irish supporters hurling vitriol at a former hero who had captained the country in our first ever World Cup, who had cried in the dressing room when we failed to beat Italy in the quarter-final, who later managed his country to another tournament, and who endured, along with his adversarial skipper, a trauma that would scar any man in ordinary life, let alone his footballing one. Continue reading →

Come Play for Me Argentina

Hector Cupe The links between Ireland and Argentina go back centuries from the Chief Admiral of the Argentinian Navy, William Brown, to Che Guevara. There are significant footballing ties also, and two of the more exotic names touted as replacements for Giovanni Trapattoni are those of Hector Cuper and Marcelo Bielsa. Fellow countryman and journalist, Xabier François, says the time is right for an Argentine coach of the Boys in Green. Continue reading →

Pelé, the Nickname, and Jimmy Magee

pele b+w He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, but is known throughout the world simply as Pelé. The origin of the nickname given to the man who just celebrated his 73rd birthday is far from certain, but, as ever, an Irish footballing myth gained legs over the years. With a movie on his life now shooting in Brazil, could the story make it to the big screen? Continue reading →

The Once and Future King?

noel king sideline effect It seems it has only been in the wake of Giovanni Trapatonni’s departure, that Irish football has begun some serious soul-searching. The Italian’s time in charge has polarised the debate on whether the manager was to blame for the senior team’s ills, or as many are grappling with; ‘We just don’t have the players’. And yet, is John Delaney, Irish soccer’s kingmaker, ignoring the opportunity to change the strategy? Continue reading →

No More Dreams and Songs to Sing…10 Talking Points

vid There’ll be no Green Army on the Copacabana, no swansong for Trapattoni at the World Cup (though the Italian might go there yet), and no death ball from above in the manner Ireland bombed out of the European Championship. There’ll be a new man in charge to lead the Boys in Green to France in 2016 and it’s the end of the line for some Irish players while others need to ask if they gave enough to the cause. Here’s 10 talking points from some traumatic days in Irish football. Continue reading →

Squad Rotation: A Year of Change

ireland italy euro 2012 Statistics released this week show Ireland with the fourth highest representation of footballers in the Premier League and, with the new season just starting, international boss Giovanni Trapattoni was able to name ten top flight players in his team to face Wales. This time a year ago, however, his squad was reeling from a disastrous European Championship. The manager has stuck to his word and overhauled the playing staff but for the team that lined out against Italy last summer, much has changed in just 12 months. Continue reading →

Boys of Summer: 10 Talking Points

Republic of Ireland v Spain - International Friendly It’s been a massive end of season for the Boys in Green. Three World Cup qualifying points, positive displays against England and Spain, the emergence of Wes Hoolahan, and the growing statures of Coleman and McCarthy have whet the appetite for a real crack at toppling Austria and Sweden for a play-off berth. However, for some, criticism of the team and manager remains entrenched. Here’s 10 talking points. Continue reading →

Maracana History Repeating Itself

Maracana brazil series crop It’s ironic that the reopening of Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium with Brazil vs England should be overshadowed by accusations that the venue isn’t ready. It’s merely a case of history repeating itself. In the second instalment of The Brazil Series, a collection of articles inspired by the world’s greatest footballing cradle, Póg Mo Goal looks at the storied past of the iconic ground that holds a special place in the heart of all Brazilians. Continue reading →

Proclamation of the Republic

Ireland team 1949 crop On April 18th 1949, Easter Monday, the anniversary of the 1916 uprising, Ireland officially declared itself a republic and left the British Commonwealth. A week later, the national team played Belgium at Dalymount Park but it would be a further five years before it would play under the name ‘Republic’. Continue reading →

Blizzard of Aus: 10 Talking Points

trap snow vs austria An Alpine chill threatens to freeze our hopes of a summer of soccer and samba in Brazil next year. We’ve had a few days to digest the happenings at the Aviva Stadium last Tuesday and the overwhelming feeling is still one of regret. Sixty seconds more and Ireland would have been in the driving seat for the play-off spot in World Cup qualifying Group C. Instead, Irish fans remain frustrated and angry but still hold a glimmer of hope. Here’s ten talking points. Continue reading →

He is Zlatan

Zlatan crop Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the man we must shackle if we are to have any chance of taking something from Stockholm. With a career that’s taken in some of the world’s top clubs, Ireland will be up against it to stifle the Swedish captain, but our own form striker Robbie Keane’s record measures favourably against the PSG hit-man. Continue reading →

Soccer Stardom’s Cool for Cats

mikey drennan nextgen Best known as a conveyor-belt of hurling talent, Kilkenny can also boast a production line of soccer hot-shots. Aston Villa’s cat Mikey Drennan sits atop the NextGen scorers list having helped the Villans to the quarter-final stage of the elite competition. There’s a healthy Irish contingent at Villa Park not least in the youth sides […] Continue reading →

This is Crazy, So Call Me Brady

trap-brady-1 The latest communications mishap surrounding the Irish football team should have us all clamouring for the return of Liam Brady to the management. The pundit is renowned for talking sense on RTE’s soccer panel and there’s nothing sensible about some of the talk coming from the Irish camp in recent days. Continue reading →

The Return of Ronaldinho

ronaldinho1 The day after he turned 21, all eyes at Wembley will be on Brazil’s latest superstar Neymar but the followers of the Selecao will also be hailing the return of another hero, the grinning teeth and smiling feet of the one they call Ronaldinho Gaúcho. Continue reading →

Poles Apart: Twelve Months On

ireland poland train How ironic that Poland should provide the opposition for Giovanni Trapattoni’s first fixture of 2013. This time last year, Poland was the name on the lips of every Irish fan. There’ll be plenty of reminiscing done amongst supporters who’ll also remember that the Poles were the first side to defeat Ireland under Trapattoni. A repeat this week will leave the Irish manager teetering on the edge Continue reading →

States of Progression

In a week when Richard Dunne was linked with two clubs in the MLS, including a reunion with Robbie Keane in LA, Póg Mo Goal looks at the recent leaps in the American game and asks if the USA will become the future training ground for more Irish footballers? Continue reading →

Window of Opportunity for Irish

meyler mccarthy long ireland This time last year, there were high hopes of transfer movement for Irish stars struggling at club level. A European Championship loomed on the horizon, a competition Marco Tardelli said could serve as a shop window for the Republic squad. The demand for our stars failed to materialise and Poland saw the shop bankrupt. This time however, it’s form players and old reliables that are attracting attention. Continue reading →

David Who? Keano Can Rule the Galaxy

robbiekeanela He was the butt of world-wide jokes when labelled an ‘unidentified fan’ alongside David Beckham at an NBA game. But Robbie Keane could be set for the last laugh. Becks plays his final match in the MLS this weekend, and Tallaghtfornia’s finest is perfectly placed to take up the mantle as the highest-profile player in American soccer. Continue reading →

It Started With a Handshake

SNV35554 Review: Mick McCarthy took over at Ipswich Town last week and confirmed he would have said yes to a return to the Ireland job. His arrival at Portman Road drew the inevitable links to Roy Keane’s time in charge of the Tractor Boys. For Irish people, one name usually follows the other and the word Saipan is never far from the lips. Diarmuid O hAinle’s stunning new book It Started With a Handshake takes us back to 2002 but asks what if it had all turned out differently? Continue reading →

Hold ‘Em Klose Irish Dancer

Robbie germany It’s ten years since Robbie Keane danced through the German defence and blasted a last gasp equaliser past Oliver Khan. Miroslav Klose, the man who scored Germany’s opener that day, is still leading the attack but Robbie won’t be doing cartwheels after being ruled out of Friday’s clash between the sides. The interest of a pessimistic Irish public, however, has also gone head over heels. Continue reading →