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Republic of Ireland

Trap Wants Plenty to Cro About

croatia Preview – With the Premier League season starting on Saturday, and the spate of withdrawals from the Irish squad, we don’t expect much from tonight’s friendly with Croatia. And by now you’d think Giovanni Trapattoni would consistently pick Ireland’s best players. However, with two massive qualifying games looming, his squad selections remain as erratic as ever meaning this evening offers a last chance for someone to gate-crash the Italian’s plans. Continue reading →

Spud Watch Mid-Summer Bonanza Part 3

david forde wide Part 3 of the Mid-Summer bonanza. Ahead of the resumption of the international season, in another moment of profound enlightenment, Spud Watch compares the Ireland midfield predicament with trying to chat up young ones. The only shifting going on at Lansdowne Road is the crowd moving uncomfortably in their seats. Continue reading →

Third Seed Ireland Go Nuts for Brazil

brazil fan The Germans, the Swedes, the Austrians, Brian Kerr’s Faroes and Kazakhstan. The Republic of Ireland have a tough nut to crack to reach Brazil in 2014 but it was inevitable given our third place seeding. Giovanni Trapattoni has put his faith in a mixed bag of committed but limited players to take the Irish to the European Championships next year. Cashing in our Euro chips (Cash-eu?) will determine whether pecan approach the road to Rio with trepidation or optimism. Otherwise, it’s all macadamic. Continue reading →

Republic Ready for Rocky Road to Rio

keane kaka wide The Road to Rio begins on Saturday with the draw for the 2014 World Cup. With Giovanni Trapattoni aiming on staying in the managerial hot-seat until the finals in Brazil, Irish fans will be awaiting the outcome with bated breath. Pitted as a third seed once again, drawing England and France is just one of the possibilities that awaits the Republic. With European Championship qualification still in the balance, we can cast our minds further for a moment and dream of a tantalising Gaelic and Samba infusion and a meeting on Copacabana Beach of the Boys in Green and the Boys from Brazil. Continue reading →

Spud Watch Mid-Summer Bonanza Part 1

ireland carling nations wide The spud that broke the camel’s back. Spud Watch has been locked away all summer chiselling out this review of last season’s climax and a lot has happened since we last spoke. Ireland picked up their first silverware since the Iceland Cup and since Harry Ramsden’s closed down. Here’s Part One of our look back at all things Irish football followed by some belligerence, and some transfer news. Continue reading →

State of Play: Italy 0 Ireland 2

players v italy A QUITE extraordinary night in Belgium and perhaps the first inclination that the squad Giovanni Trapattoni is moulding for Ireland may be on the cusp of big things. A second string side put a vastly superior Italian outfit to the sword and looked utterly composed in doing so. Yet, beyond all that, there may be a seed germinating in the mind of the manager that his previous first choice team may not be one to deliver the revolution he believes is possible. Like the friendly against Uruguay, this Irish team full of youth, hunger, commitment and confidence is much easier on the eye and perhaps contains some more capable of returning the Republic to the big time than others who have soldiered so far. Continue reading →

State of Play: Macedonia 0 Ireland 2

robbie v mac wide MANY people predicted Ireland would only be good enough to claim a point in Skopje last night. Missing some key players, with a makeshift defence and a lack of creativity in midfield, it was a game with many pitfalls to scupper our qualification bid. Instead, despite shortcomings in our ability to dictate the game and maintain possession, the Irish came away with a massive result. Robbie Keane made history while ensuring the Republic are in with a shot of making some more. Continue reading →

State of Play: Republic of Ireland 5 Northern Ireland 0

keane v NI wide For reasons best known to themselves, certain players did not report for duty for the Republic of Ireland this week. Those who claim injuries should normally be given the benefit of the doubt but to hell with that. Since Stephen Ireland decided to bury his perfectly-alive grannies, we no longer automatically believe the excuse of players who withdraw from the Irish squad. That is an indictment of the attitude of the modern day footballer. Once upon a time we thought Irish players were different. The Kevin Doyles and Shane Longs were normal lads who made their way from real football in the League of Ireland to the big time but didn’t forget those roots. We were naïve. And now when a club sends a medical scan to Dublin, we have to ask for a second opinion. For shame. Continue reading →

Preview: Tired of Irish Excuses

stokes 1 Not even a royal welcome for the Queen, our new favourite granny, can disguise the fact that Northern Ireland don’t exactly like us at the moment. It’s ironic that there seems plenty of players up there willing to line out for the southern neighbours while others named in the squad can’t do us the courtesy of coming up with a plausible excuse. The monarch of Britain and the President of the United States can turn up for the Republic. Tony Stokes and James McCarthy say “No we can’t.” Continue reading →

Youth Gamble Gives Trap Hand to Play

trap Review – It’s been a funny few days in the life of the Republic of Ireland’s international football team. Having scraped through a game we thought we could win comfortably, things looked grim for the remainder of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Then, we send out a second string side who lose to the World Cup semi-finalists – and suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad…. Continue reading →

State of Play: Ireland 2 Uruguay 3

ireland uru Póg Mo Goal’s no-holds-barred player ratings – HAD Ireland equalised to make it 3-3 at the Aviva Stadium against Uruguay, they would have been full value for the draw. Playing with an abandon that was sorely missed on Saturday, a mix of the naivety but confidence of youth, and the excessive enthusiasm of those out to impress, saw an Irish side produce ambitious football that almost came up trumps. Continue reading →

State of Play: Ireland 2 Macedonia 1

keane v mac 2 Póg Mo Goal’s no-holds-barred player ratings- WITH about 22 minutes gone of last night’s Euro 2012 qualifying game, the Republic of Ireland looked like they were about to emphatically take control of Group B. Leading 2-0 and dominating against a ragged Macedonia side, Trapattoni’s Ireland were set to post a decisive victory. A defensive unit that included three players making their competitive débuts were not fazed and were in complete control. Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady on the wings were tearing Macedonia apart. Continue reading →

Preview: I’m Having Ya Macedonia

Macedonia fans   An infamous night in Skopje. Not so much a tangerine dream as an orange nightmare. In 1997 Mick McCarthy’s hopes of emulating Jack Charlton by leading the Republic to a World Cup finals disintegrated when an ageing Irish side fell to a disastrous 3-2 balls-up in the Balkans. A team that included a forward-line […] Continue reading →

State of Play: Will Trap take a Long shot on Shane?

long v slovakia wide GIOVANNI Trapattoni is nothing if not predictable. That may sound slightly caustic, but since taking charge of the Boys in Green, the Republic of Ireland manager has rarely been known for throwing caution to the wind. He was back to his stable best on Monday, when announcing his squad for the two games against Macedonia and Uruguay. Many of the usual suspects were there – Dunne, Duff, Kilbane, etc. However, perhaps Il Trap will surprise us all and shake things up a little. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – Stop The Press

trap press conf I had written a critique of Giovanni Trapattoni’s original squad selection yesterday for next week’s clash with Wales. However, earlier today I was handed a revised squad update here at Spud Watch Towers and I’ll be f*cked if you think I’m gonna go back and re-edit all the nonsense and garble. But what has been handed to me is is the most exciting looking Irish squad in 5 years…. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 04/02/11

duff celebration crop HELLO friends and welcome to Spud Watch – lots to talk about this week but also the usual dose of nonsensical boll*cks, plus an in-depth analysis of Trap’s squad (in Spud Watch – Stop The Press) which chopped and changed more times than the original Pippa in Home and Away. (Incidentally, the original Pippa is a better midfield option than Paul Green or Glenn Whelan). Continue reading →

On The Road To God Knows Where – Paris

paris tunnel WE’LL always have Paris ….It’s the beginning of a new year and it’s a massive one for Giovanni Trapattoni and Ireland. Euro qualification lies in the balance. This time 12 months ago, the pain of Paris was all too palatable. We’d do well to remember it as we now look to get over the finish line. Póg Mo Goal returns to that fateful night and journeys with the fans. Those with a weak disposition, look away now. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 07.01.11

seamus-coleman v spurs SPUD Watch becomes a normal job again as I actually have players to report on. I felt like Lieutenant Huxley in Demolition Man there for a while, wandering around yearning for things to happen – usually in the Npower Championship but in the end I’d end up on Chat Roulette crying at a group of black people wearing Yankee jerseys in America laughing at my naked body. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 14.12.10

Stephen-Hunt-Stephen-Carr-007 I FEEL sad my friends. I feel very sad. I can’t shake this melancholy. Another pitiful weekend for our lads over in foreign. There is going to be a serious amount of Irish players moving in the January transfer window, the type of movement not seen since the time I licked a raw chicken fillet when I was 5 years old. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 23.11.10

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Fulham v Manchester City - Craven Cottage JOE Hart wasn’t injured after all and Shay Given returned to the bad place he’s been in now for months, despite Wednesday’s brief international respite; like a prisoner being let out for Christmas dinner. Damien Duff is, in my opinion, also about to enter a bad place. He looked out of sorts again against City – getting subbed for Gera and may now be in danger of losing his place for their next outing. What are we without a Duff firing on all cylinders? It’s like The Beatles without John and Paul, Ant and Dec without Dec, porn without the cum-shot, Play The Game without Derek Davis – It doesn’t bare thinking about. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 16.11.10

Kevin Foley Wolves SEAMUS Coleman is rapidly becoming a right-sided Gareth Bale under our eyes. When you consider that this time last year, Bale was still a struggling left-back and you look where he’s at now. Coleman is already far from a struggling defender and was a real handful for the Arse in the first half, creating chances and space through acceleration, flat-out pace, decent control and the ability to make a pass. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 09.11.10

damien-duff DAMIEN Duff finally returned to first team action for Fulham. Hurrah – He came on along with Stephen Kelly as Mark Hughes’ side searched for an equaliser against Aston Villa. Why he decided to play Duff at left back is a mystery to me. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come for Hughes as it was this kind of shite that made Duff’s career go backwards at Newcastle, not to mention getting injured every second week. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 02.11.10

Stephen+Hunt+Wolverhampton+Wanderers+v+Manchester+p4Dp5jjnylNl WOOOOO wooooooooooo – Happy Halloween Spud Watchers. If, like me, you got the trots watching The Exorcist last night then be warned by the scary nature of this week’s Spud Watch. Actually there’s nothing scary about it, just the usual poor grammar, spelling mistakes and nonsense. I did see five ghosts on Saturday however – Glenn Whelan, Paul Green, Marc Wilson, Darren Gibson and Keith Andrews…wooo woooooo. Enough of this foolishness….. Continue reading →

Spud Watch: The Irish Abroad 05.10.10

ColemanSeamus IT LOOKS like Giovanni Trapattoni has been reading Spud Watch (I really hope someone is) and has heeded our advice. Young Coleman was drafted into the Irish squad and was once again a starter for Everton on Saturday, bombing up and down the right wing throughout their side’s impressive 2- 0 win away to Birmingham. He plays like a man thoroughly enjoying his football. Whether it be on the right wing or at full-back, over the 90 minutes Coleman gets up and down more times than a porn star’s penis on a good night. Continue reading →