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The Blog Reel

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 →

“Did Jack Have a Trial With Liverpool?”

fr-ted-football “Did Jack have a trial with Liverpool?” “No Dougal, he was on trial, in Liverpool.” It’s 20 years this week since the first episode of Fr. Ted aired on television and whether it was Dougal sleeping in an Irish shirt, a framed photo of Jack Charlton and Maurice Setters above the fireplace, or the genius over 75’s match episode, we’re reminded how the show has influenced Green Army football fans in a uniquely Irish way. 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 →

First Citizen of Football

higgins1 The Irish season kicked off with the second edition of the President’s Cup featuring League of Ireland champions Dundalk and the FAI Cup winners St Patrick’s Athletic in the curtain-raiser to the domestic campaign. The Irish version of the Community Shield was initiated to honour our football-loving first citizen, Michael D. Higgins. Continue reading →

Happy Birthday Liam Brady

Liam Brady was expelled from a Christian Brothers school for representing Ireland in an underage football game. Today’s marks the birthday of Liam Brady. From signing as a teenager with Arsenal, to his wavy-haired international début at Dalymount, to his time as a star of the title-winning Juventus, Brady is considered among the greatest players ever to emerge from this island. As a pundit, he is a key member of RTE’s legendary panel. Chippy, we salute you. Continue reading →

Corinthian Spirit

corinthians jpg It was a 1910 tour to Brazil by English side Corinthian FC which inspired the creation of Sao Paulo giants Corinthians, by enthusiastic locals. 105 years later, the English outfit’s modern-day descendants Corinthian-Casuals returned to South America to commemorate that first game in front of 26,000 fans Continue reading →

Leeds United, When No News is Good News

Leeds Cover The digital media age means the demand for crap masquerading as ‘content’ is insatiable. If someone, somewhere with a platform capable or arranging words in order is not prepared to provide some analysis of your preferred club’s Tuesday afternoon behind closed doors friendly, you better start getting worried. This story is about my club, Leeds United – a lower mid-table Championship side granted a significantly higher level of media news and comment than such a position rarely merits. The problem is less would very much be more. writes Gary Hartley, Continue reading →

‘El Nino’ Returns

B6hUQgjCQAAnZmd 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 Atlético supporters still packed the Estadio Vincente Calderon and sang the name of ‘El Nino’. Now Fernando Torres has returned. Continue reading →

On Our Way to Paradise?

Mark Lawrenson Scotland Unless you’re counting the 90 minutes in Paris which took the infamous play-off to extra-time, Ireland haven’t beaten a direct qualification rival away from home since a trip to Glasgow in 1987. With the Republic and Scotland reunited in Celtic Park on Friday, can history repeat itself? Continue reading →

A Different Shade of Green – The Alan McLoughlin Story

alan mcloughlin pic Gary Mackay’s goal for Scotland sent Ireland to Euro ’88. A facile win in Malta secured passage to our first ever World Cup in 1990. Play-offs, where the job was virtually done in the first leg, earned us the right to compete on a global stage in 2002 and 2012. The World Cup in America was different though. Irish footballing lore is peppered with iconic goals that stay at the forefront of every Republic fan’s memory. Whelan against USSR, McAteer against the Netherlands, Keane versus the Germans, even O’Shea in Gelsenkirchen. And another of those standout strikes came in Belfast in 1993. For the hero of that hour, his toughest fight was yet to come. His newly released autobiography has already been nominated for the Irish Sports Book of the Year. Continue reading →

When East Beat West

east germany 2 October 3rd is celebrated in Germany as Unity Day. When Joachim Loew’s football side triumphed in Brazil, it marked their first global title as a unified state. East and West only ever met in one World Cup, at the 1974 edition held in West Germany. Of course, 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 reigning European champions. Continue reading →

Is Doctor Quinn the Cure to Ireland’s Ills?

niall quinn side Niall Quinn is an Irish legend, a one-time top goalscorer, and a man who understands football both on and off the pitch having stepped from the changing room to the board room. So when he speaks about the development of Irish players, it’s worth paying attention. Except, we’ve heard it from Quinn before. Maybe for a man of his resources, it’s time to see action, especially if no one running Irish football is bothered to listen. Continue reading →

D-Day for Dublin’s Euro Bid

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

Reviving the Legacy of “Don Patricio” O’Connell

DonPatricio His name should be among the most revered in Irish football history. A former captain of both Ireland and Manchester United, he went on to manage Real Betis and FC Barcelona where he is credited with saving the Catalan giants from extinction. Instead the remains of Patrick O’Connell are buried in an unmarked grave in Kilburn, North London, an area synonymous with Irish emigrants and their broken dreams. Now a new group has come together with the aim of restoring both his final resting place and O’Connell’s reputation in the annals of the game he loved. Continue reading →

On the Mid-Night Plane to Georgia

georgia stadium Irish supporters never made it to Tbilisi when the Republic faced Georgia under Giovanni Trapatonni. Political instability moved the World Cup qualifier to Mainz, Germany. Last weekend, as the green jerseys touched down beneath the Caucuses Mountains, Tbilisi-based Mory Cunningham wondered if it was just another away match location or if the fans felt further East in this still emerging nation of stark contrasts? Continue reading →

Living the Dream

life style sports abdul Nineteen-year-old Abdeen Abdul from Navan, Co. Meath, was chosen as the winner of Life Style Sports ‘The Dream’, a nationwide search for undiscovered young Irish football talent, and will take up a once in a lifetime chance to trial for the acclaimed Nike Academy in London Continue reading →

D-Day for Dublin’s Euro Bid

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

Nike Genealogy of Innovation

genealogy_005 Golden Wolf the animation studio based in London’s Shoreditch bring Nike’s Genealogy of Innovation campaign to life. The I Love Dust sister company have produced spectacular visuals to tell the story of the company’s design technology over the last four decades. Continue reading →

Maracanazo, The Seleção’s Original Tragedy

Ghiggia-Uruguay-1950 It’s hard to believe now following their humiliation at the hands of Germany, that many considered this was Brazil’s World Cup to lose. Arguably you have to go back as far as 1950, when Brazil last hosted the World Cup to find a squad that had been so unduly expected to win the coveted prize in living memory. The defeat in the final – which became known as the Maracanazo, the Maracana blow – has been recalled many times in recent days, with the ghosts of 64 years ago seemimgly excorcised by the current team’s shame, writes Aidan O’Sullivan. Continue reading →

The Beautiful Game Of Thrones

tumblr_n6xmv5IcDW1taahkjo2_1280 Every four years, the bravest warriors from all the corners of the Seven Kingdoms converge to battle for The Throne. Watch the strongest showcase their skills on the battlefield MAracana in the Land of Reos. Valar morghulis, winner takes all. thebeautifulgamers.tumblr.com Continue reading →

World Cup Legends: ‘A childhood dream’

pele Amar Shah’s family ran a sports store importing footballs from Pakistan so he grew up re-enacting World Cup moments with his mates. When Adidas released a historical match-ball series for the 2010 World Cup, on a dare from his wife, he set about a mission: to have a World Cup winning legend sign each ball in the collection. This is his story. 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 →

YBIG Football Show

ybig crop On the YBIG Football Show this week, Dave O’Grady looks at the major news of Roy Keane’s decision to turn down the Celtic job in favour of his current role, and tables a discussion on Ireland’s impressive display against Italy ahead of our two games in the USA. Continue reading →