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 →

An Unfair Game

An Unfair Game This short film which appeared on The New York Times website, explains a troubling situation in English football, where ticket prices have risen to levels so high that many of the fans can no longer afford them. Continue reading →

Keano Saves Galaxy’s Play-off Hopes

keane v seattle Robbie Keane cancelled out Clint Dempsey’s earlier strike to send LA Galaxy into the Western Conference semi-final against Real Salt Lake. The result means Galaxy avoid the ‘Play-in’ knock-out round. Meanwhile, Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls captured the Eastern title and could yet face Keane’s defending champions for the MLS Cup. Continue reading →

Blunders Down Under: Brazil-Bound but Managerless

oz fans Ireland shipped six goals against Germany a year ago and former manager Giovanni Trapattoni never fully recovered. Spare a thought then for our Australian friends. They suffered two 6-0 defeats in succession and are also on the hunt for a new coach. And like the Irish with McCarthy, the Aussies are pining for an old flame. Except, the Socceroos will be in Brazil next summer, as Ian Kerr of football culture magazine, Thin White Line, writes. Continue reading →

King vs The RTE Panel Turns Nasty

noel king interview It all kicked off at the Aviva Stadium in the aftermath of Ireland’s win over Kazakhstan. Noel King didn’t take kindly to some questioning by RTE’s Tony O’Donoghue while the panel responded with Eamon Dunphy labelling King a ‘bully’. Nasty stuff tonight overshadowing a win for the Boys in Green that could secure a second spot seeding for the Euro 2016 draw. Continue reading →

Last Meeting: Cat’s Out of Kazakh

Untitled Ireland’s performance in Astana in the opening game on the road to Brazil set off alarm bells. A smash and grab raid at the death with a Robbie Keane penalty and a late show from substitute Kevin Doyle earned Giovanni Trapattoni a scarcely deserved victory. Ireland’s low morale and rudderless game-plan meant even the minnows knew how to trouble us. The cat was out of the bag. Continue reading →

Comedy Show but Who’s Laughing?

rte panel 2 It was a question posed by Bill O’Herlihy; was Friday’s defeat in Cologne as bad as the 6-1 loss in Dublin at the beginning of the campaign? Eamon Dunphy said it was worse. His colleagues Liam Brady and John Giles avoided giving a direct answer. And Noel King’s reaction to the RTE panel points to a disconnect that’s anything but funny. Continue reading →

Löw Lie the Fields of Athenry

Pic: Sean MacEntee With Ireland travelling to Germany for our penultimate qualifier, our minds are cast back to the 6-1 drubbing at home. The reaction of Friday’s hosts following the Aviva Stadium clash seemed to foresee the beginning of the end for the manager, and the growing unrest of the Irish fans. Continue reading →

View from the Other Side: Turbulence Ahead in Rhine Air

mesut ozil muslim 1 Aleix Gwilliam, co-editor of the English-language German-football website Bundesliga Fanatic, predicts a much different game between Ireland and Germany on Friday than the hammering in Dublin. Joachim Löw’s squad selection has not been without controversy but with qualification still to be secured, it could prove another long night on the banks of the Rhine for Noel King’s Ireland no matter what tactics he tries. Continue reading →

History Lessons: Return to Cologne

Ireland germany 1951 It’s become an urban footballing legend that Germany’s away shirt is green in homage to Ireland being their first opponents after the end of World War II. Except it’s not true. Well, at least the part about the second kit. Ireland did indeed play host to Germany’s first game overseas, however, following the conflict that ravaged Europe. And seven months later we travelled to Cologne for a friendly, 61 years before this Friday’s meeting in the same city. Continue reading →

Bohs Fans Choose New Kit

bohs Bohemians fans were given the opportunity to choose the new kit design to be worn next season. Polls closed on Tuesday night on the four short-listed designs by manufacturer Macron. The poll was run by Harbinger Design and Media, the team behind the classy Bohs website. 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 →

Shamrock Rovers Tifo Display in Sligo

1383619_10153306220105858_1484275623_n Shamrock Rovers fans had an impressive display at the Showgrounds last weekend. The Battle of the Rovers in the FAI Cup semi-finals saw a large travelling support for the Hoops. Out west, there’s only one Roves however, with the Dublin side known as Shams in Sligo, a fact that was played up by the supporters of the Tallaght Stadium outfit. Unfortunately for them, they went down 3-0 as Sligo reached a fourth final in five years. Continue reading →

Is This the New Arsenal Puma Kit?

henry Former British sprint champion Linford Christie may have unwittingly revealed the new Arsenal Puma kit for next season. The former Olympic gold medallist tweeted a picture of Thierry Henry wearing a Puma shirt along with current stars Bacary Sagna and Olivier Giroud before subsequently deleting the image. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Noel King

noel king 2 “It’s a football match. Every kid, every adult, you go to a football match and you try to win the game. That’s all I know and that’s my mission: to try and win the game” – Interim coach Noel King has impressed since taking temporary charge of the Irish team. Continue reading →

FIFA Interactive World Cup 2014

fifa14 Could your FIFA 14 skills lead you all the way to the World Cup in Brazil? The FIFA Interactive World Cup 2014 has officially kicked off, marking the beginning of an epic 6-month journey that will see millions of virtual footballers from all over the world battle for a qualification seat at the FIWC 2014 Grand Final in Rio De Janeiro. Continue reading →

Everton – Only the Crest Will Do

everton big When Everton decided to change their club crest ahead of the new Premier League season, they were met with a backlash from fans. Among other items, the club motto ‘Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ – ‘nothing but the best is good enough’ – was removed. Such was the reaction that the Goodison Park outfit took the decision to choose a new emblem in consultation with the fans. The voting process is almost at an end with the choices narrowed to three. Continue reading →

Saturday Afternoon Fever

Untitled He’s a familiar face on our television screens on weekends at grounds up and down the Football League, and on his travels Sky Sports’ Johnny Phillips has gathered some fascinating stories. It’s mostly away from the glamour of the Premier League’s superstars that Phillips explores the fabric of the modern game. Acclaimed blogger Layth Yousif sits down with the author of Saturday Afternoon Fever: A Year on the Road for Soccer Saturday, and among a host of tales, also discusses his top three Republic players for this son of an Irishman. Continue reading →