End of the World for Trap and Ireland

Untitled Ireland’s defeat in Austria has heralded the end of the Trapattoni era, with the manager and assistant Marco Tardelli parting company with the FAI by ‘mutual consent. The Italian, who has been in charge since 2008, paid tribute to the Irish supporters and said he leaves the job “with emotion.” Read the full FAI statement. Continue reading →

Dalymount, 1963, Ireland 3-2 Austria

ireland-1963-crop The last time Ireland defeated Austria was in Dublin in 1963 in front of almost 40,000 at Dalymount Park in a European qualifier. Having drawn 0-0 in Vienna three weeks earlier, Ireland progressed to the last eight of the European Nations Cup thanks to a 3-2 win with two goals coming from Manchester United’s Noel Cantwell. Continue reading →

‘Maestro’ Trap Faces Austrian Mountain

trap close up crop Both smarting from defeats last Friday and trailing the play-off spot by three points, Austria and Ireland face off in Vienna desperately clinging to hope. Georg Sander of 90minuten.au traces the recent development of Austrian football, claiming the current defence is a weakness, and that former Salzburg coach Trapattoni still holds a fascination for the natives – an allure that has all but disappeared in Ireland. Continue reading →

Vien-d of the World

Untitled Some would say he was at the helm of Ireland for too long, with some ageing players, a direct style of play deemed no longer suitable for international football, and, with defeat in Austria, headed for the exit door. There are many parallels between Jack Charlton’s last days as Irish boss and the apparent imminent end of the Giovanni Trapattoni era. Vienna forms the back-drop to both. Continue reading →

Germany Inch Klose, Kazakhs Survive Faroes Scare

F7B9343A66F208EC285B5F8DE476 As Ireland prepare to take on Austria in Vienna hoping for a miracle, Tuesday’s hosts are recovering from a 3-0 defeat in Munich. Germany inched closer to qualification with goals from Miroslav Klose, equalling the German record, Kroos, and Muller. Meanwhile Kazakhstan, who must defeat Sweden to give Ireland any hope, had to come from behind to beat the Faroe Islands. Continue reading →

Swedes Told ‘No’ To Aviva March

swedish fans march A request by Swedish fans to march from Dublin city centre to the Aviva Stadium on Friday evening and perform a Tifo display in the grounds, has been turned down by the Gardai and FAI. Up to 6,000 Swedes are expected at the crunch World Cup encounter but the march, which has become a tradition on away trips, has been ruled out by the authorities while an in-stadium display has also been shot down. Continue reading →

Coleman Ready to Fuel Irish Fire

Coleman green He’s been called Ireland’s answer to Gareth Bale and in their tussles in the Premier League to date, he has often come out on top. Seamus Coleman’s ability to attack and influence the play is one of the key reasons Irish fans hold some hope we can defeat Sweden at home and take a massive step towards the World Cup in Brazil next year. Continue reading →

Polish Passions Flare in Warsaw

legia 10 Legia Warsaw supporters responded with a tifo and flare display to UEFA’s order to close the section housing their Ultras for their Champions League clash play-off with Steaua Bucharest. The Polish champions were fined €30,000 for the “racist behaviour” of fans during the previous round. Continue reading →

From Russia With Love

FIFA World Cup 2018, Russia (1) Events at the World Athletics Championships have shone the spotlight on Russian law and the merits of the country hosting major sporting competitions. Actor Stephen Fry’s recent open letter called for them to be stripped of the Winter Olympics because of draconian homophobic laws just passed in the state. All this raises yet more questions about FIFA’s criteria for World Cup host nations as Robbie Duggan writes. Continue reading →

YBIG Football Show: Team the Fans Built

Untitled Has Trapattoni finally bowed to the pressure from the media and fans and picked a team to satisfy everyone? It’s a packed YBIG Football Show as Dave O’Grady chats with five Irish soccer journalists and writers looking back at the game with Wales and ahead to September’s crucial qualifiers with Sweden and Austria Continue reading →

Moyes Seeking to Keep the Faith

david moyes united If Fergie was a god in the red half of Manchester, it remains to be seen if his successor David Moyes can keep the Red Devils in the promised land. Does landing his first trophy matter? Irish Mancunian Dan Mellett explores what the Community Shield success means for the new boss, observing that even Christ himself didn’t have to follow Alex Ferguson. Continue reading →

Über Para, Ibra Hattrick, Cardiff was Atrocious…and Austria lost

305739hp2 A youthful Ireland enjoyed the lion’s share of possession against Wales in Cardiff, creating more scoring opportunities, but could only manage an uninspiring 0-0 draw. Meanwhile, World Cup group rivals, and imminent visitors to Dublin, Sweden beat Norway 4-2 with Ibrahimovic grabbing a hattrick while Austria were beaten at home by Greece. Germany played out a 3-3 thriller with Paraguay. Continue reading →

Wales v Ireland: World in Motion

Untitled As Ireland prepare to take on Wales in Cardiff, we look back at a historic previous clash. When the sides played at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground in 1906, two film-makers were on hand to capture some of the action. The images are believed to be the oldest surviving footage of an international match in existence. Continue reading →

Whelan in the Years

crop His team-mate John O’Shea has called him an ‘unsung hero’ and while his partners in the Irish midfield have fallen in and out of favour, Glenn Whelan remains at the heart of Giovanni Trapattoni’s quest to reach the World Cup next summer. The Dubliner earns his 50th cap in Wales tonight. 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 →

Hand of History

Untitled Perhaps unsurprisingly, Thierry Henry is a divisive figure in French football. Perceived as aloof, an adversary of Zidane, and the apparent leader of a shameful strike at the 2010 World Cup. In an extract from French Football Weekly’s Jeremy Smith’s interview with Phillipe Auclair, author of Thierry Henry: Lonely At The Top, Póg Mo Goal looks at the Frenchman’s standing in history, and THAT night in Paris. Continue reading →

Villa’s Jack the Lad Boosts Ireland

crop He’s the highly-rated winger who’s lined out for Ireland since U-15 level but such have been the performances of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish that England came calling. Believed to have considered a switch in allegiances, in a massive boost to the Republic, the 17-year-old has accepted a call up to Noel King’s U21’s for this week’s Euro qualifier. After an exciting pre-season where he’s appeared for the club’s senior side, Shelley Osborne of Villa supporters’ site My Old Man Said takes a closer look at the rising Irish star. Continue reading →

Gael Force: A Whole New Ball Game

Untitled Champions eventually topple. As Barcelona and Spain have demonstrated their fallibility – and that of their play – so too in Gaelic football, Donegal, praised and pilloried for a revolutionary style, have been unceremoniously dumped from the All-Ireland. But what can the rise and fall of Jim McGuinness’ side tell us about the state of Irish soccer? As the main criticism of Giovanni Trapatonni centres on Ireland’s manner of play, the issues run far deeper than the senior team. Diarmuid o hAinle explores a uniquely Irish state of affairs and the influence of Gaelic Games on young players. Continue reading →

Lord of Gdansk – Neymar’s Barca Bow

Barcelona's Neymar gestures as he runs during their friendly soccer match against Lechia Gdansk in Gdansk Barcelona’s new signing Neymar has made his long-awaited début coming on as a 78th minute substitute in Poland. The Brazilian was introduced late on and was met with some hefty challenges from the locals Lechia Gdansk. Meanwhile Lionel Messi was up to his old tricks in the 2-2 friendly draw at the PGE Arena. Continue reading →