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 →

Return of the King

noel king 1990 aldo edit Noel King returns to the Irish senior set-up as caretaker manager 23 years after his involvement as coach with Jack Charlton at Italia 90. King replaces Giovanni Trapattoni in the Irish dug-out for the final World Cup qualifiers with Germany and Kazakhstan, stepping up from his role as U21 coach. Continue reading →

Ireland Manager: Mark ’02

mick mccarthy 2002 edit With the news that the FAI plan to bide their time with the appointment of a new manager, we’re likely to see some new names enter the race. The last Irish squad to qualify for a World Cup could yet prove a breeding ground for future coaches of the national team. With many of the class of ’02 dipping their toes in the management waters, and the two main protagonists Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane among the contenders to succeed Giovanni Trapattoni, Diarmuid o hAinle looks at alternatives to the seemingly manager-elect Martin O’Neill. Continue reading →

World Cup Draw

paul mcgrath world cup draw crop Davey Blackett is illustrating a different footballer every day up to next year’s World Cup kicking off on June 12. His Irish contingent is growing with Roy Keane, Liam Brady, and the latest additions, George Best, Paul McGrath, and Robbie Keane. Continue reading →

No Country for Old Men

TrapInfographic Trap & Ireland – A Living History. From despair to hope and back again. And so another chapter in the Irish football story closed early on Wednesday morning with the inevitable parting of ways with the man we all came to know only as Trap. Over the next few days, established scribes will jostle for position in drafting a definitive obituary over his reign and attempt to put into context what the Italian has done, what he has said, the way he made us feel and lastly how he will be remembered. So in the spirit of the documentation of living history, Damage Limitation add to the column inches and gives their own take on Trap the manager, Trap the man and his achievements over the past 6 years. Continue reading →

Crest Love: #6 – Panathinaikos

Panathinaikos One of the oldest and most successful clubs in Greek football, Panathinaikos have won 20 national championships and 17 Greek Cups. There are differing reports as to why Panathinaikos wear the shamrock on their crest with most football fans here hoping for some kind of connection to Ireland. Continue reading →

Gael Force: A Whole New Ball Game

TikiTka What happens when a kid comes from Gaelic training on Tuesday urged to play long ball, then at soccer training Wednesday, his coaches tell him something very different? The departure of Giovanni Trapattoni has sparked a bout of soul-searching among Ireland’s football community. The refrain “We just don’t have the players” has focused the attention on just what is happening at grassroots. As the main criticism of Trapatonni centred 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 →

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 →