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 →

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 →