Preview: Ireland’s Call to Arms

armenia team Despite some frustrating nights, Irish fans are beginning to realise that no second-placed side in Europe would fancy facing a team that hasn’t conceded a goal in 720 minutes of football. If Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland are just as miserly on Tuesday, he’ll deliver the Republic to another play-off with the ‘mentality’ that we’ve got unfinished business. Continue reading →

Preview: On our Pyrenees but Summit Still in Sight

andorra stadium A win is a must. Haven’t we heard that before? The Irish players are saying all the right things. Many are talking about the possibility of outright qualification. Yet, what has changed? Before the Slovakia game in the Aviva Stadium, Ireland needed a victory to go top of the group. Had we got it, combined with the subsequent heroic rearguard in Moscow, we would be sitting pretty at the top of the table now. Two wins and we would be packing our bags for Poland and Ukraine. Continue reading →

Keep them Rovers Rollin, Rohan

rohan ricketts wide The gaze of the footballing press continues to focus on Shamrock Rovers as the countdown to their White Hart Lane meeting with Spurs continues. In particular, former Tottenham player Rohan Ricketts has figured prominently as he prepares to return to his old stomping ground in the hooped shirt of Ireland’s history makers. Continue reading →

Euro Princesses and the Pea

peamount team Tallaght Stadium. The final stages of a major European competition. Irish particpants for the first time. Heady days for the game here. And no, it’s not Shamrock Rovers. Peamount United Ladies face Paris Saint German in the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Wednesday and take another defining step for football in Ireland. Continue reading →

Giant Leap – The First for the Irish Rovers

rovers europa wide Irish football’s finest hour? Regardless of what ensues; whether Shamrock Rovers are beaten out the gate in each of their Europa League games, they have put the League of Ireland on the map. Paradoxically, the attention and goodwill flowing towards Rovers from the wider football world may be the route by which the Republic’s domestic game gains respect at home. Continue reading →

State of Play: Russia 0 Ireland 0

dunne kelly v russia wide Armenia 4 Slovakia 0. That scoreline puts Ireland’s result in Moscow into perspective. Taking into account the reverse result in Dublin and the fact that we were second-best for most of the night, this was a heroic display by Trapattoni’s Ireland. Richard Dunne was a stand-out performer and if Russia fail to beat Slovakia next month, Ireland still have a chance of automatic qualification. Continue reading →

Preview: Mission to Moscow

ireland slovakia crowd After Friday’s display, Ireland’s hopes of qualifying for a first tournament since 2002 looked doomed. The reaction of the crowd at the end said it all. The team were booed off the pitch, not because they failed to score but because Irish people only demand one thing, 100% effort from everyone in a green shirt. Many people paid good money to be in the Aviva last week. Many people didn’t. We can accept limited ability but cannot except limited effort. And yet, in Moscow, Ireland have a chance to pay back their fans by finally backing up their words with a performance. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Darren O’Dea

darren o'dea wide “I am well used to intimidating atmospheres. You get that going into a restaurant in Glasgow. We are still very much alive and there is not one bit of doubt in the squad that we can’t go to Russia and get a good result. I have absolutely no doubt that next summer we will be in Poland and Ukraine” Continue reading →

Ireland 0 Slovakia 0: Superbad

McLovin WIDE McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Anton Yelchin had to go and watch absolute rubbish led by a frail shite-talker who waffles incomprehensible nonsense….but before the Late Late Show, they were at the match in the Aviva. In Dublin for the premiere of Fright Night, the duo picked the right place in Lansdowne Road to witness a horror show. Continue reading →

State of Play: Ireland 0 Slovakia 0

ireland slovakia missed chance There were two main reasons why Ireland didn’t beat Slovakia on Friday night. Firstly, Aiden McGeady’s inept performance handicapped the home side reducing our attacking threat to just one outlet, Damien Duff. And secondly, Trapattoni chose not to replace the Spartak Moscow player until six minutes to go. Continue reading →

Preview: Vak to the Fut-Eur

ireland v slovakia Slovakia; The first of four games that will decide if Giovanni Trapattoni has completed his mission to turn the Republic of Ireland into worthy performers on the game’s top stage. A win at Lansdowne Road will put daylight between ourselves and the Slovaks and pitch Ireland in a two-way shoot-out with Russia for automatic qualification. Provided, of course, Ireland back up the players’ words this week with action. Continue reading →

Tallaghtfornia Dreamin

robbie and claudine wide “As a youngster in Dublin, I dreamt of playing in LA”…..so said Claudine Keane, probably. We may not have heard the exact phrase from her husband Robbie on his move to LA Galaxy but almost. The Tallaght kid who grew up dreaming of playing for Wolves, Coventry, Inter Milan, Leeds, Spurs, Liverpool, Spurs again, Celtic, West Ham and Spurs again also grew up fantasising about playing for LA Galaxy it would seem, if the MLS club statement is anything to go by. Continue reading →

Fabregas Fires Blamed on Arsene

wenger fabregas So that wasn’t so bad was it. The summer lull has flown by, a new season is just mere hours away, and Mr. Wenger, as promised following last season’s predictable, and now annual, collapse has been “busy” in the transfer market this summer addressing all the problems which are prevalent in this team. Right? Continue reading →

Trap Wants Plenty to Cro About

croatia Preview – With the Premier League season starting on Saturday, and the spate of withdrawals from the Irish squad, we don’t expect much from tonight’s friendly with Croatia. And by now you’d think Giovanni Trapattoni would consistently pick Ireland’s best players. However, with two massive qualifying games looming, his squad selections remain as erratic as ever meaning this evening offers a last chance for someone to gate-crash the Italian’s plans. Continue reading →

Spud Watch Mid-Summer Bonanza Part 3

david forde wide Part 3 of the Mid-Summer bonanza. Ahead of the resumption of the international season, in another moment of profound enlightenment, Spud Watch compares the Ireland midfield predicament with trying to chat up young ones. The only shifting going on at Lansdowne Road is the crowd moving uncomfortably in their seats. Continue reading →

Here We go Again – Celtic focus

celtic stokes v aberdeen wide Welcome back, proper football! After what seemed like a lifetime of friendlies this past week, we’re back to playing competitive games. I’m pretty sure everyone’s glad to see the back of the pre-season friendlies. With a tour of Australia followed by matches against Cardiff, Swansea, Wolves and even a weekend in Dublin – it all got a bit boring. It’s good to see the return of the passion and determination that is seriously lacking in non-competitive football. Continue reading →

Barca Playing with Porpoise

barca dolphins Have Barcelona been tapping up Fungi and is he about to swap the Dingle peninsula for the Mediterranean? A bottle-nosed baller was pictured making waves with members of the Barcelona squad but reports that the Pele-esque porpoise was schooling the Catalans in the art of diving have been watered down by the Nou Camp outfit. Continue reading →

Third Seed Ireland Go Nuts for Brazil

brazil fan The Germans, the Swedes, the Austrians, Brian Kerr’s Faroes and Kazakhstan. The Republic of Ireland have a tough nut to crack to reach Brazil in 2014 but it was inevitable given our third place seeding. Giovanni Trapattoni has put his faith in a mixed bag of committed but limited players to take the Irish to the European Championships next year. Cashing in our Euro chips (Cash-eu?) will determine whether pecan approach the road to Rio with trepidation or optimism. Otherwise, it’s all macadamic. Continue reading →

Video: Spain outclass Ireland U19s

ireland u19s Ireland’s U19s bowed out of the European Championships after Spain inflicted a heavy defeat in the semi-finals. The current Euro U21 winners are now through to the final of the U19 version, proving that Spanish football is ruling the roost at present. Paul Doolin’s troops deserve the plaudits for taking Ireland to the last four for the first time since 1998. Yet such was the gulf in class, that this defeat should cause all those in Irish football to reassess the way we coach our athletes. It’s not only the U19 players who have lessons to learn. Continue reading →

Republic Ready for Rocky Road to Rio

keane kaka wide The Road to Rio begins on Saturday with the draw for the 2014 World Cup. With Giovanni Trapattoni aiming on staying in the managerial hot-seat until the finals in Brazil, Irish fans will be awaiting the outcome with bated breath. Pitted as a third seed once again, drawing England and France is just one of the possibilities that awaits the Republic. With European Championship qualification still in the balance, we can cast our minds further for a moment and dream of a tantalising Gaelic and Samba infusion and a meeting on Copacabana Beach of the Boys in Green and the Boys from Brazil. Continue reading →

Spud Watch Mid-Summer Bonanza Part 1

ireland carling nations wide The spud that broke the camel’s back. Spud Watch has been locked away all summer chiselling out this review of last season’s climax and a lot has happened since we last spoke. Ireland picked up their first silverware since the Iceland Cup and since Harry Ramsden’s closed down. Here’s Part One of our look back at all things Irish football followed by some belligerence, and some transfer news. Continue reading →

Keane to Star in the Cosmos

robbie new york Robbie Keane has been named in the New York Cosmos squad for the Paul Scholes testimonial game versus Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Ireland captain was included in the representative side assembled by Honorary President Pelé and Director of Soccer Eric Cantona along with world stars such as Fabian Cannavarro, Patrick Vieira…and Gary Neville. Continue reading →

Video: Arsenal sign Sol Campbell?

joel campbell Did you say Arsenal’s Sol Campbell? No, we said Joel Campbell. The 19-year-old Costa Rican prodigy is on the verge of signing for Arsene Wenger’s side. The Gunners’ Richard Law is in Central America to finalise a deal believed to be worth£900,000 and the teenager’s father has said his son, who plays up front, is undergoing a medical ahead of the move to the Emirates where he is likely to link up with new signing Gervinho. Continue reading →

Beck’s Wave of Publicity

beck surfs He’s more L.A. now than the Los Angelians…Los Angelos…Los Angeles…people who live in L.A. Well Becks has to do something considering he doesn’t play a hell of a lot of ‘socker’ out there. Athough he combined both pretty well here….. Continue reading →

Video: Pat’s ideal Euro draw…naatt!!!

borat St. Patrick’s Athletic came back from a one goal deficit to beat Iceland’s IBV 2-1 at Richmond Park and join Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League second round. Pete Mahon’s side must now face a daunting 10,000km round trip to Kazakhstan next week to take on Shakhter Karagandy. The Inchicore supremo is relishing the task, however. “We wanted to stay in the competition and I’m very proud of my players tonight. We don’t care, we’d have gone to Timbuktu if we’d had to.” Continue reading →