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 →

State of Play: Italy 0 Ireland 2

players v italy A QUITE extraordinary night in Belgium and perhaps the first inclination that the squad Giovanni Trapattoni is moulding for Ireland may be on the cusp of big things. A second string side put a vastly superior Italian outfit to the sword and looked utterly composed in doing so. Yet, beyond all that, there may be a seed germinating in the mind of the manager that his previous first choice team may not be one to deliver the revolution he believes is possible. Like the friendly against Uruguay, this Irish team full of youth, hunger, commitment and confidence is much easier on the eye and perhaps contains some more capable of returning the Republic to the big time than others who have soldiered so far. Continue reading →

State of Play: Macedonia 0 Ireland 2

robbie v mac wide MANY people predicted Ireland would only be good enough to claim a point in Skopje last night. Missing some key players, with a makeshift defence and a lack of creativity in midfield, it was a game with many pitfalls to scupper our qualification bid. Instead, despite shortcomings in our ability to dictate the game and maintain possession, the Irish came away with a massive result. Robbie Keane made history while ensuring the Republic are in with a shot of making some more. Continue reading →

Return of the Mac; Long Night Awaits

Republic of Ireland v Macedonia - EURO 2012 Qualifier THREE wins, three clean sheets and outright victory in the Nations Cup was a welcome return for Giovanni Trapatonni’s Ireland. A continuation of that form is vital in Macedonia this weekend but has the team shown enough to suggest they can claim three points in Skopje, a place with unhappy memories for the Irish? Continue reading →

Having a Domestic: Reap What Eu Sow

rovers juve 1 wide DESPITE the virtual collapse of full-time football here, Irish clubs may never have a better opportunity than now to make the European breakthrough. The draws for next season’s cup competitions have put the group stages of the Champions League and Europa League within sight of Ireland’s participants. Continue reading →

State of Play: Ireland 1 Scotland 0

ireland cup wide THERE was an element of the surreal about the end of the game against Scotland. Ok, it was a nothing tournament but there was a trophy for the victors and there was something dream-like about the paraphernalia of the presentation ceremony being erected in the Aviva Stadium. Robbie Keane looked almost bemused at first when he raised the Nations Cup aloft but there was a genuine outpouring of pride from the stands, even if it was on on a smaller, non-consequential scale. Continue reading →

State of Play: Republic of Ireland 5 Northern Ireland 0

keane v NI wide For reasons best known to themselves, certain players did not report for duty for the Republic of Ireland this week. Those who claim injuries should normally be given the benefit of the doubt but to hell with that. Since Stephen Ireland decided to bury his perfectly-alive grannies, we no longer automatically believe the excuse of players who withdraw from the Irish squad. That is an indictment of the attitude of the modern day footballer. Once upon a time we thought Irish players were different. The Kevin Doyles and Shane Longs were normal lads who made their way from real football in the League of Ireland to the big time but didn’t forget those roots. We were naïve. And now when a club sends a medical scan to Dublin, we have to ask for a second opinion. For shame. Continue reading →

Preview: Tired of Irish Excuses

stokes 1 Not even a royal welcome for the Queen, our new favourite granny, can disguise the fact that Northern Ireland don’t exactly like us at the moment. It’s ironic that there seems plenty of players up there willing to line out for the southern neighbours while others named in the squad can’t do us the courtesy of coming up with a plausible excuse. The monarch of Britain and the President of the United States can turn up for the Republic. Tony Stokes and James McCarthy say “No we can’t.” Continue reading →

The Italian Lob; Milan Over the Moon(walk)

boateng ac milan Having entertained their supporters with a 4-1 thrashing of Cagliari, AC Milan then hosted a party at the San Siro on Saturday to celebrate their 18th Scudetto. As he had promised to do if Milan won the title, Kevin Prince Boateng showed off his moonwalking skills while dressed in a Michael Jackson costume. Continue reading →