Youth Gamble Gives Trap Hand to Play

trap Review – It’s been a funny few days in the life of the Republic of Ireland’s international football team. Having scraped through a game we thought we could win comfortably, things looked grim for the remainder of the Euro 2012 qualifiers. Then, we send out a second string side who lose to the World Cup semi-finalists – and suddenly it doesn’t seem so bad…. Continue reading →

State of Play: Ireland 2 Uruguay 3

ireland uru Póg Mo Goal’s no-holds-barred player ratings – HAD Ireland equalised to make it 3-3 at the Aviva Stadium against Uruguay, they would have been full value for the draw. Playing with an abandon that was sorely missed on Saturday, a mix of the naivety but confidence of youth, and the excessive enthusiasm of those out to impress, saw an Irish side produce ambitious football that almost came up trumps. Continue reading →

State of Play: Ireland 2 Macedonia 1

keane v mac 2 Póg Mo Goal’s no-holds-barred player ratings- WITH about 22 minutes gone of last night’s Euro 2012 qualifying game, the Republic of Ireland looked like they were about to emphatically take control of Group B. Leading 2-0 and dominating against a ragged Macedonia side, Trapattoni’s Ireland were set to post a decisive victory. A defensive unit that included three players making their competitive débuts were not fazed and were in complete control. Damien Duff and Aiden McGeady on the wings were tearing Macedonia apart. Continue reading →

Preview: I’m Having Ya Macedonia

Macedonia fans   An infamous night in Skopje. Not so much a tangerine dream as an orange nightmare. In 1997 Mick McCarthy’s hopes of emulating Jack Charlton by leading the Republic to a World Cup finals disintegrated when an ageing Irish side fell to a disastrous 3-2 balls-up in the Balkans. A team that included a forward-line […] Continue reading →

State of Play: Will Trap take a Long shot on Shane?

long v slovakia wide GIOVANNI Trapattoni is nothing if not predictable. That may sound slightly caustic, but since taking charge of the Boys in Green, the Republic of Ireland manager has rarely been known for throwing caution to the wind. He was back to his stable best on Monday, when announcing his squad for the two games against Macedonia and Uruguay. Many of the usual suspects were there – Dunne, Duff, Kilbane, etc. However, perhaps Il Trap will surprise us all and shake things up a little. Continue reading →

State of Play: Ireland 3 Wales 0

wales PERHAPS the merits of the Nation’s Cup will truly be seen when the next round of fixtures takes place in May, with a genuine competitive edge. The case for abandoning football altogether was made in the first half of last night’s clash with Wales, but Ireland emerged rejuvenated after the break and posted a decisive victory. Continue reading →

On The Road To God Knows Where – Manchester

manchester stripper crop “AND where are ye guys off to this weekend?” asks the blondey haired D4 bird sitting next to Philly on the plane. “Ah well, we’re off to this titty bar called Leggs” replies Philly, not a bother on him. He wasn’t even saying it for anyone else’s benefit. He was just genuinely delighted to be going back to the strip club he’d been in the last time he was in Manchester. And for ten pound lap dances can ya blame him for being excited? Continue reading →

Spud Watch – Stop The Press

trap press conf I had written a critique of Giovanni Trapattoni’s original squad selection yesterday for next week’s clash with Wales. However, earlier today I was handed a revised squad update here at Spud Watch Towers and I’ll be f*cked if you think I’m gonna go back and re-edit all the nonsense and garble. But what has been handed to me is is the most exciting looking Irish squad in 5 years…. Continue reading →

Spud Watch – The Irish Abroad 04/02/11

duff celebration crop HELLO friends and welcome to Spud Watch – lots to talk about this week but also the usual dose of nonsensical boll*cks, plus an in-depth analysis of Trap’s squad (in Spud Watch – Stop The Press) which chopped and changed more times than the original Pippa in Home and Away. (Incidentally, the original Pippa is a better midfield option than Paul Green or Glenn Whelan). Continue reading →

Chelsea Want McCarthy, But Trap Doesn’t

McCarthy v Chelsea CHELSEA are reported to have made a shock £6m bid for Irish midfielder James McCarthy ahead of tomorrow’s transfer deadline. Yet while the 20-year-old, who made a scoring return to action last week after a lengthy lay-off, has emerged as a target for the Stamford Bridge outfit, he will seek a meeting with the Irish management on his omission from the senior squad. Continue reading →

In Arsene We Trust?

arsenal SO HERE we are again, the Christmas programme is over, the effects of the food and drink excesses still apparent (as the five-aside fitness levels have shown), and we’ve a new calendar year with the top of the Premier League table looking remarkably like the sports section of a 1998 newspaper (aside from the fact Man City found their level in Division 3 back then). The title run-in is upon us as I’ve no doubt we’ll be reminded from the gadget-happy Richard ‘hairy hands syndrome’ Keys and Andy Gray (if they are allowed back, that is). So how well placed are the ‘Gooners’ to end the trophy drought that we’re so reminded about? Those TV cameras really do like spanning around the Emirates for the gap years post 2005! Continue reading →

Royal Revival – How King Kenny Can Turn Things Around

Kenny Dalglish SO KENNY Dalglish is in the hot-seat at Anfield but, as the start he’s made has shown, the appointment of the club’s messiah to the top job hasn’t yielded instant results. Anyone who’s watched Liverpool regularly this campaign will tell you that not even the mystical powers of King Kenny are enough on their own to turn this wretched season around. So what does Kenny have to do in order to bring some respectability back to Anfield and ensure that he’s in with a fighting chance of nabbing the job long-term when decisions are made in the summer? Continue reading →

Ranty Cause: Keane to Prove His Net Worth

robbie keane nets HE’S THE love-hate figure of the Irish national team. We love him because he’s our captain, our record goal-scorer, a genuinely decent skin, and hope that we can all pull a smoking-hot bird. But we hate him for his histrionics on the football pitch, his flailing arms, his sometimes glaring misses, and the fact that he hasn’t turned into the consistent sharp-shooter he promised in his youth. Continue reading →

Ronaldinho Seeks Rio Redemption

rio flamengo PORTO Alegre is known as “Cidade Sorriso” or Smile City. It’s appropriate then, that it should export the most famous buck-toothed grin in world football. An odyssey that traversed three of Europe’s most renowned cities came full circle this week whenRonaldo de Assis Moreira returned to his homeland, though this time to the sprawling mass of Rio de Janeiro and the fanatical following of Flamengo. Continue reading →

On The Road To God Knows Where – Paris

paris tunnel WE’LL always have Paris ….It’s the beginning of a new year and it’s a massive one for Giovanni Trapattoni and Ireland. Euro qualification lies in the balance. This time 12 months ago, the pain of Paris was all too palatable. We’d do well to remember it as we now look to get over the finish line. Póg Mo Goal returns to that fateful night and journeys with the fans. Those with a weak disposition, look away now. Continue reading →