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aviva stadium

History Lessons: Home Rule for Ireland

Florrie-Burke-1951-1024x857 Remarkably, Ireland have recorded quite a few successes against the Germans over the years, especially at home. Despite the shambolic reign of Steve Staunton, we still gave them two tough encounters when last paired in a qualifying group. Despite the gloom among the home supporters, tonight’s visitors are well aware they face a potentially uncomfortable evening at Lansdowne Road. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Lukas Podolski

Lukas-Podolski580~1 “It is an uncomfortable contest. I think their fans are crazy but in a good way. I heard they have a new stadium, there will be 40,000 crazy fans of Ireland. It will be a difficult match, we need to prepare well.” “But of course we will travel there tomorrow and get the three points on Friday.” Continue reading →

Hold ‘Em Klose Irish Dancer

Robbie germany It’s ten years since Robbie Keane danced through the German defence and blasted a last gasp equaliser past Oliver Khan. Miroslav Klose, the man who scored Germany’s opener that day, is still leading the attack but Robbie won’t be doing cartwheels after being ruled out of Friday’s clash between the sides. The interest of a pessimistic Irish public, however, has also gone head over heels. Continue reading →

Trap’s Sermon for the Germans

irland-vs-germany-71 The high priest of Ireland’s football religion won’t be converted but Giovanni Trapattoni has a few new disciples. Announcing his squad for the upcoming qualifiers, Robbie Brady is on standby while the manager says Ireland needs a miracle to have Richard Dunne available. Now the Germans are coming to hammer the first nail in our World Cup hopes. Continue reading →

Given, the Greatest, Hangs Up Gloves

shay wave He sat ringside at London’s ExCel Arena. Around him, thousands of green-clad Irish were in raptures creating a cauldron of noise as Ireland’s sporting superstar, Kate Taylor, powered to Olympic gold. As he hangs up his gloves, trying to replace Shay Given could prove a knock-out blow to our future qualifying hopes. Continue reading →

Trap, Are You Being Serbed?

trap facepalm Could this be the most important squad announcement of Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign as Irish manager? There have been far more important games but this Irish side is at a cross-roads. A new avenue awaits but it will involve new faces and a manager willing to alter his philosophy to lead us on the rocky road to Rio. Continue reading →

Euro 88 – Where Are They Now?

euro 88 mascot They were the pioneers. After decades of heartache, the Republic of Ireland appeared at a major football finals for the first time in 1988. Twenty-four years on, we’re back, but many of Jack’s original Boys in Green can still be seen on our TV screens as pundits. Póg Mo Goal takes an offside look back and asks; the heroes of Euro ’88, where are they now? Continue reading →

Hungary Like the Wolf

Soccer : UEFA Euro 2012 Qualification Play-off Second leg - Republic of Ireland v Estonia Foley-gate may be no more with Giovanni Trapattoni firmly drawing a line under the subject but there are a few more faces in the Irish squad who could face tough conversations with the manager after Monday’s final warm-up game with Hungary. Players like Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt have some work to do in Budapest or they may find themselves down the pecking order come the showdown with Croatia just six days later. Continue reading →

Double the Odds with Setantabet

setantabet trap Setantabet.com has raised the stakes, quite literally, for the 2012 European Championships which kick off in just over a week’s time. The online bookmaker has announced that it will pay out double the odds on all winning Euro 2012 outright bets if the Republic of Ireland qualify from their group and advance to the knockout stage. Continue reading →

Montecatini Hills Chop: Axed Foley Cops Cruel Blow

189036hp2 The Kevin Foley saga has cast the first cloud over Ireland’s Euro 2012 preparations. The Wolves defender confirmed he wouldn’t be staying on to watch the campaign from the sidelines, now that he has been cut loose from the squad. Yet decades of experience have thought Giovanni Trapattoni there can be no room for sentiment. With three ferocious battles ahead for the Green Army, all’s fair in love and football. Continue reading →

Preview: Who’s the Bos?

trap mind And so it begins. Ireland’s great adventure back on the European stage kicks into action with the first pre-tournament friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina in Dublin. When we took our seats at the old Lansdowne Road ten years ago to send Ireland on their way to the Far East with a farewell game against Nigeria, who would have believed it would be a decade before we would be back at football’s top table? Continue reading →

Listen Up Craicow, The Irish are Comin’

players crowd v estonia Within seconds of the final whistle in Paris two years ago, the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feelin” boomed out across the Stade de France. Every bass thump stabbing at the splintered hearts of the Irish fans who sat in disbelief. The French hung around for a matter of mere minutes before disappearing into the Parisien night, barely registering that they had just qualified for the World Cup but embarrassed and unable to look the visiting fans in the eyes. Two years on and instead of facing into 90 minutes of nail-biting tension, the Aviva Stadium is going to rock to the rhythm of the Boys in Green’s victory parade. Ireland are going back to a major finals and tonight’s gonna be a good night. Continue reading →

Only End Result Matters in End Game

armenia red card wide The result is all that matters? Not any more for the Irish. Giovanni Trapattoni has delivered the Republic to a play-off, a 50-50 shoot-out to decide who goes to Euro 2012 next summer. Yet, the manner of that achievement has polarised public opinion on our national team. It is ironic that having instilled a no-lose mentality into the minds of his players, culminating in the win over Armenia. Trapattoni can’t convert the Irish public. Only a win will send Ireland to the European Championships. Only a performance, will convince the people that we’re worth it. Continue reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Aviva La Revolution, Cup Can Save Irish Soccer

aviva1-390x285 COULD the FAI Cup prove to be the saviour of Irish soccer? With the largest crowd in four decades, over 36,000, flocking to the Aviva Stadium last weekend, there followed a spectacle to enthrall the masses. And now a seed has been sown that the domestic game could achieve what is has always threatened, to capture the hearts and minds of the public. Continue reading →