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Nations League: Irish Horror Story or Tale of Redemption?

Capture It’s a new chapter for the Irish football team but no one seems to have bought the book. Despite UEFA’s attempts to hype up the Nations League, this still feel likes a set of early season friendlies, and with the Rice and Arter sagas, Irish fans are consumed with negativity towards the management duo of O’Neill and Keane. With a glaring lack of quality in the squad, this seems like the same old story with an unhappy ending. Continue reading →

Guest Post: Misery Merchants Back Aboard the Bandwagon

aviva stadium They’re calling them ‘Box-Office. The unveiling of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane as Ireland’s new management has sparked a frenzy of interest in the home friendly with Latvia. Yet, if the duo weren’t in place next week, if there was no appointment, Irish ‘supporters’ would stay away in their droves. Billy Keane of Back-Post.com wonders if the Irish team would be better off without the event-junkies. Continue reading →

Capital Idea: A Chance for Early Silverware

capital one cup The League Cup is the easiest way for English clubs to win a trophy. Although it warrants a place in Europe, it isn’t exactly held in the highest regard, with some football fans referring to it as a “Mickey Mouse” cup. However, the competition does give smaller teams a fantastic chance of winning some silverware, as we witnessed last year when Swansea beat League Two outfit Bradford in the final. We’ve taken a look at some of the sides that could be in contention for the trophy in early 2014. Continue reading →

Fan Direction #2: Cork City FORAS

CorkCity In the second of our Fan Direction series, looking at the growing phenomenon of supporter-owned football clubs in Ireland, the spotlight is on Cork City. Borne from the official supporters club, the FORAS trust became the saviours of the southern giant as she flirted with extinction. The Turners Cross outfit are now the driving force in Ireland behind an EC initiative on football governance. Continue reading →

World Cup Protests Spread To Dublin

dublin protests wide Ireland’s sizable Brazilian population was out in force on Dublin’s O’Connell Street in solidarity with their countrymen. The Confederations Cup, now underway, has become a beacon for protest in Brazil among a people who see billlions spent on white elephant stadia while hospitals are overcrowded, water is cut off in schools and public transport is in chaos. Continue reading →

Italian Job: Inter and Co Eye Up Old Lady

FC Internazionale Milano v Juventus FC - Serie A When Inter Milan defeated Juventus 3-1 last November, it brought to an end a 49 match unbeaten run for the Old Lady. Who would have thought Inter would end the season 33 points adrift – having failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in 14 years – as Juve strolled to the championship? With the manager now replaced by Walter Mazzarri, Thomas Shannon takes a look at the current Serie A betting odds for the title race next season along with an online game for fans of football nostalgia. Continue reading →

Ireland v Spain: View from the Other Side

ireland vs spain 2012 While Irish fans try to wipe the mauling by Spain from their memories, Tuesday’s opponents in New York still talk about the support of the Green Army in Gdansk. La Liga football writer and editor of Madrid Atléticos, Garreth Nunn gives us the view from the other side ahead of the Republic’s final match of the season against the world and European champions. Continue reading →

Maracana History Repeating Itself

Maracana brazil series crop It’s ironic that the reopening of Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana Stadium with Brazil vs England should be overshadowed by accusations that the venue isn’t ready. It’s merely a case of history repeating itself. In the second instalment of The Brazil Series, a collection of articles inspired by the world’s greatest footballing cradle, Póg Mo Goal looks at the storied past of the iconic ground that holds a special place in the heart of all Brazilians. Continue reading →

Skipper Shane Has Georgia on his Mind

shane-long-v-england From scoring against England at Wembley to taking hold of the captain’s armband, it’s been quite a week for Shane Long. Giovanni Trapattoni has named the Irish team to face Georgia with Wes Hoolahan earning his first start in an intriguing midfield pairing with James McCarthy. Richard Dunne will also feature at some stage. Continue reading →

Razor Lends Support to Junior Finalists

481669_10151487761743382_1033343581_n The FAI Junior Cup final takes place for the first time this year at the Aviva Stadium and will kick off at 1.30pm on Sunday ahead of Ireland’s friendly against Georgia. Irish football legend Ray Houghton was in Dublin to give two supporters a special surprise ahead of the weekend. The former Liverpool player, who scored that memorable goal against England at Euro ’88, made the unexpected visit to supporters of finalists Sheriff YC and Kilbarrack United. Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Kevin Sheedy

00064ba8-642 “Growing up and watching the World Cups, watching Brazil and the likes of that, getting to a World Cup is something you actually strive for. So to actually play in one, play in all the games and to score against England was a fantastic memory for me” Continue reading →

Fan Direction #1: Shelbourne’s 1895 Trust

SHELBOURNE crop Much has been made of the fact that the two teams contesting this weekend’s Champions League final are fan-owned entities in the Bundesliga. There is a train of thought that clubs where supporters have a pivotal role in how they are run is the way forward for long-term sustainability and you don’t have to look far to see that Irish football is ahead of the game in this regard. Shelbourne are the latest club to embrace fan involvement in an official capacity with the recent launch of the 1895 Trust. Continue reading →

The Lions’ Den: England Squad Named

Niall_Quinn_1585147a England manager Roy Hogdson has named his squad for the upcoming clash with Ireland at Wembley. There’ll be no switch of allegiance for young Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy. He earns his first call-up to the senior side. Meanwhile, Ashley Cole, who will celebrate his 100th appearance, could captain the team as could Wayne Rooney against the country of his grandmother’s birth. Continue reading →

Pilkington Says I Do for Wembley Date

Untitled Giovanni Trapattoni has named his provisional Irish squad for the upcoming bumper four match series involving the World Cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands and the glamour fixtures with England in Wembley and Spain in New York. Norwich’s Anthony Pilkington is included but is due to be married in the middle of the packed two-week schedule. Continue reading →

R.I.P. Tony Grealish

Untitled Former Republic of Ireland international Tony Grealish has passed away at the age of 56. The midfielder played 45 times for Ireland during a career that saw him line out for Leyton Orient, Brighton and Hove Albion, West Brom and Man City among others. Continue reading →

Win the Ultimate Fan’s Experience with Heineken’s Road to the Final

heineken road crop With Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund battling it out to reach the UEFA Champions League decider, Heineken has unveiled the latest instalment of its ‘Road to the Final’ campaign with the launch of a brand new TV ad. To celebrate, Heineken is offering one lucky Irish fan and three friends an opportunity to get a seat at this season’s competition finale in London. Continue reading →

The Art of Kaká

kaka crop Brazilian superstar Kaká celebrated his 31st birthday by launching his new website kakaww.com. The site features insights into the player’s life off the pitch and includes photos, interviews, blog posts and ways for his followers to interact including a fans’ artwork section. Continue reading →

Proclamation of the Republic

Ireland team 1949 crop On April 18th 1949, Easter Monday, the anniversary of the 1916 uprising, Ireland officially declared itself a republic and left the British Commonwealth. A week later, the national team played Belgium at Dalymount Park but it would be a further five years before it would play under the name ‘Republic’. Continue reading →

Guest Post: Hillsborough – Memories from Afar but Always Standing Together

tumblr_mlbd4heE9k1s93soxo1_500 On the 24th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, the city of Liverpool remembered the 96 who died during a service at Anfield, the first since the Hillsborough Independent Panel cleared supporters of blame. In our latest guest post, Christer Eikrem of Live4Liverpool.com offers the reflections of an overseas fan which are sure to strike a chord with Reds followers from this side of the Irish Sea. Continue reading →

Four Star Neymar Has Barca on Alert

neymar four goals crop Wonderkid Neymar scored all four goals as his Santos side defeated Uniao Barnarense in the Sao Paulo championship to spark further rumours that he will follow in the footsteps of Ronaldinho by signing for Barcelona. As the stories rumble on as to where the Brazilian superstar goes next, his father and agents were said to have been in Catalonia at the weekend to negotiate a sponsorship deal that raised suggestions they were also there to speak to the Nou Camp outfit. Continue reading →