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That New Jack Magic

While the Irish U21s crashed out of Euro qualification with this month’s defeat to Montenegro, one player lit up the Tallaght Stadium with his performance. Jack Grealish could be the Republic’s successor to Damien Duff, writes Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football show. Continue reading →

Teenage Kicks Could Make O’Neill’s Night

After his unveiling as Irish boss, Martin O’Neill spoke of unearthing a hidden 17-year-old gem that would take the Irish team by storm. When naming his squad to face Serbia, the Derryman lamented that he had yet to find one, but when Noel King’s U21s take on Montenegro in a vital Euro qualifier, it could be teenage kicks that get the Republic through the night. Continue reading →

Keano Named Player of the Year

Robbie Keane was named Senior International Player of the Year for 2013 at the FAI awards while James McCarthy picked up the young player gong. Ireland’s captain scored 8 goals including a hattrick against the Faroe Islands in a game when he broke the all-time appearances record. Continue reading →

Pot Luck Awaits Ireland

With the Euro 2016 draw taking place in Nice on Sunday, and Ireland among the second seeds, qualification for France should be easier, in theory. But a look at some of the lower ranked teams suggests Martin O’Neill has plenty of work on his hands. Continue reading →

O’Neill Announces Squad for Serbia Clash

Martin O’Neill has announced his first squad as Ireland manager for the friendly with Serbia at the Aviva Stadium next month. There’s been no recall for Shay Given, whose loan spell at Middlesbrough expires at the end of February. Ipswich’s Daryl Murphy makes a return to the squad but there’s no room for Stephen Ireland. Although O’Neill oversaw the games with Latvia and Poland, he inherited those selections from interim coach Noel King. Continue reading →

Stand Up for the #COYBIG

It’s become the source of breaking transfer news, while players can’t help getting themselves into trouble on it but social media has added an extra dimension to how we watch football. Paul Moriarty, Head of Insight at News Access Media Intelligence, Ireland’s media intelligence agency, tells the YBIG Football Show how Twitter reacted to Martin O’Neill’s first two games, and discusses the rise of the popular supporters’ hashtag #COYBIG. Continue reading →

Löw Lie the Fields of Athenry

With Ireland travelling to Germany for our penultimate qualifier, our minds are cast back to the 6-1 drubbing at home. The reaction of Friday’s hosts following the Aviva Stadium clash seemed to foresee the beginning of the end for the manager, and the growing unrest of the Irish fans. Continue reading →

The Once and Future King?

It seems it has only been in the wake of Giovanni Trapatonni’s departure, that Irish football has begun some serious soul-searching. The Italian’s time in charge has polarised the debate on whether the manager was to blame for the senior team’s ills, or as many are grappling with; ‘We just don’t have the players’. And yet, is John Delaney, Irish soccer’s kingmaker, ignoring the opportunity to change the strategy? Continue reading →

Passage of Play: Noel King

“It’s a football match. Every kid, every adult, you go to a football match and you try to win the game. That’s all I know and that’s my mission: to try and win the game” – Interim coach Noel King has impressed since taking temporary charge of the Irish team. Continue reading →

Dalymount, 1963, Ireland 3-2 Austria

The last time Ireland defeated Austria was in Dublin in 1963 in front of almost 40,000 at Dalymount Park in a European qualifier. Having drawn 0-0 in Vienna three weeks earlier, Ireland progressed to the last eight of the European Nations Cup thanks to a 3-2 win with two goals coming from Manchester United’s Noel Cantwell. Continue reading →

‘Maestro’ Trap Faces Austrian Mountain

Both smarting from defeats last Friday and trailing the play-off spot by three points, Austria and Ireland face off in Vienna desperately clinging to hope. Georg Sander of 90minuten.au traces the recent development of Austrian football, claiming the current defence is a weakness, and that former Salzburg coach Trapattoni still holds a fascination for the natives – an allure that has all but disappeared in Ireland. Continue reading →

Coleman Ready to Fuel Irish Fire

He’s been called Ireland’s answer to Gareth Bale and in their tussles in the Premier League to date, he has often come out on top. Seamus Coleman’s ability to attack and influence the play is one of the key reasons Irish fans hold some hope we can defeat Sweden at home and take a massive step towards the World Cup in Brazil next year. Continue reading →

Villa’s Jack the Lad Boosts Ireland

He’s the highly-rated winger who’s lined out for Ireland since U-15 level but such have been the performances of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish that England came calling. Believed to have considered a switch in allegiances, in a massive boost to the Republic, the 17-year-old has accepted a call up to Noel King’s U21’s for this week’s Euro qualifier. After an exciting pre-season where he’s appeared for the club’s senior side, Shelley Osborne of Villa supporters’ site My Old Man Said takes a closer look at the rising Irish star. Continue reading →

Blizzard of Aus: 10 Talking Points

An Alpine chill threatens to freeze our hopes of a summer of soccer and samba in Brazil next year. We’ve had a few days to digest the happenings at the Aviva Stadium last Tuesday and the overwhelming feeling is still one of regret. Sixty seconds more and Ireland would have been in the driving seat for the play-off spot in World Cup qualifying Group C. Instead, Irish fans remain frustrated and angry but still hold a glimmer of hope. Here’s ten talking points. Continue reading →

Dalymount, 1963, Ireland 3-2 Austria

The last time Ireland defeated Austria was in Dublin in 1963 in front of almost 40,000 at Dalymount Park in a European qualifier. Having drawn 0-0 in Vienna three weeks earlier, Ireland progressed to the last eight of the European Nations Cup thanks to a 3-2 win with two goals coming from Manchester United’s Noel Cantwell. Continue reading →

Feed the Fish and Hope He Scores

In a move that is likely to surprise most and annoy others, Conor Sammon has been handed the responsibility of leading the line against Austria . Following Robbie Keane’s injury, Trapattoni has decided to place his faith in the untried partnership of Shane Long and Sammon. Ireland must beat Austria to go second in the […] Continue reading →

Beware the Ires of March

Playing in March apparently angered Jack Charlton while Steve Staunton thought it meant we performed better. The next few days could prove to be defining moments for Giovanni Trapattoni that determine if we should clear our calendars next summer. Continue reading →

We Need to Talk About Kevin…and 9 Other Points

Temperatures are plummeting in Stockholm and news of Trapattoni’s starting eleven has met a frosty reception among Irish fans. Much of their ire is directed at the inclusion of Paul Green in midfield but amidst the clamour to condemn the manager, Trapattoni has named possibly his most adventurous team since taking charge of the Republic. He’s also pulled off something of a transformation of the Irish squad that failed so badly in Poland. Ahead of the crunch tie with Sweden, here’s ten key talking points. Continue reading →