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30 Goal Neymar Hails Little Pitch Invader

Neymar stopped stewards from ushering a little South African boy off the pitch following Brazil’s 5-0 win in Soweto. The video of the striker, who scored a hattrick, taking the child in his arms over to his team-mates has gone viral online. Neymar became the 12th Brazilian to score 30 international goals, and he did it in just 47 games. Continue reading →

Whelan in the Years, Keane Backs Glenn

Roy Keane described Glenn Whelan’s performance in Stoke’s win over Arsenal last weekend as ‘outstanding,’ and he would know. The player who came in for a lot of criticism during Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign could be set for a new lease of life under the guidance of Ireland’s former midfield general 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 →

Über Para, Ibra Hattrick, Cardiff was Atrocious…and Austria lost

A youthful Ireland enjoyed the lion’s share of possession against Wales in Cardiff, creating more scoring opportunities, but could only manage an uninspiring 0-0 draw. Meanwhile, World Cup group rivals, and imminent visitors to Dublin, Sweden beat Norway 4-2 with Ibrahimovic grabbing a hattrick while Austria were beaten at home by Greece. Germany played out a 3-3 thriller with Paraguay. Continue reading →

Whelan in the Years

His team-mate John O’Shea has called him an ‘unsung hero’ and while his partners in the Irish midfield have fallen in and out of favour, Glenn Whelan remains at the heart of Giovanni Trapattoni’s quest to reach the World Cup next summer. The Dubliner earns his 50th cap in Wales tonight. Continue reading →

Lord of Gdansk – Neymar’s Barca Bow

Barcelona’s new signing Neymar has made his long-awaited début coming on as a 78th minute substitute in Poland. The Brazilian was introduced late on and was met with some hefty challenges from the locals Lechia Gdansk. Meanwhile Lionel Messi was up to his old tricks in the 2-2 friendly draw at the PGE Arena. Continue reading →

Dunne and Dusted? Richard Out of Squad

Richard Dunne has been omitted from the Irish squad for the friendly clash with Wales in Cardiff. The new QPR signing’s return could depend on how much game-time he sees at Loftus Road. Meanwhile, Robbie Keane has not been asked to fly in from the States, and there’s another chance for Anthony Pilkington. Stephen Quinn is rewarded for his impressive display against Spain and is named in the squad for the August 15 friendly. Continue reading →

Skipper Shane Has Georgia on his Mind

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 →

Wembley to NYC: Game On for Irish

Giovanni Trapattoni’s mobile bill is set to soar this summer as he’ll need to name a bumper Irish panel to cater for a gruelling four matches in two weeks. There’s sure to be room for squad hopefuls and possible recalls as Ireland prepare for a historic meeting with England in Wembley, a World Cup qualifier, and a reunion with Spain in New York. Continue reading →

Last Meeting: Swede Disposition

It was Steve Staunton’s first game in charge and a 3-0 win over Sweden threatened to usher in a new era in Irish football. It proved to be a false dawn. Will Friday’s World Cup clash in Stockholm see the sun begin to set on Giovanni Trapattoni’s reign or reignite our ambitions to reach Brazil in 2014? Continue reading →

Trap’s Delight with Old Wes Shift

Once upon a time in Dublin, getting a score from Old Wes meant something entirely different, but it was shift of a different kind at another south Dublin venue that has Irish football fans all hot and bothered. Wes Hoolahan’s cameo against Poland has put a pep in the step of the Irish soccer team and its under-fire manager. Continue reading →

Dear Stan, All is Forgiven

“My team’s gone cold I’m wondering why I got out of bed at all The Dublin rain clouds up my window.. and I can’t see at all And even if I could, my team can’t play, Dunphy’s picture’s on my wall It reminds me, that it is this bad, it is this bad..” Continue reading →

Trap Comes out Fighting

Irish football is on the canvas and our national team sporting a bloody nose. Katie Taylor has stolen our hearts after the Boys in Green broke them in June. Yet Giovanni Trapattoni has faced the flurry of punches that have come his way since Euro 2012 and he’s come out fighting. Continue reading →

Given, the Greatest, Hangs Up Gloves

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?

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 →

Hungary Like the Wolf

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 →

Preview: Who’s the Bos?

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 →

State of Play: Ireland 2 Uruguay 3

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 →