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Ireland

No More Dreams and Songs to Sing…10 Talking Points

There’ll be no Green Army on the Copacabana, no swansong for Trapattoni at the World Cup (though the Italian might go there yet), and no death ball from above in the manner Ireland bombed out of the European Championship. There’ll be a new man in charge to lead the Boys in Green to France in 2016 and it’s the end of the line for some Irish players while others need to ask if they gave enough to the cause. Here’s 10 talking points from some traumatic days in Irish football. Continue reading →

End of the World for Trap and Ireland

Ireland’s defeat in Austria has heralded the end of the Trapattoni era, with the manager and assistant Marco Tardelli parting company with the FAI by ‘mutual consent. The Italian, who has been in charge since 2008, paid tribute to the Irish supporters and said he leaves the job “with emotion.” Read the full FAI statement. 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 →

Vien-d of the World

Some would say he was at the helm of Ireland for too long, with some ageing players, a direct style of play deemed no longer suitable for international football, and, with defeat in Austria, headed for the exit door. There are many parallels between Jack Charlton’s last days as Irish boss and the apparent imminent end of the Giovanni Trapattoni era. Vienna forms the back-drop to both. Continue reading →

Germany Inch Klose, Kazakhs Survive Faroes Scare

As Ireland prepare to take on Austria in Vienna hoping for a miracle, Tuesday’s hosts are recovering from a 3-0 defeat in Munich. Germany inched closer to qualification with goals from Miroslav Klose, equalling the German record, Kroos, and Muller. Meanwhile Kazakhstan, who must defeat Sweden to give Ireland any hope, had to come from behind to beat the Faroe Islands. 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 →

YBIG Football Show: Team the Fans Built

Has Trapattoni finally bowed to the pressure from the media and fans and picked a team to satisfy everyone? It’s a packed YBIG Football Show as Dave O’Grady chats with five Irish soccer journalists and writers looking back at the game with Wales and ahead to September’s crucial qualifiers with Sweden and Austria 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 →

Squad Rotation: A Year of Change

Statistics released this week show Ireland with the fourth highest representation of footballers in the Premier League and, with the new season just starting, international boss Giovanni Trapattoni was able to name ten top flight players in his team to face Wales. This time a year ago, however, his squad was reeling from a disastrous European Championship. The manager has stuck to his word and overhauled the playing staff but for the team that lined out against Italy last summer, much has changed in just 12 months. Continue reading →

Hand of History

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Thierry Henry is a divisive figure in French football. Perceived as aloof, an adversary of Zidane, and the apparent leader of a shameful strike at the 2010 World Cup. In an extract from French Football Weekly’s Jeremy Smith’s interview with Phillipe Auclair, author of Thierry Henry: Lonely At The Top, Póg Mo Goal looks at the Frenchman’s standing in history, and THAT night in Paris. 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 →

Up the Duff – The Comeback Kid

It’s a big season for Everton’s Shane Duffy. Captain of the Irish U21 side, the Derryman is eyeing a gap in the Toffees’ back-line and a return to Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic plans. Having suffered a life-threatening injury on international duty, Duffy knows all about comebacks. Continue reading →

Ireland v Spain: View from the Other Side

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 →

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 →

The Lions’ Den: England Squad Named

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

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 →

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 →

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 →

Passage of Play: Ian Harte

It’s a joke. I’ve seen Stephen Kelly’s phone, pretty much every one of the Reading lads have seen it, and we’re thinking: ‘What’s going on’? If the press were to see the full text, that would be the end of Trap. That would be the end of Giovanni Trapattoni Continue reading →

Irish Trio’s Major Ambitions

Robbie Keane’s days as a 90-minute man for Ireland look numbered while Ciaran Clark’s excellent display last week raises questions over Darren O’Dea’s future involvement. Their footballing fortunes now look likely to be focused on the American domestic season. US soccer observer and Chicago Fire columnist Stephen Piggot takes a look at the performances of MLS’ Irish contingent of Keane, O’Dea, and Andy O’Brien, reviewing last season’s exploits and looking ahead to the new campaign. Continue reading →

This is Crazy, So Call Me Brady

The latest communications mishap surrounding the Irish football team should have us all clamouring for the return of Liam Brady to the management. The pundit is renowned for talking sense on RTE’s soccer panel and there’s nothing sensible about some of the talk coming from the Irish camp in recent days. 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 →

A Good Day to Dye Hard

James McClean and fellow members of the Irish football squad, Kevin Doyle, Glenn Whelan, Stephen Ward, Keiren Westwood, Paul McShane and Shane Long took on Today FM’s Shave or Dye charity challenge ahead of the friendly with Poland at the Aviva Stadium Continue reading →