A SHORTER than usual Spud Watch this week as I am losing the will to live. With Ireland’s economy now playing in the Vauxhall Conference against teams like Darfur and Haiti, it seems like our national team may be heading in the same direction.
Fulham – Birmingham
As predicted by me last week, Damien Duff was benched and never got called into action.
Better news for Keith Fahey – he started his third Premier League game in a row and was involved throughout for Birmingham. Stephen Carr was again brilliantly solid and industrious in equal measure as he has been now for the last two years.
Right now, I cant sleep with worry about our players abroad. Given, Duff, Keane, Coleman, O’Shea, Gibson, Kelly, Whelan all got zero minutes on the pitch at the weekend. If these players continue to stop getting games then what’s the point in me doing Spud Watch? It affects me too you know, because you can’t be a postman without letters to deliver. You can’t be a spaceman without a spaceship. You can’t be a Ghostbuster without a proton pack. You can’t be in Fine Gael unless you have been bullied in school.
There’s nothing I can say or do thats going to make things better. The fact is, we are not producing enough above-average players. We just aren’t producing. Unless I get a time travelling Delorean or make Quantum Leap style intervention, intercepting Stephen Ireland in 2007 as he is sawing his granny in half and just before he sends that message to Steve Staunton. Or morphing into the manager at Eddie Rockets in 2002 and stop serving Andy Reid half pounders for the next 8 years. Or unless I morph into Joe Hart’s mother and slip a johnny on to his dad’s penis some 23 years ago, then I’m afraid I will continue to wade through this sea of rotting potatoes.
Wolves – Sunderland
Wolves are one of our last hopes considering they have a number of Irish lads playing in the top flight.
Stand-in captain Kevin Foley scored again as he continues to excel in the Premier League. Equally impressive was Stephen Ward and Stephen Hunt who came on and scored the equaliser. Kevin Doyle did everything but score for Wolves. The winning goal was created by an exquisite pass from Doyle who took the hits all afternoon once again, like Cheryl Gascoigne did back in the day. A rare good day for the Irish in the Premier League and in life in general. I feel sad again now.
Stoke – Man City
Another memorable performance for Glenn Whelan; he was an unused sub. Wilson and Walters both came on as replacements.
As Borat would say Shay Given did play for Man City, “noooott”…
Everton – West Brom
Another shock result for West Brom as they won 4 -1 and the only person affiliated with Everton who would have enjoyed this was young Seamus Coleman. Coleman played no part in this fixture and so cannot be blamed and can come away with his head held high. He must have secretly enjoyed his post-game glass of mulled buckfast in the players lounge with Steven Reid who did feature, coming on in the second half to shore things up for West Brom. It reminds me of the time my brothers got into trouble for not bagging turf in the bog one summer a few years back because they chose to build a hut instead. But I didn’t get into trouble because I was away that day representing senior infants in a colouring competition (where I finished runners up despite being 15), so I could not be blamed, which made me feel happy. My doctor says feeling happy is important. If Seamus Coleman stops getting games I will stop feeling happy.
John O’Shea was yet again an unused sub for Man U though Dimitar Berbatov must have given him a pillar-like erection with his 5 goals. Like compatriot Oscar Wilde, it seems Sheasy is being ill-treated by the establishment in his old age after many years of good work. To be fair, Oscar Wilde did sodomise a lad.
Another man paying for his sodomy (on the football pitch) is Darron Gibson. No sign of him on the bench once again though he was seen handing out flyers for his “Undertones” tribute band outside Old Trafford.
Newcastle – Chelsea
Leon Best was on the Newcastle bench for the first time this season. Our problems will soon be over.
Villa – Arsenal
Ciaran Clark scored twice -the first was a rasper. Dick Dunne set up his second. Clark is rapidly becoming a decent player in this role with Petrov out and could be a real prospect for starting here in February’s internationals– especially now that Leslie Trapattoni is dead. Villa conceded four and it could have been more but for Dunne. For a defence that was so strong last year it’s hard to know where it’s gone wrong. I’m going to assume that it’s James Collins or Houllier’s fault because I’m depressed enough already by how shite our pool of players are at the moment.
Stephen Ireland got 25 minutes as he seems to be gradually getting more game-time. The man from Cobh hasn’t really done it yet for Villa and with Pires coming in perhaps Houllier already showed him what he thinks. One wonders how long before young Ireland goes on a killing spree down the local old folks home in Aston.
Liverpool – Spurs
Having returned to full fitness and a place on the bench for Wednesday night’s Champions League game, Robbie Keane was demoted back to Darron Gibson territory on Sunday – not even a bench spot. The prospects ain’t good either and you just feel it’s a token thing when he is named in the matchday squad. It’s like Dhalsim and Zangief in Street Fighter 2. They were just characters in the game to make up the numbers but nobody ever picked them because they had flimsy moves and were sluggish and it was nigh on impossible to clear the game using them. Harry Redknapp and Spurs know they won’t clear the Premiership if they pick Robbie Keane.
These are tough times for Robbie and he has recently had to resort to sending his wife to appear on ITVs “Dancing on Ice” to keep up with the mortgage repayments. He may also be facing the prospect of losing his Ireland jersey. Thankfully his young lad will soon be old enough to go shoplifting for one in the Square in Tallaght.
St Ledger finally managed a clean sheet for bottom club Preston. He’s a class act. Kevin Kilbane was an unused sub for Hull the good news though is that Paul McShane is back. He’s also a class act.
Lawrence played for Pompey. Andy Keogh has the same dose of sh*t-itus that many of the Irish players currently have. He was an unused sub in Cardiff’s table top clash with QPR where Paddy Kenny is in the form of his life at the moment. He’s been like a human wall this season, a fat human wall. Shane Long’s goal drought continues for Reading. He couldn’t get past the impassible presence of Leed’s defender Andy O’Brien’s nose. That’s where he is playing his football now, the former Irish great Andy O’ Brien, who famously got skinned by Thierry Henry a few years back, and everyone else in the league.
Andy “Pie” Reid was less than instrumental for Sheffield United as they lost 3-0. His loan move to Sheffield will soon be up. It hasn’t been very successful and it’s hard to see him featuring for the Sunderland team when he returns there in a couple of weeks – in fact it’s hard to see him fitting into the team bus.
Alan Partridge will have been delighted with Norwich’s win in the derby as Roy Keane’s side continues to free-fall down the division. His collection of Spud-u-Likes failed to prosper, one of which Gareth Mcauley was sent off after earlier scoring. Darren O’Dea featured, if that’s the right word. Wes Holohan was on the score-sheet for Norwoch, another product of the League of Ireland. Not that Trap will care as he only gives Championship players a chance if they are shite and called Paul Green, who, by the way, was sensational in his sides 2-1 defeat to Burnley, and by sensational I mean pretty sh*t.
Greg Cunningham reigned supreme in the east-midland derby – he was a constant threat at left-back for Leicester against Forest. He’s only 19 but he does need to harden up a bit if he is to improve defensively, perhaps by staring at a recent picture of Joan Burton, pre-match, for an hour or two – this would push any man mentally and physically.
Maybe Trap was right about Tony Stokes – he hasn’t scored in ages now. Richie Foran did score against Celtic however – the greatest thing to come out of Dublin’s East Wall since that B&I ferry in the mid 1980s that had hookers on it.
Aidan McGeady got sent off for Spartak in the season finale. It’s not really going well for him over in Russia, as his Spartak side sealed a spot in the Europa League which is about as lucrative as a bowl of Dunnes Stores yellow label cornflakes. Having been sent off for the second time in his career, TV footage showed McGeady squaring up to the other team like a wee terrier as they exited the pitch – a weak, toothless terrier that’s not great at football.
Some songs on the iPods of the Oirish
He works hard for the money – Donna Summer
St Ledger/Green/Mcshane/Whelan/Kilbane etc
Damaged goods – Gang Of Four
Nobody Loves You (When You’re Down and Out) – John Lennon
God only knows (when I’ll play again) – The Beach Boys
Look at me (Trapattoni) – John Lennon
Come See About Me (Trapattoni) – Supremes
You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) – The Beatles
The Naked Gun theme
I’m on fire – Bruce Springsteen
Me, myself, and I- De La Soul