In the second of our installments, Spud Watch looks at the current state of the Irish squad as we continue our in-depth countdown to the European Championships. Departing a quarter-life crisis and entering a mid-life one, Spud Watch wonders whether Damien Duff is our risen Messiah, asks why is Aiden McGeady interfering with kangaroos, and curses that Jedward were asked to do a Euro song while Póg Mo Goal were overlooked.

In the second of our installments, Spud Watch looks at the current state of the Irish squad as we continue our in-depth countdown to the European Championships. Departing a quarter-life crisis and entering a mid-life one, Spud Watch wonders whether Damien Duff is our risen Messiah, asks why is Aiden McGeady interfering with kangaroos, and curses that Jedward were asked to do a Euro song while Póg Mo Goal were overlooked.

Aiden McGeady

I’ll be f*cked if I know what Aiden McGeady is up to. I assume the lad is alright. He’s like your uncle that lives in Australia that you never see, and only comes home every now and then for funerals, but while he’s away he could be running a kangaroo brothel.


James McCarthy – What have you done for me lately? Is James McCarthy really that good? One forgets that he’s only recently turned 21 but I have seen him play lately, in a more withdrawn defensive role where he has looked a bit off the pace, not helped by team-mates’ reluctance to pass him the ball. At times he looks like he’s able to make a yard with his first touch, like Scholes, but he tackles a lot like him too. He doesn’t dominate or hold his ground for a lad of his size. He does have these flashes where he looks like he’s about to ignite but seems as though he’s being held back in his own head. He’s still young and can probably use that excuse for another two years before the man labelled as the next Patrick Vieira becomes the next Paul Green.


Darron Gibson’s move to Everton got off to a good start with his winner against Man City, his one and only touch in the whole game. You can’t argue what those stats. I encountered Darron Gibson first-hand in Diceys that glorious night of qualification:

He was the heart and soul of merriment; at one stage singing songs and generally being at the centre of everything, the dichotomy of his on-field exploits. But I have to say he seemed like tremendous fun and perhaps I should not be so harsh.

This is the way its going to be now. I think I’m starting to mellow as I exit my quarter-life crisis into my half-life one. Goodbye puberty, sexuality worries, penis size, sexual prowess, physical appearance and erectile dysfunction. Hello male pattern baldness, grey hairs and worsening erectile dysfunction. Everyone has to grow up at some stage. There’s only so much going out every weekend and getting no sex a man can do before he starts the search for the true virtues in life. Having said this, Gibson is atrocious.

With Seamus Coleman injured and generally having a much under par season compared to last year, I believe that he may miss the boat to the Euros (FAI using boats as they are cheaper than planes) and so will Leon “Ain’t getting on no plane Fool” Best.

I think Trapatonni doesn’t fancy Coleman in his first 22 and is only looking for an excuse. With Coleman’s injury this season he’s got the reason he needs. It’s a shame really because Coleman is arguably the most exciting player we have.

But I’ve mellowed now. I believe in the manager. I have to play the game. If I keep penning belligerent stuff about him I’ll end up writing on the internet forever, sitting by my laptop with one tab on and another on the online Thesaurus looking up ridiculous words that nobody understands, never having my own office or the trappings available to the great writers like Cecelia Ahern, Tom Humphries, and Amanda Brunker.

I’ll never get a proper writing gig (Not that there’s anything unpropitious about where Póg Mo Goal is going but I don’t recall there being much green in my Christmas card this year. “Green is good .” Gordon Gekko said that. Not Paul Green though. “He is sh*t.” I said that) So I’ll just wander around with that wry post-admonishment smile, desensitised to this world we live, with all its wrongs, all the sh*t and terrible things far out-weighing the good. And Seamus Coleman is one of the good.

Shane Duffy

Shane Duffy’s stock continues to rise. Duffy’s done well and seems to be seizing his chance. He could easily have ended up like Joey O’Brien by now, or John Belushi that time when his heart almost blew up. Fair play to the lad. He’s in the Irish squad for the Czech game in place of Dunne and like the Indian chap in Captain Planet he too now has a great “heart”.


Two weeks after buying Darren Gibson, David Moyes came out and blamed himself for Everton’s poor season. Whether this is an ostensible apology – an admission of guilt for buying Gibson or just a coincidence remains to be seen. I thought that was funny. Nobody cares what I think though. The bastards.

Henry Miller said:

“To be joyous is to be a madman in a world of sad ghosts.”

We have a midfield full of ghosts as it is. Could James McClean be the “madman” in our midfield of “sad ghosts?” Stick him in the middle. He looks as though he could kick the sh*t into all of our team at once. Kicking the sh*t into Jedward could be a runner also. No chance the Irish media asking us talented folks at PMG to do a Euro champs song. Those pair of bastards got asked to do a song. Nobody came knocking on my door. I’ve every bit the talent they do. I’ve the voice of an angel, and a hole like Beyonce. Bastards, absolute bastards.


Stephen Kelly can forget about trying to find form. He needs to find a trade quick and head for Australia before he’s 30 (work in my uncle’s kangaroo brothel.)

And then the Lord fell for the fourth time, probably after Pontius Pilate terrorised him with his best of Carly Simon tape. Like the Lord Jesus, Damien Duff seems to have risen once again, sitting pretty at Fulham. He doesn’t play every game but when he does, it’s enough to prove to Martin Jol that Duff’s still a decent player and enough to prove that he will still be sharp for us at the Euros. More luck for Trapattoni? All these players finding form?

Damien Duff, he just keeps on giving. You think he’s f*cked and is about to fall away but then he comes back again as good as ever like sporadic erectile dysfunction (my current crisis). He could yet prove be the thorn in the side for opposition in Poland and Pukraine this summer.

West Brom

Simon Cox, another guy who endeared himself to me at the Dicey’s after-party,

A nice lad, and I like him. The Coxsmith was surrounded by some very nice young women. By the grace of God, Cox is getting action off the pitch as on the pitch hasn’t been so fruitful since or before the FA Cup hattrick.

Keith Andrews, the MVP centre midfield in the Championship, he’s back now better than ever. His six-month stint of porridge, à la playing in first division, has Andrews playing some of the best football of his career and earned him a move to join Cox and Long at the Hawthorns. More “luck” for Trapattoni?

Shane Long. He could do with scoring more goals. He’s a very powerful man and should improve playing against better players. He has lots of speed. Sometimes players like him score five goals in a tournament and sometimes sh*t teams get to semi-finals. He’s hard as the rock of Cashel.


One man who’s hard as the rock of Cashel at the thoughts of James McClean playing for us at the Euros is John O’Shea. McClean makes Aiden McGeady look sh*tter than Aiden Mcgeady, and that’s saying something. Hopefully he gets a look in. He’s a big tough bastard, unusual for a winger.

James McClean, looks like he’s the new golden boy. Step aside Coleman. McClean looks fast,strong and direct. He looks mean too, can shoot, can head, can hold lads off. Trapattoni loves this type of player. It would only take one friendly, I reckon. So why, oh why is he not in for the Czech game?

… But I’ve mellowed now. I believe…in the manager. I have to…play the game.

McGeady could be sh*tting himself right now. Perhaps Hunt and Duff also. Everyone can see McClean’s got something. Another lousy blow for the North. They can still have Gibson back if they want. I suppose those players should be made to play for the North really, even though they grow up supporting the Republic. I grew up supporting West Germany and Brazil and I’m not allowed to play for them.

Spud Watch: The Lay of the Land Part 3 coming next week