Liam Mackey - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

LIAM MACKEY: Plot thickens as Spurs visit Pep Guardiola’s La La Land

As my long-suffering comrades in the press box know only too well, your aging correspondent doesn’t need much encouragement to regale all and, yes, even sundry with what I like to imagine are fascinating stories from my life in — yikes! — going on 40 years in the inky trade.

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LIAM MACKEY: Mourinho rediscovers Midas touch as Klopp suffers a blip

The Marouane Fellaini header which gave Manchester United a 2-0 victory over Hull in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final on Tuesday is unlikely to feature in any end of season highlights reel, even if the looping effort was well executed and has helped his club move closer to a Wembley appearance and the prospect of Jose Mourinho bringing his first meaningful piece of silverware to Old Trafford.

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LIAM MACKEY: Three main talking points for Irish football in 2017

Ireland’s clashes with Wales, involving two evenly matched teams, will be decisive next year, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: 2016’s last question: Does Dylan trump two Robbies?

From terrorism to Trump, the year just ending gave us many reasons to be fearful.

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LIAM MACKEY: Leicester’s stunning title win is the 2016 football fairytale

Ding Dong Merrily On High?

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LIAM MACKEY: What will football's first video-replay penalty award mean for the game?

For referees, and for football as a whole, the world might not quite have tilted on its axis but the tectonic plates surely shifted a little as a result of the first penalty to be awarded on the basis of video replay technology.

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LIAM MACKEY: Jose Mourinho has never really known failure before, says Jamie Carragher

There’s been some fanciful talk that, with Manchester United’s 0-2 win away to Zorya — and its confirmation of Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s belated arrival as a significant influence — Jose Mourinho might well have negotiated one of those famous ‘turning points’ so beloved of teams in, to put it at its most charitable, transition.

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LIAM MACKEY: With Stephen Kenny on board, Dundalk can dream of glory again

One defeat doesn’t define Dundalk’s remarkable season even if, with so much at stake, last night’s 2-1 loss to Maccabi Tel Aviv is bound to leave Stephen Kenny and his players with an acute sense of deflation at the end of their European dream.

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LIAM MACKEY: English football managers' gate theatre

I have to say that, all those centuries past, it was very far-seeing and considerate of his ancestors to arrange for the new England manager to come among us in 2016 with a ‘gate’ already appended to his surname, thus sparing journalists the effort of having to add the same four letters if – when? - his reign goes, as it were, south.

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LIAM MACKEY: Stephen Kenny not remotely interested in settling for pats on the head

While I wouldn’t imagine that having to engage with the dreaded meeja features high on any football manager’s list of ‘favourite things to do’, victory must make the task a lot more tolerable.

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LIAM MACKEY: Wonderful Wes Hoolahan must satisfy Martin O’Neill’s risk assessment

While his much less celebrated work off the ball is far too honest to merit ‘a luxury player’ tag — you can understand why Martin O’Neill harbours equally honest reservations about him, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: Ireland spin the Ferris wheel of football on return to Austria

For ‘The Third Man’ read ‘The Third Match’ (featuring, um, Harry Liam). So here we are back in Vienna where, this evening, your painfully punning correspondent will be making his third trip to the Ernst-Happel Stadion.

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LIAM MACKEY: FAI Cup final must show the indifferent just what they're missing

If the League of Ireland is to prosper, it will only be because it attracts, not seeks to compel, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: The day Big Jack Charlton talked absolute Cobblers

Prehistoric’ was one of the kinder words used by critics of Jack Charlton’s brand of football when he was manager of Ireland but in the foreword he has penned for a newly published biography by Colin Young, the man himself makes the claim that, au contraire – or, more likely, ‘bugger that’ – his Ireland team actually laid the foundations for the game as we know it today.

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