Liam Mackey - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

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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LIAM MACKEY: Dundalk win hearts and minds

From size of stadia to size of budgets, from the number of internationals in their respective ranks to previous achievements in elite European competition — by whatever measurement you chose to compare and contrast Dundalk and Zenit St Petersburg, the two clubs seemed separated by a gulf of almost cosmic proportions going into their Europa League game in Tallaght on Thursday night.

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LIAM MACKEY: The teams they are a changing

For the week that’s in it, what could be more appropriate than to address the congregation with a reading from the Book Of Bob?

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LIAM MACKEY: Study of injuries in football shows certain trends

I suppose it will come as little consolation to Kevin De Bruyne the hamstring injury which has ruled him out of the Manchester City side for a number of games – and, hardly coincidentally, coincided with Pep Guardiola’s side losing their 100% record – puts the brilliant Belgian international firmly ‘on trend’.

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LIAM MACKEY: How did Sam Allardyce not see that one coming?

As modern manager types go, so defiantly and ruggedly old school is Sam Allardyce in the cut of his jib, that every time you see and hear him it’s as if he’s walked out of a Pathe newsreel from back in the sepia-tinted day when shorts were unfeasibly baggy, even the youngest players looked older than your granddad and the WM formation was at the very cutting edge of tactical science.

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LIAM MACKEY: Ireland women park their disappointment to win friends and fans

To Tallaght Stadium last Tuesday for the women’s international between Ireland and Portugal, with a lot riding on the night. On and off the pitch.

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LIAM MACKEY: Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss

I caught up with Stan Collymore in Dublin during the week for a conversation which produced our story on Thursday that, even though he only spent six months playing under Martin O’Neill at Leicester City, the striker still reckoned the Derry man was the manager who had the greatest influence on him in his entire 14 years in the game.

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LIAM MACKEY: Don't expect shocks - only the  strongest survive in the Champions League

2016 will go down in football history as the year of the underdog. Leicester City led the way with their against-all-odds Premier League title success while, at the European Championship finals, there were the table-turning heroics of Iceland and Wales to warm the heart and, when it came to the crunch, Portugal finally ending their trophy drought by beating hosts and hot favourites France.

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LIAM MACKEY: Even the Manchester derby is still about the players

If you’re still struggling to get your head around exactly what that €13 billion Apple windfall means in real terms, there’s a much simpler and more meaningful solution than trying to work out all that banal stuff about how many homes and hospitals you could build with it.

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