SHORT of some fiendish combination of brainwashing, kidnapping, bribery, rule-bending, and sending time’s arrow into reverse, Ireland’s only hope of seeing Jack Grealish grace the Aviva Stadium in the summer is if England top their Euro 2020 group and so contest a round-of-16 game in Dublin, potentially against Germany.
Damien Delaney's football journey has taken him from Cork to the Premier League and back to Cork again. And along the way, he's encountered remarkable characters and learned valuable lessons that shaped his professional career.
Mick McCarthy is considering delaying a decision on the make-up of his final squad for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Switzerland and the friendly against Bulgaria, amid concerns about the impact of injuries and the amount of game-time some of those in contention are getting with their clubs.
Declan Rice has not been included in England’s squad for next week’s Nations Cup clash with Spain at Wembley, with manager Gareth Southgate saying that Rice has a “really difficult decision” to make about his international future.
Once when asked to describe jazz, the famous pianist Thomas Fats Waller replied, “if you don’t know by now, don’t mess with it”. The quote is both sanitised — a four-letter word other than mess was used — and often misattributed (to Louis Armstrong).
Martin O’Neill has appealed to Irish supporters not to be too quick to judge Declan Rice after the manager revealed the player is weighing up his international future and, consequently, has not been included in the latest Ireland squad.
And then there was one. Well, two actually, but the World Cup third-place play-off is definitely one of those nominally competitive fixtures which presents a fairly robust challenge to my old friend Declan Lynch’s wise maxim that there’s never a good reason not to watch a football match.