We’ll be offering a free sports prize to the star contribution each week. This week Trap bringing 6 keepers to the Algarve; Hamilton’s biased commentary on Gooner TV; American egos; Henry unsettled at Barca; Alan Green’s on Wenger; Grant’s baffling press conference; Fergie’s pact with the Devil; Birmingham wave white flat; Who’s laughing.
goes to Pablo, Cork for his even-handed analysis of domestic players. Let us have an address Pablo and our prize will be winging its way to you.
LIAM, I know that Giovanni Trapattoni is renowned for being a defensive coach, but I presume he's aware that you can only play one goalkeeper at a time. However, I'm sure there's some logic behind the decision to bring six keepers to the Algarve in May. Furthermore, as a domestic football enthusiast I must admit to being disappointed to see that not a single player from our domestic league was deemed good enough to earn a place on a panel of 40. The Eircom League deserves more than lip service. Bohemians goalkeeper Brian Murphy would challenge any of that quintet of stoppers. St. Patrick's Athletic's Keith Fahey is as technically gifted as any player at our disposal and Cork City's duo of Colin Healy And Joe Gamble have turned in some good performances. Of course the vast majority of any successful Republic of Ireland side will comprise of Englishbased players and rightly so, but let's have a squad that's picked on merit rather than victimising players who choose to ply their trade here at home.
Don't forget that the squad, as announced, is preliminary one and will be trimmed back to 28 at the start of next month. But for your even-handed analysis of the non-selection of domestic players, have our Letter Of The Week prize.
WATCHING THE Anfield epic between Liverpool and Arsenal brought back fond memories of Euro 88 and Italia 90. A ferventlybiased commentary from George Hamilton ("Oh no" he groaned when the referee pointed to the spot, although this was possibly eclipsed by George's earlier steadfast refusal to give Torres a modicum of credit for his wonder-strike). Final whistle and as a sad George bid goodnight, Bill's grave tones immediately informed us "what a disappointing night" it had been for The Boys in White. In his despair Bill could not find it within himself to mention what a thrilling game it had been or what admirable courage the home side had shown. Only the fair-minded Brady was prepared to offer anything approaching credit to the victors. Even Souness was caught up in the emotion of it all, becoming an adopted Gooner for the evening. His pained expressions when discussing the demise of The Boys in White ensured his fallen status on Merseyside will remain ever so. And, of course, Dunphy went on a rant about the manager. What's that station called these days anyway, is it RTE 2 or Network 2? Neither, it’s Gooner TV.
Gooner TV, is it? Somehow, I don't think Chippy would agree.
HOW to destroy 116 years of tradition. Get two Americans with big egos to invest in your club. Hicks’ comments on Parry and Co in the week of the Hillsborough Memorial service show how much he cares about the history of Liverpool Club... zilch
Do not adjust your set: that whirring sound you hear is poor old Shanks spinning in his grave.
HENRY reportedly is unsettled at Barça and might relish a return to the Prem with a contender. With Drogba off, a frontline Of Henry and Anelka would be a mouth-watering prospect. Then again, Henry is probably only unsettled cos he's being played on the left by Rijkaard and will want to stay and prove himself at Barça in his proper position under an expected new manager. And of course, if Rijkaard comes to Chels that will hardly lure Henry to SW6! Well, it's a thought anyway.
About 20 thoughts actually. Chelsea have Liverpool and Manchester United coming up, with Champions' League and Premiership honours still at stake. Ever tried living in the moment?
HI LIAM, in last Monday's Examiner, Alan Green claimed that Wenger would not have survived as long as he has if he was managing Liverpool or Chelsea, because it's about winning and Wenger hasn't won anything in the last three years. All Abramovich ever wanted was exciting, attacking football by all accounts. And the Liverpool fans would happily swap their Champions League win to be challenging for the Prem title into April. As a United fan with a soft spot for Arsenal, I sympathise with Liam Brady who rightly pointed out that but for a bit of luck Arsenal would have progressed and been spared the frenzied grave dancing. But it was Liverpool, blessed yet again with the rub of the Alan Green, who prove that you don't need more than three good players and a bit of grit to do well in a cup competition. Could Harry Kewell really win two champions league medals??
Liverpool v Chelsea for the 19th and 20th time in four seasons? Just what have we done to deserve so much pleasure in our lives Liam? Let’s hope that we don’t get another helping of “s**t on a stick” this time eh?
Arsene, Arsene, language please!! As for Magic Giggs' comments I agree that, over the long haul, Arsenal are destined to be bigger and worthier winners than either Liverpool or Chelsea.
LAST Thursday night after the Everton game I thought for the first time ever what a paler, poorer, place the Premier League will be without Avram Grant next season. Not for the quality of his football, but for his ability to deliver a truly baffling press conference. That contribution at Goodison is right up there with Eric Cantona talking about sardines and Donald Rumsfeld conjuring up the spectre of the known-unknowns and the unknownunknowns. Priceless. Get it onto YouTube so that students can study it for ever. Roman? Are you not entertained?
I have more than a little sympathy for Avram Grant. As someone who has contrbuted his unfair share of pointless questions at too many press confernences over too many years, I confess that I'm surprised more gaffers don't self-combust or at least have a nervous breakdown in the face of asking-the bleedingobvious queries like "does this put you back in the titlerace?". I mean, what did they expect him to say? "No, it's just a positive blip, the end is still nigh, we're all going to die some day anyway, what's the point of it all?" etc. "Don't know," seemed a perfectly reasonable answer under the circumstances.
JUST how many pacts has Alex Ferguson made with the Devil during his rich and colourful life? I mean, a hit and hope cross finds the head of Tevez in the 93rd minute at Ewood Park. How lucky can you get? I happen to think that Chelsea will beat United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday and probably look back at that moment as the one when the Premier League title was secured.
Ah yes, lucky, lucky Man U. That's why they're champions-elect, you know.
JUST when you think Reading and their tedious brand of football is doomed to a welcome return to the Championship up pop Birmingham to wave the white flag of surrender against Villa. Derby aside, who are your other two for the drop Liam?
Fulham and, after that confidence-shattering mangling in the derby, Birmingham.
SIX games without defeat. There’s not so much laughing about Kevin Keegan now is there? And won’t everyone love it, just love it if the Geordies put paid to Chelsea’s League hopes.
"Everyone"? What about our old friend, Cork Blue? And now that I think of him, I'm reminded that I forgot to give him his customary red card a little earlier.
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