Angry Fans

OUR football correspondent LIAM MACKEY is back in top form and full of energy. He casts his eye over your comments and gives his own critical analysis of the goings on throughout the world of football.

You may agree with him or then again you may not. This week Graeme Souness is two faced; Case for Delap being reinstated to the National side; RTÉ running a pole on Eircom league; Rovers in Tallaght; Brian Murphy for Ireland; Chelsea players need to stay quiet; Scolari’s record not so impressive; Poor refereeing; What was Ronaldo up to everyone wants to know; Spurs still in trouble; Well done to Everton for sticking with Moyes;

The Letter of the Week goes to Irish Bluenose. Get in touch with your postal address and our prize will be winging its way to you as quick as you can say Pinocchio.

CAN that Scottish git on Sky Sports get any more annoying? All he does is scrutinise

refereeing decisions: to him it seems all other aspects of the game are irrelevant.

They have even given him his own show where he can criticise referees. Pundits

on Sky seem to be afraid to criticise players so turn their attention to the referee.

Has anyone else noticed the difference in the views of Graeme Souness from when

he is on RTE to when he is on Sky?

IDLE GUNNER, by email


And, of course, the Dunph would be just like a little mouse on Sky, yielding to

the God-like genius of Jamie Redknapp.

VERY much enjoyed the efforts

of Dean Windass to put long-throw expert Rory Delap off his stride and also the

fact that the Hull goalkeeper Myhill clearly preferred to concede a corner rather

than a throw-in. Which led me to wonder whether there were other innovative means

to put the Irishman off his game. You could, I suppose, do a version of the haka

in front of him as he winds up timing the final leap as he releases the ball.

Or you could shout insults about Letterkenny as he takes aim.

Peter McSweeney,

Co. Cork, by email

OUR SHOUT: Is tickling under the arm a bookable


SERIOUS question Liam . . . if the Delap long throw causes such

mayhem in the defences of the "best league in the world" isn't there

a case for Trap bringing him back from international exile. He hasn't turned out

for the Republic since 2004, but surely he's worth a squad place just on novelty

value alone?

Sean Breslin, Waterford, by email


if that was the criterion, Trap would be sending on Andy Reid with his banjo.

(On second thoughts, he'd be more likely to just send on the banjo).

I SEE that RTE has been running a poll for viewers to give their over-riding memory

of the 2008 eircom League season and that among the nominations are: the Bohemians'

double; the European performances of Drogheda & Pat's; the overall quality

of football on the pitch; consistently poor refereeing; financial problems and

Galway's last day survival?

What would your own choice be Liam, and are you

optimistic about the future?

Hew Scanlon, Dublin, by email


SHOUT: I'd be optimistic that a leaner LOI can survive but, unfortunately,

I can't quite see how the higher standards on the pitch of recent years - at least

among the elite teams - can be maintained, let alone developed, in a tougher economic

environment. Meantime, Bohs' double - especially their record-breaking title win

- has to be the highlight of this year. And next year? Read on...


you looking forward to next season Liam, especially the prospect of matches at

Tallaght Stadium after all the arguments of the past few years. Any prospect of

it inspiring Shamrock Rovers to give Bohs a run for their money d'ya think?

Sam the Sham, by email

OUR SHOUT:Many eyes, and not just those

of their supporters, will be on Rovers' move to Tallaght After all the troubles

of recent years - and Bohs are hardly immune now - the Hoops project could be

a litmus test for the whole league.

ISN'T it about time that Trap and

Tardo threw off the blinkers and got Brian Murphy into the Ireland squad. If he

was playing in the Premier League or even a second string over there, we all know

that he would be called up double quick. That sort of thing does no good for football

in this country.

Boh Rap, by email

OUR SHOUT: Agreed.

WHY couldn't the Chelsea players keep their mouths shut before the game with Arsenal?

Cech, Ballack, Cole . . . all lining up to say that the Gunners haven't got the

heart for the Premier League. They might as well have gone into the dressing room

to give Arsène Wenger's team talk for them. They know better now don't


Dennis Greene, London, by email

PERHAPS Chelsea's 86-game

unbeaten run is going to be counter-balanced by an 86-game losing run in football's

equivalent of the smart-dumb balance being restored?

Sean Dunne, Dublin,

by email

I KNOW that Scolari won the World Cup, but he did have a

side of outstanding individuals at his disposal. With Portugal his record has

been very different. Portugal have had a record of under-achievement and failing

to win the big games that counted. Perhaps the truth is that he just hasn't got

what it takes at the very highest level in club football. For example, he waits

until his team are losing 2-1 to Arsenal before blooding one of his best youngsters,

Stoch. When Chelsea were winning 4-0 he brought on Paolo Ferreira. Doesn't seem

like good management to me. Getting rid of Mourinho looks like one of the biggest

own goals in football history, and it was made in Russia.

Anthony Brennan,

Galway, by email

ANOTHER big game changed by a shockingly poor decision

by a linesman. Van Persie was at least a yard offside for the Arsenal equaliser.

Have the Premier League got some sort of co-sponsorship deal going with a blind

school in the UK where they take the most promising of their pupils and allow

them to run the line with a flag?

Declan Keane, Kilkenny, by email

OUR SHOUT: Great to know that 70s stand-up humour is still alive and well

in Kilkenny, despite the annual influx of the foul-mouthed 'alternative' brigade.

Have a red card Declan. Meanwhile, my favourite reaction to Sunday's result was

the disgruntled Chelsea fan who called for Avram Grant to be brought back.

JUST what was Cristiano Ronaldo up to with that handball which led to his

second yellow card on Sunday? Was he worried that the ball was going to strike

him in the face and mess up his looks? Or was he imagining that he was playing

beach volleyball in Spain? Why didn't he just head it?

Red Devil, Limerick,

by email

WELL that's the fake sheikhs put firmly in their place. Two

points outside the relegation zone. That isn't what the Arabs have paid their

money for, and it doesn't put them on course for Champions League football in

the next two years. Shame that. Many more defeats of that kind and you can kiss

Mark Hughes goodbye is my guess.

Cormac McDonald, Donegal, by email

OUR SHOUT: Hope not but fear you're right. He's a fine young manager, Hughes,

but probably not sufficiently marquee to keep his seat at Eastlands.


DESPITE all those victories Spurs are still deep in the mire, and they may find

it increasingly difficult to pull away from there once the Harry Redknapp honeymoon

period has worn off. They need some major restructuring in January if they're

not to find themselves scrapping it out for points with Newcastle down the bottom

at the business end of the season.

Nick Burgess, Carlow, by email

OUR SHOUT: Absolutely. 'Arry, 'Arry, 'Arry, Out, Out, Out. Speaking of which...

WELL done to Everton for sticking with David Moyes for 300 games. Some

managers don't even get a full season. Everton probably won't be anything other

than a steady top eight side unless they find someone to invest more heavily in

them but at least he has brought them regular Premier League football with one

or two forays into Europe. Things could be a lot worse. Just ask Leeds United

. . . losing to Histon in the FA Cup, the outstanding result of the weekend.

Irish Bluenose, by email

OUR SHOUT: We like Moyes here too so, just

to make up for all the trophies your team won't win, have our Letter of the Week


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