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 France in the qualiers and away in the second let; Pool react with dignity; Throwing toys out of the pram; Pool undone by hot air; Hiddink available for Anfield; Best Premiership for years; Utd v Liverpool difficult to call; Bruce next Utd manager; Fulham victims of their own success; Lamps lack of goals; Wenger was right about obscenities; Defoe’s should have seen red.

SO LIAM, what do you think of our World Cup qualification chances now?

Mick Kennedy, Clare, by email

I KNEW we were a hostage to fortune when

Lucozade started running that ad campaign about the importance of the last 15

minutes

Steven Courtenay, Kilkenny, by email

OUR SHOUT: Courage

mon braves! France away would have been my second choice after the Greeks, and

it's a shame that we've got the second leg away which is what Trap didn't really

want. But if this is really going to come down to a battle of the managers it's

no bad thing to be up against the strange Raymond Domenech, the manager who believes

in star signs. November is a Scorpio month (ruling planet Mars, the God of War

- see Raymond, we can all do this) so let's hope the boys are inspired with the

spirit of battle. We can do this, we really can. Last 15 minutes or not.

LIVERPOOL

have reacted with dignity to the farce at the Stadium of Light by not demanding

a replay. OK, so the rules are specific and referee Mike Jones didn’t enforce

them. I will bet there’s not one reader in 200,000 who knew that the correct

decision was to disallow the goal and give a drop ball.

Not even you Liam.

As far as I can recall the only time a match has been replayed was when Arsène

Wenger offered Sheffield United a rematch in the FA Cup after there was a dispute

over a goal scored after a throw-in which should have returned the ball to the

opposition. And because I’ve got a good memory I also know that the Sheffield

United manager that day was a certain Steve Bruce who threatened to take his team

off the pitch at Highbury. So Brucie has got an easy choice based on his own experience

hasn’t he? Offer Liverpool a rematch in the spirit of the game.

Patrick Whelan, Dublin, by email

ANYONE who takes plastic inflatables

of any description (giant bananas, beach balls, blow-up dolls) and anyone who

goes to football wearing fancy dress clearly has already had their brains surgically

removed so we shouldn’t be surprised when they start throwing their toys

out of their prams and onto the field of play.

Dennis Greene, London,

by email

THAT beach ball showed more sense of tactical positioning

in one game than Andriy Voronin has demonstrated in two dozen games for the Reds.

Rafa, Rafa sign it up.

Limerick Red, by email

HOW ironic

that Liverpool were undone by a load of hot air.

Red Devil, Limerick,

by email

WHO was it that was saying that Liverpool don’t have

the balls for a title challenge?

Phil Dunne, Dublin, by email

LOOKS like Guüs Hiddink might be available sooner rather than later. He would

be an excellent replacement for Benitez I think if it continues to go pear-shaped

at Anfield.

Pat Barry, Waterford, by email

IT was interesting that

the BBC blanked out the face of Balloon Boy in their broadcast, but there’s

footage everywhere of the youngster. Tricky editorial decision, do you think?

Stephen Colgan, Wexford, by email

OUR SHOUT: Oh dear, it's the

fans who put the pun in pundit. Funniest goal I'd seen before this one was Maradona's

Hand of God job on poor old Eng-er-land. Actually, judging solely by the shape

of the 'goalscorer' at the Stadium of Light, can we be sure that it wasn't old

Diego again.

THIS IS the best Premier League for years. Loads of action,

fast play and loads of goals. And consider these points – Manchester City

and Spurs might win their games in hand; look at the bottom three (no promoted

clubs); look where Stoke are; look where Burnley are. As that guy from The Fast

Show says . . . BRILLIANT!

Liam O’Connor, County Cork, by email

OUR

SHOUT: We're all so happy for you Liam. But note the name of the column, please.

Is it 'Happy Fans'? No it is not. Try and get in touch with your anger next time

please)., okay?)

NEXT week’s game at Anfield is incredibly difficult

to call. Liverpool lost, but United weren’t that impressive and let Bolton

back into the match. Both sides have got key players next weekend. United might

be feeling confident but I reckon it could be very, very balanced.

Nick O’Sullivan,

Dublin, by email

lOUR SHOUT: That's the last time you're going to hear the

word 'balanced' used in reference to Liverpool v United, I'll wager.

.

JUST what was it that Gary Megson was hinting at when he said that “Bolton

was not the club everyone thought it was” when he took over? Some dark reference

here to Sam Allardyce? What does it all mean?

Patrick Gleeson, Limerick

OUR SHOUT: Don't know bPatrick but, like you, I'm kept awake at nights

trying to figure it out.

ARE Fulham the latest victims of over-achievement

syndrome which ends up with a decent team being shunted into the Europa League

and being forced to play a ridiculous schedule of games without the depth of squad

to make that a practical proposition? Last season it happened with Aston Villa

which resulted in them sending a reserve team to Russia and undermined their run

for a Champions League place. Last year it was Villa and this year its Fulham.

Who next? Sure, Roma might be a “glamour” tie but the Europa League’s

not really worth the candle is it?

Fulham Fan, Dublin, by email

OUR SHOUT: When you get knocked out, no. When you win, yes.

I AM

impressed with the work that Steve Bruce is doing for Sunderland. The odds must

have shortened on him taking over from Alex Ferguson.

Black Cat, Dublin, by

email

OUR SHOUT: Yeah, but Brucey will be in his 70s by then.

JUST what has gone wrong with Frank Lampard. Are his lack of goals because

he’s stuck out on the side of the diamond, or because he’s got the monkey

on his back of being level on the same number of league goals as Jimmy Greaves.

Either way Chelsea aren’t nearly as potent without him. Intriguingly Ancelotti

was muttering after the game about Lampard’s “need to adapt.” The

last time he spoke in these terms was when he was managing at Parma and trying

to force an unnatural game out of Gianfranco Zola. Zola was sold to Chelsea and

became one of the best players the Premier League has known. There may be something

more significant going on at Chelsea than a barely deserved loss at Villa Park.

Cork Blue, by email

OUR SHOUT: Hey, Cork Blue, my man! Long

time no hear! Once I saw your name, I didn't have to read your letter. Have a

red card! Isn't life grand?

WHOEVER it was who said that no one lost a

fortune by underestimating public taste must have had Birmingham City in mind.

Those chants at the Emirates on Saturday in praise of Martin Taylor (the player

who smashed Eduardo’s leg in two places) were a reminder how some sections

of support are the pits. Wenger was right to say that people lose their identity

when they’re in a crowd. As for Alex McLeish saying he didn’t hear it,

perhaps we should add a hearing aid to go with the pair of glasses for Wenger

that we put on the Christmas shopping list every year.

Gooner-in-exile, Cork,

by email

OUR SHOUT: Prize-winning letter of the week.

TWELVE

games in, and still no win for Keano. We might be seeing the East Anglian derby

with Norwich again rather sooner than we imagined.

Noel Davis, Cork, by email

OUR SHOUT: Cruel.

RIDICULOUS foul by Jermain Defoe, right

under the nose of one of the most card-happy refs in the Premier League. Capello

might be wondering now if he would do that in a World Cup quarter-final. And he’s

already got one Red Mist expert in Wayne Rooney.

Spurs exile, by email

OUR SHOUT: No need to worry on that score. England won't get to a World

Cup quarter-final.

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