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
Steven Courtenay, Kilkenny, by email
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.
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 didnt enforce
them. I will bet theres 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 Ive 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
hasnt he? Offer Liverpool a rematch in the spirit of the game.
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 shouldnt be surprised when they start throwing their toys
out of their prams and onto the field of play.
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.
that Liverpool were undone by a load of hot air.
WHO was it that was saying that Liverpool dont have
the balls for a title challenge?
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
Pat Barry, Waterford, by email
IT was interesting that
the BBC blanked out the face of Balloon Boy in their broadcast, but theres
footage everywhere of the youngster. Tricky editorial decision, do you think?
Stephen Colgan, Wexford, by email
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
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!
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
NEXT weeks game at Anfield is incredibly difficult
to call. Liverpool lost, but United werent 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.
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
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 Leagues
not really worth the candle is it?
When you get knocked out, no. When you win, yes.
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
Yeah, but Brucey will be in his 70s by then.
JUST what has gone wrong with Frank Lampard. Are his lack of goals because
hes stuck out on the side of the diamond, or because hes got the monkey
on his back of being level on the same number of league goals as Jimmy Greaves.
Either way Chelsea arent nearly as potent without him. Intriguingly Ancelotti
was muttering after the game about Lampards 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.
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 Eduardos 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 theyre in a crowd. As for Alex McLeish saying he didnt 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.
Prize-winning letter of the week.
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
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 hes
already got one Red Mist expert in Wayne Rooney.
Spurs exile, by email
No need to worry on that score. England won't get to a World