LIAM MACKEY: Blue moon over Manchester after tectonic plates shift

One of the earliest and most hard-earned lessons I learned in the playground as a young football neophyte was that there was no team called Manchester.

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LIAM MACKEY: The League of Ireland: Natty and dread

So, this lovely image of Bob Marley adorning Bohemians’ new away strip: Does it mean that, next season, when it’s nil-nil late on and the opposition score, we will be entitled to refer to the goal as “breaking the dreadlock”?

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LIAM MACKEY: Look on his mighty works and despair

To be unkind about it, O’Neill declaring himself a winner in the immediate aftermath of a home defeat to Wales felt a bit like Ozymandias still proclaiming his greatness from amid a pile of rubble in the middle of an empty desert, says Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: Martin O'Neill in search of the Midas touch

A colleague recently posted a fantastic photo of his newborn son, eyes fiercely blazing, face all scrunched up, the very picture of a tiny Mr Angry. Another colleague was quick to respond that it surely wasn’t good parenting to have exposed one so tender to the brutal highlights of Ireland 1, Denmark 5, writes Liam Mackey.

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LIAM MACKEY: The Rice hydra-headed saga, do I not like that?

In his autobiography, A Life in Questions, the broadcaster Jeremy Paxman relates a memorable exchange between John Major and Boris Yeltsin, as described by the former British prime minister.

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LIAM MACKEY: John Caulfield has enough credit in the bank... and respect

Swapping the hoops and green shirts of Páirc Uí Chaoimh from earlier in the day for uniform black tie in City Hall later that night, it was quite the parade of football luminaries who took to the stage to pay further tribute to Liam Miller at the gala dinner in his honour last Tuesday.

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LIAM MACKEY: James Milner has more than stayed the distance

Luckily for Manchester City, the bloated Champions League format means that opening group games can hardly be regarded as critically important, never mind ‘must win’, but even if the competition couldn’t ever hope to hit the ground running the way the World Cup did in Russia, this week’s action did see some of football’s global superstars exhibiting varying degrees of luminosity — from dull to blinding — in their attempts to twist again like they did last summer.

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LIAM MACKEY: Gould standard in training bust-ups

And so, after the fire and the friendly, the waiting game. Waiting for Deco. Waiting for Roy and Harry. Waiting for Seamus and Robbie and Seani and Shane and James and James.

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LIAM MACKEY: Nations League could prove more meaningful than expected

Even on the back of a painful hiding, one game into a new campaign might seem a bit too early to be talking about crisis.

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LIAM MACKEY: Declan Rice's silence means controversy rumbles on

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Martin O’Neill’s plea for people not to rush to judgment on Declan Rice has fallen on deaf ears, writes Liam Mackey

But then the manager probably had a pretty good idea that he was whistling in the wind with regard to that one.

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LIAM MACKEY: Kicking the league when it’s down a mug’s game

Boom! Boom! And out went the lights in Europe for Irish football this season, writes Liam Mackey

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