IT seems just like yesterday, but today is the final Angry Fans of the season. Liam is limbering up for Ireland’s tour of the United States by gargling with light, cold beer, and saying "have a nice day" to everyone while he runs the rule over the final contributions of the 2007/08 season. And there’s some corkers including some support for Glasgow Rangers; a nice demonstration of the merits of dramatic irony; a biting response to last week’s criticism of the SPL; a suggestion that ref Bennett should have gone home with a United replica shirt with Stevie B on the back and a further questioning of the likely effect of the Republic’s getaway to the Algarve.
This week’s winning letter goes to Pablo from Cork. Let us have that address please. We hope all angry fans have a great summer. Relax and will see you again in August.
On behalf of all of us in the Tralee Branch of the Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club (me And Richie!) good luck to Walter Smith’s boys in the Uefa Cup Final. The Gers have been brilliant in Europe this season. While the games may not have been pretty on the eye, we’ll make no apologies for playing to our strengths. The Gers have been punching above their weight with considerable success, and deserve credit for their efforts. We’ve proven hard to break down, and defending in Europe is a priority. Finally, remember the last time everybody predicted a 0-0 bore draw in a UEFA Cup Final2001 anyone!!!!!! Cheers!
Joe O’ Mahony, Tralee, by email OUR SHOUT:
OUR SHOUT:I’m sure I Speak on behalf of all the fans of your beloved neighbours Celtic in wishing Rangers the best of luck.
Liam, while making my way to the local last Friday evening to discuss Sunday’s mouth-watering Premier League finale with the lads, I made a startling discovery. On passing an old decrepit-looking structure which I had always assumed was derelict, I thought I could hear the sound of a small crowd emanating from inside. Curious as to what all the fuss was about, I decided to investigate and was astonished at what I found — a football match. I simply could not believe my eyes. Real football in my home town. While the ground itself was no Old Trafford, it was compact and comfortable in a quirky sort of way and the modest but vociferous crowd seemed to be loving every minute of the action. I struck up a conversation with one of these spectators and he explained it all to me. Apparently, and I know this sounds inconceivable, but apparently we have our very own football league in this country and the majority of the clubs who compete in it are fully professional. There are games every weekend, each club has its own ground and a number of these clubs have even made an impact in European competitions over the past few seasons. The gentleman then tried to convince me that a few of the players have even been capped at senior international level, but surely that couldn’t be true. If I’m honest though, the standard of football was quite good. Anyway, I must say that I’m delighted with my discovery as I now have somewhere to go to feed my football appetite during the summer months. With the Premier League season now in repose, I recommend that instead of crying into their Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal etc. jerseys until August, your readers should do the same. There’s a club near you.
Pablo, Cork, by email OUR SHOUT:
OUR SHOUT:Good stuff, Pablo. Have our Letter Of The Week prize.
RED Devil went on a rant last week on how the SPL is a joke and that it’s made up of 12 crap teams. Typical of a man who thinks the sporting world revolves around the Premier League and Man Utd. There is no doubt the SPL is an inferior league. I’ve seen it first-hand plenty of times for over 10 years but I’ve also experienced the magical nights in Parkhead in the Champions League and UEFA Cup which brings me onto my reason for responding to this philistine. He says the winners of the SPL shouldn’t gain entry to the Champions League and that teams like Spurs and Villa should be given their place. Why does he suggest two English teams? Why not teams from La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A? Sure if we were to apply his logic teams from countries such as Portugal, Scotland and France would make way for Villa, Spurs, Blackburn, Everton, Portsmouth etc in the Champions League. He also complains about how Celtic and Rangers always finish top of their league. Someone would want to remind him that Lyon have won the French League six years running, Porto and Benfica have dominated in Portugal for a decade and only three teams have won the Premiership in the past 13 years. So why single out the SPL I asked myself. Easy, the last time Manchester Utd. met Celtic, Champions League 2006, Celtic won 1-0.
Corkbhoy, Ballincollig CSC, by Email
And, of course, as already mentioned, you’re doubtless delighted that Rangers are doing the SPL proud in Europe this year. Aren’t you?
GREAT credit to Chelsea for the pushing the Mancs all the way, and Grant is confounding all of us who thought he wasn’t up to it. Whether he’s still the man to take the club forward is an open question, but he deserves praise for wringing the most out of what could’ve been a poor season in the circumstances. If not for the slip at Barnsley in the Cup and from winning positions against Wigan or Spurs in the league, it could very well have been even better.
Kevin Blake, London, by email
DID Manchester United present a red shirt to referee Steve Bennett after the match at Wigan yesterday? Just how did he miss the Ferdinand handball? What was Paul Scholes Still doing on the pitch? Fair play to both Wigan and Bolton who refused to be the fall guys. Perhaps the lickspittle Alan Curbishley could learn a thing or two when he’s finished raising his glass to them? Well done United, who just about deserved it over the season while not being half as good as people proclaim. So now it’s on to Moscow where it will be a different story. Chelsea are one of the few teams in Europe who can take it to the Mancs. We know it, and more importantly, they do as well. Bring it on.
Cork Blue, by email
Seeing as how it’s the last Angry Fans of the season I think it’s only fitting to spare Cork Blue a red card for the first time in his career. But not to entirely let him down, he can have the two yellows Scholes should have got instead
NOW that the fanfare of the arrival of new Republic of Ireland boss, Giovanni Trapattoni, has finally died down the real business of preparing for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers can begin in earnest. It will be interesting to see how many of the established internationals decide to shun the upcoming Algarve training camp, citing tiredness and fatigue as excuses for not travelling. The new Irish management team desperately need to hit the ground running in preparation for the qualifiers later in the year but if most of the players fail to present themselves for the end of season training camp and subsequent friendlies then it will inhibit Trapattoni’s plans before he even begins. Surely a simple two or three day get-together in Dublin would have been more beneficial all round?
Ger McCarthy, Clonakilty, by Email
I think you’ll see far fewer pull-outs for this one than usual, Ger. And is there really such a thing as "simple two or great day get-together"? At the end of the season?? In Dublin?!?
WHAT’S the betting that you can name the three teams to be relegated in 2008/09 now . . . West Bromwich Albion, Stoke, and whoever comes up from the play-offs (which I hope will be Crystal Palace).
Limerick Red, by email
Scary. You should open your own psychic phone line, you.
HERE we go . . . back to proper sport now while the obscenely wealthy owners of Premier League clubs and their managers go splashing their money all over Europe. Come on Kilkenny !!
Phil Scannell, Kilkenny by email
Hockey, is it?
HEY LIAM, Could never understand why the column is called Angry Fans. What with Utd having won another Premier League, and being in the Champions League Final, I am A delighted fan. I suppose I’ll get the red card for not being angry.
A Cork Red, by email
On the last day in school? Never. Which is not to say that you won’t be seeing red after the class of ‘08 outing to Moscow.
Contact us by email: Angryfans@examiner.ie Contact us by text: Put angryfans at the start of your message, leave a space, and then enter your opinion. Send the message to 53133. Messages cost 60c for every 160 characters.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved