The Archives

  • 07.11.14
    What a World Cup: And then there were two Internationals | Comments Off on What a World Cup: And then there were two
    Now we are down to the very last of it - the final of the 2014 World Cup. And what a competition it has been: the sheer quality of football from certain players, the bravery from certain teams, the glory of mind-blowing goals, the controversy, the glory, the unpredictability. Good heavens, can we get rid of league football and just have nine World Cups instead? Last Tuesday witnessed the unpredictable: Brazil were beaten - no, completely outplayed and destroyed - by Germany by 7-1. Yes, seven! The ridiculously brilliant Thomas Müller opened the scoring after eleven minutes, followed by another four before I ...
  • 07.07.14
    World Cup semi-finals: Then there were four… Internationals | Comments Off on World Cup semi-finals: Then there were four…
    Football fans' mouths are watering worldwide as two very tasty World Cup semi-final fixtures are set to be played. The last four will see Brazil take on Germany tomorrow night at the Estádio Mineirão in Belo Horizonte, while on Wednesday The Netherlands face Argentina in the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo. Brazil overcame Colombia in Fortaleza in the quarter-finals. Many, myself included, were doubtful if they would. Colombia have been playing some excellent football led by 22-year old superstar James Rodríguez. Two goals from defenders Thiago Silva and David Luiz put the hosts ahead before Rodríguez's 80th minute goal pulled one back for ...
  • 07.02.14
    And then there were eight… Internationals | Comments Off on And then there were eight…
    I must say, and I know I'm not alone in saying this, but the standard of football and the entertainment value in the matches during this World Cup is, from my memory, the best one yet. I'll start off with James Rodriguez's smashing goal against Uruguay last Saturday is not the firm favourite for goal of the tournament (sorry, RVP). And what a talent the Colombian is. Just don't expect him to move anywhere after the tournament - Monaco only signed him last summer - for €45 million. Forty-five million! Speaking of players moving, you can be guaranteed that Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo ...
  • 06.19.14
    So how is everyone enjoying the World Cup so far? Internationals | Comments Off on So how is everyone enjoying the World Cup so far?
    It hasn't exactly gone to plan has it, this World Cup? It seems like nobody has read the script. But it sure is, at least in my view as a neutral, an incredible tournament. I mean, did Costa Rica really beat Uruguay? It appears that they in fact did. Did the Netherlands put five past current holders Spain? They most definitely did. Did Cristiano Ronaldo, the current World player of the year, really appear almost anonymous in Portugal's 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Germany? Why, yes he did. It's been quite the World Cup so far. Pressure is mounting. Tensions ...
  • 02.23.14
    Tough test ahead for Ireland’s Euro 2016 dream Internationals, Republic of Ireland | Comments Off on Tough test ahead for Ireland’s Euro 2016 dream
    The Boys In Green have been drawn with Germany, Poland, Scotland, Georgia and UEFA's latest member Gibraltar in Group D. On paper it seems very possible. Likely even. The reality is that Ireland will have to work hard if we are to qualify for Euro 2016. Martin O'Neill, more than anyone, will know this. "I think it's the toughest group but it's an exciting one," the Ireland boss told the press following the draw. E Ireland fans will relish the trips to some of the countries anyway. I'd be lying if I said a trips to Scotland, Germany and Gibraltar don't appeal to me. England ...
  • 09.30.13
    Reid is recalled while Stephen Ireland is still not ready Republic of Ireland | Comments Off on Reid is recalled while Stephen Ireland is still not ready
    Noel King, though only a interim manager for Ireland, has done what the Irish public had been demanding of Giovanni Trapattoni for some time - he's brought Andy Reid back into the Ireland squad. As well as the Notts Forest midfielder, Kevin Doyle and Anthony Stokes have also been recalled by King. And of course Darron Gibson has ended his self-imposed exile after vowing never to play under the Italian boss again - he's in the squad to face Germany and Kazakhstan next month. Some very welcomed names I'm sure you'll agree. Though the chances of us going to Rio next summer ...
  • 06.05.13
    The past week in football: from German blushes to the Special One's return Footy thoughts, Republic of Ireland, Superstars | Comments Off on The past week in football: from German blushes to the Special One's return
    What a week it's been in the world of football. I suppose the biggest news is that José Mourinho has gone back to Ch...oh you've heard. Well, it's big news for English football and, possibly more so, for English journalists. The Special One has been known to give a good interview or three (something the Spanish press didn't appreciate). Mourinho will have his work cut out for him in my honest opinion. Yes - he is a winner. Yes - his record speaks for itself. Yes - he is loved by Chelsea fans. But the pressure will be on him to ...
  • 10.02.12
    So long to the legend that is Jimmy Bullard Footballers' mad moments | Comments Off on So long to the legend that is Jimmy Bullard
    I was saddened to learn that Jimmy Bullard called time on his 14 year career yesterday. The 33-year-old had always been known as quite a character both on and off the pitch. His talents on the pitch earned him big money moves in his career to Wigan, Fulham and Hull City to name but a few, but his incredible sense of humour gained him an enormous cult following. From moments like this and this, Bullard became a much-loved prankster around the football pitch. His best moment came back in 2009, when celebrating a goal for Hull against Man City, he replicated Phil ...
  • 06.21.12
    Euro 2012 quarter finals preview Europe, Internationals | Comments Off on Euro 2012 quarter finals preview
    Well there go the group stages already. Superstars such as Wesley Sneijder, Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Paul Green all crashed out of the tournament. And then there were eight: Czech Republic v Portugal. 21st June. National Stadium, Warsaw. The Czechs surprisingly topped Group A, despite being thrashed by Russia - who themselves were knocked out of the competition - on the opening day. Petr Jiráček and Václav Pilař have both been on fine form for the Czechs but they face an equally impressive Portugal side led by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who is a difficult opponent even on his off-days. A fairly even contest but I feel the Portugese ...
  • 05.14.12
    End of the season madness… Europe | Comments Off on End of the season madness…
    And that was the season that was. Nine months of chaos, shocks, egomania and unpredicitability - and that was just Mario Balotelli! Yes, the 2011-2012 season turned out to be a memorable one. Not just in England - but elsewhere too. Well, I'm sure most of you witnessed the good, the bad and the downright ugly (not looking at anyone in particular, Joey Barton!) at the Etihad stadium as Manchester City won the Premier League in the most dramatic fashion in the history of the English game. Yes, even more so than 1989. It was like a Hollywood movie. Even Paul ...
  • 11.24.11
    Boca 'til I die….and after then also! Footballers' mad moments, North/South America | Comments Off on Boca 'til I die….and after then also!
    In this day and age, most (if not all) major and minor clubs around the world flog merchandise such as replica jerseys, tracksuits, posters, eveningwear, underwear and dog-collars to generate revenue. It was only a matter of time before Argentine giants Boca Juniors catered for their departed fans. For the equivalent of €165, one can have a tailor made coffin with the club's yellow and blue colours and a silk interior. Fans can even have the club's crest engraved on the coffin's lid. Boca have notorious passionate fans (including a certain Diego Maradona), so it's no surprise to learn that the ...
  • 07.31.11
    Ireland's group is away with the Faroes Internationals, Republic of Ireland | Comments Off on Ireland's group is away with the Faroes
    On Saturday night I watched the draw to see who Ireland would get in our qualifying group for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. There were three teams I prayed that Ronaldo wouldn't pull out and into our group: Spain, Holland and England. We didn't get any of the three. But we didn't exactly get an easy ride if we are to head to South America in three years time. Germany are the highest seeded team in our group. The reality is, they are extremely difficult for any team to beat and when we last faced them competitively to qualify for ...
  • 07.15.11
    The Phileas Fogg of football Footballers' mad moments, Mavericks | Comments Off on The Phileas Fogg of football
    Lutz Pfannenstiel is not your average 'keeper. Sure, he may not have ever possessed the goalkeeping skills as his fellow countrymen like Bodo Illgner or Ollie Kahn, but Pfannenstiel will be remembered for other qualities - both on and off the pitch. But most notably for having played over 400 games for 25 different clubs and being the first and currently only footballer to have played professionally on all six continents of the world In Europe alone, Lutz has played in seven nations for twelve clubs including a short stint in England's top flight with Wimbledon (he was once the butt ...
  • 06.15.11
    Pre-season tournaments are on the menu this summer Europe | Comments Off on Pre-season tournaments are on the menu this summer
    A friend of mine recently asked me if I would have any interest in going to London next month to attend the annual Emirates Cup - the four-team pre-season tournament hosted by Arsenal. To be honest, I had forgotten about the tournament (as would some Italian teams - Inter, Juventus and Milan all finished last in previous years). I had been thinking of other footballing travels this summer. It looks good though. This the guests are Argentine giants Boca Juniors, Paris St. Germain and New York Red Bulls (the latter will be the main attraction no doubt due to the return ...
  • 04.18.11
    Two brothers…two nations Internationals | Comments Off on Two brothers…two nations
    Last summer in the 2010 World Cup, Kevin-Prince Boateng and half-brother Jerome made football history when they became the first set of brothers to feature in opposing teams at the competition. Milan's Kevin-Prince took to the field representing Ghana while Man City's Jerome wore the famous Germany shirt last June (the Germans went on to win 1-0). Of course, the two former-Hertha BSC players aren't the first pair of brothers to play for different nations. Everton's Tim Cahill proudly wears the Australian jersey - the country of his birth. And he does a fine job for the 'socceroos' too. Younger brother ...