Roll on next Tuesday is all I can say because if Man United play even half as well as they did last night they will cruise into a second consecutive European Cup final. This was a performance from Sir Alex Ferguson’s side filled with attacking enthusiasm and competitive tenacity, characterised by the midfield trio of Michael Carrick, Anderson and Darren Fletcher that never allowed their opponents time to settle on the ball. Of course there were missed chances aplenty and Manuel Almunia had a great game in goal for Arsenal but with a clean sheet secured and an away goal for the Red Devils at The Emirates leaving Arsenal needing to score three it’s most definitely advantage United. Continue reading
Archive for April, 2009
For anyone living in Ireland it is almost impossible to escape having a certain level of knowledge about the English Premier League. Every football fan I talk to supports clubs like Man United and Arsenal, Liverpool or Chelsea. Our sporting conversations are dominated by discussions over matches across the water from the previous weekend. The League of Ireland gains barely a mention among the football fans I know. Coverage of the domestic game is enhanced by the efforts of RTE and Setanta but you only have to look at how our local clubs have struggled to survive over the past few seasons to realise that professional football in this country is on a downward curve. It is a topic that will draw more attention over the coming months. For now I want to focus on the state of play in the big leagues across Europe, in case we start to think that English football is the be all and end all. Continue reading
Never a dull moment in the career of Roy Keane that’s for sure. After four and half months out of football Keane stepped back into the limelight yesterday, becoming the new manager of Ipswich Town. And no sooner was he back talking to the press then he was having a pop at various former team mates, club chairmen and owners. Love him or loathe him there can be no doubt that as far as pure footballing entertainment is concerned Roy Keane is the hottest ticket in town. Continue reading
I was cruising around the net earlier and came across the latest ad for Gillette razors featuring Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and the New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. The lineup originally comprised of Woods, Federer and Thierry Henry but evidently the Barcelona striker’s been dropped and replaced by Jeter. How they reacted when being told they were going to become Bee Gees for the day is anyones guess but I’m sure the millions of dollars they’re being paid to maintain a smooth complexion helped them remain calm!
So now we know. Being honest there weren’t that many surprises in the end and there can be no doubt that the Irish did very well out of the selection process. Fourteen players is our highest ever total and you’d have to say it’s well deserved. Irish rugby has never been in better shape and today’s squad announcement only strengthens that point. The three amigos pictured above, Messrs O’Gara, O’Connell and O’Driscoll will all have pivotal roles to play on this tour and I for one am counting the days to it all kicks off. Saturday May 30th can’t come quickly enough. Continue reading
Months, if not years, of speculation will come to an end tomorrow at half one when Ian McGeechan names his 36 man squad to tour South Africa this summer. From what the media have been reporting over the weekend it seems certain that Paul O’Connell will lead the players into action. Maybe its a case of certain people jumping the gun but it appears to be a unanimous call from all commentators so thats one major selection we can be sure of. Personally I’m delighted for O’Connell, he’s proven to be a great leader at Munster and is coming off another incredible season for Ireland. He commands respect from his team mates and is certain never to shy away from a herd of crazy Springboks. So well done Paulie. Continue reading
Not an epic game but job done nonetheless for United. They were well in control in the first half and it seemed to me that Porto ran out of ideas fairly quickly. It was as if they left the game behind them last week and having played so well at Old Trafford they were really lacking in quality up front. Gone were the barnstorming runs from The Hulk, Lisandro missed a good opportunity in the second half and if Christian Rodriguez was playing then I must have missed him. Defensively they were rock solid for the most part but once United got the early goal there were very few nervy moments.
Apologies for not checking in since last Thursday, blame it on The Masters, Mallow and Fairyhouse Races, Munster v Ospreys, Man United v Sunderland and the list goes on. Anyway after all those great events have been and gone I just watched the Liverpool v Chelsea second leg tonight. And what a game it was.
It all starts in an hours time and as I’ve written over the last few days promises to be one of the most exciting Masters in many years. I’ve staked my money on Phil Mickelson to win, Geoff Ogilvy and Padraig Harrington to finish in the Top 5 and took the 10-1 on Henrik Stenson to be the top European. That seemed like a very generous price to me. Now of course all four could miss the cut and my money will be sunk. Really though its just for an added interest, I’m quite happy to watch the next four days unfold no matter what happens on the fairways and greens of Augusta National. And in case you need reminding of the kind of magic The Masters can produce take a look at this.
Can you name eight former Liverpool strikers still playing in the Premier League? I was asked this today and came up with the answers fairly sharpish but it needs a bit of thought. Give it a go and leave the answers on the blog. I’ll get back to you ASAP with the correct names.