Saturday, October 27, 2012


Iarla Tannion in action v Kilkenny
Beaten All-Ireland finalists Galway topped the hurling All-Star list with six players chosen on the team, while Kilkenny's Henry Shefflin was named Hurler of the Year.

Champions Kilkenny had five representatives on the XV selected, while Waterford (2), Clare (1) and Cork (1) were also represented.
Shefflin was named Hurler of the Year as the mercurial forward won his ninth Liam MacCarthy Cup this summer and was named on the elite team for an eleventh time.

Galway’s Johnny Coen received the Young Hurler of the Year award after flourishing for the Tribesmen on their run to the All-Ireland final.

Just reward for a new Galway team that beat, drew and finally lost to Kilkenny in the All-Ireland replay

2012 GAA / GPA Hurling All-Stars:

Goalkeeper: Anthony Nash (Cork)
Full-backs: Paul Murphy (Kilkenny), JJ Delaney (Kilkenny), Fergal Moore (Galway)
Half-backs: Brendan Bugler (Clare), Brian Hogan (Kilkenny), David Collins (Galway)
Midfielders: Iarla Tannion (Galway), Kevin Moran (Waterford)
Half-forwards: TJ Reid (Kilkenny), Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny), Damien Hayes (Galway)
Full-forwards: John Mullane (Waterford), Joe Canning (Galway), David Burke (Galway)
Goalkeeper: Anthony Nash

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Galway football legend Joe Bergin is to hang up his boots after 13 years with the Tribesmen.

The Mountbellew/Moylough clubman cited work commitments and a desire to focus his remaining years on football with his club as the deciding factors.

Bergin also revealed that Galway’s recent downturn in fortunes, including July’s 0-11 0-10 defeat to Antrim in the All-Ireland qualifiers played a part in his decision.

"I have been thinking about it for some time. The loss to Antrim was a huge disappointment and I feel now is the time to go," Bergin said.

"I have been fortunate to have a long inter-county career and while the last few seasons have been disappointing I was lucky enough to win a lot in the early years."

Sorry to see you go Joe, best of luck in the future.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Welcome news for many Irish fans about Giovanni Trapattoni has come with the issuing of an official statement from the FAI on Wednesday night, declaring their continued support for the Italian boss.

The statement read: "While disappointed like everyone with the poor result and performance against Germany and understanding the frustration of some of our supporters, we believe the current position in the group means that qualification for Brazil in 2014 remains a realistic and achievable prospect.
"We reaffirm that Giovanni Trapattoni is to remain in charge of the national team."

The Italian’s position had come under severe pressure following a disappointing run of results and performances from the European Championships, where the team lost all three games, to a 6-1 hammering at the hands of Germany on Friday night.

"We believe the current position in the group means that qualification for Brazil in 2014 remains a realistic and achievable prospect" added the FAI.

After yesterday’s 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands, Trapattoni, 73, was adamant that he would stay on for the duration of the World Cup qualifying campaign.

The statement continued: "The Board recognises the depth of feeling surrounding the team, the performances, the results and the manager, reflecting the passion which everyone in Irish football has for the game and will continue to work closely with the manager."

I personally think it is right that the manager should continue in his job and I am happy with the FAI's decision, as he is the right man for the job.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


O'Dea scores Ireland's fourth
Giovanni Trapattoni's Republic of Ireland recovered from Friday's 6-1 humiliation against Germany by defeating the Faroe Islands 4-1 in Torshavn in World Cup qualifying Group C.

The result was not always a comfortable one for Trapattoni's men though, with the sides going in scoreless at the break.

Nonetheless, the Boys in Green produced a much-improved performance in the second half and wrapped up the win with goals from Marc Wilson, Jon Walters and Darren O'Dea as well as an own goal from Pol Johannus Justinussen.

The Faroes made Ireland sweat by pulling proceedings back to 2-1 midway through the half but the manner in which his players exerted control will have pleased the Irish manager.
Trapattoni is often criticised for playing inverted wingers in his 4-4-2 formation, especially as goals from out wide are a rarity from his Ireland side.
 However, surprise starter Robbie Brady showed his confidence early on, cutting in after nine minutes to try to curl the ball past Gunnar Nielsen. Luckily for the former Manchester City goalkeeper, the ball evaded both him and the goal as Brady over-hit his shot.

On the other wing, Aiden McGeady looked much sharper after putting in one of his worst shifts in an Ireland jersey in Friday's defeat. McGeady showed some neat touches, and offered the short option for Brady's corners.
 Two of his first-half crosses were perfectly flighted for Keith Andrews and Jon Walters, but neither could get their headers on target.

Faroe Islands manager Lars Olsen had said that he hoped his side could get a result from the game, and offered attacks of their own.
 The minnows looked dangerous from set-pieces and long-throws, but Keiren Westwood was only tested on a couple of occasions, with Daniel Udsen and Simun Samuelsen attempting shots from range.

The game evened out towards the end of the opening 45 minutes, with the Faroes restricted to shots from distance and Ireland relying on Brady and Coleman down the right to create.
A great through pass from Walters found Andrews in the box, but his cross went straight to Nielsen when both Robbie Keane and McGeady were free in the area with the goal gaping.

Trapattoni surprised many by sending Simon Cox on for Robbie Brady at half time, but looked to be vindicated as Cox was involved in the move that led to Marc Wilson's first international goal on 47 minutes. Wilson cut in from wide to launch a long-range effort which was deflected on the way into the net.
The goal reinvigorated Ireland, with Jon Walters doubling the score five minutes later, heading in Wilson's cross. Robbie Keane tried to claim he got a touch as Walters nodded down into the six-yard box but replays confirmed the Stoke City man's second international goal.

Ireland stepped off the gas a little after the second goal, and saw the Faroes claw one back on 68 minutes. Substitute Arnbjorn Hansen rose above John O'Shea to head the ball past Keiren Westwood after a clever dummy from Christian Holst opened up the Irish defence.

Unlike in other games where Trapattoni's men collapsed after conceding, Ireland restored the two-goal advantage less than five minutes later.
 Robbie Keane was unlucky not to be given a penalty, but the Faroes handed the advantage back to Ireland when Pol Johannus Justinussen put the ball into his own net from Walters' cross after a rapid counter-attack.

Trapattoni sent on Shane Long near the end, and with the Faroe's tiring, Darren O'Dea scored his first international goal in the 88th minute from McGeady's corner.

The 4-1 victory may be too little, too late for Trapattoni to convince his doubters, and many will be watching closely to see if he keeps his job. However, despite Fridays' aberration, the Irish have six points from nine and still have it all to play for on the road to Brazil 2014.
I really believe that Trapattoni should remain as Ireland Manager, he has limited resources at his disposal and has maximised a limited squad to over-achieve during his time as Ireland Manager.
Surely, we cannot return to the dark days of Steve Staunton and Brian Kerr when we lost to lowly Cyprus under both Managers.
The highly successful Italian must be allowed to remain in his job as Ireland Manager.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Trapattoni under intense pressure to stand-down
Robbie Keane will be back to start for the Republic of Ireland when they take on the Faroe Islands in their World Cup 2014 qualification game on Tuesday evening.

Keane will again captain Ireland after he recovered from the Achilles injury that kept him out of Friday’s 6-1 humiliation at home to Germany.

The 32-year-old LA Galaxy striker has had an injection to ensure he can start the game at the Torsvollur Stadium in Torshavn.

Under-pressure manager Giovanni Trapittoni has made two other changes with Manchester United youth player Robbie Brady starting along with Stoke’s Marc Wilson.

Keith Fahey and Stephen Ward are the two to miss out to Brady and Wilson, while Simon Cox makes way for the returning Keane.

I thought Keith Fahey was having a good game in midfield against Germany, we were 2-0 down when he was taken off.

Still, its great to see Man Utd youngster Robbie Brady start against The Faroe Islands, the boy has got real talent.

I don't think Trapattoni should be sacked, we were missing several players against Germany: Richard Dunne, Sean St. Ledger, Glenn Whelan and Robbie Keane.

Germany had 8 shots in the game and the scored 6 goals, freakish statistics.

Lets hope for a big win against The Faroes.

Republic of Ireland team to play Faroes Islands: Westwood, Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Wilson, Brady, Andrews, McCarthy, McGeady, Keane, Walters.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Trap under severe pressureGermany humiliated the Republic of Ireland 6-1 on a disastrous night for the hosts in the World Cup Group C qualifier at the Aviva Stadium.
Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus scored twice in the first half to set Germany on their way.

Ireland were left chasing shadows as the visitors eased to victory with further goals from Mesut Ozil (pen) and Miroslav Klose, as well as a brace by substitute Toni Kroos.
Andy Keogh headed in a consolation goal in injury-time.

 Keogh headed in fellow sub Robbie Brady's corner for a consolation in injury-time.

It was always going to be a difficult task for Giovanni Trapattoni's side against a team of Germany's calibre, but they played a significant part in their own downfall.

There was no evidence of any disharmony in the German camp in this display.
In truth, Ireland never tested them and were guilty of some woeful defending.

A combination of retirements and injuries forced Trapattoni into a change of formation, but the new approach had little effect as the Euro 2012 woes linger and the pressure on the manager grows.

The one bright spot was the late cameo by Brady, but it will not stop the critics rounding on Trapattoni.
Germany were also missing several regulars, but they always had the strength in depth to cope and their mix of speed and skill was far too much for a disorganised Ireland.
It had been a bright opening ten minutes by the home side, but they retreated to the edge of their box as Germany got into their stride.

With Ozil, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Sami Khedira zipping the ball about with ease, Ireland's wide men, Simon Cox and Aiden McGeady, were forced to come inside to help out the midfield trio of Keith Andrews, Keith Fahey and James McCarthy.

This only encouraged Germany's full-backs Marcel Schmelzer and Jerome Boateng to roam forward into the space.

John O'Shea was fortunate to get away with not conceding a penalty after a tug on Reus, who had nicked the ball off him on the edge box.
Reus was booked for diving by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli, but he answered the boo boys within minutes by putting Germany ahead.

The winger capitalised on slack marking by Ireland and fired in the opener off underside of the bar.

Reus doubled the lead before the break when he finished a brilliant counter-attack move that spread across the pitch and back again.
It started with Schweinsteiger at the back, went through Ozil and Boateng, before Reus took the ball in his stride and found the far corner.

A few forays forward and Shane Long's introduction lifted the home crowd for a brief moment after the break.
It was not to last however, as Germany restored order with ruthless efficiency before the hour.

Darren O'Dea needlessly dived in on Miroslav Klose to give away a penalty and Ozil nonchalantly stroked the penalty past Westwood.

O'Dea was caught out again moments later as Schweinsteiger slipped the ball into space for Klose.
Westwood may have narrowed the angle but Klose is one of the most accomplished strikers at this level and he found the target from a narrow angle.

Kroos got in on the act with a stunning volley after O'Shea's poor defensive header dropped to him on the edge of the box.

The ol├ęs that echoed around the ground were coming for the away end for a change as the away fans revelled in their team's dominance.

Kroos gave another example of his long-range shooting ability for the sixth of the night when he stepped into space and whipped the ball past Westwood at his near post.

Keogh's late, late consolation brought the crowd to its feet but it is a sombre squad that head to the Faroe Islands for Tuesday's crucial qualifier.

survey service

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Trap's injury crisisRepublic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni was tonight facing the prospect of having to piece together a team for a daunting World Cup qualifier against Germany at The Aviva Stadium on Friday evening.

The 73-year-old Italian has been hit by a series of withdrawals through injury and will head into the clash with the Group C favourites in Dublin without six of the men who started the 2-0 defeat by Italy in their final Euro 2012 fixture.

With Shay Given and Damien Duff having retired, Sean St Ledger, Glenn Whelan, James McClean and Kevin Doyle have joined Richard Dunne on the casualty list.

McClean's absence was confirmed early this afternoon when the Football Association of Ireland revealed that a scan on Wearside had revealed a hip flexor strain which will prevent the Sunderland winger from playing against the Germans and could yet keep him out of next Tuesday's trip to the Faroe Islands.

An FAI spokesman said: "The results of James McClean's scan this morning in Sunderland showed a grade one hip flexor strain which will certainly rule him out for the Germany match and may exclude him for the Faroe Islands. McClean will remain at his club to receive treatment."

He was swiftly, and not unexpectedly, joined on the sidelines by St Ledger and Whelan when scans confirmed the full extent of the hamstring injuries the pair suffered on club duty with Leicester and Stoke respectively over the weekend.

The spokesman said: "Further to scans earlier in the day, both Sean St Ledger and Glenn Whelan have been confirmed as out of both matches against Germany and the Faroe Islands."

As a result, Trapattoni has drafted Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark, not before time, I might add, into the squad with Sunderland's David Meyler and Manchester United's exciting young talent, Robbie Brady having already joined up as additional players.

Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane and Spartak Moscow midfielder Aiden McGeady will arrive in time for training tomorrow as Trapattoni attempts to plot a path through an increasingly littered minefield.

However, he is simply not prepared to run the risk of starting a player who may break down within minutes of kick-off in such a big game.

Trapattoni said: "I can't speak as doctor - I am manager. But muscle injuries need time, time, time.

"You don't want a player to play 10, 15, 20, 70 minutes and then have hamstring injury again. I don't want to take risks.
"It's very important, this game. We also need to make our three substitutions to change the game, not because of injuries from before."

The absence of Dunne and St Ledger mean it is likely that error-prone: John O'Shea will be asked to move into central defence and that Stephen Kelly could replace him at full-back.

James McCarthy, Meyler and Keith Fahey are candidates to fill the berth vacated by regular central midfielder Whelan, although Trapattoni has hinted that Germany's pace and power could prompt him to opt for five men in the middle of the pitch behind a lone striker.

Trapattoni is yet to make hard and fast decisions either on system or personnel, but he knows the Germans will provide the sternest of tests of his side's qualification credentials.

He said: "Germany is strong team. We know their quality, their offensive potential. They are first in the table and one of the strongest teams in Europe, the world maybe."

Meanwhile, Trapattoni played down suggestions that he and assistant Marco Tardelli were still trying to talk Duff out of his international retirement.

The pair suggested that Fulham midfielder could return last month, but have now accepted that he will not.
Trapattoni said: "We asked him once. He said 'No'."