There have been more than a few occasions this season when Anthony O’Connor has heard that familiar Cork accent and every time he does it makes him smile.
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McCarthy needs summer move more than most
Whether Wigan Athletic secure Barclays Premier League survival or not, James McCarthy must ensure that he is returning to a new club upon finishing his holidays. The window of opportunity for the talented midfielder to maximise his potential at a bigger club grows smaller with each passing summer, so he better be planning to move on.
It’s time sense trumped nonsense in TV punditry
Everything appears to be changing for the better in the modern game, except for television punditry. The sight and sound of so-called experts, who give little insight or show that they have conducted proper research, reminds us that for every introduction of goal-line technology, there is still something else to fix.
Next Generation showing way for Irish kids
Adapting to the modern game won’t come from playing under Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni, so it is hugely encouraging that some of the best Irish youngsters can get that education elsewhere, like in the NextGen Series.
Qualification hopes fade for Ireland
Everything appeared to be going according to the script for the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday as they fell behind, battled back, made life hard for themselves, and just about got over the line, only to be stung late on.
Ireland v Austria preview
As much as the point away to Sweden has lifted the mood in the Republic of Ireland camp, there is a herd of elephants in the room that they have yet to budge.
Ireland high in spirit, low in style against Sweden
Positivity was the buzz word repeatedly uttered as the Republic of Ireland kept their World Cup qualification hopes alive by picking up a crucial point. But it could have been more.
Sweden v Ireland preview
There was a moment earlier this week when Ciaran Clark paused before revealing that the Republic of Ireland didn’t have a plan to deal with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It felt strange for them not to have that locked down so close to a crucial World Cup qualifier against Sweden.
Trap’s ancient ways need to be buried now
Ahead of two make-or-break World Cup qualifiers, there is as much optimism in the Republic of Ireland camp as there is at a wake. The fear remains that Giovanni Trapattoni’s refusal to adapt to the modern game, where his out-dated tactics and rigid formation do not belong, are bound to be exposed yet again on the world stage.
First Division needs support, not disbanding
If the latest round of Setanta Sports Cup games brought an end to talk of setting up an All-Ireland league, it should also be used by Airtricity League supporters not to gloat but to look at the state of their own First Division. Forget about picking apart the game north of the border and focus on what is on your own doorstep.