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Corcaigh, Ireland

Soccerline

Soccerline – world cup has bite

Well, what do you think now? Have you changed your horse in mid stream as regards who you imagine will win the World Cup! I must admit, having viewed the vast majority of the games to date, that this World Cup has turned out to be one of the most open that I have ever come across. We do realise that in any of these type of tournaments, that unusual

Soccerline – winners and losers

by Striker As the season progresses, this years Premiership looks like being the best in a long time, with the top four tightening up, and the next three teams close up and waiting for any slip-up that the leaders are bound to make as we go along our way. Last Saturday was a day of reckoning for our leading four, as they were all on the carpet to prove their

Soccerline – Cup fever

by Striker   The so-called January transfer window, every single year, ever since it came on board , has been a largely a non-event over the years, and, it seems to me, at any rate, that most managers, having been sorting out their teams in the first half of the season, don’t really like to disturb a team that is already in a settled shape, so to speak.

Soccerline – Money, money, money

by Striker   It is a fact that the lot of the player has come an awful long way in the money stakes since the early sixties, when, in a period from 1960 to 1964, the wage, which was called the “Maximum Wage”, rose from £14 per match, to a very heady £20 per match, plus bonuses of course.   This was pretty good money at the time, for the

Soccerline – finding form

by Striker   The fluctuations in soccer form have never ceased to amaze me over the years, for, how often have you seen a team getting up a head of steam early on in the season, only to fall by the wayside as the season progresses.   For instance, West Ham won their very first game this season, and were riding proudly in the top six or so for a

Soccerline – The dream team

by Striker   You will have heard that famous old saying, “ask not for whom the bell tolls, for now it tolls for thee”, or words to that effect.   What it effectively means is that the time of reckoning has come when concerted action must be the order of the day in whatever task is facing those involved.

Soccerline – confidence

by Striker   Well, as mentioned last week, for the benefit of those at the moment hard-pressed Man Utd fans, the present manager David Moyes ought to be given every chance to prove his suitability for this very prestigious manager’s post, given the cold fact that very few managers in the history of the game have went into a club and took it on a winning spree immediately.

Soccerline – The right man for the job?

by Striker   Well, the trap, to quote a well-worn out phrase, has finally been sprung on the enigmatic Trappatoni, and his side-kick Tardelli, and it seems that they both have come to an amicable agreement with the FAI before taking their leave of these shores, and while it is always traumatic to see any manager removed from his post, nevertheless one could say that it was an almost inevitable

Soccerline – Goodnight Vienna

by Striker   Well, it has to be said that the lights are dimming on our World Cup dreams, after another in and out performance against Sweden last Friday evening at the Aviva, when we again disappointed against a rather pedestrian Swedish team, who looked throughout that they seemed to be happy to come away with a draw from the visit.

Soccerline – A tall order

by Striker   Well, here we go, into the breech that will probaby decide our participation in the World Cup in Brazil, for, on Friday, 6th September, we entertain Sweden in the Aviva Stadium, and on the following Tuesday, we have our tough away game against Austria in Vienna.   Looking plainly at these two games would indicate that while it would indeed be glorious to procure six points from

Soccerline – They’re off

by Striker   Well, last weekend’s Premier fixtures did turn out to be the can of worms that I forecast it would be, although we did manage to salvage a double out of all the debris.   The games between Everton and West Brom, and Newcastle v West Ham turned out to be somewhat boring draws, but there were good wins recorded by Arsenal and Stoke City.

Soccerline – up and runnng

by Striker   Well, the first series of games are done and dusted in the new Premiership season, and from the resultant debris we managed to salvage a three out of four salvation in our weekend yankee.   You may remember last season that we did accomplish this near miss on many occasions, so let’s hope that we don’t get into this near miss habit again.

Soccerline – United’s journey

by Striker   The retirement at the end of last season of the legendary Alex Ferguson prompts me to feature that club this week, and give a decided opportunity to the present loyal supporters of the Red Devils, who mainly came on board well after the beginning of the Premiership in 1990, when the trophy table at Old Trafford began to pick up again, having gone through some lean times

Soccerline – Cork and the Hammers

by Striker   The visit of West Ham to Turner’s Cross on Sunday last was surely one of the red letter days for the Cork City club, who only last Friday evening gave one of the displays of the current season to dispose of Sligo Rovers, who have been a leading club in the League of Ireland for a few years now, with the victory being a just reward for

Soccerline – Ireland at a crossroads

by Striker   In recent times I was involved in a fairly hot discussion about the state of the parties in our present Republic of Ireland soccer world, and naturally enough, a lot of the people there, soccer people through and through, gave their best opinions, mostly very constructive, about what was good and bad about the present Trappatoni set-up.

Soccerline – up and down

by Striker   Now that the relegation battle is finally over, it makes interesting reading to work out just what it means, in financial terms of course, to the three teams that finally bit the bullet, and will now have to go into the battleground that is customary in the Championship for season 2013-14.

Musical chairs

by Striker   TO paraphrase an old Gilbert and Sullivan ditty, “a soccer manager’s lot is not a happy one”, an adage that would apply this week in many quarters in both England and Ireland.

Down to business

by Striker   Well, here we are, in the closing weeks of the Premiership season, and one could not say that the fight for the title was, from mid-season on anyway, the guts and garters effort that you would expect to get from teams when there is obviously so much at stake.

The dreaded relegation

by Striker   The results of last weekend have thrown the Premiership relegation battle into a little bit more of a quandary, for, as I mentioned last week, QPR and Reading already have the going down look about them, but as to who will accompany them into the limbo of the Championship is still, to all intents and purposes, up for grabs.   The dreaded relegation magnet has, on the

The league needs characters

by Striker   Well, wouldn’t you think that we had enough unusual characters in the top league already, especially when one looks at the weekly antics of the various managers trying to upstage each other, week in, week out, and playing the well known mind games before important matches, in an effort to psyche out their opposite numbers.

Under pressure

by Striker   As we head towards the last third of the English soccer season, one can see some signs of the extreme pressure that most teams are under, especially in the Premier League.   With some trying their utmost to survive in what they call the “money” division, and others endeavouring to win the only piece of the silverware left to them on the land of England, that of

Down to business in the Premiership

by Striker   Well, the countdown is on, leading into one of the crucial times of every soccer season, the Christmas roundabout of matches which can totally affect the prospects of some of the Premiership clubs who are on the cusp of their season, hovering in or just above the dreaded relegation zone, and all hoping to garnish some important survival points over the festive season.

A reminder of the bad old days

by Striker   THE innate quality of the football standard in the Premiership was well to the fore over the weekend, when we had some outstanding games to witness and talk about.   The best and the worst of English football was witnessed on Sunday, when, after thrilling games between West Ham and Liverpool, with the Pool coming out on top for a change, and then Everton completed a great

Harry loves a challenege

by Striker   One would really have to wonder sometimes just what is going through a soccer managers mind when one sees the often surprising decisions that they arrive at.   For instance, what was Harry Redknapp’s thinking when he took on what looks to be a major task at QPR.

How long will Rafa last?

by Striker   The extraordinary scenes witnessed before Sunday’s game at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Man City would remind one of a club trying to get rid of a manager after a long losing run-but no-it was a crowd, Chelsea’s, trying to get rid of a manager who had just arrived, by name, Rafael Benitez..  

Everton the team of the season so far

by Striker   Having a cursory look back over the Premiership so far, one would have to say that the team of the season up to now just has to be Everton, who, under manager David Moyes, have produced a consistency that has taken them into a well-earned fourth place in the table.