Cathal Dervanby Cathal Dervan
- We won't see the likes of Manchester United manager Alex Ferguon again
- Irish defender Paul McShane - A good guy finally finishes first
- Munster’s defeat in the Heineken Cup proves Celtic Tiger didn’t take our soul
- Alex Ferguson and Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez - the good and the bad of Premier League action
- No wearing of the green for Rory McIlroy at U.S. Masters as Adam Scott claims victory
There is a very good lunchtime program on the Irish music station Spin FM every weekday, a magazine show presented by the very professional Jonathon McCrea and the very lovely Clare McKenna.
Clare is an old friend from the days when she worked with Mick McCarthy’s backroom team in Ireland, long before she found fame on the wireless so to speak.
Just two summers ago the Ireland soccer team played Italy in an end of season friendly in the Belgian city of Liege, the sort of fixture that raises much needed cash for the FAI with no financial risk to the association that governs the game here at home.
A similar game will take place at Yankee Stadium in New York next month when world champions Spain will take on Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland before they travel on to Brazil for the Confederations Cup tournament that traditionally precedes the World Cup.
A strange weekend for those of us who follow the beautiful game with a passion bordering on the romantic as Manchester United lifted another league title, Alex Ferguson defied his age, Robin Van Persie scored an incredible goal and Luis Suarez defiled his sport. Again.
So let’s start with the action at Anfield on Sunday where Liverpool came from behind to snatch a 2-1 draw courtesy of the Uruguayan striker Suarez, a contender for player of the year in the Premier League this season.
The young lad with the white belt from last week’s column was back in the Dervan family household on Sunday night, back in time to share the Masters in all its glory on our high definition picture courtesy of Sky Sports.
The aspiring golfer – he’s still playing off scratch – had, like so many of us, switched allegiances from Rory McIlroy, seeking Ireland’s first Masters, to an Australian for the final round of golf’s greatest tournament.
After accepting that the green jacket wasn’t coming to the land of the green for another year, most Irish fans were happy to side with our cousins down under, many of whom we could lay claim to anyway.
THE Stade Francais number nine Jerome Fillol is likely to be punished by the rugby authorities after spitting into the face of Bath’s Irish scrum-half Peter Stringer in their Amlin Cup quarterfinal on Saturday. Fillol can be banned for a year at most, but that’s the least he deserves for a despicable act.
There is a beauty about the Internet that is a scourge for the print media, a beauty that occupies the minds of sports editors on nights such as Tuesday – or it should.
Years ago, Ireland soccer fans relied on the written word and the printed word for news of their heroes in far flung corners of the world like Moscow and Malta.
John Delaney’s face was beaming out at us from the Sky Sports satellite on Tuesday morning, a timely appearance on our screens by the FAI chief executive ahead of Friday’s crucial World Cup qualifier in Sweden.
The most powerful man in Irish football, and he is just that, wasn’t actually in the country when the results of a week-long behind the scenes documentary were broadcast on Sky Sports News.
Some Cheltenham tales from the brilliant Cork jockey Davy Russell and the Belfast actor James Nesbitt in a moment or two, but first a very worrying story from a quick visit south to Waterford late last week.
Invited down as a guest of the Ladbrokes betting chain for a game of golf at the wonderful Mount Juliet, a Jack Nicklaus design, we then made our way onwards to a Cheltenham preview night in the Woodlands Hotel on Suirside.
SWANSEA won the Capitol One Cup final against Bradford at Wembley on Sunday, but winger Nathan Dyer came across as a complete idiot when he threw a strop because he wasn’t let take a penalty kick to complete his hat-trick. Dyer just proved that some Premier League footballers are spoilt brats with his petulant behavior. He also took the gloss off a great story.
(Cathal Dervan is sports editor of the Irish Sun newspaper in Dublin)
There's a rumor doing the rounds in Dublin at the minute that the Irish government is about to ban alcohol companies from sponsoring sports events and teams.
Expectation can be a manager or coach’s best friend and biggest enemy as events in Dublin and Glasgow in recent days have served to prove.
By the time you read this, Glasgow Celtic will have played Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League knock-out clash, potentially the biggest game of any of their lives.
You can make a beef burger from horse meat as we are now discovering in Ireland, but you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
That’s something to consider as the nation reflects on last weekend’s glorious but hard earned win over Wales in Cardiff and looks forward to this week’s visit of England to Dublin.
Declan Kidney has surely met Giovanni Trapattoni in the course of the last few years or so at some awards dinner or other for the best in Irish sport.
So the fact that both their futures could well be determined by events in the coming month won’t seem all that strange to either the coach of the Ireland rugby team or the manager of the Irish soccer squad.
GARY Hooper has reportedly turned down a new contract offer from Celtic and set his sights on a big money move to the Premier League. If he thinks he is good enough to get regular football with an English team playing in the Champions League then he is clearly over-rating his own ability. Hooper is a big fish in the small pond that is Scottish football but only because Celtic took a punt on him when none of the big clubs in England wanted to know. He should remember that now that the PL clubs are sniffing around.
A party political broadcast on behalf of the Rory Leave McIlroy Alone party will follow shortly, but first a Christmas tale from the studios of LMFM radio in Drogheda.
A little over a year ago, at a time when like so many of my fellow Irishmen and women I was between jobs, I did some work with the good people at LMFM.
THE English idiot who issued death threats against Sunderland winger James McClean over poppy-gate now says he is living in fear of an attack by the IRA. It’s amazing how his bravery disappeared when the boot was on the other foot. And it dispels the rumor that the so-called supporter is a former British Army soldier.
The Manchester City and Argentina strike Sergio Aguero clamed on Sunday that foreign players get unfair treatment from English referees in the Premier League. That could have something to do with the fact that foreign players dive and roll around the place more than those from this part of the world, Sergio.
JOE Canning is, perhaps, the greatest hurler of his generation, so why the hell did he have a go at Henry Shefflin and accuse him of gamesmanship this week? All Joe did is damage his own standing in the game and give Shefflin the perfect excuse to show him up and win the All-Ireland hurling final replay on Sunday, September 30.
Those who championed Padraig Harrington’s case for a Ryder Cup wild card pick missed a glaringly obvious point – he hasn’t played well enough this year to demand a place in the European team to play America in Medinah at the end of September. Padraig finished 19th in the European Ryder Cup rankings, and if that doesn’t tell you all you need to know just look at his performance in New York over the weekend when he briefly led the Barclays then faded from the top of the leaderboard. He wants to play for Europe at Gleneagles in 2014 and I hope he does – but he will have to play well enough to justify his selection. There can be no room for sympathy in professional sport.
IT is very hard to be critical of Mickey Harte these days, but the Tyrone manager really does owe an apology to Meath referee David Coldrick and those of us with any intelligence who watched his team lose to Kerry last Saturday. Harte was incensed in his post-match interview that Coldrick sent substitute Brian McGuigan off for his altercation with Declan O’Sullivan just two minutes after he entered the fray. Truth is, McGuigan fully deserved the red card for his actions in a match full of cynical negativity, much of it from Tyrone. If Mickey watches the video replay with his eyes wide open then he will have to admit as much. Then he can apologize to the referee.
THOSE who threw tacks down on the road to disrupt the Tour de France cyclists deserve nothing but scorn. The race may have had its problems of late, but it is still one of sport’s greatest events and the riders should, at the very least, be treated with respect, and not have their lives put at risk by punctures.
Showjumping wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but you have to ask why it hit the headlines again over the weekend with a petty internal squabble about hypersensitive horses that ended with Denis Lynch being thrown off the Olympic team for the second time in four years. He’s been replaced by Cian O’Connor, a man with his own Olympic history, on a team the Irish public will rapidly lose interest in if this sort of behavior continues.
There weren’t that many people at the game at Dalymount Park. That much is a given now for domestic Irish football and nobody is really doing anything to sort it out.
In fact, the 30,000 Ireland fans who went to Poland for the European Championships would dwarf the total attendance for the Airtricity League of Ireland on any weekend.
SORRY about this, but the Irish rugby team and their management deserve to be slated for their abject failure to live with the All-Blacks in Hamilton last Saturday. Losing 60-0 to any team, even if they are the world champions, is not good enough for any side wearing the green of Ireland. Questions need to be asked by the IRFU – and answered. Someone really should pay the price for a defeat described by captain Brian O’Driscoll as “embarrassing.” He was right on that score – about the only score Ireland got on the day.
KEITH Andrews was doing so well at the Euros until a serious faux-pas on Monday night. Ireland were two down to Italy and going nowhere when the midfielder, one of our best players all tournament up to that stage, decided to pick up a needless yellow card for a stupid jostle with Italian playmaker Pirlo. Sadly it was his second yellow of the night and he was sent off, but not before he pointed a very angry finger at the ref, then kicked a spare ball into the crowd. Now Andrews is banned for the first World Cup qualifier, in Kazakhstan of all places. He really should have known better.
WITH the Euro 2012 week that’s in it, we’ll be nice to all men. And women. And that bloke in the Bronx.
At 23 James McClean is definitely old enough to know better, so we have to assume he knew what he was doing when he sat down in front of a bank of microphones in Dublin last week.
In the course of a wide-ranging interview in the Clarion Hotel out by the airport McClean spoke on many topics, including his elevation to the Ireland squad for the forthcoming European Championships.