Posts Tagged ‘ Blackburn Rovers ’

O’Neill Names Ireland Squad For Upcoming Games

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Martin O’Neill has named a provisional 36 man squad for Ireland’s upcoming games against Scotland and USA.

Starting away, Scotland host Ireland in a EURO 2016 qualifier on Friday, November 14 at 7.45pm, before Ireland take on the USA in Aviva Stadium in a Three International Friendly on November 18.

The squad will be shortened ahead of meeting up on November 10. Continue reading

King’s U21s Ready For Norwegian Challenge

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REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 head coach Noel King is looking for his young side to build on their recent impressive performances when they meet Norway in a friendly in Drammen tomorrow (6.00pm Irish).

King’s side drew with Qatar’s Olympic side in May then produced a disciplined display against Germany last month.

With a view towards next year’s qualifying campaign, the Irish boss is getting to know this new crop of U21 players and believes this fixture will be very beneficial in that process.

“We had a long day travelling to Norway and naturally everybody was tired after that but we trained last night to loosen ourselves out and now everybody is fresher and ready for the game,” said King. Continue reading

Melbourne City Sign Damien Duff

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Melbourne City FC have signed former Republic of Ireland international Damien Duff on a one-year deal for the Hyundai A-League 2014-15 season.

An icon of modern Irish football, Duff made 100 appearances for his country and captained the national team during the UEFA Euro 2012 competition.

At club level, Duff lifted the League Cup with Blackburn Rovers, won two Premier League titles and another League Cup with Chelsea before transferring to Newcastle United and later to Fulham, where he played in the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final. Continue reading

Irish Under 21’s Seek Big Win In Montenegro

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The Republic of Ireland U21 side face a tough test in UEFA U21 Championships Qualifying Round Group Six tomorrow when they meet Montenegro in Podgorica (4pm Irish time).

Noel King’s side drew level with the Montenegrins in second place in the group on Friday  when the Irish beat the Faroe Islands 5-2 in Sligo while Montenegro drew 1-1 with Germany.

The Irish head coach knows that a victory in this fixture could have a massive influence on Ireland’s chances of sealing second place and potentially a play-off spot for a place in the finals.  Continue reading

King Forced To Replace Duo For German Clash

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REPUBLIC of Ireland U21 Head Coach Noel King has been forced to make two changes to his squad for Monday’s UEFA U21 Championships qualifying round clash with Germany in Sligo.

QPR’s Frankie Sutherland and Bristol City defender Derrick Williams both suffered injuries on club duty in midweek and King has drafted in Derry City’s Barry McNamee and Aston Villa’s Graham Burke.

“It’s unfortunate to lose Frankie and Derrick but Barry and Graham have been in with us before and are very good players whose versatility is important,” said King.  Continue reading

End of an Era As Ireland’s Greatest Calls It A Day

Ireland winger Damien Duff has announced his retirement from the international game, following in the footsteps of Shay Given.

The Fulham star brought an end to his 14 year stint in the Irish jersey ahead of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The 33-year-old earned his 100th and final cap when he led the national side against Italy at Euro 2012.

The Dubliner has been a regular in the side since making his debut against the Czech Republic in 1998.

Shay Given, the Republic of Ireland’s most-capped player of all time, announced his retirement earlier this month after an international career that saw him make 125 appearances for the Boys in Green. Doubts remain over the future of Richard Dunne while the Irish management team have hinted that captain Robbie Keane will remain in the fold.

Duff told the Football Association of Ireland’s website: “I found it very difficult to make this decision, not least for the respect in which I hold Giovanni Trapattoni.

“I have enjoyed so many good times in the green jersey and want to thank everyone involved, especially the fans for making the last 14 years so special.

“I want to wish Giovanni, Marco [Tardelli] and everyone involved with the Irish team every success for the future and will be supporting them every step of the way.”

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni said: “Damien will be missed by us and by Irish fans everywhere.

“He was immensely skilful and a great example to the players who come after him. I give him my warmest best wishes for his future career.”

Duff, who featured at both the World Cup 2002 and Euro 2012, will be remembered fondly by Irish fans for his skilful displays on the wing. The Ballyboden native was a handful for every opposition defence and Ireland’s World Cup opponents will no doubt be glad he has called it a day.

The former Blackburn, Chelsea and Newcastle star was arguably in his prime during the World Cup in 2002 when he was voted Ireland’s player of the tournament. The winger did his best to lift the spirits of a team plagued by infighting and scored a memorable goal against Saudi Arabia, after which he made a bowing gesture to the adoring Asian fans. To this day he is still revered for that gesture and held in high esteem by Asian football fans, some of whom have visited The Cottagers training ground in order to catch a glimpse of the star.

Tributes have been flooding in quickly for Duff, who will go down in history as one of Ireland’s greatest ever players.

Shortly after he announced his decision some of his Irish colleagues took to Twitter to offer their praise for the wing wizard and darling of Irish football.

Shay Given (@No1ShayGiven) “Sorry to see Damien Duff has retired from international football. It was an honour to play with such a great player & pro. Well done Duffer.”

Simon Cox (@SCoxy31real) “Sad to see the news about Duffers decision to retire I can say what a absolute gent and true pro he was. It was an honour to play with him.”

Sean St Ledger  (@seanstledger12)  “Really sad to hear of Duffers international retirement. He’s a true legend and it’s been an honour to play with him. He’ll be missed in camp.”

The Ireland squad to face Kazakhstan was announced shortly after Duff’s decision to retire. The following squad will travel to Astana on September 7th.

Westwood, Forde, Randolph, Wilson, O’Shea, St Ledger, O’Dea, Ward, Kelly, McShane, Gibson, McCarthy, Coleman, O’Brien, McGeady, Keogh, McClean, Keane, Doyle, Long, Cox, Walters.

Irish Stars Abroad

Welcome to our first edition of Irish stars abroad. In our weekly column we will review anything and everything that happened on a match day involving any player who has links to Ireland.

It was quite an extraordinary weekend across World football, with a record of 41 goals been scored in 8 Saturday Premier League matches alone. Four Irish stars got on the scoresheet as part of that record, with some big shocks taken place and some delightful footwork from a rising star making every Irish fan smile.

Kevin Doyle scored the winning goal as Wolves became the first side to beat Manchester United in the Premier League this season. Nani had given United a third minute lead and it did look like the result was just a formality from there, with the leagues top team looking most likely to put the bottom team to the sword. However a George Elokobi goal some minutes later and Doyle`s header moments before half time ensured that Mick McCarthy`s men were back in the game. United failed to create anything in the second half and the former Ireland manager got a famous win over Sir Alex Ferguson.  

Leon Best proved to Newcastle United fans that there is life after Andy Carroll. Best scored the second goal of Newcastle`s miraculous comeback against Arsenal, moments after having a legitimate goal chalked off. The Magpies found themselves four goals down after 26 minutes but never gave up. A cracking Cheick Tiote striker three minutes from time completed the turnaround. 

James McCarthy bagged a brace as Wigan Athletic recorded a 4-3 home win over Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers.McCarthy showed great technical ability to fire home his second, when it seemed like the crowded defence would snare his opportunity.Keith Andrews was an unused sub for the away side.

Rory Delap played his part as Stoke City bagged to late goals to stun Sunderland.Irish international  Jon Walters came off the bench as two late Robert Huth goals sealed a 3-2 win at the Britannia.Delap`s throws wreaked havoc in the Sunderland defence,allowing John Carew to prod home the opening goal for the Potters. Both Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson were unused subs for Tony Pulis` men.

Richard Dunne and Damien Duff were on opposite sides as Aston Villa and Fulham played out a 2-2 draw at Villa Park.

Seamus Coleman was impressive again as Everton grinded out a 5-3 home win over Blackpool. Louis Saha stole the show with four goals, with a fifth been rule out after the Donegal native had played him in. Andy Reid did not feature for the Tangerines despite his impressive mid week showing.  

Shay Given watched from the bench as a Carlos Tevez hat trick guided Man City to a resounding 3-0 win over West Brom. Ex Ireland star Stephen Reid picked up a late booking for the Baggies,while he also gave away the penalty which the Argentine duly converted.

Two Irish strikers who didn`t get on the scoresheet this weekend were  Robbie Keane and Shane Long. Keane`s West Ham went down 1-0 to Birmingham City, while Long`s Reading side suffered a similar fate against Championship leaders QPR. 

In the Championship,Cork Native Damien Delaney opened the scoring for Ipswich Town as they ran out 3-0 winners over relegation threatened Sheffield United. The Blades Irish contingent of Michael Doyle,Stephen Quinn and Mark Yeates could do nothing to aid their cause. Former Ireland stars Mark Kennedy and Colin Healy also featured for the Tractor boys.

Andy Keogh opened the scoring as Bristol City thumped Sean St Ledger`s Preston side 4-0.

Kevin Kilbane hit the fourth goal as Huddersfield Town beat Exeter City 4-1 in League One.

Elsewhere in League One , Clinton Morrison grabbed an equaliser to ensure Gary Megson`s debut as Sheffield Wednesday manager didn`t get off to a losing start. They came back from two goals down to draw against MK Dons.  

In Scotland, Jon Daly opened the scoring as last year`s cup winners Dundee United dumped Hamilton Academical out with a 3-1 victory.

Both Adam Rooney and Richie Foran recorded a brace as Inverness walloped a hapless Morton side 5-1.

No Irish stars featured in the Old Firm Derby. Both Anthony Stokes and Graham Carey were unused subs as Celtic earned a cup replay after a fiery 2-2 draw that saw both sides reduced to ten men.

Premier League Results

Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn Rovers

Goals from Branoslav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka lifted Carlo Ancelotti`s side back into the Champions League places.

Man City 4-3 Wolves

Wolves battled valiantly at Eastlands but were undone by a Carlos Tevez strike. Nenad Milijas gave Wolves a shock lead early on when he prodded home from narrow range. A Kolo Toure goal and a Tevez strike either side of half time but Man City 2-1 up. Yaya Toure scored shortly after and Tevez added his second. Kevin Doyle kickstarted the fight back scoring from the penalty spot after he was brought down by former Wolves player Joleon Lescott. Mick McCarthy`s side further cranked up the pressure four minutes from time when Ronald Zubar scored but the equaliser was not forthcoming. This win was enough to lift City to the top of the table.   

Stoke 2-0 Bolton

A Danny Higginbotham goal and a penalty from Matthew Etherington ensured Bolton`s away day blues continued.

West Brom 3-2 Blackpool

An 87th minute goal by Peter Odemwingie ensured West Brom took the spoils in a pulsating match. A sublime chip from David Vaughan had given Blackpool an 11th minute lead before Odemwingie drew things level. James Morrison put the Baggies ahead in the second  half and when Gary Taylor Fletcher equalised for the Tangerines it seemed as if a draw would be the outcome. Odemwingie broke Tangerine hearts when he poked home his second strike of the day. 

West Ham 0-3 Arsenal

A double from Robin Van Persie, one of which was a penalty and a Theo Walcott strike ensured West Ham remain rooted to the foot of the table.

Wigan 1-1 Fulham

A late Andy Johnson goal secured a point for Mark Hughes` men ,cancelling out Hugo Rodallega`s goal.

Premier League Preview

This weekend`s fixture list throws up some exciting derby matches as the Premier League resumes following last week“s FA Cup third round matches.   

 

West Ham V Arsenal

 

With the backing of their tremendous fans, the Hammers may well pull off a result in what would appear to be Avram Grant`s last match in charge. However, Arsenal will be eager to avenge their recent results, with a 1-1 FA Cup Draw with Leeds and a 1-0 defeat to Ipswich in the League Cup semi final leaving Gunners fans aggrieved.

 

Verdict: Draw

 

Liverpool V Everton

 

This Merseyside derby always serves us a tense battle and Kenny Dalglish will be eager to get his first win as Liverpool manager over their arch enemies. He will have to do so without the services of the influential Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher. Dalglish will be hoping his side can improve on their disastrous midweek performance, where Blackpool came from a goal behind to beat the Anfield side for the second time this season.

Everton manager David Moyes will be hoping like Blackpool, that his side can do the double over Liverpool this season. However Everton may well struggle for goals as top scorer Tim Cahill is away on international duty with Australia. Expect the home side to edge this one with Fernando Torres putting his critics to shame.  

 

Verdict: Liverpool

 

Spurs V Man Utd

 

Man United travel to Spurs on Sunday for what should be an intriguing tie. United will find it tough against Harry Redknapp`s men and their unbeaten record in the Premier League this season faces a real threat.

 

Spurs will definitely frustrate the Red Devils, with a draw the most likely outcome.

 

Verdict: Draw

 

Chelsea V Blackburn

 

Chelsea host Blackburn Rovers at Stamford Bridge as they aim to put together a steady run of results following their desire form as of late. Roque Santa Cruz`s return to Lancashire will boost Steve Kean`s men and they will certainly be up for this match. However with their inconsistent form this season Rovers may just fall short.

 

Verdict: Chelsea   

 

Man City V Wolves

 

Roberto Mancini`s men will be aiming to crank up the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the table this weekend but they must not underestimate a Wolves side, who have beaten both Liverpool and Chelsea in recent weeks.

Mick McCarthy`s men will travel to Eastlands in a confident mood but the relegation candidates may well fall fowl to Edin Dzeko, with City`s new 27 million striker the catalyst for a title tilt.

 

Verdict: Man City   

 

Stoke V Bolton

 

Bolton travel to the Britannia Stadium this weekend hoping to maintain their push for  Europe. While the Trotters have produced some outstanding displays this term they may well come unstuck against Tony Pulis` men. A draw is the most likely result.

 

Verdict:Draw  

 

West Brom V Blackpool

 

Ian Holloway`s side will roll into the Midlands this weekend in confident mood after putting Liverpool to the sword in midweek. Blackpool have every reason to be confident ahead of this match as West Brom are on an alarming slide down the table after their early season exploits.

 

Verdict: Blackpool

 

Wigan V Fulham

 

Wigan will be eager to start putting more points on the board as they currently sit second bottom. A win over Mark Hughes` men may well move them out of the relegation zone but they must rely on results elsewhere. Fulham will provide stiff competition for the Latics as they are in a similar position. Should Roberto Martinez`s side win they will jump above the Cottagers but this match has draw written all over it.

 

Verdict:Draw

 

Sunderland V Newcastle United

 

Sunderland host their fierce rivals in the second Tyne Wear derby of the season, with manager Steve Bruce still smarting after the Geordies thrashed the Wearsiders earlier this season.

 

Sunderland may well fall short again with key players missing through injury and suspension. Newcastle are no different with Andy Carroll set to miss out yet they still possess the quality to to the double over their neighbours.

 

Verdict: Newcastle  

 

Birmingham City V Aston Villa

 

These two sides meet at St Andrews with only a point separating them. This season has proved to be a frustrating one for both sides as they languish in the bottom half of the table. For Birmingham, its been a case of lacking goals while for Villa it has just been one long slide under Gerard Houllier. Birmingham look set to appease their goal drought with the signing of Spurs striker Robbie Keane while Villa are in the market for some new players, with Jean Makoun of Lyon undergoing a medical at Villa Park.

The incentive is their for both sides but Alex McLeish`s men may prove too strong for Villa.

 

Verdict: Birmingham City