Posts Tagged ‘ Holland ’

The Best World Cup Ever?

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Ten days ago it was in the bag – breathless pundits fell over each other to proclaim World Cup 2014 not only the greatest tournament, but also the greatest thing in recorded history: a bonanza of liquid football, attacking intent, and goals so good they made weird noises come out of your mouth. It was almost too much to take – three matches a day, each one throwing up quality and question in equal measure. How come Chile seem to counter attack with fifteen men? Who were those lookalikes playing for Spain? Why has a substituted player always run further than the team average?

And then, just as you were about to fire out a cliché regarding Hollywood’s inability to script such drama, Luis Suarez decides to chow down on Giorgio Chiellini. Mindblowing stuff, and we hadn’t even reached the knockout stage. Continue reading

World Cup 2014: Recap Of Week One

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The first week of World Cup 2014 is now behind us, and there has been plenty of talking points and memorable moments. Here is our recap of all the action that has taken place so far.

Thursday:

The opening game between Croatia and the host nation Brazil was the sole game on Thursday, and provided no end of controversy. Croatia had taken a well deserved early lead against a sluggish Brazillian outfit, before Neymar conjured an equaliser out of very little to get the home fans on their feet. Yet they failed to get the upper hand in the contest, until the referee awarded a very controversial penalty to Fred as he tumbled under Dejan Lovren’s presence in the penalty area. Neymar converted, and Oscar wrapped up the 3-1 win with a good finish from outside the box, although there was strong suspicion that Ramires had fouled the Croat player in possession before moving the ball to his Chelsea teammate. The home side were very unconvincing throughout, however.

Friday:

The standard of the officials continued to be brought into question during Friday’s first game, as the linesman ruled out two seemingly good goals for Mexico’s Giovanni Dos Santos in their game against Cameroon. Mexico did eventually get the breakthrough when Oribe Peralta turned in a rebound after Charles Itandje failed to hold Dos Santos’ shot. That was the only goal of the game, securing the win for the lively Mexicans, with Cameroon looking very poor. Continue reading

How Big Businesses Use Emotional Power Of Logos

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Golden arches. Swoosh. Mouse ears. You know what they mean. Some logos are so powerful that they don’t need to spell out their names, or that they transcend cultural borders. How can these simple, trivial little artworks inspire global familiarity with so many of them having become iconic? Because they’re not trivial or simple.

Iconic logos are masters of subtleties and understatements. In the infographic, we learn that logos carry sublime colour meanings. Do you ever wonder why some logos are bright yellow and some red? Why luxury brands are usually black, white, or brown, while corporate logos are blue? Continue reading

Gardai Say Larry Murphy Hasn’t Returned Despite Reported Sightings

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Sex predator Larry Murphy has not returned to Ireland despite rumours arising from TV3’s decision to re-broadcast a documentary about him.

Rumours throughout social media had suggested the rapist, who was released from prison in August 2010, had returned home.

The rumours rose to further prominence on Sunday when The Sun claimed that Gardai believed the beast of Baltinglass was back in Dublin. Continue reading

Townsend’s Betrayal Set For Irish Premiere

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Two lovers’ worlds will collide, culminating in a powerful and compelling story of sex, love, loyalty, marriage and treachery in the provocative, sensual and gripping new drama, “Betrayal.”

A chance meeting between Sara Hanley (Hannah Ware), a professional photographer, and Jack McAllister (Stuart Townsend), a top attorney, leads to an instant and undeniable attraction. Sara’s husband, Drew Stafford (Chris Johnson), is a successful prosecutor with political aspirations, and the couple have a seven-year-old, Oliver. Unbeknownst to Sara, Jack is in-house counsel to a powerful but somewhat shady entrepreneur, Thatcher Karsten (James Cromwell), and is married to Thatcher’s daughter, Elaine (Wendy Moniz). Elaine, secure in her relationship with Jack, is a smart, determined woman attempting to make her Chicago café a success on her own terms, as well as be a good mother to the couples’ 16-year-old twins, Valerie (Elizabeth McLaughlin) and Victor (Braeden Lemasters). However Sara and Jack both realize something is missing in their marriages, and fight against the realization that they’ve met their soul mates in one another. 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

Irish Gaming Expo Focus Of European Attention

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Details of one the largest gaming conventions in the country have been announced in Limerick.

More than 300 people from all over Europe are expected to gather at Thomond Park from June 14th-16th to participate in the 15th annual Conclave Games Convention.

Participants will compete for National and European gaming titles while the Convention will also feature stands hosted by traders from all over Ireland and some of the world’s biggest games manufacturers, such as Mantic Games, Airfix, Games Workshop and Ironwind Productions. Continue reading

Sex Beast Murphy Tracked Down To Dutch Hideaway

A TV3 documentary has tracked down suspected serial killer Larry Murphy, who has been spotted on the streets of Amsterdam talking to female tourists.

Murphy and a male companion, believed to be a work colleague were filmed several times by a television crew talking to women on the streets of the Dutch capital.

Murphy, who is the main suspect in the disappearance and murder of three women, Annie McCarrick, Jo Jo Dullard and Deirdre Jacobs, is classified by Europol as a “dangerous person”, who should be constantly monitored.

The Beast of Baltinglass, a former carpenter has found work in the city and was seen hanging around a bus stop where he chatted with women , possibly tourists, who were looking for directions. Murphy has been living in an Amsterdam suburb, some twenty minutes from the heart of the city.

The 46-year-old is regarded as Ireland’s most sinister criminal although Gardaì have repeatedly failed to connect him and charge him with a series of murders. Murphy was jailed in 2000 for the vicious rape and attempted murder of a young woman in Carlow. He bundled the victim into the boot of a car and Gardai believe was about to kill and bury her when he was surprised by two hunters and fled the scene.

It was the first time he came to the attention of the Gardaì and has never shown any remorse or offered any explanation for the attack.

Crime correspondent Paul Williams has been tracking Murphy’s movements across Europe since he was released from jail in 2010, after serving ten years of a fifteen year sentence for the attempted murder.

“I was involved with an Irish documentary crew who filmed him in Holland several times over the past five months after we learned Murphy had moved there late last year having spent six months in Spain.

The last time he was spotted in Ireland was in June 2011, when he returned here for three weeks while awaiting a replacement passport for one he lost in Barcelona. He had had been working in the Spanish city since his release in August 2010”.

Murphy has not lived in Ireland since his release from Arbour Hill prison.

Despite repeated reported sightings of Murphy in Ireland, he has lived exclusively between Holland and Spain since then and has not left the continent.

Dutch police are aware of Murphy’s residency and have visited him on at least one occasion.

An exclusive documentary on Larry Murphy’s new life will air tonight on TV3’s ‘Midweek’ at 10pm.

Photo courtesy of Independent.ie.

Questions Remain As Ireland Set For Road To Brazil

The Republic of Ireland have been drawn in Group C with Germany, Sweden, Austria, Faroe Islands and Kazakhstan for the qualification stage of FIFA World Cup 2014.

The Boys In Green kick off on the road to Rio with an away trip to Kazakhstan on September 7th, before welcoming Germany to Dublin a month later. Giovanni Trapattoni will be hoping for a change in fortunes having missed out on the last World Cup thanks to that faithful night in Paris. Trap ventures towards the qualifying campaign still not knowing what players he has at his disposal. Shay Given has already announced his international retirement and will be replaced by Keiren Westwood, a player the Italian has a lot of faith in. But the likes of Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane all have question marks remaining over their future. Trapattoni will be hopeful the trio can make swift decisions on their futures in order to allow him to prepare effectively for the upcoming campaign.

Germany

It’s an exciting time to be a German fan with the current squad at Joachim Loew’s disposal. World renowned stars such as Mario Gomez and Bastian Schweinstieger, the rising talents of Marco Reus and Andreas Schurrle , they really do have the complete squad despite their failure to win Euro 2012.

The Germans always pose a threat to any team and this current crop of stars is no different. The beaten Euro 2012 semi finalists and Sweden will be Ireland’s biggest opponents as they seek to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Ireland face a tough start to the qualifiers and will need to get a favourable result when the Germans come to Dublin in October, something which is easier said than done. This Ireland team is in a period of transition both in terms of personnel and tactics. If the team isn’t settled prior to the October clash then it will be worrying what the Germans might do to us, especially when you consider our own performance at Euro 2012.

Germany are in a similar bracket to Spain and Italy. Many would bet against Ireland getting a result against Germany but then again it’s not something we haven’t done before. Remember Robbie Keane’s last ditch equaliser at the 2002 World Cup? Or more recently the nil all draw at Croke Park in 2007?

Nonetheless if Trap can diffuse the apparent tension within the squad at present and effectively reshuffle his pack, a positive result is achievable.

Sweden

The Swedes have come a long way since a 3-0 mauling in Dublin in 2006, the first match of Steve Staunton’s doomed managerial career as Ireland manager. Erik Hamren’s side competed at both Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 although they narrowly missed out on the 201 World Cup.

Sweden were disappointing at Euro 2012. Many expected them to challenge France and England for the top two spots while the Ukraine were also in with a shout. Sweden lost their opening two games against Ukraine (1-2) and England (2-3) before conjuring up a credible 2-0 win over France but by that stage they were already eliminated. They failed to flatter at the Euros and much expectation was placed on the shoulders of the talismanic Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but one man doesn’t make a team as was proven.

Ireland shouldn’t necessarily fear the Swedes, the two sides are fairly equal. If Ireland are to stand any chance of getting out of this group they must remain undefeated against the Swedes. A win in Dublin is vital while a draw in Stockholm would be credible.

Austria

Ireland will expect six points from their two meetings with Austria, a team they haven’t faced since suffering two successive 3-1 wins in 1995 whilst enroute to a Euro 96 playoff with Holland.

Austria have always been an average nation on the international front. The last competition they qualified for was the 1998 World Cup although they made an appearance at Euro 2008, thanks to their co-hosting responsibilities securing them automatic qualification.

They do however have some players who are more than capable of posing a threat to Irish aspirations. Marc Janko (FC Porto) and Marko Arnautovic (Werder Bremen) are two strikers that are well respected around Europe and offer a potent goal threat while rising Bayern Munich star David Alaba is also one to watch.

Faroe Islands

It was set up to be a battle between Trap and former Ireland manager Brian Kerr but sadly the former St Patricks Athletic manager has left his post in Torshavn despite making great strides with a poor team. The Faroes have never qualified for a major tournament.

The Faroe Islands are a country we have become accustomed to in recent years. They are always seen as the whipping boys of the group yet in the past we have found it tough against them although we always break them down in the end and come away with the victory.

You have to cast your mind back to the 2006 World Cup qualifiers to see the last time the Boys In Green battle the islanders, recording a 2-0 win in both the home and away tie. Similar scorelines should be plausible this time around. Goal difference may prove to be a factor in this group and if it does we must take our chances against the Faroes and not rest on our laurels.

 Kazakhstan

Ireland’s trek to Astana will see Trap’s side battle Kazakhstan for the first time ever, as the Kazakh’s only joined UEFA in 2002. The country has no record of ever qualifying for any major competitions and their status is best viewed by looking at their squad which boasts only two players who play outside the country.

The trek to Astana offers something of an unknown quantity yet despite the soaring heat and difficult conditions out there we should be able to record a comprehensive win to kickstart our campaign.

Predictions

1-Germany

2-Ireland

3-Sweden

4-Austria

5-Faroe Islands

6-Kazakhstan

 

 

Is Van Persie Made Of Manchester United ‘Stuff’?

Recent transfer speculation has placed Arsenal star Robin Van Persie in the sights of several of Europe’s top clubs; Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus being chief among his potential suitors. It’s not exactly difficult to imagine why he would want to leave. After all, he boasts only two trophies from his days at Arsenal; an FA Cup medal from 2005 and one slightly less momentous Community Shield from 2004. Arsenal, whose financial model makes sense yet is so far removed from the outrageous wages and expenditure so favoured by world football and the Premier League and thus is failing, are looking more and more like a feeder club to those at the top, rather than one looking to seriously challenge for domestic and European honours.

This speculation has favoured Manchester United to capture the Dutch forward and one of the most recent revelations declares that Van Persie is seeking wages similar to those of Wayne Rooney, if he is to join the Red Devils. While United do have the financial clout to meet his demands, the questions is not can they, but should they.

The thing is, Rooney is 26 and van Persie has three years on him. And while the Dutchman may have a similar amount of playing time, due to several bouts of injuries, the fact remains that the clock is beginning to tick. 28, going on 29 may not be exactly old, but paying such a large transfer fee for an older player can be somewhat of a risk. Take Berbatov, for example, whose £30 million transfer to United from Spurs hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses. It all hinges on whether Van Persie is only getting going, or if this is his peak. There’s no denying that he is an extremely talented footballer. But there are still a number of things that go against him. His injury record, for example, which may or may not be a worry to the manager, who would doubtfully want another Owen Hargreaves. His record too is a little short. He has had really only one great season at Arsenal, though it has to be said, what a season it was. Talisman is a word used often and certainly not sparingly by the press, yet a talisman for Arsenal he was, joining the ranks of a handful of players who managed to score 30 goals in a solitary league season. But he’s only done it the once. Can he do it again? Or has he reached the peak, the summit of his skill and is it simply downhill from here? Nobody can really predict what’s going to happen. Who could have foreseen, for example, Fernando Torres’ remarkable slump into mediocrity?

Then of course there is the wage demand. Sir Alex seems to prefer the type of footballer who comes to Old Trafford seeking to play with and for the best, whose passion lies out on the pitch rather than with a pay cheque. With his rather exorbitant wage demands, Van Persie comes across like a footballing mercenary, (Samir Nasri springs to mind) looking for money rather than a club to be passionate about. Sure, footballers should be able to demand what they feel they are worth, though that opens up yet another can of worms regarding how much the profession is paid these days. United don’t need another like Tevez. Sure, mercenaries are part and parcel of our game, just like diving and whinging is, but United are one of those clubs, like Barcelona and a handful of others, who are able to attract a certain type of player which exhibits a quality possessed by the rarest of footballers – loyalty. Really, he should stay another year and prove himself worthy of the recognition he’s getting. Then again, if Arsenal have any sense, they’ll offload him now rather than have him see out his contract then leave at the end of next season on a free transfer.

United have plenty of talent up front, in the form of Rooney, Chicharito, Macheda, Welbeck, even the much maligned Dimitar Berbatov, who may or may not be on the way out this summer. Should van Persie join then he is just another name taking away valuable playing time from those younger potential stars who need regular games not just to ensure fitness, but one of the most important things a footballer can possess – confidence. Not to mention the small prospect of the financial aspect to this transfer. For wages alone, on a three-year deal, should United offer Van Persie the same £220,000 a week Rooney is on, it would cost the club a little over £34 million. That’s not even including the £30 million transfer fee Wenger is reportedly looking for. And of course the figure rises should the contract extend any further. £64 million is quite a huge investment in a player who will turn 29 by the time the Premier League starts again, who has had quite a number of injury concerns over his career and who has had only one really great season for Arsenal.

No, midfield is where they should concentrate on; a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, and one or two other potentials besides. Lucas Moura or Modric would be nice names to feature on the United team sheet but there are many other young players like young Nick Powell out there, because big transfer fees and solid reputations don’t always ensure value on the pitch. So on the surface, a move for one of football’s hottest talents might be the right one but under that surface it doesn’t seem quite so attractive.