Posts Tagged ‘ Hull City ’

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

Premier League: Costa Powers Chelsea Past Everton As City Slip Up

English Premier League

An eventful last weekend before the transfer deadline as Premier League champions stumble at Stoke, Newcastle and Crystal Palace play out a thriller and hapless Manchester United only manage a point at Turf Moor.

The Premier League finished its third week with only Chelsea and Swansea holding 100% records at this early stage. Swansea stormed to a 3-0 win over West Brom with Nathan Dyer scoring one either side of Wayne Routledge’s impressive volley at the Liberty Stadium. The win gives Garry Monk the perfect start to the season. Louis Van Gaal’s Manchester United career continues without a win, as a rather uneventful goalless draw was played out against Burnley. Record signing Angel Di Maria made his United debut, but his introduction wasn’t enough to spark the lacklustre side back to life. The reigning league champions Man City were blue in more than name as well, with a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Stoke. Ex-United striker Mame Biram Diouf scored the only goal in a surprising victory for Mark Hughes’ Potters. Charlie Austin found the net as QPR recorded their first win of the campaign beating Sunderland in the only other 1-0 over the weekend. Continue reading

Ireland Striker Long Completes Move To Hull City

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Hull City have completed the signing of Ireland striker Shane Long from West Bromwich Albion for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old Tipperary native has signed a  three-and-a-half year deal and completed the relevant paperwork on Friday  morning. Continue reading

West Brom Accept Hull Offer For Ireland Striker

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West Bromwich Albion have accepted an  undisclosed offer from Hull City for Ireland striker Shane Long.

The Tipperary native has six months left on his Hawthorns deal, plus  a year’s option in the club’s favour, and has been given permission to talk to  the Tigers, who have also signed Nikica Jelavic from Everton to partner the former Cork City star.  Continue reading

Ireland To Deal Erik’s Swedes A Hamr’ Blow

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Richard Dunne is back at the heart of the Irish defence for tonight’s crucial FIFA World Cup qualifier against Sweden at the Aviva Stadium (7.45pm) .

The Queens Park Rangers defender will win his 78th cap after recovering from the injury which forced him to miss almost all of last season for club and country. Continue reading

Premier League Preview: Jose’s Blues Are The Boys To Beat

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With the new Premier League season fast approaching, it’s hard to look beyond an old foe of many managers and fans alike from stealing the limelight once the season gets underway.

This summer’s transfer window and indeed all of the summer’s talk has been shaped around three men, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Arsenal’s pursuit of the Uruguayan, Wayne Rooney and his transfer request and Spur’s Gareth Bale who is being courted by Real Madrid.

One team, with the exception of a handful of Rooney rumours, has slipped under the radar as they plan to wrestle back a title that they won back to back in 2005 and 2006, and they have Jose Mourinho back to steer them there. Continue reading

Premier League Fixtures Released

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From Wikicommons, user: russavia.

With just 59 days to go until first kick-off, the fixture list for the 2013/14 season of the Barclays Premier League has been released, and whatever computer the League uses to draw the fixtures clearly hasn’t lost its mischievous side. Manchester United’s new manager David Moyes looks to have his work cut out for him; his side will face Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City in their first five games. The clash with Chelsea will be the Scotsman’s first game in charge at Old Trafford and is a mouth-watering prospect considering it will be José Mourinho’s first return to Manchester as a Premier League manager, and Moyes’ first real test at United’s helm.

Continue reading

FC Barcelona’s Irish Saviour

The generation of football fans which has grown up with the instantly recognisable and world revered and feared brand of tika-taka football which Barcelona play are familiar with a certain section of Barcelona managers who have strode back and forth in front of the touchline – Frank Rijkaard, Pep Guardiola and his successor Tito Vilanova. But rewind roughly 80 years and you would find a less continental name at the helm of a club struggling for their very lives in 1930s during the Spanish Civil war, because the Catalan club and area was associated so much with the Republican cause, and the immense pressure they came under almost caused them to fold.

Born and raised in working class Dublin, Patrick O’Connell used football as a method of escape. He joined Belfast Celtic in the early 1900s before transferring to Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City then Manchester United in May 1914, finishing his career with spells at Dumbarton and Ashlington while enjoying an international career with Ireland including captaining (with a broken arm) the side to a famous 3-0 victory at Ayrsome Park.

In 1922, for unknown reasons, Spain called to O’Connell and he left Irish shores and succeeded Englishman Fred Pentland as the manager of Racing Santander, guiding the side to five regional titles as they became founding members of La Liga in 1928. Between 1929 and 1935 as the world experience the Great Depression, O’Connell managed both Real Oviedo and Real Betis winning several titles with the latter. In the background right-wing tendencies were spreading across Spain and the Catalan region was becoming a focal point for resistance against these views. On the football pitch this manifested itself in the developing rivalry between Catalan Barcelona and the Franco-supported Real Madrid, a fierce and often bitter rivalry that still persists today. In the summer of 1935, O’Connell visited his native Ireland for a holiday and was appointed manager of Barcelona on his return after his successes with Betis hadn’t gone unnoticed. The club had gone into a decline during that decade, alongside the rising hostile political climate and success at the national level consistently evaded them. Things weren’t looking great.

What saved the club was the decision by O’Connell to take up an invitation to tour Mexico and America, for a guaranteed fee of around $15,000, a huge sum during the 1930s, throwing both the club a financial lifeline, and a period of respite and safety for the club’s players, some of whom had left to join forces in opposition to the military uprising, and who were feeling very unsafe. Thanks to O’Connell the tour was a PR success. The money was wired to a bank in Paris to ensure its safety from fascist hands, and the team eventually returned to Spain, consisting just of O’Connell and four other players from the original party which had travelled.  On his return to Spain, O’Connell left the club.

During the war years 1942-1945 O’Connell remained in Spain as the hand guiding Sevilla’s title ambitions, which never came to fruition before finishing his Spanish management career back where it all began at Racing Santander. What happened following his departure from Spain is unknown, all that is clear is that the man who ensured Barcelona’s survival through turbulent times died in obscurity in run-down lodgings in London in 1959. Today, the club still remembers the man who did so much for them; a bust of the man from Dublin sits in the Barca museum, part of their club’s history forever.

Blurred Future For New Irish Star

He was the darling of Irish under 21 football and a bright light at Hull City but since then Robbie Brady has been transformed into Ireland’s greatest prospect.

While few were bothered tuning into the recent friendly with Oman after the cataclysmic events of Astana, those that did will have been enthralled with the performance of the Manchester United star who marked his debut with a goal.

A much changed Ireland squad earned a 4-1 win that night. While the result was expected it was the performance of the team that lifted the spirit of the fans. Names such as Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, two players Irish fans have longed to seen given an opportunity, stood out while Alex Pearce also bagged a debut goal. But it was the energetic performance of Brady that has everyone purring.

While Brady’s situation should be quite clear it is in fact very blurred thanks to Giovanni Trapattoni’s tactics. There is no doubt that the Dublin native will be in the squad for the upcoming Germany game but whether or not he gets a chance is a different question altogether. Ever since the Euro’s Trap has favoured playing a striker on the wing, for a reason only known to himself. Such tactics have seen Simon Cox, Shane Long and Kevin Doyle feature on the wing despite being proven strikers. Furthermore their inclusion has come at the expense of one of our prized assets, James McClean, whose exclusion and antics following Trap’s decision have been well documented since that very fortunate night in Astana.

But will Brady’s arrival on the senior stage change Trap’s mindset or are we to assume that Nottingham Forest striker Cox remains ahead of him despite not being a winger? While we’re on the subject of Cox, he is a team player and will play wherever he is asked, don’t blame him for his performances when played out of position.

It looks like Brady will be on the bench for the German game, although given McClean’s recent discrepancies he may well be fast tracked into the first team. Don’t hold out too much hope though.

Brady is definitely one for the future but may well need to leave Old Trafford in order to fulfil his promise and ignite his international career. A glittering loan spell at Hull City earned much praise from Sir Alex Ferguson, who saw the Irish star as a key member of his pre season panel. Fergie talked at length about Brady’s talents, confessing his desire to turn the Dubliner into a left back in order to provide cover for the ageing Patrice Evra. However Fergie appears to have gone back on his decision, given the recent signing of Alexander Buttner from Vitesse Arnhem. United boast an embarrassment of riches in Brady’s position and it is very hard to see where he will fit in.

He must remain content at Old Trafford until at least January where a loan spell may become a possibility. Having shone at Championship level it wouldn’t be out of question for him to make the step up to the Premier League. A lot of clubs in the top flight could do with a player of Brady’s quality and a move to the likes of Aston Villa or West Brom may well kickstart his top flight career.

For now Brady is the gem of Trap’s crown but come October 12th will he be the man who put the ball in the German net or merely another winger dispelled at the theory of a striker playing in his position?

Young Irish Abroad #1 Robbie Brady

 

In his new exclusive column, Irish News Review Sport writer Damien Byrne will cast his eye over the future of Irish football.The First player to feature on this new and exciting column will be Robbie Brady, the Hull City winger currently on loan from Manchester United.

Robbie joined the Manchester United academy in 2008, and signed professional terms in July 2010. He is regarded as a hot prospect and has represented Ireland at all levels bar senior level.  Altogether he has made 14 underage appearances, scoring 5 goals.

His prospects of a senior call up might not be long in waiting, with winger Damien Duff nearing the end of his international career, even though Giovanni Trapattoni is in the process of persuading his older gems into a few more years in the green of Ireland.

I’ve seen Brady play on a few occasions for Hull, namely against Blackpool in the Championship, and he seemed like a very lively winger, who looked equally adept on both his right and left foot. He would definitely, as any young player, have to see big improvements in his game to play for Manchester United, but I do feel an area of his game that would need attention to play in Traps style would be his defence side. Sounds strange to say that of a winger but even Damien Duff, the player I would liken Brady to, has had to do his fair share of defensive work to fit in Traps team. He seems strong on the ball, and has the ability to be an explosive player with his pace.

The move to Hull is just the tonic for 19 year old Brady to learn the hard graft of tracking back and becoming physically strong as the Championship is a difficult level for the best of stars to adapt to, just ask Sam Allardyce and some of his big names at West Ham.

The Dubliners Under 21 performances of late have been top quality, firing both goals in a 2-1 win over Austria and he is expected to start for Ireland Under 21s in the Showgrounds against Liechtenstein this evening in an Under 21 EURO 2013 qualifier. To date, the fiery winger has made 15 appearances for Hull, scoring once.

Should he continue his performances he may well see himself fast tracked into the senior set up as Trap prepares his troops for next summers Euro 2012.