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Posts Tagged ‘ LA Galaxy ’

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

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O’Neill Era Begins With Comprehensive Win

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Ireland’s new managerial partnership of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane got their reign off to the best possible start last night as the boys in green beat Latvia 3-0 at Aviva Stadium.

Ireland got off to a solid start when the reinstalled James McClean, a firm favourite of O’Neill during his time at Sunderland, went close with a volleyed effort.

Former Celtic manager O’Neill was keen to employ a quick pass and move tempo and in doing so proved that this Irish team are more than capable of playing the beautiful game. Continue reading

Unhappy Anniversary for Pat Fenlon

Today marks the first anniversary of Pat Fenlon’s appointment as Hibs manager although he admits that it feels longer.

The former Bohs’ manager took over a club languishing near the foot of the table with crowds around the 7000 mark when he was named as Colin Calderwood’s successor. Despite yesterday’s defeat to Aberdeen, Hibs sit third in the SPL and the attendances have crept back to over 12,000.

Fenlon, who lifted five League of Ireland titles and three cup trophies during his nine-year managerial career in Ireland, was described as a winner by chairman Rod Petrie, but ironically, the favourite for the post had been ex Hibs star Michael O’Neill who was with Shamrock Rovers at the time and subsequently went on to manage Northern Ireland. Few amongst the Hibs faithful had heard of Pat Fenlon as he watched from the stand as his new team went down 3-1 to St Johnstone, but they would quickly see the passion so lacking in the previous regime.

The following week, his first match in the dugout was abandoned at half-time due to an electrical fire at Motherwell, with Hibs leading one-nil, which was a sign of the bad luck to come.

A busy January transfer window papered over the cracks, and amazingly the team reached the Scottish Cup Final where they were hammered by Hearts. They did however narrowly survive a relegation battle, beating Dunfermline 4-0 in the penultimate game in front of over 15,000.

Despite the ups and downs of his tenure to date, the likeable Irishman is adamant that he has enjoyed his year at Hibs.

When he was reminded of today’s anniversary, Pat said: “Really? One year? It feels longer to be honest!

“It has been enjoyable and it has been eventful, definitely – but whether it has been the most eventful, I don’t know.

“I have had periods in my career where I have managed clubs where players and staff weren’t paid for 16 or 17 weeks – so that’s eventful and a different type of pressure.

“With management, you take it as it comes because every day throws up something completely different. It’s been a pleasure managing this club and hopefully it goes on a fair bit longer. I’ve enjoyed it.

“We had some lows last season and some highs this season. But it’s difficult to put them into context because the last campaign was all about survival while this season there’s been more highs than lows.”

At least he has survived the clubs AGM, which is more than three of his predecessors, can say. Mixu Paatelainen, John Hughes and Colin Calderwood were all sacked in the week prior to the meeting as the board attempted to quell a fans’ revolt.

The supporters are desperate to see some stability at Easter Road, and Fenlon’s achievements so far have convinced many that he is the man to guide the club forward in the long term.

With a new scouting set-up being put in place and an overhaul of the youth academy structure under way, Fenlon is eager to make his mark in a way that will last.

He said: “As a manager, you want to see improvement on a regular basis. We’re happy we have improved but we are not sitting on that thinking, ‘That’s great; we’ve now got to where we should be’. We want to kick on.

“We are not fooling ourselves. A fair bit of work still needs to be done and we are looking at all aspects of the football side of the club at the moment.

“There is a lot of work going on all the time so we can help improve the team and the club as a whole.”

One surprising potential recruit is Kenny Miller who is understood to be keen on a loan move back to the team where he began his career under Alex McLeish.

The Scotland international is currently with Vancouver Whitecaps but has failed to set North America’s Major League Soccer alight since joining the Canadian side midway through the season, scoring only twice in thirteen games. He has not started a competitive match since the beginning of the month, when he came on as a substitute as Whitecaps side lost to David Beckham’s LA Galaxy.

The new MLS season starts in March, and Miller is back in Scotland training with another of his former clubs Rangers, but Leith would be his preferred destination.

Fenlon says he has been notified of the player’s alleged interest and admits he is curious, although he has not spoken to Miller or his agent.

He said: “It’s been mentioned to me in the last few days but it’s 
not something we’ve actively done anything about. Is he available and does he want to come and play for us? You never know. He’s a fantastic player and we look at all options to try and improve the team.

Sadly it was not a happy anniversary for Fenlon as his Hibs side lost to an on-form Aberdeen side, although many believed that Hibs deserved something from the game.

Fenlon said: “We didn’t deserve to lose. It feels worse than last week [3-1 defeat to Dundee] because we didn’t deserve anything out of that, but this week we deserved to win.

“Even a draw I think would have been a travesty. Their keeper was fantastic today, particularly the save he made from Eoin Doyle in the first half.

“I’m not sure exactly how many shots Leigh Griffiths has had but again the goalkeeper has made some great saves. We have to take it on the chin and move on.”

Hibs return to Perth this Wednesday before playing hosts to Hearts in the Scottish Cup fourth round on Sunday in front of a packed Easter Road.

With Hearts in financial trouble, many feel that this game could be the turning point in the club’s fortunes as their rivals will no longer be able to pay exorbitant wages to attract players, and future games will be on a level playing field.

photograph by http://www.jcmackintosh.co.uk

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