Tuesday 30 October 2007
Thursday 25 October 2007
Bolton's appointment of Gary Megson was another strange one. His past premiership record is poor and he only had a short spell at Leicester this season. Paddy Power are offering 15/8 on Bolton going down, which seems decent value to me. I think there are better managers out of work, some of which are being linked to ...
... the Irish job, which became open this week also. No surprise there. Brady, Souness and O'Leary top the bookies list, although Jol might now command fairly short odds. I was very interested to see John Delaney distance himself from the next appointment. There will be a committee of professionals hired as consultants - working within certain parameters re: salary etc - and the name they propose will be confirmed by the board ass the new Irish boss.
Tuesday 23 October 2007
My best IX
Backs: 15.Montgomery, 14.Clerc, 13.Rabeni, 12.Contepomi, 11.Habana, 10.Hernandez, 9.du Preez
Forwards: 8.Bonnaire, 7.Smith, 6.Collins, 5.Matfield, 4.Shaw, 3.van der Linde, 2.Smit, 1.Sheridan
Subs: 16.Ledesma, 17.du Randt, 18.AW Jones, 19.Longo, 20.Ellisade, 21.James, 22.Robinson
No one will agree with all of my selections but I think it’s quite balanced. Nine South Africans in the 22 is reasonable given they were the only team to play well start to finish. Four Argentineans, three each for England and France and one each for Fiji, New Zealand and Wales, complete the squad.
I think Fiji earned a player in the top team and Rabeni capitalized on an average World Cup by many of the best outside centres on display. While Collins and Alun Wyn Jones were picked as the stand-out players on their otherwise misfiring teams.
And now the other end of the spectrum!!
My worst IX
Backs: 15.Bortolussi, 14.Rokocoko, 13.Muliana, 12.D’arcy, 11.Hickie, 10.O’Gara, 9.Stringer
Forwards: 8.Leamy, 7.Bergamasco, 6.Chabal, 5.O’Connell, 4.Jack, 3.Horsman, 2.Ibanez, 1.Castrogiovanni
Subs: 16.Rees, 17.Horan, 18.O’Callaghan, 19.Popham, 20.Troncon, 21.Skrela, 22.Shanklin
Coach: Henry, but O’Sullivan and Jenkins are equally good calls.
Eight Irish, four Welsh, four Italians, three Abs and three French. Chabal will be a disputed inclusion I’m sure, but I maintain he’s a one dimensional flanker, a terrible lock and he spent most of the tournament on the bench for those reasons. Not because Laporte doesn’t like him.
Other than that I could possibly have included more Irish players, but six in the IX plus two on the bench is probably enough.
And with that, au revoir from France 2007 (and Wales and Scotland…)!
Sunday 21 October 2007
Friday 19 October 2007
PS - That FAI board meeting now looks set to go ahead today (Tuesday, 23/10), definitley before the end of the week. A chance for Delaney wash his hands of his own mistakes and blame everyone else.
Thursday 18 October 2007
Will the FAI please wake the f*** up. John Delaney is single-handedly killing the sport. The man is a disgrace. As for Stan, he has had a go, but it's clear he isn't up to it. Cyprus away was a freak result it seemed, then to nearly lose to them at home? How many players have they in the top flight of any of the five major European leagues??? It's unacceptable.
The management set up was ridiculous last night. He brought on McGeady (a right winger) for Keogh (a striker who was playing on the right). He then put McGeady on the left and switched Hunt (a left winger) to the right. We ended the game with Doyle on the right wing sending in crosses. Just where you want your best striker to be! It all reeked a bit of desperation.
The players have to bear some of the blame too, although not as much. Certain supposed team 'leaders' have consistently underperformed for their country while excelling for their clubs. Richard Dunne should be made the team captain for one thing. His play, attitude and commitment are the kind of qualities a captain should have. Robbie is fine for scoring, but I don't think the arm-band suits him.
I hope Stan steps down. While he may improve in the next campaign I don't think it will be enough. We can't afford to miss a fourth tournament in a row. As for the FAI, I fear we are stuck with them as long as they can keep giving themselves juicy new contracts. Our only hope is the players finding a bit of pride in the green shirt and lifting their performances.
Monday 15 October 2007
The Birdcage was on last week and I sat down to watch it with the missus. She had seen it and seemed eager to watch it again. I had heard the name but new little other than that Robin Williams was in the cast.
And what a treat I was in for. Williams was sublime as the gay nightclub owner whose son is marrying (Calista Flockhart) the daughter of a conservative Senator, played by Gene Hackman. The young couple decide to hide the fact that the groom's father is gay, meaning they need to hide Williams flamboyant, cross-dressing partner, played by Nathan Lane.
This movie bears more than a passing resemblance to Some Like it Hot, but it's not just the cross-dressing. The comedy is frantic at times, slapstick at others. The stuffy Hackman is hilariously unaware at times, while the house maid, played by Hank Azaria is nothing short of genius. Lane however, steals the show, not least the scenes where Williams is trying to 'butch him up' before the in-laws arrive.
An excellent and entertaining watch and worth a place in any collection. If you ain't seen it go get it.
Wednesday 10 October 2007
Julie Andrews to Sam Rockwell
Tuesday 9 October 2007
Friday 5 October 2007
I can't but be annoyed however by the hurling award being given to Eddie Brennan. I can't deny he took his scores well but giving him this award (on top of the man of the match award for the final) is completely insane.
The GAA make a big deal about discipline in cases like the tunnel incident in Thurles, but then they go and reward a player after his actions in the first five minutes of the All-Ireland final. Stop talking rubbish GAA. Apply the rules to everyone or shut the hell up.
Wednesday 3 October 2007
But where did it all go wrong for the men in green. Will we ever find out what was going on in the camp or will we be resigned to unsubstantiated rumour and conjecture. There are lots of reasons being thrown about but I think we can cut them to three (and Eddie O'Sullivan isn't all three!).