Archive for March, 2014

"Talking nonsense? Me?!"

“Talking nonsense? Me?!”

There are certain managers for whom every public utterance is scrutinised, dissected and happily challenged by the frothing wolves of a media pack all too eager to sink their teeth into any perceived contradictions or mistruths. For the modern-day football manager the media are every inch as formidable an opponent as the identity of the man in the next dugout, a foe to be taken lightly at their peril. For every manager that is, except Jose Mourinho, for whom every laughably absurd and self-serving address is treated with as much deference and sincerity as though it were delivered from a mount in the Middle East a few millennia ago.

In fact, it’s difficult to think of a more prolific expounder of nonsense in the world of football than the Portugese for whom every campaign can be filed into one of two categories; the successful ones and the ones in which he was cheated. For in Jose’s world there can be no other explanation for short-comings. Eliminated from the Champions League at Camp Nou? Clearly the referree’s fault and not the person responsible for playing Robert Huth up front. Lose a Champions League Semi-final against a Liverpool side costing a fraction of his own team? Clearly the fault of the linesman and nothing to do with his own side’s failure to resister a single attempt on target over 180 minutes against a defence containing Djimi Troare. Unable to budge Barcelona from their perch? Why, a Uefa conspiracy, of course, and nothing to do with an inability to get the best out of the most expensively assembled side in the history of the game. (more…)

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A fan gets some early practice for Euro 2016

A fan gets some early practice for Euro 2016

“There’s less than a minute to go. Christian Mouritsen, the Faroes workhorse lone attacker – just one of many heroes tonight – brings the ball into the corner to eat up a few more precious seconds. He shields the ball from Philipp Lahm. Frustrated, the German captain kicks out at his opponent and the assistant flags for a free kick. Surely this will be the last kick of the game? IN FACT THEY WONT EVEN GET TIME TO TAKE IT!! THE FAROE ISLANDS ARE GOING TO EURO 2016 AT THE EXPENSE OF THREE TIME WORLD CHAMPIONS GERMANY!!”

In the category of ‘Sports Commentary We’re Most Likely To Hear in 2015’ the above would probably nestle somewhere alongside, “….8,9,10 and Mayweather is out for the count! And who would have thought it would be octogenarian funnyman Ronnie Corbett who’d bring Floyd’s unbeaten run to an end?!”

So unlikely is either scenario that the average bookmaker would probably offer similar odds on both. But leaving a discussion on the pugilistic merits of cardigan-wearing diminutive comedians to another day, let’s just deal with the first of the far-fetched hypothetical upsets. (more…)

A typical DART, ie stationary

A typical DART, ie stationary

 

Whilst there is no doubt the leaves of Autumn lend a simple rustic beauty to our pre-Winter landscape, for many they represent little more than an annual three month headache, coming as they do with all their inherent nuisance qualities. From farmers to gardeners, from road-sweepers to home owners, the half-ounce menace that is the leaf wreaks its havoc far and wide. However, there can be no group more acutely or adversely affected from leaf fall as the Irish public transport user.

For the hundreds of thousands who rely on public transport to get to and from their place of work every day in this country, the sight of early Autumn leaf fall is met with the same sense of dread as the dark mornings and the drop in temperatures. (more…)