Archive for the ‘Media’ Category


In August 2013, a then 20-year-old Michaella McCollum Connelly and her Scottish accomplice, Melissa Reid, attempted to smuggle eleven kilos of cocaine through Lima International airport. Having being arrested, the pair initially lied about having been kidnapped and coerced, before eventually admitting their guilt and serving more than two years in Peruvian prisons notorious for their hellish conditions.

Had McCollum been caught by Irish customs and not Peruvian, the amount of time she would have spent in a decidedly nicer prison closer to her family would have been roughly the same, with a distinct possibility of not doing any jail time at all. With it being the Tyrone native’s first offence and Irish law making clear distinctions of hierarchy between couriers at the bottom and dealers at the top of the drug offenders list, it would not have been a surprise to see McCollum receive an entirely suspended sentence had she been apprehended at Dublin airport and not Lima. (more…)

"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…)

"Go on, just one impertinent question. I dare you!"

“Go on, just one impertinent question. I dare you!”

Football journalists up and down the country can be forgiven for thinking they’re living in a parallel universe over the next few weeks as their erstwhile bully-in-chief, Sir Alex Ferguson, dusts off his charm and happily sits through interview after interview, as he attempts to shift a few extra units of his much-anticipated follow-up autobiography.

For twenty long, gruelling – not to mention humiliating – years, the football media fraternity was on the receiving end of one Ferguson shoeing after another. From the weekly ‘hair drier’ treatment to outright threats of violence; from being banned from Manchester United Land and effectively starved of a living to being routinely dismissed as ‘a bunch of fuckin idiots’, it’s fair to say that were the UK football media a dog and Ferguson its owner, the former United boss would have served at least a stint or two at her Majesties pleasure for cruelty to animals. (more…)

Get on With It!

Posted: March 2, 2013 in Football, Media
Tags: ,

imagesCAS24KSHPenicillin, chemotherapy, vaccinations – there’s no doubting the medical pioneers have put in a solid shift over the past hundred years or so, but when it comes to life-saving breakthroughs, surely Sky Plus trumps them all. Some may argue that remedies for hitherto deadly diseases beats the advent of live TV manipulation but those people have clearly never had to endure the torturous ordeal of the modern day Pre-Match Pageantry and it’s suicide-inducing tedium.

Unfortunately, the option to pause, record and fast-forward over the endless ceremonies that precede every football match these days is only available to those lucky enough to be watching the unfolding events on Sky Plus. For everyone else the torture goes on. And on. And on. (more…)

Fooling All of the people All of the Time?

It’s not often a manager can lose and still be considered lucky but Martin O’Neill was one such man after Sunderland’s forth round League Cup defeat to Middlesborough at the Stadium of Light. Had Reading and Arsenal not simultaneously played out one of the most extraordinary games in the competitions history surely the Black Cats abject loss to their North East Championship neighbours would have warranted considerably more column inches in yesterday’s papers. (more…)

That’s IRELAND’S Katie Taylor, got it?!

Nothing gets the goat of the Irish like a sports-related injustice. In 2009 a Thierry Henry handball mobilised the nation into a marching, protesting, boycotting behemoth. The display of outraged solidarity truly was something to behold, the type of display sadly lacking when it came to the clearly more trivial matter of the Government of the day selling the country down the river in the 2008 bailout and thus condemning the country to decades of hardship. Fast forward to 2012 and it is clear that Ireland’s sporting skin is as thin as ever.

There is no doubt that what Henry did in the 2009 World Cup play-off game was wrong, but the hysterically over the top reaction to the incident – by fans, the Irish Government (!) and the Football Association of Ireland – quickly stripped Ireland of the moral high ground. Similarly it was wrong for the Daily Telegraph to refer to boxer Katie Taylor’s nationality as ‘British’, although one suspects this latest ‘injustice’ was borne more from lazy journalism and contained considerably less malice than the actions of a certain French footballer. But never mind, the Irish had identified their quarry and so thousands upon thousands of emails and tweets, each drenched in various amounts of bile, made their way to the Telegraph offices. (more…)

Fabio Capello’s premature departure from his post has been met with the usual media hyperventilation that accompanies the exit of an England manager – an over-excited mix of conspiracy theories about the nature of the exit and the inevitable cranking up of the who’s-next-in-line-for-the-job speculation machine. It’s understandable that the position of national team manager in a football-mad country should be the subject of such hypnotic-like focus from the forth estate. But is this coverage truly deserved? Is this obsession with the national team’s managerial position really warranted? Is the barrier to international success really down to the identity of the man in the hot seat?

It seems to me the position as head England coach is nothing more than conductor for the public bile that comes after the next inevitable failure. And when it comes to the England football team, failure is inevitable – and there isn’t a manager in the world who can change that. (more…)

Anyone tuning in late to Kenny Dalglish’s post-match interview at Blackburn last week could be forgiven for assuming the Liverpool manager had just been on the receiving end of a grievous personal insult, such was his terse, curt and downright rude behaviour towards Sky’s Andy Burton. For those of us who have been observing the Liverpool manager’s media dealings over the past quarter of a century, however, Dalglish’s behaviour was nothing if unsurprising.

Burton’s questions were entirely reasonable, both in the context of the extraordinary game that had just played out, as well as in his non-confrontational delivery. That Dalglish declined to give his opinion on a sending off that he would subsequently appeal is entirely understandable. What was less understandable was that he should feel the need to walk out on the interviewer for daring to ask his opinion in the first place. (more…)

The news that football’s top graduates of the Jeremy Irons School of Lady-Relations, Messrs Gray and Keys, have being banished from our screens for the second time in a year should illicit a much different response to the righteous indignation that greeted lineswoman-gate in January of last year. For those of us not quick enough to take advantage of the fleeting chance to view it (which, apparently, is the entire population of planet Earth, save 517 hardy souls), seemingly Sky Sports’ erstwhile finest decided there was a shortage of tits on the internet and so broadcast themselves chewing the football fat in a series of bizarre settings before posting the outcome on Youtube. According to reports the duo’s ueber-gonzo offering floundered on such rocks as being unable to compete with the noise of passing traffic and the inability of the ‘cameraman’ to hold his camera phone in a non-wobbly manner. (more…)