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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020


From The42 Villa appoint Houllier as manager Aston Villa

Villa appoint Houllier as manager

Phil Thompson vows to stay loyal to Jeff Stelling amid approaches from Houllier.

From The42 Clubs want Fifa review of international scheduling Club V Country

Clubs want Fifa review of international scheduling

Not-so-new development as clubs want less friendlies.

From The42 The mid-week mop-up: all last night's results Mop-up

The mid-week mop-up: all last night's results

So begins a new snazzily-titled round-up feature.

From The42 Three talking points: Ireland v Andorra Euro 2012

Three talking points: Ireland v Andorra

Not a whole lot learned from distinctly indifferent performance.

AND IT’S 2:1! ANDORRA HAS pulled one back against Ireland. Kevin Doyle scored a second goal for the boys in green just minutes ago at the Aviva Stadium, with a powerful strike into the upper left corner of the goal. Kevin Kilbane scored the first for Ireland in under 20 minutes in tonight’s Euro qualifier.

From The42 Man City: The Movie Blue Moon Rising This post contains videos

Man City: The Movie

Will Wayne Rooney’s goal feature?

From The42 Andorra: Who are they? Euro 2012

Andorra: Who are they?

OK, we know they’re not very good at football, but Andorra’s national team has an interesting background.

From The42 Trap names unchanged team to play Andorra Euro 2012

Trap names unchanged team to play Andorra

More of the same for Ireland as second minnow in a row play the Boys in Green.

From The42 Prospective Blackburn buyer left debt trail in UK Takeover

Prospective Blackburn buyer left debt trail in UK

Indian businessman has outstanding debts including rent and court judgements left following earlier UK stay.

From The42 Defoe the hat-trick hero while Scotland stutter Euro 2012

Defoe the hat-trick hero while Scotland stutter

A good night for England and Northern Ireland, but one Scotland and Wales would rather forget.

From The42 Fahey gives Ireland an away win – and three precious points Republic Of Ireland

Fahey gives Ireland an away win – and three precious points

Substitute Keith Fahey scores the only goal as Ireland get their Euro 2012 campaign off to the perfect start.

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI might be convinced that Ireland can win their Euro 2012 qualifying group – but that’s not much of a condolence right now, as Ireland are held at 0-0 at half time in their opening qualifier in Yerevan against ‘minnows’ Armenia. In a largely frustrating half, Ireland were mostly restricted to long-range shots and rarely tested the home keeper.

From The42 Iberian World Cup bid to receive Fifa boost World Cup Bidding

Iberian World Cup bid to receive Fifa boost

Bid has “many possibilities of being chosen” apparently.

From The42 Queiroz suspended for 6 months over doping controversy Portugal

Queiroz suspended for 6 months over doping controversy

Portuguese gaffer alleged to have sworn at an anti-doping crew. Now now, that’s not nice.

From The42 21 year-old in attempt to buy Portsmouth FC Pompey

21 year-old in attempt to buy Portsmouth FC

He’d be younger than most of the players.

From The42 FAI Finance Director steps down FAI

FAI Finance Director steps down Exclusive

Finance Director Mark O’Leary resigns after five year stint.

From The42 Scientists say Carlos’ famous free-kick was no fluke Free-Kick This post contains videos

Scientists say Carlos’ famous free-kick was no fluke

The Brazillian player’s lightning bolt of a free doesn’t defy physics, as was once thought.

From The42 Cup final set for Sligo EA Sports Cup

Cup final set for Sligo

Rovers look to put last year’s FAI Cup misery behind them. Surely they can’t possibly lose this one too…

From The42 Deadline-day roundup Deadline Day

Deadline-day roundup

All the big moves digested into one page, like some sort of Snack bar. Probably a yellow one.

From The42 Uefa ban vuvuzelas from European matches Vuvuzelas

Uefa ban vuvuzelas from European matches

The last post is sounded for annoying “HUMMMM” sound in Europe.

From The42 Pats and Fingal the tie of cup quarter finals FAI Cup

Pats and Fingal the tie of cup quarter finals

‘Not Again’ groans Pete Mahon as sides face each other for the millionth time this season.

From The42 Harry Redknapp flips over ‘wheeler dealer’ remark Wheeler Dealer

Harry Redknapp flips over ‘wheeler dealer’ remark

‘arry throws a wobbly.

Given to stay at City

Keeper in staying-where-he-is shocker.

From The42 Sparky targets Shay as transfer deadline looms Transfer Rumour

Sparky targets Shay as transfer deadline looms

Ireland ‘keeper on his way to Craven Cottage to link up with ex-Man City Mark Hughes in possible transfer ferris wheel.

TWO OLD RIVALS WILL renew acquaintances in Dalymount Park this Friday, as Bohemians and Shelbourne square off in the pick of the FAI Cup fourth round fixtures.

Bohemians have endured a traumatic season both on and off the pitch, and will need to avoid a slip-up against a resurgent Shelbourne side.

Shels, despite their poor start to the season, are unbeaten in four matches and have made a recent surge for a promotion spot.

This is the first meeting of the local rivals this season, after Shels beat Dublin Bus and Bohs beat Glenville in the third round.

Another interesting tie is in store up the road in Santry, as holders Sporting Fingal host Limerick, currently placed third in the First Division. Another local derby will be played in Galway as Galway United host Salthill Devon for the first time.

Non-league Belgrove will hope to upset St Pats, while Longford will also attempt to shock Shamrock Rovers at home in Flancare Park.

Here’s a list of upcoming fixtures:

Galway United v Salthill Devon
UCD v Derry City
Finn Harps v Sligo Rovers
Bohemians v Shelbourne
Cork City Foras Co-op v Monaghan Utd
Longford Town v Shamrock Rovers
St Patrick’s Athletic v Belgrove
Sporting Fingal v Limerick

HE’S ALREADY served a six-month jail sentence for assault – and now Joey Barton is in more hot water over what appeared to be a Nazi salute as part of a goal celebration.

Barton scored the first of Newcastle’s six goals in a home thumping of Aston Villa yesterday, but seemed to cap off his celebration by putting his fist to his moustache and offering a fascist-style straight-armed salute as he wheeled away.

Barton later explained that his gesture was meant to imply that his moustache was about to be shaved off – which it was, immediately after the game, in the St James’ Park dressing rooms.

I was simply saying the moustache goes. It was either the end of the moustache or my relationship, so I’m relieved.

His manager, Chris Hughton, was satisfied the gesture was innocently-intended having seen TV replays afterward.

INTERNATIONAL EXILE Stephen Ireland looks set to be confirmed as an Aston Villa player later today, with the former Ireland international midfielder moving to Villa Park as part-exchange for the signing of James Milner.

Oliver Kay of the London Times has reported on Twitter that Villa have given Milner permission to travel to Eastlands to undergo a medical exam prior to his signing a multi-year deal with City.

With City having already shelled out £22.5m (€27.3m) for Italian midfielder Mario Balotelli, the Blues baulked at Villa’s £25m valuation of Milner and instead opted to offer Ireland as a part-exchange to finalise the deal.

Kay tweeted that the fee for Milner had been agreed at £18m, including potential add-ons based on City’s performance over the coming years, with Ireland to move in the opposite direction.

Milner’s departure, while a good financial move for Villa with the midlands club having signed the player for just £12m from Newcastle last summer, means the Villans have now lost both their manager and best player in the space of a week.

City have also seen Craig Bellamy leave the club this morning, with the Welsh striker moving to Cardiff on a season-long loan, while Balotelli has agreed to swap shirt numbers with Irish international defender Greg Cunningham.

Cunningham had worn the number 45 shirt coveted by Balotelli, who wore that number at Inter Milan, and has agreed to take the number 22 shirt formerly held by Richard Dunne, who himself moved from City to Villa last year after a nine-year tenure.

MANCHESTER CITY bad boy Craig Bellamy has joined Cardiff City on a season-long loan, spurning the advances of Everton who had tried to pull together the money to attract the Welsh striker to Goodison Park.

Bellamy’s move was agreed the clubs this morning, and sees the forward also shun the hopes of Tottenham, Fulham and Sunderland, all of whom were understood to be keen to sign the player.

It is understood that City were not keen to allow the striker move to one of their Premier League rivals, particularly Spurs who are likely to be one of City’s main rivals for a top-four finish this season.

News of the move broke first by Twitter, with Cardiff forward Jay Bothroyd – likely to be Bellamy’s main strike partner for the year – tweeting:

Bellamy signed….!!!!! It’s real

The surprise move follows rumours that Bellamy was considered quitting the game entirely after being told by City boss Roberto Mancini that he would not be likely to figure in the Citizens’ 25-man Premier League squad.

The striker’s relationship turned sour afterward, with Bellamy reportedly banned from City’s training ground as the manager actively tried to offload the player.

Bellamy is a native Cardiffian, and his wife and two children already lived in the city. He began his youth footballing career just across the English border with Bristol Rovers, however.

The club becomes the ninth Bellamy will have played for in his senior career.

THEY MAY ONLY have grabbed half as many as Chelsea managed against West Brom, but Manchester United have kicked off their Premier League campaign with a slick 3-0 home win over Newcastle United. Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs – in his 21st top-flight season – were the scorers – and it should have been more with Wayne Rooney unable to score for his 13th consecutive came.

FORMER ARGENTINA MANAGER Diego Maradona has reportedly declared his interest in the Aston Villa job left vacant after Martin O’Neill’s shock resignation last week.

A spokesperson for Maradona said he is currently in talks with a number of European clubs, but would be very happy at a big club like Aston Villa.

Maradona and his national side parted company last month, when the Argentine Football Association said it would not renew his contract. The Argentine legend had coached the team to the quarter-finals of the South African World Cup this summer.

A range of managers including USA coach Bob Bradley and Ajax boss Martin Jol have been linked to the Villa job. Kevin McDonald is standing in as caretaker manager. The team’s opening season game was against West Ham, which they confidently beat 3-0.

THE PREMIERSHIP SEASON gets underway today with Tottenham playing Man City at White Hart Lane.

Tomorrow, it’s Liverpool against Arsenal.

As the season opens, looks ahead to the Premiership League of 2010-11 with some top soccer prediction lists:

The Guardian presents its predictions for the coming season here. The panel are almost evenly divided between backing Man U and Chelsea for the title. Although, Man City was given a few nods, too.

Football365‘s team is equally divided over who will take the trophy, and run through their top picks for best player, best new arrival, and which manager is most likely to quit first – apart from Martin O’Neill.

Sky Sports considers how managers will fare through the coming months and outlines the main issues they face in their role. Sky says the average tenure of a Premiership manager is under four years, much higher than for managers of the other three leagues. Alex Ferguson sits well above that average – he’s heading into his 25th year with Man United.

BBC Sports has taken on the Herculean task of predicting every single game for the next nine months. The first batch are already up on the site, with Spurs fancied to beat Man City 2-1. has taken a similar approach, and will be providing team news and live match commentary for each Premiership game.

The Independent has broken the season down into ten sections, and approaches each as a question, for example: “Will Arsenal’s patience finally pay off?” The paper also nominates ten newcomers to watch out for throughout the season.

And if you’d rather make your own predictions, there’s always fantasy football.

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI last night asked if FIFA had changed the rules of the offside law after seeing Ángel di María’s controversial first-half lob defeat a plucky Ireland side at the opening international at the Aviva Stadium.

Speaking to his assistant, stand-in coach Marco Tardelli, on the phone from his hospital bed after undergoing stomach surgery, Trapattoni queried why di María’s 20th-minute goal had been allowed to stand, despite the winger being offside when the ball was passed on by Gonzalo Higuain.

After the game, Tardelli told reporters that while he and Trapattoni were frustrated with the decision, “we must pay attention in those moments because it is impossible to concede a goal from the long pass from the goalkeeper.”

Trapattoni was said to be pleased with Ireland’s second-half performance, however, with his young side showing far more temerity and attacking nous than in the opening 45 minutes.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Ireland seemed to do best after Argentine star Lionel Messi was substituted on the hour mark.

The goal was the story of the night, however, with Ireland keeper Shay Given and captain Robbie Keane – celebrating his hundredth appearance in the green shirt – leading the protests to the linesman after di María’s effort was adjudged legal.

The protests had echoes of the infamous Thierry Henry handball in Paris last November – an occasion that reared its head when UEFA president Michel Platini, in town to visit the stadium holding this year’s Europa League final, was shown on the big screens only to be met with vicious jeers.

By comparison, the appearance of Johnny Giles was welcomed with hearty cheers, while Kenny Dalglish was also greeted with firm applause.

Trapattoni is expected to be released from hospital at the weekend and will be fully fit to take charge of the side’s next engagements, back-to-back Euro 2012 qualifiers against Armenia and Andorra.

IRELAND BOSS Giovanni Trapattoni will undergo a stomach operation this afternoon, according to the Football Association of Ireland.

The FAI said this lunchtime that the 71-year-old manager had been complaining overnight of abdominal pain, having been hospitalised in the early hours of Tuesday morning with nausea and vomiting.

It is understood that the pain is being caused by the rupture of scar tissue left behind from a previous surgery the Italian has undergone.

The surgery will take place in the Mater Hospital, where Trapattoni is staying, at 3pm. His illness has been attributed to undercooked shellfish eaten by the manager in Italy at the weekend.

Earlier the FAI had said the manager’s overnight recovery had been “slightly behind expectations” and that he was to be sent for x-rays this morning.

Trapattoni’s assistant, Marco Tardelli, will take charge of the Ireland team for tonight’s friendly against Argentina in his absence.

The manager’s health concerns are a worry ahead of the national side’s forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers, which kick off with an away game against Armenia in three weeks’ time, on September 3.

Trapattoni’s first experience of the new Aviva Stadium will now come on Wednesday 7 September when the side face Andorra.

MARCO TARDELLI will take charge of the Ireland team for tonight’s opening international at the Aviva Stadium, after the FAI said Giovanni Trapattoni would not recover from his suspected food poisoning in time for the tie.

In a statement this morning the FAI said that the 71-year-old Trapattoni’s “progress overnight has been slightly behind expectations, and after being seen by his consultant, he will undergo further investigations, including x-rays this morning.”

Trapattoni’s assistant Tardelli will thus take charge of the Ireland team for tonight’s friendly against Argentina, which is the first time the international side will play at their new home.

Trap was brought to the Mater Hospital in the early hours of Tuesday morning by the FAI’s team doctor, Dr Alan Byrne, after complaining of vomiting and nausea.

The FAI said Trapattoni had attributed his illness to shellfish he ate in Italy before he left for Dublin.

The Italian’s absence means that neither side tonight will be managed by a full-time head ocoach, with Argentina under the temporary care of Sergio Batista following the departure of Diego Maradona.

The teams for tonight’s game have meanwhile been finalised and will line out as follows.

Ireland (4-4-2): Given; McShane, Dunne, O’Shea, Kilbane; Fahey, Andrews, Green, Duff; Doyle, Keane.

Argentina (4-3-3): Romero; Burdisso, Demichelis, Samuel, Heinze; Banega, Mascherano, Gago; Di María, Higuaín, Messi.

CELTIC GOSSIP aplenty this lunchtime – Scottish radio this morning said that newly-resigned former Aston Villa and Celtic boss Martin O’Neill was spotted in Glasgow Airport this morning, while it’s been confirmed that Aiden McGeady has agreed transfer terms with Spartak Moscow.

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND has confirmed that Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni was brought to hospital overnight after suffering from nausea and vomiting.

In a statement this morning, the FAI said Trapattoni had flown into Ireland on Sunday in advance of tomorrow evening’s glamour friendly against Argentina, but had felt unwell since his arrival.

He had been treated by the FAI’s team doctor, Dr Alan Byrne, who brought the 71-year-old Italian to the Mater Hospital at 3am this morning when he continued to vomit.

It said Trapattoni would undergo tests at the hospital this morning, but is in a stable condition there. Assistant boss Marco Tardelli will take charge of training this morning at Malahide, allowing Trapattoni to rest up before tomorrow night’s game, which is the first international game to be held at the new Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road.

The statement said that Trapattoni attributed his illness to shellfish he ate in Italy before he left for Dublin.

Tomorrow night’s game is the first international game to be held at the new Aviva Stadium at Lansdowne Road.

USA coach Bob Bradley has been hotly tipped to take the reins at Aston Villa in the wake of the surprise departure of Martin O’Neill from the club yesterday afternoon.

The 52-year-old, who coached the Americans in the World Cup and led them to the top of their group which included England, yesterday said he would like to coach in Europe – directly in response to a question on the Villa job.

“I have said over and over as well that I am always excited about new and different challenges,” said Bradley.

Bradley was linked to the vacancy at Fulham before Mark Hughes was appointed to that job, and confirmed that his representatives had spoken to the club on his behalf while the job was still up for grabs.

He has since been installed as the bookies’ favourite to take the job, ahead of Sven-Goran Eriksson and Alan Curbishley. Bradley has, however, also been linked to the Honduras national side, and to a number of MLS vacancies.

Bradley said he was putting any thought of the Villa job out of his mind for the moment, however, with his US side taking on Brazil in a friendly tonight. He will discuss his future role with the national side with US Soccer after the match.

“From the end of the World Cup, I have said the same thing: There would be a period when both sides would assess. I think that’s normal,” Bradley said.

“I had a few discussions with US Soccer. This fixture date comes at a tricky time and so we agreed it was most important to get on and prepare for this date and then we would have some discussions following this game. That’s where it stands.”

It is still unknown as to why O’Neill vacated the job having shepherded the club through its entire pre-season schedule, though it is understood the Irishman had fallen out with the club’s owner, Randy Lerner, over the proposed sale of midfielder James Milner.

IN WHAT WILL be seen as a major shock, Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has quit the club with immediate effect.

The departure of the Derry native, who took charge of the club four years ago, was confirmed by the club this afternoon in an official statement.

O’Neill said:

I have enjoyed my time at Aston Villa immensely. It’s obviously a wrench to be leaving such a magnificent club.

I would like to pay tribute to the Villa players, my coaching staff and the Villa supporters for all the support and encouragement they have given both the club and me personally during my time as manager. I wish them all the best for the future.

I will obviously be assisting the club in the immediate short-term with regard to the handover of my duties.

The club’s chief executive, Paul Faulkner, thanked O’Neill for the “great work he has done” at the club and wished him the best for the future.

Kevin MacDonald has been named as caretaker manager ahead of the Villans’ season opener against West Ham this weekend.

O’Neill’s previous appointment before his reign at Villa Park was as manager of Celtic, where he won three SPL titles, three Scottish Cups and one League Cup in his five-year reign. He also brought the club to the final of the 2003 UEFA Cup.

WITH THE GAA season about to hit its climax and the English football season about to take pride of place on the back pages, it’s a good time of the year to have a look at the various sporting apps on offer.

Top of the list has to be Total Football (79c), an astonishing Irish-made app goes a step further and is an absolute must for any stat-obsessive fan.

This app, taking stats supplied by Opta Sports, tracks every single pass made in a game and can compare any two players’ performances in pretty much any two games you can think of. It even produces cloud-map style visualisations showing where individual players from any single team have been most effective on the pitch.

  • Livescore (free): From the makers of the popular updates service. Updated every minute (or even more quickly – you can change the settings accordingly), the app carries the latest scores from every conceivable league – including the Airtricity League – to keep fans updated on the move. Clicking into any individual league, you can even watch live updates of the league tables based on the results as they stand – a feature that could come in very handy towards the business end of the season.
  • (free) – For those more inclined to follow the fate of our own domestic brand of football, especially given Dublin’s continued involvement at the semi-final stage, comes this free app from Dublin’s sponsors Vodafone. Essentially an App edition of the Dublin County Board‘s website – traditionally one of the best among the counties – the app carries fixtures, news and results not just for the senior county team, but for club games too.
  • Fantasy Football Manager (€1.59) – Players of the official Fantasy Premier League game, of which there are likely to be three million this year, might find this app handy for keeping track of their squad on the go. This nifty and elegant app works with the official game, allowing you to manage teams, substitutions, captaincy, mini-leagues and all the rest on the go. It even manages multiple accounts.
  • Betfair (free) – Finally, for those more inclined to have a financial interest in sporting goings-on, comes the long-awaited official app from the Betfair betting exchange website. The app allows you to view live prices from any and all markets available on the site – from typical sports like soccer and horse racing down to fishing (seriously. fishing.) and even lets you withdraw your winnings – fingers crossed – on the go.

Appy Monday is’s weekly round-up of the latest and greatest in iPhone apps.

All links in this post open the appropriate app’s page on the iTunes Preview website.

GOOD NEWS for Arsenal fans. Club captain Cesc Fabregas has confirmed he will be staying at the club for this season, spurning the advances of Barcelona who had made a last-ditch 0ffer of €42m to lure the Catalan midfielder back to his first club.