“We have not had a Northern Ireland player who has opted to play for the Republic of Ireland since I took over,” Michael O’Neill boasted, in a recent interview with the Sunday Times. “James McClean,” he said triumphantly, “was the last one.” O’Neill took the reins of the Northern Ireland team from a beleaguered Nigel Worthington in December 2011 following […]

“That was certainly one of those moments”

On the day that the Republic of Ireland face Germany in Euro 2016 qualification, it is only right to reminisce on that moment when 21-year-old Robbie Keane snatched a draw from Die Mannschaft at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan. Ironically, the goal itself represents an enduring victory for the reviled ‘Route One’ brand of football but, when all […]

Sporting administrator or celebrity?

The recent appearances of Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney in the media have been perplexing to say the least. An administrator at the head of a major Irish sporting body, he has suddenly morphed into a celebrity and one cannot help but view the grotesque transformation as a cynical ploy. In the immediate aftermath of the […]

The ‘real’ Roy Keane

Amid the inevitable furore and the tiresome lampooning that surrounded the launch of his new book, there were a few small moments in particular that revealed so much about Roy Keane. I had contacted Orion weeks in advance of the launch of The Second Half to enquire about potential serialisation only to be told that there would be none prior […]

Tremendous skill by Keane

A ball is lofted high into the area. Robbie Keane spots the pass and sets forth, determined. His run is timed perfectly; he’s got time and an abundance of space as the ball drops into his feet. What happens next is truly magnificent. Sensing the imminent threat of Tijuana’s defenders as they close in, Keane contorts his body. He appears […]