No matter how much Mick McCarthy says it is not about completing unfinished business, his second coming as Republic of Ireland manager demands a happier ending than his first.
Nearly 17 years ago, after âfighting a war I never wantedâ with Roy Keane and suffering a bad start to the qualifiers for Euro 2004, McCarthy recognised he was still being scalded by the fires of rage ignited by the conflict with Keane so terminated his six-year reign. On Saturday, in Gibraltar, he starts anew, with time and increased exposure to Keane having softened many peopleâs views of McCarthy. A nation wants and needs him to do well.Continue reading... [ + ]
Peter Beardsley has been charged by the Football Association with using racist and abusive language towards youth team players during his time in charge of Newcastle Under-23s.
âIt is alleged Mr Beardsley used abusive and/or insulting words towards Newcastle United FC Under 23 players, which were contrary to FA Rule E3(1), whilst employed as their coach,â said a statement from the FA.Continue reading... [ + ]
Historians disagree over the extent to which the five-year occupation of the Netherlands by Germany in the second world war was responsible for the enmity that built up between the nations, but what is certain is that this World Cup final was the first competitive meeting between the teams since 1945. The Netherlands side featuring Johan Cruyff was still an emerging force, they did not really expect to beat their all-powerful opponents, although they did believe the English referee Jack Taylor was conned by Bernd HĂ¶lzenbein for the penalty that allowed West Germany to equalise, before Gerd MĂŒller scored the winning goal.Continue reading... [ + ]
The five-times Bundesliga champions find themselves fighting relegation and it is up to former midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger to rescue them, in the short and long term
It was proving to be a miserable Monday in Stuttgart. Overcast but cool conditions had given way to snow and then, around 10am, howling winds. Yet the mood among the locals was bright and upbeat, which was hardly surprising given events of the previous afternoon.
VfB Stuttgart 5 Hannover 1. A first victory in nine games for Markus Weinzierlâs side as well as their biggest of the season by some distance. Crucially, it was against fellow relegation candidates, fuelling hopes that Die Roten may stay up after all. Cue smiles and laughter among the 60 or so people who had braved the wintery weather in order to watch the players go through an open-to-public warm-down session at the clubâs training base, located on the east bank of the river Neckar and in the shadow of the 60,000-seater Mercedes-Benz Arena, named after the car manufacturer which, like Porsche, is a source of great pride as well as employment in the city.Continue reading... [ + ]
Just as he had done after every game, Sahib Abbas took the journey back to Karbala by bus. This time, however, there was no sign of his brother Fadhil. An amputee who had lost part of a leg during the Gulf War, his hobbling brother liked to quiz Sahib about the result as they made the 200-yard walk home, rejoicing with him when they won and commiserating when they lost. But, four matches into Sahibâs fledgling career with the top-division side Salahaddin, Fadhil was nowhere to be seen.
âThey came and took him a week ago,â explained Sahibâs mother when he arrived home. âTheyâ being the security officers. It had been only few months since Saddam Hussein ordered his army to invade neighbouring Kuwait before withdrawing under the pressure of the US-led coalition. President George Bush called on the Iraqi people to take matters into their own hands and force Saddam to step down. Along with his two brothers and a group of friends, the teenage Sahib would go out in his fatherâs Toyota Land Cruiser and attack checkpoints held by the army. But then the government declared a complete victory and Sahib was forced to flee for his life.Continue reading... [ + ]
Paris Saint-Germain have criticised the Metropolitan Police and Chelsea after several of their supporters were turned away from Thursday nightâs Champions League tie at Kingsmeadow.
A 2-0 victory for Emma Hayesâs side was marred by events beforehand when a group of PSGâs âultraâ supporters were turned away from the ground before kick-off, with police later confirming reports that they had confiscated knives and knuckledusters when they searched the fansâ coach. One man was also arrested for possession of a Class A substance but rather than condemn their supporters, a statement from PSG on Friday appeared to blame the police and Chelsea for not allowing them to watch the game.Continue reading... [ + ]
The disgraced former England international Adam Johnson has been released from prison after serving three years for child sex offences.
The former Sunderland and Manchester City winger was sentenced to six years for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan in 2016.
Witnesses said Johnsonâs father, Dave Johnson, was seen driving a Mercedes people carrier with blacked-out rear windows out of HMP Moorland, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in the early hours of Friday morning.
The vehicle was followed out of the prison complex by a police van. The same car was later spotted arriving at Johnsonâs mansion in Castle Eden, County Durham.
Fridayâs release comes exactly halfway through the playerâs six-year sentence.
Johnson admitted kissing the girl but denied her claim that he touched her inside her pants and that she then performed oral sex on him.
A jury found him guilty of sexual activity with a child in relation to âdigital penetrationâ but cleared him of the same offence relating to the oral sex.
He had already admitted another charge of sexual activity with a child in relation to kissing and also of grooming the girl.
The judge said Johnson had lied repeatedly, referring to the controversy over whether he delayed his guilty pleas to enable him to continue his ÂŁ60,000-a-week career with Sunderland.
As a sex offender, Johnson will have to register his address and bank details with police and inform officers of any intention to travel abroad.
The childrenâs services department from the local council may also carry out risk assessments in relation to Johnsonâs daughter Ayla, and could prevent Johnson from spending time alone with his daughter.
Speaking briefly at Johnsonâs home, his father agreed it was good to have him back. Mr Johnson said his son may make a statement later and asked reporters to leave.Continue reading... [ + ]
For Gareth Southgate it was a reminder that, however well he might have trained his players, however good the preparations have felt and reassuring it is to be back together, the life of the England manager is rarely straightforward.Continue reading... [ + ]
The Colombian tore his ACL last weekend. He brings back memories of a time when the game cared less about fitting players into boxes
In recent years, football has attempted to eliminate subjectivity. The rise of VAR is the most obvious example, but we also see playersâ movements tracked by GPS and statistics such as expected goals abound. The pure No10 â a player trusted to organize chaos and produce results from the unknown â is a casualty of our era.
Until Sunday, Juan Fernando Quintero was one of the few remaining creators still allowed to work at his own pace. He was at the top of his form last year, lifting River Plate to their fourth Copa Libertadores title. But just before halftime in a 3-0 win over Independiente last weekend, he tore his ACL as he tried to beat the opposing fullback. His career is by no means over but the 26-year-old will likely miss the rest of the season and this summerâs Copa America.Continue reading... [ + ]
The Scotland manager, Alex McLeish, said he was âpretty good at bouncing backâ as he brushed off questions over his future in the wake of his sideâs 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan.
McLeishâs team got their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign off to the worst possible start after losing two goals in the opening 10 minutes. They were three down before they forced the home goalkeeper into his only two saves, just before the hour.Continue reading... [ + ]
With record attendances, multimillion-pound sponsorship deals and global brand announcements, this has been a monumental week for womenâs football and Iâm excited to be involved in the next historic moment when Juventus face Fiorentina in the first Womenâs Serie A match to be held at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.Continue reading... [ + ]
âYouâd literally be playing out here and getting scraped up off the floor.â Bradley Woods-Garness is standing a few yards from one of the north London pitches that, when he was a youngster, tested mettle as much as skill. The five-a-side surface at Elthorne Park is now made of artificial turf, a far cry from the concrete that would shudder the bones of the Corinthian-Casuals forward and those who joined him. âThereâd be scars all over your knees,â he says. âBut we loved it.â
It is a chilly Sunday morning and, just behind him, a new generation is going through its own rite of footballing passage. Woods-Garness has returned with five of his oldest friends, all of whom cut their teeth in uncompromising surroundings here and at other venues around Islington. Each of them still lives locally. They could never have imagined it but all of them are international footballers now, playing for the same side, and they stand on the verge of something extraordinary.Continue reading... [ + ]
Declan Rice was forced to make a public apology on the eve of a potential England debut at Wembley after it emerged the West Ham midfielder had posted apparent support for the IRA on social media in 2015.
The midfielder was 16 and a member of the Republic of Irelandâs junior squads at the time of the Instagram comments in which he wrote âuptheraâ on one, and âmy brudda. UP THE RA. Wait Till We Draw Englandâ to a teammate on another.Continue reading... [ + ]
Jordan Pickford has defended his form before Englandâs opening Euro 2020 qualifier on Friday and said his error-strewn display at Newcastle, when he allowed the occasion âto get to me a little bit too muchâ, did not reflect recent performances for Everton.
The goalkeeper conceded a penalty at St Jamesâ Park â which he saved â before shipping three times in the second half. The 25-year-old had appeared to play up to the crowd, who subjected him to incessant reminders of his Sunderland roots.Continue reading... [ + ]
Where it began âŠ should Northern Irelandâs fanatical support, complete with recurring Sweet Caroline anthem, grace a second European Championship in succession, the nature of victory against Estonia in the opening qualifying fixture will not matter one bit. That does not make the win any less vital. Matches such as this can ruin a campaign before it is properly underway.
Northern Ireland fully merited three points from this Group C fixture but they had to scrap to secure them. For 55 minutes they huffed and puffed; thereafter came the kind of breakthrough that separates them from nations of similar size and resource.Continue reading... [ + ]