Road to Nowhere 2018


Yes it’s true. My friend’s kids play in NJ. The coaches of his kids are all professionals and run teams on a for profit basis. Capitalism baby.

They also poach players from teams. Get better kids, team is more successful, can charge parents more.






The US will find their development in association football is held back significantly until they develop an indigenous culture of street football and informal park football in the same way that they have such a culture for basketball. And they’ll find it even harder if such a pay to play system at organised underage level is the norm.

It goes against everything that youth sport should be. It’s not even like association football requires expensive equipment.


Top technique there from Falcao to keep his hand over his mouth so nobody would figure out what he was up to.


At the end of Holland v Sweden last night there was a lovely bonhomie with Swedish players walking over to Arjen Robben to commiserate with him on Holland’s elimination but congratulate him on his international career and his excellent performance in the game itself.

But the Swedish players still insisted on covering their mouth with their hands as they did so. :smile:


Great piece on the world class Arjen Robben


I’m contemplating attending the away leg of the playoffs wherever it may be. Can anyone tell me have Italy & Switzerland announced where they’ll be holding their home matches? Seem to be constantly moving stadiums. Croatia also played a game in Rijeka but you’d imagine the playoff will be in Zagreb. Denmark are Copenhagen all the time. CC @Sidney CC @Bandage CC @Nembo_Kid


Mick McCarthy only need a nod and a wink to the Dutch lads back in Italia 90


Italy will play in Udine.


@Julio_bandwaginio up to his old tricks


All aboard mate choo choo.


Would be astonished if Switzerland played anywhere other than St. Jakob Park. A Thursday night trip to Basel would be off the hook.


Guys, I had mixed up my recollection of our qualification campaigns where we came up against the Swiss twice in succession.

They were in our group for Euro 2004 qualification following the 2002 World Cup and the home defeat to them in October 2002 signalled the end of Mick McCarthy’s reign.

A 2-0 defeat to them away from home on the last matchday in Autumn 2003 confirmed our failure to advance. That was the game where Mark Kinsella fired a water bottle at their lad who was celebrating their second goal in front of the dug out. For some reason I thought this game was a 2006 World Cup qualifier.

Still under Brian Kerr, we drew with them 1-1 away from home in the following WC 2006 qualification group in September 2004. Clinton Morrison put us ahead early on in this game. I recall watching it upstairs in Messrs Maguires on Dublin’s quays and hearing the roar of celebration from those watching the screens downstairs before the ball struck the net around 5 seconds later on the screen we were watching it on. Similarly we knew when the Swiss equalised almost immediately. I think I left at half time to watch the game elsewhere.

But I had to look up the return fixture. I have no recollection of the 0-0 draw at home on the last matchday. The group ended France 20, Switzerland 18, Israel 18, Ireland 17 so that fucked us over along with the famous 2-2 draw at home to Israel after being 2-0 up and also conceding a last minute equaliser away to Israel. Does anyone remember the specifics of that last game against the Swiss?

We certainly owe them one.


The 0-0 draw was an awful drab game we had to win but never really looked like scoring. Wasn’t Robbie Keane was subbed off for Stephen when we needed a goal later on


the 2-2 draw with Israel was the famous Dudu Auoate match wasn’t it? I attended that game with an Israeli supporter who had a jolly good time at it. Between that and heckling the Sinn Fein fellows outside who were holding Palestinian banners. I think it was the only time I attended an Irish international soccer match.


It was indeed. Think there were reports of him getting a drink poured over him back at the team hotel that night or something.


Yeah it was an terrible game. The feeling of dread as the minutes ticked on was rotten, the inevitability of the 0-0 setting in


The 0-0 draw in the 2006 campaign was the game that made me fall out of love with the Ireland MNT.

If I recall correctly, that was the game where there was the toxic debate about whether Robbie should be dropped? And wasn’t he booed as he was substituted in the second half?


I recall a newspaper article summing up the atmosphere in Dublin pubs for the Eire Germany game in 2002. The writer was watching it in Messrs Maguires and described the exact same time delay glitch you describe here, where the writer knew some seconds in advance of him seeing it that Eire had equalised. I made a mental note to never watch a game in Messrs Maguires after reading that article.

But I had that very experience for Jonathan Walters’ equaliser in this year’s Eire-Austria qualifier as I found myself stuck in an area of PJ’s pub in Salthill which had a delayed picture in comparison to the res of the pub.

The Clonliffe House also had a similar problem for this year’s All-Ireland football final, with those who were looking at the smaller televisions behind the bar, like myself, knowing of scores a few seconds in advance of the majority of the pub who were watching on two big screens.

I found this quite annoying during the first half, but thankfully it wasn’t a problem for me during the second half, as I had managed to place myself in a free seat in the upper deck of the Cusack Stand by then.

I attended this as I did all home fixtures at the time. Eire had an injury-weakened team, Roy Keane had as it turned out played his final international and I think both Robbie Keane and Damien Duff were also out. It was a very unmemorable game with a subdued atmosphere and it had 0-0 written all over it from a long way out. Shay Given made a good save in a one on one situation with about 10 minutes left but that is about the only incident I can remember from it.