bill_o_herlihy

SAVING PAVEE POINT THE PRICE OF ONE  CHRISTMAS CARD

The first blow of a disappointing night at Croker came when Billo realised the  visitors’  warm-up hadn’t erupted into  an all-in bare-knuckle bout:

“Look at the French there. It doesn’t look like they are fighting like tinkers.”

ON THE PULSE

In the lead up to the Ireland-France first leg, the nation’s broadcasters had their research teams on high alert:

“Do away goals count double?” enquired Ivan Yates, reminding us to check Celtic Bookmakers for prices. But not to worry, Gilesy was on hand:

“Ahhh, I’d say they probably do, yeah.”

EOIN-GOAL

On RTE Radio 1, at least Eoin Hand seemed vaguely aware that some class of away goals rule existed, even if he wasn’t entirely sure how it worked. Pressed for his perfect result, Eoin ventured:

“I think 2-1, but 1-0 would be good as well.”

REWRITING HISTORY

And Ronnie Whelan clearly paid little attention to the 5-0 pasting Brian Kerr’s lads took in  Paris  last month:

“The French  struggled to beat the  Faroe Islands  twice.”

SHOCK COMEBACK

Best of all was Graham Kavanagh on Newstalk, who reckoned the French had “…Lilian Laslandes  in midfield.”

Lilian “You sir, are an idiot” Laslandes is, of course, a striker. He retired  last year. He is 38.

UP THE BACK STICK

One French journalist  feared some of Les Bleus  might  be sweet-talked into  dropping their defences:

“Maybe they will fear the  Croke  Park  atmosphere and maybe they will be pregnant.”

UNCLEAR BILL OF HEALTH

At least the worries over Damien Duff had  passed, despite some mixed messages from Roy Hodgson:

“I will ask the medical staff to take as long as they need to try to get him back into shape as quickly as they can.”

TIME AND SPACED

Standards remained high in the RTE studio.  According to Eamo,  William Gallas’ strop from February 2008  has sparked the longest fallout in history:

“This cost Arsenal the championship last season.”
At least a bearded Souness got a little closer:

“It’s a charity thing for the month of August.”

UNBELIEVABLE BELIEF

Grilling Robbie Keane on Sky afterwards, reporter Andy Burton was particularly determined to get to the bottom of our belief levels:

“When you said  your  team-mates had to believe, did you get the sense that they believed you that they had to believe.”

LAID BARE

The starkest verdict of the weekend came on Newstalk. We think it might have been Paddy Mulligan:

“Sean St Ledger should have gone full frontal, didn’t go full frontal.”

EASY MISTAKE

Meanwhile in  Qatar, Fox  Soccer Channel  commentator Nick Webster produced an early contender for least explicable gaffe of the season:

“Brilliant play from Liverpool…  excuse me,  Brazil.”

TAYLOR-MADE GUFF

Gentlemen Graham Taylor continues to see the good in everyone:

“Of course mistakes are made – some are even accidental.”

MARK MY WORDS

It’s when a game is scoreless that Lawro’s wealth of experience and know-how comes in most useful:

“At this level you’ve got to score goals to win matches.”

MATHS A GRAY AREA

You can nearly always count on  Andy Gray:

“I think if you asked the other 19 managers who would they choose,  ten  would take Anelka  and Drogba and ten  would take Rooney and Berbatov.”

“IBRACADABRA”

The incomparable Ray Hudson  is all a flutter for Zlatan

“When you see a goal like that, it’s like two beautiful birds singing in my ribcage.”

Spotter’s badge to Dan Carey

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