By Brendan Boylan, In one way, one seven day period changed Soccer as we knew it forever more. There’s no way, you see, to sugar coat the fact that Manchester City and Chelsea bought their way to the trophies they recently accrued. That said, it would be unfair to make that the sole judgement in either case. City played as mesmeric a style of football as was seen since Arsenal were at their zenith under Arsene Wenger. Arsene Wenger That’s starting to seem like a long time ago now.To dwell on the monetary ingredient devalues sporting skill. In most cases, … Continue reading There are still a few good men
By Brendan Boylan, Earlier this year, the opinion was expressed that replacing Declan Kidney as Irish Rugby coach wasn’t the way to go. One of the great things about sports writing, however, is that things are always evolving in sport, thus, opinions can change. There are also times when you have to admit you have been wrong and look at things from another angle. Declan Kidney The aforementioned supremo hasn’t gone down in this corner’s estimation – he couldn’t possibly when one considers what he’s achieved with Munster and Ireland. But, time waits for nobody and, as this season progressed, … Continue reading Feelings shelved for the greater good
By Brendan Boylan,After Meath won the All Ireland in 1996, Brendan Reilly’s father, Jim, himself a Celtic cross winner in 1954, set me an unusual challenge – pick that year’s All Star team without Meath men! Naturally, it was a difficult task because – having tasted glory – instinct would have been to flood the selection with our own. Now read on… Picking your favourites at this or that is, of course, a bit futile, because it’s all opinion. You’ll only go on what you’ve seen yourself and one spectator’s view will generally differ from another. Jim’s idea was a … Continue reading Fun, but a stark eye opener as well
By Brendan Boylan, There’s a school of thought which suggests the first of everything is always the best. Now, the dying embers of the Premiership season just finished might scotch that theory a little, but a broader appraisal of the situation might still prove it true. In the immediate aftermath of Sergio Aguero’s sensational salvation of the title for Manchester City, the obvious comparison was drawn between the conclusion of their season and that of their neighbours in the European Cup Final of 1999. Sergio Aguero. English domestic competition has seen similar conclusions in the past too. There was Mickey … Continue reading Fundamentals are the same worldwide
By Brendan Boylan, The Munster Hurling Final is rightly regarded by many as the greatest sporting occasion that occurs in this country every year. For a multiplicity of reasons too, from the enthralling action that transpires on the pitch, to the electrifying atmosphere that tends to ensue within the ground and the unbeatable buzz that tends to take hold wherever the match is. Most especially so in Thurles however. Maybe therein lies the reason for Lar Corbett’s ‘retirement’ – you’d have to wonder how things manage to keep going in his hostelry with him out on the pitch! Lar Corbett … Continue reading Do the GAA appreciate what they have?
By Brendan Boylan,As well as an extensive reading library of mostly sports biographies, yours truly also keeps a fairly large library of videos and DVDS of sporting action. Contained therein is a variety from GAA, soccer, rugby, racing, basketball and boxing, and maybe more. Also there is a collection of Jimmy Magee’s favourite sporting memories to mark the legendary broadcaster’s 50th year commentating on sport. There are some real gems within. Like the penalty shoot-out in Genoa in 1990, Michael Carruth’s Olympic gold and Stephen Roche’s annexation of the Tour De France in 1987. Then there’s that never to be … Continue reading Sedate pace, but no room to age with grace!