Monday, August 14, 2006

Don't mention the WAR!

As part of the new and improved An Smuigin - we will now be running a section called Dont mention the WAR! - a slanted view at the last few days big sports stories!!

All comments aired...all other mentions welcomed!!

Liverpool win Community Shield!

I think I preferred it when it was called the charity shield. As a spectacle, it wasn't much to write home about. Shevchenko looks a class act, Chelsea's other big name signing Ballack looks like he doesn't have the stomach for premiership style midfield battle and Liverpool look pretty decent, despite the limited transfer budget their new signings all look the part.

Leitrim Footballers reach Croker in Tommy Murphy

After a 12 year wait at senior level, Leitrim are back in Croke Park in two weeks when they take on the men from the wee county (Louth) in the Tommy Murphy Cup final. Louth have been the most improved team of 2006 and it makes for a great final as recent encounters between the two teams have always been close fought affairs. Many of this current Leitrim senior team were part of the Minor side for 1998 who played Tyrone in Croke Park in the All Ireland Minor semi final so the trip may not be as daunting as many predict.

Is this the end of Clare Hurling?

After defeat by Kilkenny on Sunday many of this current Clare team are now surely looking at closing the book on their inter-county careers. After ten years of hurling at the highest level the lack of decent underage hurlers could spell the end for Clare hurling at least temporarily from hurlings top tier!

European Silver for Derval

After so much failure in athletics over the last number of years, it was brilliant to see Derval O'Rourke capture second place in the European championships in Gothenburg. The home nations continued success at these championships does beg the question why our own country cannot produce a greater number of athletes in Derval's mould who can genuinely compete.

Falling on Sven's Sword

Poor old Beckham, like him or love him. He didn't deserve to have his international career ended as a result of the bumbling Swede. Probably the greatest dead ball expert of his generation, Smuigin wonders will he ever be remembered as a great footballer with a high profile, or a high profile who was a decent footballer.

The Dubs arrive late AGAIN

No other sporting event in Europe would have been delayed for 15mins because of crowd delay. Simple Fact. Yet time and time again, the GAA on the behest of the Gardai are forced to delay the start time of Dublin matches. This is simply not on and is completely unfair on the opposition and their traveling fans. What will happen if Dublin gets to an All Ireland Final..will that be delayed also. An Smugin suggests that Croker fine Dublin County Board for last wkd and maybe then the message will get through.


Anonymous said...

Beckham deserved to be axed..shouldnt have even gone to the World Cup..all to do with sponsors for the English FA..good riddence!

daithi said...

Clare hurling finished? We'll have to see about that. The media are always quick to focus on the future (or lack thereof) of the bigger names whenever we're knocked out of the Championship.

Derek Quinn and Jonathan Clancy have only really come into the team this year and have slotted nicely into one of the top four sides in the country. Brian O'Connell had a great season (his first in the half-back line) and none of the criticism of the full-back line has been aimed at the junior partner, Gerry O'Grady. The forwards are far better now than they were back in the days when the defensive unit was so strong that Jamesie plus 5 A.N. Others was enough to win games, and none of those forwards are being seriously linked with retirement.

The most likely departures are Brian Lohan, Seanie and Lynch. Diarmuid McMahon has acquitted himself well in midfield in the Championship before, and anyway Lynch only plays half the game these days. Frank Lohan is a more than capable full-back, so the loss there won't be so severe. The biggest problem could be at centre-back. Plunkett? Move Gerry Quinn there and Hoey in at 7? Who knows? We've a whole league campaign to figure it out, I suppose.

It will be particularly interesting to see if the lads that have been quietly gaining experience over the last few years can cope with the added responsibility, now that there'll be fewer high profile older players to spare them from the limelight.