Progress for football

On Saturday Linfield won the Irish Cup in front of a sell-out crowd and swept the local trophies with only two defeats in the entire season (Yes I am a blues fan). Whatever the movable row that is the IFA leadership, the football on the pitch seems to be improving as more teams continue the transition from part-time to full-time professional. Also the BBC and IFA have announced a deal for NI home games in the European qualifiers and friendlies to be televised.

  • dodrade

    “the football on the pitch seems to be improving as more teams continue the transition from part-time to full-time professional.”

    Funny, it wasn’t long ago people were saying the future of the Irish League was going amateur.

  • Mike

    Shocking display from the Glens in the second half – once they conceded that equaliser, just before half time, they were psychologically beaten, unfortunately.

  • Pattila the Hun
  • IJP

    No doubt there have been positive moves for the local game.

    However, I thought the game was of a decidedly low quality, bordering on schoolboy on occasions with the midfield moving as a bunch.

    And there was an incident where a coin appeared to hit one of the Linfield players.

    So let us be under no illusions: facing the low quality of the local league, the ludicrous failure to make basic decisions of the IFA Board, and ongoing daft decisions (e.g. not having a U21 team competing in the last qualifiers), there is still a very long way to go.

    Radical ideas would include:
    – slimming down the IFA Board;
    – summer football, with winter used for an inter-club and/or inter-county five-a-side event at the Odyssey (aimed at improving technique);
    – a deal with some broadcaster to show Irish Cup Final across the UK and Ireland (Welsh Cup Final and equivalent in the Republic are available on Sky);
    – investing even more in youth; and
    – a new stadium (anywhere in Greater Belfast will do!).

    An ‘all-Celtic’ competition along the lines of the Scandinavian ‘Royal Cup’ (except not called that!!) would be an idea to raise the standard too.

    Many more things would be required too, no doubt. It’s a heck of a long way back, and we’re nowhere near it yet.

  • Ziznivy

    Shocking display from the Glens in the second half – once they conceded that equaliser, just before half time, they were psychologically beaten, unfortunately.
    Posted by Mike on May 08, 2006 @ 07:01 PM

    Absolutely Mike. I was shocked by how bad they were in the second half. The brand of football they seem to be playing isn’t wonderful to watch either. As a Ballymena fan I hadn’t seen them play since Windy took over so I hope it’s not indicative of his favoured style of play. They were crying out for a bit of width as well.

    Anyway, a good crowd and they seemed to be well behaved as well.

    Oh and kudos to the Glenman who kept handing me back his hip-flask! 🙂

  • Realist

    A never to be forgotten season for Linfield Football Club.

    Congratulations to “Big Daisey” (aka Rock DJ) and his magnificant staff.

    To all the Glenmen on here – I feel your pain 🙂

  • ingram

    Pub Football is a higher quality, it was like watching gangs roaming around a football pitch.

    I will revert to my home country for the period of the world cup. LOL

    Football is coming home.

  • elfinto

    I never knew you were German, Marty.

  • iluvni

    yer oul arse, Ingram.
    The game was competitive and honest.
    No diving or big jessies lying about the pitch gurning…(except a couple of times but what do you expect from the Glentoran girls).
    Proper football.

    Great result for Linfield as well to round off a wonderful season.

    (does that Tony Fearon eejit ever appear on Slugger? I’m looking forward to his next letter in the Belfast Telegraph explaining why his 28000 crowd prediction for the match at Casement was about 20000 out)

  • Keith M

    Some excellent suggestions there IJP. An “All Celtic” cup could be good, but I wouldn’t necessarilly exclude Championship sides from England.

  • Harry O

    Football in the North is sectarian, and the sight of those thugs on Saturday singing kick the Pope songs should not be tolerated.
    Soccer in the north should be ordered to wind up.

  • dantheman

    Still no doubts as to which gets the bigger crowds, soccer or GAA. Biggest day in the NI sporting calendar my hole

  • Tochais Siorai

    A better one – drop all the jaded league cups in Britain and Ireland which no-one gives a shite about anyway and replace with a British-Irish Cup (don’t tell me Sky couldn’t hype this one) – Layered entry e.g premiership & old firm etc don’t join til the later stages, championship teams join a round before etc. etc.

    An all-Ireland league is a no-brainer, it’d improve standards in Ireland (esp in the Irish League, where do Linfield go from here? I didn’t realise how bad it was until the Setanta, would Portadown & Dungannon survive in the National League Premier? – Doubtful).

    There ye go, an east-west and a north-south dimension. Have a nice day.

  • Northsider

    Agree with Mike et al. Glens were very poor in the second half, and didn’t mount a meaningful attack on the Blues goal once. I don’t support a local team, but I do like to see the Glens do well.

    I don’t know if this is just being ill-disposed to Linfield because of some of their less savoury and vocal sectarian supporters, or just cos I cannot abide David ‘We Are The People’ Jeffrey.

    Furthermore, watched BBC coverage and although Jackie was Jackie, I’m sure I could have dragged someone in off the street who would have provided more insight than that provided by Managerus Dinosaurus AKA Marty Quinn.

    Nevertheless, joy was to be had the following day watching Arsenal pip the Sp*ds to the fourth Champions League place. Food poisoning? Food schmoisoning?

    It only affected the players, however they all ate at a buffet. Methinks it was a case of pre-match nerves, getting excuses in early, and trying to wipe the eye of the Premier League…

  • IJP

    Indeed, Keith – it could work quite neatly:
    – Winner and runner-up in League FA Trophy (Swansea and Carlisle this year);- Winner and runner-up in the Scottish CIS Cup;
    – Winner of the Welsh Cup;
    – Winner of the Irish Cup;
    – Winner of the League of Ireland Cup;
    – Winner of the Setanta Cup.

    Or something like that.

  • Realist

    “Soccer in the north should be ordered to wind up”

    Yip, what a brilliant idea.

    We’ll shut down Rangers & Celtic Football Clubs too whilst we’re at it.

    Give in to secterianism…yeah, way to go.

    Victory to the scumbags.

  • Pattila the Hun

    I think you know as well as I do, Harry O’s real identity.
    Let him have his idiotic little rants.
    It’s only you that pays any attention to him anymore, for everyone else he’s a laughing stock.

  • ct

    Somebody has acutally posted the “no diving” line. Like everyone else I find the ancient artifice of diving an irritation and a blight on the game but could you imagine a Champions League for example restricted to teams from leagues where the best you could say for them is that they don’t dive? The most depressing aspect of football these days is the relatively low numbers making it into the big teams in England.

  • david

    I suppose fans waving orange order flags rather than uda/uvf flags, could be regarded as progress.

  • elfinto

    Slightly off topic but here are some photos to warm the cockles of your heart.

  • Pattila the Hun

    Yes indeed, looks like the Bhoys have really endeared themselves to the Manchester locals;)

  • Realist

    “I suppose fans waving orange order flags rather than uda/uvf flags, could be regarded as progress”

    Out of curiousity, how many Orange Order flags did you see David?

    I noticed one myself in the Kop Stand (at least I think it was an OO flag?). Linfield had 6,500 fans at the game.

  • DK


    Best quote from that Man Utd site: “Anyone who has sympathy with any of the Republican or Unionist crap is a grade A cunt, end of”

    Almost makes you want to support Man Utd.

  • Patilla

    Yeah, almost;)

  • Yokel

    Harry O

    Wise up and get with the real world…its a much better way to live.