Irish fans in for Premier treat this season

Irish fans of the Premier League will have much to discuss this season with the arrival of Lawrie Sanchez and Roy Keane to the elite division as Irish managers with plenty of Irish faces amongst their squads (here and here.) It looks like local fans will be adopting either Sunderland or Fulham as their 2nd (and 3rd?) teams this season- incidentally, it would be interesting to know if sales of replica shirts across Ireland from these two clubs with little recent history of Irish support have surged in recent times.
Sanchez has wasted no time in bringing four of his international players alongwith him, whilst Keane has a hatful of Irish players at Sunderland, all of which can only be good news for their respective international managers ahead of the crucial international fixtures this Autumn. So, any predictions for the year ahead, Sluggerites?

  • wee p

    It is entirely deserving that more NI players are in the Premiership given their superb international form. Interested to hear if the fact that 4 are playing for the same team will have a positive or negative impact on the international team.

  • ally

    Maybe we’ll have Fulham flags flying on the lamp-posts alonside Are We A Country? flags in time for next year’s Twelfth.

  • Yer Woman

    Enough of this football nonsense, what I want to know is who’d win a fight between Sanchez and Keane?

  • Prince Eoghan

    D’ye fancy takin oan the winner yirsel, yer wummin? Ya saucy thing ye!

  • George

    I have to say I’ll be betting on Fulham to be relegated.

    15/8 for Lawrie’s boys as opposed to 7/2 for Roy’s lot.

    I just don’t think Sanchez can replicate the steely mood he managed with Northern Ireland with Fulham.

  • William Cosgrave

    Im sorry to say this, and admitedly I do actually watch Northern Ireland matches in the hope they lose so I may just be biased, but Sanchez is not a good manager. He will not last in the premier league. Former players hammer his training exercises, while he may have signed decent solid pros his purchases lack any sort of imagination, and anybody who seen a Fulham match at the tail end of last season should realise they need a far higher quality of player to sustain a decent premiership campaign week-in week-out. Fulham (through pride and idiocy) and Wigan (through no-ones fault) have both lost very talented young managers, and I can’t see the new guys in charge making a decent hash of it. Depending on if either of these appoints somebody who has a radical impact during the season, they will be joining derby county in the championship next year

  • George

    William Cosgrave,
    Derby, Wigan and Fulham to be relegated at 14/1. Worth a punt I think.

  • neill armstrong

    Of course Sunderland will still up with their top class players Richardson springs to mind… no Roy Keane will be exposed for what he is a rookie manager who has never had a rough time as a manager, that will change soon…

  • fullpoint

    Sunderland have already experienced quiet a bit of attention from Ireland in the last year (even though still in the Championship) with the club being owned by an Irish consortium, Niall Quinn as Chairman and of course the icing on the cake, Roy Keane as manager. Sunderland City have already commented on the increase of visitors from ROI over the last year. No doubt Fulham will get a large influx of NI fans, but probably more difficult to assess.

    Neill Armstrong – it was nothing short of phenomenal for Sunderland to win the Championship last season (rookie manager or not with no experience of that particular league!) with the headstart they gave everyone else, losing first 4 league games and no pre-season. Only two of their squad that started the season finished in their first XI team and they now play nice, attractive football (not hoof ball). Keane off-loaded and brought in new players with a total spend of £1m – not bad for a rookie team of Quinn & Keane. Even Keane admitted it was rough going the first few months. I’m looking forward to the Premiership next season – as Keane himself has said, the Premiership is a new challenge – but Keane will relish it and he will have his players mentally correct.

    Good luck to NI for Euro qualification – up to now they were a bit of an unknown quantity – not anymore.

  • Of course Sunderland will still up with their top class players Richardson springs to mind

    I nearly choked on my toast when I first read that!!

    Despite signing Richardson, I think Sunderland will probably stay up; problem (for Sunderland fans) is if Keane delivers too much success then the odds of him eventually heading off on a managerial dream ticket (with Saint Eric, naturellment) to Old Trafford shorten.

    Im sorry to say this, and admitedly I do actually watch Northern Ireland matches in the hope they lose so I may just be biased, but Sanchez is not a good manager

    It must have been a hard last couple of years for you then William! Considering what he’s achieved here with very limited resources, it’s silly to say Sanchez is not a good manager. Not cut out for the grind and pressures of Premier club management may be closer to the truth. The squad remains weak (although Healy and Davis have now got the chance to prove themselves at club level and they’ve nobody to blame but themsleves if they don’t take it) and his Chairman is a Class A Nutter- I think the future looks bleak for Lawrie.

  • fullpoint

    Oneill, Richardson has a lot to prove now, he is young and he did very well when on loan to West Brom (basically saving them from relegation a few years ago). Fair dues to him going to Sunderland considering Keane had a right (public) go at him at Utd. over his attitude.

    I agree with you about Sanchez, the future does not look good with as you say that “Class A Nutter” as a Chairman.

    It will be interesting to see where Jonny Evans goes if Sir Alex sends him (as expected) out on loan next season!

  • Realistically I think Sunderland have the resources to stay up and as much as I detest Keane, he does have the winning mentality that will see his team overachieve.

    Sanchez hasn’t been without backing from the “Class A hutter” so far, but his challenge will be to gel the side almost instantanoeusly. I simply don’t foresee either supporters or chairman having much patience.

    That said, given the backing, I think Sanchez will keep Fulham safe and possibly have them in the lower reaches of mid-table.

  • Yokel

    Lawrie Sanchez isnt a mug and his choice of NI players makes sense.

    Still though, too many NI players at Fulham, not exactly the most secure of teams.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Fair dues to him going to Sunderland considering Keane had a right (public) go at him at Utd. over his attitude.< < So it's not just the more famous relation from big brother who has attitude problems. I can only imagine that their family gatherings would make my mob's annual punch-ups look lame! >>Derby, Wigan and Fulham to be relegated at 14/1. Worth a punt I think.<< Derby won't be relegated George, their manager is a former disciple of ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown. Steady as she goes will be the theme, won't win fuck all, but won't be relegated either I reckon. Watch out for plenty of boring fitba down Derby way. Remember Sunderland went from the bottom three in the English championship to promotion, no mean feat. And one that will buy Keane a second and third chance even if he messes up at Sunderland. I'd agree with those who reckon that Fulham is a poisoned chalice, but Sanchez should give them a fighting chance.

  • J J bee

    Judging by the number of Sund-ireland shirts on sale at sportsworld, there is an increased market.

    I also note that iro of the travel companies who do packages to old trafford (Prices vary, although the package is the same) that the game against Sunderland now costs as much as Chelsea, Arsenal, and Liverpool

  • Pól

    Has no one pointed out Chris Donnellys double standards yet? Surely he only posts things which advance his republican agenda?

    It is a disgrace that no other slugger posters have seen this. It must all be a republican conspiracy.

  • Chris Donnelly

    Pol

    LOL! I’m still awaiting the appearance of our much-loved (and troubled) friend on this thread….

  • Johnny B Good

    Fulham will see fewer N.Irish visitors than Sunderland will see Irish fans. The reason is simple the N.Irish fans would much prefer to travel to Ibrox a spew out their sectarian bile from the stands. Also note, Celtic fans do this too.

  • Ziznivy

    “Has no one pointed out Chris Donnellys double standards yet? Surely he only posts things which advance his republican agenda?”

    As long as the lads don’t start an Orange Lodge in the dressing room.

  • Fulham Relegated- Absence of N.Irish fans spewing out their sectarian bile from the stands to blame?

    I don’t know, that has a ring of a Donnelly post-title and a Fahed conspiracy about it;)

  • Prince Eoghan

    Johnny B Good

    I think that you will find that Celtic fans leave the spewing out of sectarian bile to the experts. Oh we do have a paltry few wanabee’s, but they just wouldn’t have the class, the dexterity of imagination to compete with our erstwhile countrymen across the city.

  • Ziznivy

    Please don’t let this become a fecking Hun – Tim debate.

  • Token Dissent

    There are dangers in Lawrie’s Norn Iron-centric transfer policy, including the possibility of a clique developing. But if you consider Fulham’s signings on an individual basis they make sense. Hughes is a decent Premiership defender and has shown superb leadership with NI. Baird is a reliable full-back, who can also provide cover in midfield. Healy looks like a risk, but at 1.5m and with his past (sensational) achievements with Lawrie the signing is well worth it. The best signing however is Steven Davis, he has the potential to be a top player.

    As for Keano, it would be great for football if he succeeds. He conducts himself superbly, and demands high-standards from his players. Sunderland’s fans also deserve a top team. I also applaud Keane’s signing of solely British and Irish talent. Its a shame that Jonny Evans isn’t staying put.

    Fulham and Sunderland are certainly my second and third teams this season.

  • Johnny B Good

    “Fulham and Sunderland are certainly my second and third teams this season.
    Posted by Token Dissent”

    May I know who is your first team?

  • Ziznivy

    “He conducts himself superbly”

    He is a psychopathic, alcoholic corner-boy.

  • mark

    ‘He is a psychopathic, alcoholic corner-boy.’

    ziz

    Didn’t you write the article on owc calling him a gypsy & the Irish fans beggars a couple of years ago

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>lease don’t let this become a fecking Hun – Tim debate.<< In contrast you go into Gypsy - bigoted hun mode! Who says Unionists don't do hypocrisy ;¬)

  • Ringo

    whilst Keane has a hatful of Irish players at Sunderland, all of which can only be good news for their respective international managers ahead of the crucial international fixtures this Autumn

    Don’t think Mad Stanley would necessarily agree with that.

    I think both managers are shrewd, but while Fulham choose Sanchez, Keane chose Sunderland. Keane has a better platform for success in the medium term. He is calling the shots in Sunderland, while the ‘nutter’ is calling the shots in Fulham – much more unstable. That said, I’d predict both to stay up and be safe enough by April.

  • Ziznivy

    “In contrast you go into Gypsy – bigoted hun mode! Who says Unionists don’t do hypocrisy ;¬) ”

    Detesting the man, his violent assaults on other players, his despicable and racist attitude to his international manager and his various other pronouncements doesn’t make me a bigot or a hun.

    I’d say the same about Cantona (minus the alcohol).

  • New Hammer

    There is a third option

    West Ham United

    Bellamy, Pride of the Lower Ormeau.

  • Token Dissent

    Johnny – for my sins I am a follower of Tottenham. (Champions League qualification a distinct possibility this season!) When I said “second and third teams” I meant in the English Premier League. A certain Sky Blue team closer to home is far more important. And I hope that Spurs thump both Keano and Lawrie home and away this season.

    Ziznivy – you obviously didn’t see much of Sunderland last season, or hear many of Keane’s interviews as a manager.

  • Johnny B Good

    Ziznivy, what team(s) do you support?

  • EGGY

    I’m forever blowing bubbles.

    I have seen belamy on you-tube

    cfc/whu

  • I have seen belamy on you-tube

    Was that the one where he was allegedly in The Hatfield (although there was a flag above the bar that would seem to have suggested otherwise;)).

    And where he was caught allegedly drinking with the guy who had a pop-shot at Johnny Adair at the UB4o concert in Botanic a few years back?

    Which would have been a brilliant piece of gossip, if it wasn’t for the fact that the guy in question had been shot dead himself a couple of years ago!!!!

    I see it’s now been made “private viewers only” on you tube.

    Football rumours on the internet…about as much credibility as a Man City title run.

  • Rosey

    o.neill

    What are you talking about?

    I typed bellamy and Hatfield into you youtube

  • Ziznivy

    “Ziznivy, what team(s) do you support?”

    Tooting and Mitchem Athletic.

  • Grimesy

    It was The Rose & Crown that Bellamy was in last Feb, not The Hat (which is 4 doors up)

  • Rosey.
    Got it.
    Heh!
    Thankfully he left his putter at home this time;)

  • Johnny B Good

    Ziznivy, I put it to you that you are a Liverpool supporter.

  • Brian D’escartassat

    Sunderland will achieve mid-table status quite comfortably I think – maybe even challenge for a European place, although I think that’s a bit unrealistic, but you never know.

    Fulham will be battling against relegation from September 1st. End of story.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    ‘…his despicable and racist attitude to his international manager…’

    What’s that about, Ziznivy?

  • Tochais Síoraí

    I can understand the despicable but where does the racist come in?

  • allybo

    Ziznivy,
    Seeing as you are so clued in about racism, is calling someone a beggar and a gypsy ok just because they are from the southern part of Ireland?

  • concerned woodkerne lover

    Ziznivy is a evil bigot who deserves to have is balls cut of by rabid linfield fans

  • allybo

    I didn’t know he had any balls.

  • Doctor Who

    Wasn´t it Keane that called his international team manager and one of his Sunderland predecessors an English bastard.

    The gypsy beggar.

  • iluvni

    Im sorry to say this, and admitedly I do actually watch Northern Ireland matches in the hope they lose so I may just be biased, but Sanchez is not a good manager. blahblahbalh….

    Posted by William Cosgrave on Jul 16, 2007 @ 10:40 PM

    On this occasion, a yellow card would be well worth receiving to permit me the opportunity to call Cosgrove an arsehole.

  • rab

    ‘On this occasion, a yellow card would be well worth receiving to permit me the opportunity to call Cosgrove an arsehole.’

    Perhaps wc isn’t keen on having to shout ‘no surrender’ during the english anthem at windsor or perhaps he was just unhappy about n.i football fans intimidating their Catholic neighbours with their paramilitary & owc flags.

    Or maybe he just couldn’t be bothered learning the words of the sash.

    Who knows !!

  • Donnacha

    Aw, for fuck’s sake. I thought for a minute this was a thread about the relative chances of Fulham and the Maccems next season, but no, no, it turned into a “NI are a a loyalist team” thread, yet AGAIN. I await for the “GAA are terrorists” post with a certain fatalistic resignation. ANd by the way to try to get this back on track, I think Keane will do OK or better with Sunderland, but poor Lawrie is pushing it uphill with a fork at Craven Cottage. Championship footie for them next season, along with Wigan and probably Middlesborough.

  • David

    Good for you Token Dissent. At least someone here wants to see success for both. Personally I am a Sanchez fan who respects Keane. So I hope they both succeed. And as for watching Northern Ireland hoping that to see them lose…..my god William Cosgrove. You know I support Rangers but still wanted Celtic to win UEFA cup a few years back. And in 1990 I enjoyed that penalty shoot out.
    Always remember one comment made to me at Ibrox….
    ‘I’m too busy lovin Rangers to hate Celtic’.

    That was a smart man.

  • Realist

    “I do actually watch Northern Ireland matches in the hope they lose”

    WC,

    Not quite the same, fulfilling, hobby it used to be! 🙂

    Spain and Sweden games must have been hell for you.

  • Prince Eoghan

    >>Always remember one comment made to me at Ibrox….
    ‘I’m too busy lovin Rangers to hate Celtic’.

    That was a smart man.
    Posted by David on Jul 18, 2007 @ 07:52 AM<< I'd agree that there are a large contingent of Rangers fans moving away from past indelicacies, Rangers will be the better for it. I know one Rangers fan who absolutely detests the plethora of England tops and flags on show at Rangers games. As if somehow wearing an England top a la mad dog Adair somehow shows how proud to be British you are. His anti-sectarian credentials are plain to see, his Catholic wife is the sole Celtic fan against him and his Catholic children who are out and out huns, ie Rangers fans. Times are changing, and for the better!

  • Pounder

    I’d like to see Lawrie do well. He made Our Wee Country into giant killers. Personally I don’t blame him for leaving NI, as a number of fans do. After the way he was treated over the iceland game I’d have expected him to leave there and then. Good luck to them.

    Personally I can’t stand Roy Keane. He is a thug and an animal, who in his autobiography joyfully admited to ending another professionals career. However he did serve under two very capable managers in Brian Clough and Alex Ferguson, from the results he’s had it does seem like he learned from them, damn that hurt to say. That said I’d still like to see Sunderland do well. I like Niall Quinn, I’ve always has a lot of respect for him from the time I heard he’d donated his entire testimonial fund to a local Childrens Hospital. How many other footballers can you see doing the same? Niall Quinn is an embodyment of what professional footballers should act like.

    Roy Keanes first visit back to Old Trafford should be interesting.

  • Tochais Síoraí

    A fair bit of criticism about RK and some of it deserved. However he never called Mc Carthy an English bastard or made any reference to his nationality either English or Irish and MMC acknowledged this this appears to one of the many urban myths which developed shortly after Saipan).

    Anyway it would hardly be likely he’d say something like this considering Mrs Keane is second generation Irish like MMC.

  • George

    Zizivny,
    what racist comments are you talking about? The ones attributed to Roy Keane regarding McCarthy that have since been shown to have never been said.

    Your racist comments however….

  • Phil

    Sunderland will do OK this season, but they should still consider fourth bottom an achievement and anything higher a bonus. I know a Fulham fan quite well and he has always been of the opinion that relegation is a matter of when and not if and considers every season in England’s top division a bonus. To be honest he is still pinching himself that he is going to away games at The Grove, Anfield and Old Trafford etc. rather than Bloomfield Road, Vale Park and Underhill. He still hates Brentford more than Chelsea though! For my money the top four will be the same as usual, although in what order I wouldn’t like to predict, whilst going down it would have to be Fulham, Derby and Wigan.