Ste McGovern (Balls.ie, Football.London, MARCA), Maurice Brosnan (Balls.ie, Irish Examiner, Irish Times) and Kevin Beirne (Football.London, UK Independent, BBC) talk about the Frenchman’s special qualities, how he revolutionised the forward position, and why Arsene Wenger was the perfect manager for him at the right time in his career.
We also wonder why great players like Henry struggle to adapt to punditry, his fourth great evolution at Barcelona, and an extended chat on how athletes and sports personalities are allowed to get away with reprehensible actions and behaviour.
Here are a select few of the goals we mentioned on the podcast:
David Squires joined us on the latest episode of the Nostalgia Ultras podcast to talk about his new book, Goalless Draws, a compilation of all his best work over the last four years.
The Guardian’s resident football cartoonist talks us through the process of trying to pick the best comics out of the 300 or so he’s drawn for the newspaper, why self-doubt can be a healthy tool a creator, and how to strike the right balance when drawing comics about tragics events, such as the recent death of the Leicester City owner.
We also touch on the insanity of Poppygate, James McClean, the death of satire, Emo José Mourinho, the unintentional hilarity of LinkedIn, and his beloved Swindon Town.
There are those out there who will tell you they don’t like him, that he’s overrated as a manager and even worse as a commentator. Thankfully they are few and far between. Brian Kerr is indeed one of Irish football’s most beloved figures. But why exactly do we love the former Ireland manager so much?
Listen to episode 12 of the podcast: Brian Kerr, the Grandfather of Irish Football
He was only a teenager when he started his managerial career.
At 13 years of age, Brian Kerr got his long career in football management started with the Crumlin United U-11’s side.
He won his first trophy less than a month after getting his first senior managerial role.
Appointed St. Patrick’s Athletic manager in December 1986, Kerr guided them to Leinster Senior Cup glory just three week later, the club’s first trophy in a decade.
He remortgaged his house to help save St. Patrick’s Athletic.
When the Inchicore club were on their knees financially in the nineties, a number of investors raised £82,000 to save the club from going bust. It’s believed that some of them, including Kerr himself, remortgaged their homes to do so. Despite the turmoil surrounding the club, he was able to win two league titles in 1990 and 1994 as manager.
He’s the only manager to have won major trophies with Ireland.
A bronze medal at the 1997 World Youth Championships was followed up with victory at the U16 and U18 European Championships the very next year.
"I had a good little laugh to myself. The idea that Ireland had won both of the European Youth Championships." Brian Kerr WATCH: Republic of Ireland Under 18 UEFA Champions Celebrate in Cyprus 1998 https://t.co/c8JpuWFL8Xpic.twitter.com/7VbXhoQ7Lr
“I was part of a very important scientific experiment where we used to breed rats; they were huge, huge rats. They were on feeding trials in my days as a lab technician with the Department of Agriculture in UCD.
Occasionally there would have been escapee rats running around the floor, who escaped out of the cages. So I got quite handy at capturing white rats on the floor. Overall I thought it was good training for managing in the League of Ireland!”
He is one of the Faroe Islands’ most successful managers of all time.
Kerr’s record of two wins and a draw in 16 competitive games ensures his name will be forever etched into Faroese folklore.
His commentary is often the best thing about RTE’s football coverage.
His description of Shaqiri is just brilliant.
Or as Brian likes to call him, ‘The Powercube’.
New ⚽️#PL season's just round the corner: Which means one thing!
Premier League Live will be back very soon.
So who's Brian Kerr going to bestow with an apt Dublin nickname this season?
Diego Armando Maradona is not only one of the greatest sports people to have ever lived. He is an enigma who has lived every day of his life to the limit. Ste McGovern and Colm Boohig are joined by Maurice Brosnan of Balls.ie to talk about everything that makes the Argentine such a fascinating figure off the pitch, from his drug addictions to his links to the mafia, from his infidelity to his Communism leanings.
Listen to episode 11 of the Nostalgia Ultras podcast:
Download directly here; subscribe on iTunes; or find us on your Android app.
Some famous moments featuring Maradona we mentioned on the podcast:
When the next World Cup comes along, it will have been twenty years since Ireland last appeared at the tournament.
More time will have passed between our jaunt in Korea & Japan and Qatar 2022, than between Italia ’90 and 2002. The more you think about it, the worse the reality gets. It is an absolute age to have not competed at a World Cup.
Perhaps that’s part of the reason why Ireland’s last game in the competition, a penalty shootout loss to Spain, has become one of the most reminisced upon games in Irish sporting history.
It might seem somewhat glib to speak of it in those terms. After all, a defeat is a defeat. But much like the quarter-final loss to hosts Italy three decades ago, Ireland’s final game at the 2002 edition was the side’s best performance of the tournament.
The void, that absence of similar moments on the world stage, and the wider it becomes, the more importance we attach to it.
We recall the moments, the big chances, Duffer’s stellar performance on the right wing, the elation of Robbie Keane getting us to extra time, the penalties – those scored and, regrettably, those missed. But most of all, we remember the tears. The ones shed by the players, but mainly the ones shed by us, the fans.
It had been a rollercoaster of a month for Irish supporters, between the seismic activity of Saipan and the opener against Cameroon, Keane’s last minute equaliser and the rout of Saudi Arabia, so much had happened. We — all of us, fans, players, staff — were tired and emotional by that stage.
But we didn’t want it to end.
Anything but that.
Then Gaizka Mendieta showed up. He didn’t even start, but then again it’s all about where you finish. And he finished with the ball, slowly bobbling over Shay Given’s outstretched leg, passing him by centimetres. “By fuck all” as he puts himself.
The collective regret has been enormous ever since. What could have been? A quarter-final with South Korea. And then what? A possible semi-final with Germany? Sure we already knew they were no great shakes.
It hurts to think about those possibilities, even still. Because we haven’t been able to fill that void. 16 years and no World Cup. Germany, South Africa, Brazil, Russia. They all got on grand without us. Ouch.
Sure we had Euro 2016, and we’ll always have it. The night Robbie Brady put that that ball beyond the Italy keeper with that beautiful mallet head of his. The emotion on that night was incredible, a few tears were shed on that occasion alright.
But it wasn’t the same. It wasn’t the World Cup.
The longer the wait goes on, the more you wonder “will it ever happen again?”
Oh, what I’d give to cry like that again.
Absolute must-watch; Japanese highlights of Ireland vs Spain, great quality too. The commentators get very excitable at times:
Highlights of the game, featuring commentary from Ian Darke, which i didn’t know existed until now: