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The OTB podcast network OTB and this is OTB Sports Radio, I signed for them Moscow bureau after my first day of trying on a driving home, I was actually regretting it while I walk to say, this is amazing. Nathan Murphy, good morning to you. How are you reeling from the news that earlier Matthew is available? I know Jesus, when it started emerging yesterday evening, you're thinking, is this the same old story that we've heard over the last few weeks and months that even at times over the last year, but this time it's the real deal.
If you send a fax, if you go to the effort of finding a fax machine and sending an actual facts, what we don't know got to be serious about that.
And we don't know if it's an actual fax. There's a bureau fax, it's registered mail, you know.
Now, let's not let the facts get in the way here.
Hey, breaking news from an island perspective in the last 24 hours that most of the world has missed because obviously they're not as obsessed about this as we are. James McCarthy has a knock, took a heavy challenge in a game yesterday, which reminds us the nation's league is obviously the first two games that we're about to see played from an island perspective, you are Mr. Nation's league.
You are Dr. Nathan Murphy, Dean in the nation's league. So tell me, for anybody who isn't as nerdy as you when it comes to this material, does the nation's league matter?
Is it a qualifying platform for the World Cup in Qatar? Is that is that a thing? How does this work?
Yes, yes, yes. The National League does matter. And if Stephen Kenny intends to be in this job over the next four to six years, the National League is going to consistently matter because it's going to give him a better chance of qualifying for all the major finals. So the upcoming game. So we've got a game that's just over a week away now in Bulgaria and then Finland. Whales are also in Arlin's group for the nations league. So those games are important for a couple of reasons if you want to start going through the various different tournaments.
So the next one is obviously the World Cup. The draw for the qualifying stages of the 2022 World Cup take place in November. Now, the actual nations league isn't relevant to that right now, but FIFA are going to do their seedings on that based on the world rankings in November. So you want to win these games because you want to get high up the world rankings. There's going to be 10 groups. Ireland, as it stands, are ranked 20th in Europe.
So right now we will be in the second set of seedings, which is where we want to be. Both Slovakia are just above us. Northern Ireland are just behind us. If results weren't to go well in the nation's league and could easily drop out and end up as third seed, which is going to make qualification a whole lot more difficult, the nation's league is also relevant for the World Cup. Qualifiers may not be that relevant to Ireland. So the way it's going to work, Europe of thirteen places at the twenty twenty two World Cup, there's ten groups.
The ten group winners will all qualify automatically. Obviously a huge ask for the Republic of Ireland to be one of them. The ten group winners up would all go into a playoff and the top two teams in the nation's league that are one of the other twenty will also go into that playoff. So the playoff, the European playoff for the twenty twenty two World Cup is going to be made up of twelve teams fighting it out for three places. So they'll go to groups of four and the winners of those groups of four will qualify.
It is complicated, but if I were to win their group, if I were to win this group in the nation's league with Wales, Finland and Bulgaria, they would definitely have a chance of getting one of those places if they needed it, because twenty teams are already going to be taken care of. So you'd imagine there the teams that are going to be in league anyways at the other quality European nations.
So if you win your group, if I were to go and win all these games between somehow when all these games between September, October, November and there's potentially eight of them, you qualify for Euro twenty twenty, you have given yourself a brilliant chance in a number of different ways of qualifying for the World Cup in terms of seedings and and also then it leads on to euro twenty, twenty four in Germany, because if I were to win the group, then they move up to league, they're guaranteed a playoff place.
Even if they end up staying in League B, they're pretty much guaranteed to play off places much like this time round where even though he didn't even win a game in the nation's league, we still managed to be in this playoff against Slovakia. Yeah, but if it was to go disastrously wrong, if it was to be an absolute disaster and we finished bottom again, no, we got an absolute reprieve because they changed the nation's league so we wouldn't have been relegated to League C, but they decided to up the numbers in League B, so we remain in League B, don't you be laughing.
We remain in League B if we were to be relegated, if this was to be a bit of a shit show and Ireland finished bottom of that group, well then there's a very good chance you don't even get a playoff. And as I say, you're seeding. I would say if I didn't, the bottom of the group, they're more than likely going to be third seeds for the World Cup draw. And your chances of getting a playoff for either the World Cup or your twenty twenty four are far, far more difficult.
OK, so big, big games to to kick things off. And it looks like we don't know yet, but the story is with with James McCarthy so as well.
Well, actually, I do know what story is James McCarthy. I was talking to some people around palace and it was just a precaution. He is meant to be perfectly fine and they don't expect it to be any great issues.
All right. That's great news. You buried the leaves. That's not that's not unusual. Go on. Yeah, it was I think it's just that he was a 50 50 challenge, he got a bit of a jolt to his knee, but they just took him off as a precaution. Now, even a precaution, obviously, were only a week away from the game. The concern will be that maybe the club look at that and think we don't want them traveling these days to link up with the Ireland squad on Sunday.
But there's no reason why you got the injury, isn't it? Anyway, serious. So I know he hasn't played for the last four years at this stage. So you got to have a concern, particularly after Stephen Kenny spoke so highly of he is going to start. Oh, yeah. These important games, without question, in the middle of midfield.
But it's a pre-season friendly. They're not taking any risks, so they're not expecting anything, even short term. So unless the club make a decision, they don't want to travel injury wise, you should be perfectly fine. OK, great.
That's very, very positive news on a morning when the papers are full of that are OK. The other thing that we want to talk about, which is Rules-based, is, look, I don't want to look like we're desperate or there's the smell I want office. But just because the situation yesterday presented itself, which merits the conversation, no Jack Grealish and the English squads, who knows if his behaviour during lockdown had an influence on Gareth Southgate. It did put Harry Maguire in his squad, by the way, and then took him out eventually afterwards.
But in the meantime, the British made a decision. He made his English shaped at that St George's Cross bedspreads bed, and he has been cavorting in that ever since. Right. Fair play to him. However, a discussion has begun in the background amongst many nations about whether or not the regulations around international declarations should be as steadfast as they are at the moment and simultaneous to the hippie crack escapades, the one slipper, one flip flop moment that Jack really just had in the background.
Greater forces have been at work where conversations are now being had, a rule change is potentially on the cards, is it not?
A rule changes potentially on the cards, but unfortunately, you're only still going to get one flip flop. So it is not going to be relevant for Jack Grealish. Now, that's not to say the rules don't change further down the track again. So as it stands and the plan isn't for this rule change, you can only change nationality once. And he's already done that.
I thought we played for that flop flip flop. You know, you can only flip. You can't flip. There's a lot of flip and there's no flopping. So Jack Grealish played for Ireland at under twenty one level. He changed his international clearance to be able to play for England and he can't change back. As it stands now, there's no plans within these negotiations for that to change.
OK, I tell you, does what they are talking about is that players who have yet to flip, who have played for their country, so the likes of Declan Rice. But even if you have played three games for your first national side before the age of twenty one, you can potentially move so long as you haven't played for that international side within the previous three years. So it's not going to happen. But somebody like James Madison, potentially, who has played for England, wants it to go horribly wrong for him.
And he's not in this squad. But somehow over the next three years, he didn't play for England. Potentially he could come and play for Ireland.
Likewise, Michael with Michael Obafemi, who it is two years now since Michael Obafemi made his debut for the Republic of Ireland. Yeah, it is two years since since that trip to Denmark has only played the once. So theoretically, in a year's time, he could decide to move to England or to Nigeria. Now, a lot of this is up for discussion when FIFA meet next month as to the usual friendly games, competitive games. So none of this is set in stone at all.
And there's other areas are looking at in terms of eligibility. And if you've been living in a country for five years, I know for me to open up, there's a lot of excitement in China at the moment with the amount of players they brought into their league as to how many of them they can naturalize and get playing for their international side. But obviously, if this was the rule and even if you had played a competitive game before the age of twenty one hadn't played again for three years, that you could potentially move.
We could be in a situation in a year's time where Michael Obafemi would have a decision to make, obviously, considering everything that's gone on over the last 48 hours.
So my feeling on eligibility is we're almost always going to lose out when it comes to England, boss, that over the coming years, because of the way our country has changed, actually we may end up benefiting from all those second generation, whether they're Eastern European or African, who would be having this tug of war that Michael Obafemi is having as well when it comes to England, Nigeria, the Republic of Ireland, that we probably benefit quite a bit from this.
But I think when it comes to a straight players who are born in England, by and large, we probably lose out.
And if there has been some suggestion that a bit of flopping might be allowed, just some suggestion, obviously, that the headline on this new eligibility is the three game things you don't play three times you can swap. Just quoting from a Fox Sports article here. It says, FIFA's new flexibility even suggests letting players revert back to their original national team if they never actually play for the second one. And then a second article on line here says, The proposal also allows for players to revert to their original national teams if they never actually played for the second one that they opted for.
So I'm reading that and I'm thinking, OK, this is only a proposal. It would need to go to the floor. It would need to be a concrete proposal. It would all need to pass. But that would mean that Jack Grealish, because he's never played for England, can flop after doing it slip. That doesn't seem to be what they're putting forward next month, but again, this is changing on such a regular basis, maybe in a couple of years.
Jack Reed is going to be coming back. He's he's he's not in this England squad. Maybe Godsake is teaching him a bit of a lesson, but he's going to be in England squads down the track. So Jack Grealish is gone, but it is late again because we have had so many from all the way going back to the ground rules. Declan writes, Jack Grealish, as I say, the next generation of players who were born in Ireland but whose heritage is in other countries, it's just going to make it so complicated from an Israeli point of view at underage level and are getting excited about players.
They make their debut and they are still worried about, you know, everyone was going to go get Michael Obafemi because it's done and we can all relax now. Maybe we can relax.
Yeah, well, I think that they'll put up a squad sooner rather than later. And he's going to play his way into the team because he's hopefully going to start the season the way he finished last season. And it will become impossible for Stephen Kenny not to take a look at me. A lot of nine thirty four and eight on a scale of one to 10, how likely is Leo Messi to remain at Barcelona?
I've been listening all morning to the many actual experts you've had on the show.
It still feels as though to be a seven oh that now that he's basically just put it out there.
If the president resigns, does Messi still go?
I think that he wants to play in a team that's going to be good and run Cummings come in and been muscular in his approach to this. And I get rid of all his mates and he's like, oh, I have to go in every day and look at you and look at you.
Look at your face and look at your face and go, I have to listen to you. Tell me what to do now.
Now I want to go and be a pep or all I've going to Sosha are that German dude who I want to be able to even understand a word. He's saying that so it doesn't matter.
Yeah. Yeah. I don't know. Maybe it's the romantic in me that thinks Barcelona Lionel Messi is just the last. But this is just that powerplay to be gone further than he's ever gone before. But if he gets what he wants and the president is gone, well, then actually he thinks does he really want to go to Manchester City? OK, it adds another spring to his vote if he goes to city and he leads them to a first Champion's League title.
Likewise, if you were to go to Paris and Germany and finally bring them to the Promised Land, but as much as I'd love to see him in the Premier League quick.
Seven out of ten, you're saying seven out of ten days. How likely that is to join up to win a Champions League mentality one to ten, whether I automatically have to say three out of ten now, because there's other options, too.
It's not like I mean, you can have one hundred percent here if you want. Yeah.
If he goes. If he goes. Certainly it does seem as though sit here the favourites give him everything and he would walk about four out of ten.
Come on. Play the game at ten.
Eight to go to city is not, not your strong point baby. OK, do Manchester United emulate the Glazers power play which brought Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and bring Messi to Old Trafford out of ten three.
Well, Messi go to Pakistan as your man and rejoin Neymar and get to play with them.
But a lot of team additon seven.
OK, is there any chance the Joker in the pack, the free spending Inter Milan bag, the superstar one out of ten one ten five.
OK, how disappointing would it be if he goes to a team in the Gulf, MLS or China at a ten ten.
Hiroto to these boards or monitoring boards that Jose Mourinho answering my authority to Spurs first place. I saw this was Reardon in the Sun. This is a live possibility. Would it be a good move? It would be a great move for Mataji, though, what system are Tottenham going to play that will get the best out of Derby? So Wolds, as we know, are one of, if not the best drill team of the year who are built around using Maserati as often as they can possible out in that right wing back position.
He's built up a great relationship with a Dimitriou like Tottenham. Are they going to play three at the back? Seems highly unlikely. So he's going to play a more traditional right back, which takes away a huge amount of his talents and his goalscoring ability unless they were somehow thinking of playing them on the right side of midfield. So from a purely footballing point of view as to where he fits in, maybe you can ask some questions. But the chance to go to Spurs and to play alongside Harry Kane and Delhi Alli, I don't think it's one he would turn down, obviously are very much interested in Ainslee Niall's, which I suspect is where a lot of this is coming from, that Milano's could play in that spot as well and could be a direct replacement for my authority, which may open up a spot.
I'd be shocked if he was to turn down the chance to go to Spurs. If it came. There's a better chance, as good, as impressive as well as have been. As much as I love watching them, I think Spurs is still a better bet if you want to go and play a Champions League football over the next couple of seasons.
And I think good stuff. Thanks for joining us this morning for breaking some news in the middle of your long, boring diatribe about the nation's league.
It was educational, though. You broke the news.
Well done, fellas.
Try my best from best OTB. And this is OTB Sports Radio. That was an OTB podcast, Network Presentations.