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OTV sports in your App Store to download that. Now, I think we're going to start over with Lionel Messi, the big story, the week he wants to leave Barcelona. The bureau FOX went in quite sad for Brady, I think. Marvelous odyssey over twenty years for Lionel Messi. If he does leave, does not politics at play here, David? Should Manchester City put all out all the stops to sign them? Are they amazing to see Lionel Messi in the Premier League?


No, I definitely I agree, I think we'd all love to see Lionel Messi play week in, week out in the Premier League, it's always been this thing has been thrown at him with Cristiano obviously playing a Portugal, England, Spain and now in Italy that can Messi in a differently of course, he can play. He's one of the greatest footballers in the game. And I think if he did come to be huge. You talk about Mancini throwing out all the stops there will have to do.


Personally, I think it's it's been a games over there. I think with. The fact that Kumin had the conversation with Suarez, I think that annoyed him, obviously, they're very close friends and I think he's just had enough of the president Bartholemew. I think if if that's how you pronounce it. So I think I do think he'll stay there.


I don't think he'll move to New Zealand. What do you make of it all? Fred, we've just got an issue where they're over the line, David. David, just on that, nearly a billion spent on transfers by VA to make a wage bill of half that five Sporkin directors under him. We have, like Valverde sat here and these monitors going through the revolving door. Ronald, come at a club here, has been brought in now a shortfall on the books of around two hundred million.


If they get Massey off the books, they'll wipe that because they're never going to get anybody like that again for that amount. So in a way, it does make sense for Barcelona, but he'd be probably writing his own death warrant to quote the Michael Collins. Yeah, I just I can't see if a club like Barcelona has always had a tradition I know they're talking about the club is going through a transitional period. Messi. Yes, I do agree that message in the last few years to be able to dominate Europe and is he willing to stick around for them to rebuild?


I think Big Kookmin has a big job. I think he's unfortunate with the way he's come in, know with the covid circumstances and the transfers. It's going to be difficult. But I just there's just something inside me that can't see Lionel Messi wearing like a Manchester City jersey or Jersey, even a Liverpool jersey, I dunno, which is something unique and special. A lot of these other players of, you know. Played with different clubs like the example I use Renaldo, he played with Sporty.


He went to Manchester United, was kind of familiar with the moving, but Messi is Barcelona. You know, he will go down as the greatest player. He'll probably have a statue built once he retires the whole lot. I just. I don't know, it's it's it's one of those, you know, but Bathory, once he kind of wants to run it his way, by the looks of it, but they're talking like I've been Google translating so much Spanish because obviously I don't speak it to try and understand where it's at.


But they're taught what they're trying to bring the elections forward, because if they do that, then Badme will be pushed out. And it is it is it's a fascinating story. Look, even the smallest thing of Messi became the most Googled. I don't know what to put in search of all time when he obviously sent in the fox and then the Twitter mentions went to the roof, it's just. It's created global news, really, it's not covered for David and also Guardiola.


Is he the man, though, maybe to persuade Messi to to go to Manchester? Definitely, I think, look, obviously, he made his debut on the record, but it was really Guardiola who nurtured him and brought him through and created create him into the player he is. Obviously, he's naturally gifted, but he he pushed him on a couple of levels. I don't know if you saw recently, Roy signing. And we speak in saying how much Guardiola reformed him and kind of almost made him into a better player.


Like, I think if he's the goal, it's all it's that familiar blanket of I know the manager and himself and Acquaro, very good friends, I believe Messi golf or to wear a sun, you know, stuff like that. So that's a huge pull. They have Rodrique as well. They've Otamendi. I mean, he's got a lot of Spanish speaking people around the club, like even the Brazilians who were there, Ederson, Fernandinho, etc. There's a big kind of pool for him to go there and.


It's just whether or not he wants to you know, a lot of people have said he's done this in the past for a new contract like it's been it's been all over Twitter and the Internet. And you guys have been covering it about like his contract and the wages. You know, I don't think it's about money when you get to that level. Like if he is on a million a week, give or take, like it's not going to make a difference to him.


To squeeze out an extra few pounds is not going to change his life. So I don't think it's I think he is just fed up of the hierarchy. And you've seen the argument with Abdul Abdallah is now gone. I know he got the backing of the board or whatever, but he stepped down because I really think with a player that big, I'm not going to say he's bigger than Barcelona, but he's bigger than Pakhomov. So like he's playing Russian roulette.


It's either me or you. And I think back to me will probably eventually step aside because he won't want to be remembered as the fellow who saw Lionel Messi.


Absolutely. Johnny Don, I think we have you there now.


Yeah, we're here, John. I think. Yeah, a Messi. Take it away.


Well, no, listen, I was I was listening to your chat there. I mean, I think, you know, I think David's analysis of I pretty much agree, but like, it's not really about monitoring. I take Massie's probably at the stage where it's probably probably a legacy thing to some degree. I think, you know, he's at the stage where that stuff is going to guide his decision making at this time of his life. You know, it doesn't it doesn't need, like, that sort of cash grab.


You know, it's not you know, it doesn't it doesn't need to. I think his wages are pretty substantial as it is. And I think we spoke about this a couple of weeks back. And to be honest, I didn't think for one second probably that he would end up leaving.


So, you know, surprise. But a development. I actually thought the part of the legacy would be in that sort of one common thing, which had a certain there's a certain magic magic aspect to that. And it's such a different sort of football culture to some degree that it is tied up with this presidential election aspect. And people who worked AP know it well.


And as David alluded to there, the difficulties behind the scenes, you know, with ARBIDOL and his frustrations that that maybe maybe just a frustration, you know, losing that game so badly just drove him over the edge. And this is like, you know, this is this is sort of renegade tactics. And he does have the power because, of course, he has the power because I mean, exactly like who wants to be the person who is remembered for for losing Messi?


Who then I mean, even if even if we think that maybe he might be slightly diminished, like slightly diminished, like, you know, 80 or 90 percent maybe of what he was like that that 80, 90 percent is still going to go to another very good club in Europe. You would think, look, I don't think he's going to be going to China and the last route or something at this stage. So think he's going to go somewhere very good in Europe and probably hurt you to some degree.


So who wants to stand over that? Johnny got a text message to leave the tsunami, a new take over twist from Bernie Gee, a balmy magpie found hiking up the mountain fresh Mayara will make you believe another thing. Great. Charlot's.


Yeah, you can just imagine Missy and Mike Ashley arguing over horses contracts. Should we be Bittercreek for them? Yeah, like, I think some of that will be mentioned. Message feed over 600 games at this stage of his life. And he's like, as Don alluded to there, he can't be the player he was at this stage. He's thirty three. And I would say it's taken a bit of a toll on his body, how energetic he is in games and how we'll have to evolve.


The Birhan game was obviously that it must have been an absolute shock to the system and he's looking around for players to pass it to. And the players that used to be there just aren't there anymore, some of whom have left. And one of them was Puyol. And Puyol was, I think, Puyol. A tweet was quite pointed in terms of players coming out and back and Messi against the regime. And so whether whether he's calling their bluff or whether he does actually fancy a new challenge of this stage, I don't know.


I think he's he's probably such a Barcelona icon, a legend, as David said, he basically used Barcelona and there will be a statue to him. I'd imagine he would kind of like a Steven Gerrard and be a one club player. And I think that's probably what will happen. But I have to say, like, if he did come to the Premier League and the Premier League is amazing, historic, and very shortly, it would be unbelievable for the for the drama of it.


And you'd imagine and these ratings will go absolutely through the roof because it would just add so much to it. But if I were a betting man, I'd say probably say Barasat, but I don't think he's going to be the player he was.


You know, David, if you did go to the Premier League and it's funny, look at the Newcastle. So do you think it happened? They probably would have been the front runners given the unlimited funds they have. But it's funny. Like you would have seen players like Ronaldo, Real Madrid was always possibly the end game for him after Manchester United. If he did end up in the Premier League, it would reestablish the Premier League, which I think anyway.


Is the Global League really as a place to be? Think the Premier League is the biggest league in the world to watch the most countries and all that, but it almost seems as if there's this pull towards Real Madrid and Barcelona, you know, that's kind of like if you look at any big player who's played for Manchester United's main city, Liverpool Arsenal, they all kind of want to go to Madrid or Barcelona. They tend to have it will be it would be incredible to look for the Premier League if he came across like we all we've all probably done in our fresh air and Sherbon city support.


Do we take the Metro with them because they don't sell out? They will sell out their stadium in minutes when it obviously reopens. Whatever the global attraction towards Manchester City will go through the roof. I think that would be a big thing. You know, in the conversations behind the scenes, that man city would be like he will transform that club to become to make it global. And then I probably agree with Jonny. He's probably only probably ninety five ninety ninety five percent of the player he was.


Of course, old age probably does kick in. But can you just imagine him slotting into a Manchester City team that played last year, albeit they were shaky at the back, but going forward he would transform that attack.


Like, would you do it easily, David, slot into that team? One hundred percent, you look at his record in the Champions League against English seeds, it's phenomenal. And to think like, you know, there's always been that joke you do, Nicole, Tuesday night, it's still of course, he can do. I mean, I think I've done it in a cold Tuesday night. It's OK where we beat and stop if I can do it.


Lionel Messi, you know, the fact that Inter Milan has been mentioned is quite fascinating. I could have a bit of a soft spot for Italian football and there has been a bit of a revival in Italian football. The Renaldo procurement would have really brought on, you know, the kind of interest in Italian football. And it would be a massive statement. Simon, Formentera, if you were to go there. And I think Italian football would probably needs it more than the Premier League at this stage, but it does seem to be a potential candidate.


Ladd's Masais nailed on Forseti. They've been actively courting them for years. They could easily afford the fee of around two hundred million with financial fair play implications. They've got Pappan no bigger staying friends like a banker to happen That is from Kelly in River Stic who look to me with the Massee thing lads it's that he's thirty three years of age. He's got one shot, one bullet in the bar on the World Cup in Qatar. He probably wants to finish and win a Champions League.


He's obsessed with winning it. Maybe Barcelona is just too much of a rebuilding job for Kuman and the president. And then is another year's time. And maybe it's just PSG or man city or inter, but probably there's not many clubs that can really afford them. That's the thing. But this is maybe a chance for Barcelona and a chance for Messi to make a fresh start, as sad as it is, because it is to be very sad.


I think that's a fair point as well about Barasat, because just Georgeann, on the way to the end of the season, Messi could well be looking at it and saying, like, this is not this. This is not a job that can be basically sorted in the space of a transfer window. It looks deeper than that. And as you say, with his age, maybe he will say, well, do I waste like two years of my life hoping the person reach the level that they were before, when clearly they're miles off Bayern Munich based on that performance.


And he might well say, well, listen, I don't have this time and it's just time to move on.


It's sort of hard to believe, though, that if he did join Man City, but I know that there's actually trials going on in the UK at the moment, but they actually could have just closed doors game like for as far as first match, what would be like one of the sort of great Premier League occasions? I think we'd have a couple of suspicious looking ball boys.


I think from from a from molders a normal couple of people from Non City Total Club might suddenly find themselves like, you know, that person looks to have a sort of a Dubai aspect to that. They're going to get that ball behind the goals you are going to see.


Yeah, I think there's going to be a can you just imagine?


You know, I think the applications of our X pros and pundits and everyone coming out of woodwork to offer services game would be pretty spectacular, I'd say, as well.


David, have you I don't think you played against him yourself, but. But have you spoken to players that have. Yeah, look. The most the most asked question I get is, who's the best player you've played against? And that's Cristiano Ronaldo for me and all the lads that are probably covered the game when we got beat and five won over New York and all the play, nor I think it was before the 2014 World Cup, like. You speak to lot to play it against them, and they just he's a genius and they said you just can't get near them.


I often talk about when I say Renaldo would be the best player I've played against, but the one I struggled the most with someone like a David Silva. But then if you look at the type of David Silver, the way he is, Messi then is another level above. You know, similar bills like Messi is obviously quicker than Silva. They're predominantly left footed, but you just can't get near them. And everyone I've spoken to is saying it's.


You're almost taunting yourself, going, wow, did he really do that? Like, that's that's how special of a player he is. Like, is I stressful when you're on the pitch? Oh, yeah, because there's only so much grabbing and kicking you can do, like you can only get away with so much. And then if if you're as stupid as I am and you get booked after 15, 20 minutes, you're kind of like, you know, you're coming off at half time or nowhere because you can't affect the game.


Hurry, hurry. McGuire David, you played with him. He's had a very difficult ten days. And instead, the court case rush through a guilty verdict to repeated bodily harm, attempted bribery and violence against public employees, a verdict on a conviction that's been nullified. Now, there will be a retrial. I'd say you couldn't believe what you were saying. No, and like, look, I've known Harry probably for five years now, I'm going to first came out, the first thing I turned to my wife and I went, no chance like that.


The accusation against him that he said, like, I'm the captain, Manchester United, I'm rich. Like, that's not Harry and he's not that type of lad. I did tweet about it are a very few people had a few things to say to me about like, oh, you should get Overrepresent Monopod. It's not it's not in Harry's makeup, and, yes, I understand the circumstances. You're with your fiancee, you're with your brothers, you're with your sister.


Obviously, the incident which happened to his sister is never nice. Like me and my pals that I've grown up have spoken about this. I've probably gone Lula, like if that had happened to me, but the thing is, Hardys, not that he's not a physical type. I mean, I know no flights who if they were full to the brim and would have cut off people who would say things stupid. But he's not he's not got in.


He's not got that in. I'm and I've been on many nights out with them. There's been times where he's ended up in my house, you know, like full and he's been ever so polite to my wife the following morning, everything. He just it's not him. I had spoken to him a couple of days after he's released. And obviously, he he explained to me what he explained in the interview and whatever. I believe him and a lot of other lives.


All right. Fair enough. You think like. Yeah, they're probably lying there probably were up to no good. But with Harry, he's not that type of guy. And, you know, obviously, the court case was rushed through. His defense didn't have enough time to prepare what have you. So it will be interesting once they get all the facts and evidence into the court for the next time that, you know, he was obviously clear his name.


Did you ever get that hassle in bars yourself, David, because you were a footballer? Is somebody like Harry Maguire a target? You think in a place like Greece or wherever it might be in the world? It doesn't matter. Those guys are not. Well, the thing Heidi has, Harry is captain of one of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United would be one of the biggest supported clubs. You know, like Greece is a renowned area for Irish English to go for the summer.


Obviously, with the the country's getting ticked off because of covid. Greece was a place that was open that you didn't have to quarantine after there. So there was going to be a lot more English people there. And I know you're asking me. They're like, oh, you've had over the years, I've had many, many an argument in Cork when I've been home of an argument in Dublin. And a lot of time fellows want to come up to you.


They want to talk to you like I speak on behalf of Hardy and, you know, the character they have of him or you've made mistakes. And I've said things to people, you know, that I said when I was young, I was immature. I was probably full to the brim of drink driving, but I learned from those mistakes. I got older. It does happen. Fellows want to come up to you and they want to talk to you.


You know, they want to they want to cut off you. And you have to. You have to. Like my father used to say, don't put yourself in those situations. That was the big thing. But then again, there's times when you want to if I come home to Cork, I what with the lights I grew up with the lights I went to school with, I want to go and enjoy a night out with them. I see them every if they don't come to England, I see them every three, four months.


But you might get a fella then who wants wants to cut off here because he just fancies it. But then you get victimized certainly like the type that when we speak Harry, it gets blown out of proportion because he is then the captain of Manchester United. Now, this is obviously the accusations against him are serious. I'm not saying they're not, but there's been times when I've been home and I've gotten a lot of crap. So don't get me wrong, some you might you might bring onto yourself.


And but at the same time, it's how you deal with this. You know, if you are full to the brim, a drink you don't like, people come up to you and they want to cut off you, but they don't know what's going on in your life. I had an incident a few years ago when I was at home. I came home at fresher's week and me and my wife had her third miscarriage in the space of 11 months.


And I wanted to go home, but give me time off. I want to let off steam, albeit I picked Fresher's Week, which probably wasn't the best time to go out. But I remember I was sitting outside McDonalds and and some fella just took a phone in my face and recorded me. And then he stuck it up on Facebook and it all. And my mother saw me for the saw everyone look. Everyone in my family saw it my way.


He saw it. It just went it went more I less all around Ireland. But you know what I mean. That person at that time had no idea what was going on in my life. You know, me and my wife was going through a very difficult time. But this fellow wanted you to take a phone in my face and wanted to try and provoke me and get all. But it's it's part and parcel of it. You can't get away from it.


I put myself in that situation by going, oh, so like you even see with authority in the interview on the BBC, where you might as well have any regrets or should you apologize? And he said, well, no, that's the life I want to live, if you like. Should have gone to Greece. Probably not. Yes. He was with his family. His mother, his father were there. Like I said, all his family, like you kind of think that you can get away with it, but at times you can't because you're you're such a with certainty for how are you such a high profile?


I'm not like at the time I was back home where I would be a recognizable face.


Yeah, OK. Well, David Modder, Don MacDonald, Johnny Ward. Lots more football chat after the break. Five, three, one, two, six, four. Text messages, folks out off the ball on Twitter. Back after this.


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Welcome back to Off the Ball Saturday on News Talk with material. Five o'clock on the company of the former Republic of Ireland, Captain David Myler, the former correspondent of the Irish Independent Don MacDonald, and the broadcaster and journalist Jonny Ward. Remember our football coverage brought to you by Thanks to Paddy Power? For more information on responsible gambling, visit Fluidness. You can text us on five three one on six. You can tweet us out off the ball. We're streaming live as well.


Now you can watch us on the off the wall social channels for Periscope on Twitter, out off the ball on YouTube, on Facebook and on the new OTV sports app for iOS and Android Search. OTB Sports in your App Store text in here. Message has been actually better for Boston than ever before. A different slower. But instead of dribbling is passing, especially as long range passing is better than Jarvi. I'm not exaggerating. People just have not watched La Liga no for the last few years.


He won their last two league titles on his own. Well, obviously Real Madrid won the most recent one. Mottaki the Spurs folks looks like a done deal, just a matter of just crossing the line. Seventeen million euro effectively just under that for a deal, which is pretty much done. Is it a good move? Done. I mean, I think so, yeah, look, I know he obviously had a very good thing going on at WOS, and there's always that debate, you know, about leaves somewhere where you are happiest.


And I'm sure you know, David, that at some stage, I mean, I suppose you look at someone like you look at someone like Seamus Coleman maybe who would have had opportunities and, you know, will he at some stage in the future wish, you know, you might have taken that chance just to see, I guess. And, you know, it appears that is probably going to do that.


And, you know, we will see how it goes, you know, but it's an incredible story. And, you know, for someone who who, while he's 29, his next birthday, you know, and spend, you know, a good portion of his early 20s, probably probably pigeonholed to some degree as like a, you know, a championship player or been being someone that's in that bracket. And now I think well, I think maybe the third most expensive Irish transfer of all time, he is going to a club that you call one of the big six clubs.


You know, we we talk about the dearth of Irish players at that level. And I mean, sometimes you strike when the iron is hard. I know a lot a lot of people talking about the fear. Maybe it's lower than you would expect. I mean, sometimes it just can be reasons for that. He wouldn't have necessarily, from my understanding, have been like a, you know, a really big earner till his last contract. And and even then, I don't think he's necessarily sort of badly financially motivated.


You know, I think his dad's been a very big influence on his life. And, you know, he's he's really like it's a great story, like how he got to the level that he's he's now got to you know, I just just hope there's a clause in the deal to get a starter name pronounced now, right as well now that he's going to a slightly higher level. But I think it's I think it's worth I think from his perspective, I'm sure it's worth having a pop.


You know, I mean, like, you got to work with Jose Mourinho. I might have my opinions on how long Jose might be there. You know, he has the Méndez link, you know, all these reasons why these things happen. But look, why not give it a go? We mean, it's it spurs. It's it's something in years to come. If he didn't take it, I'm sure there might be a point in his life where werewolves wouldn't be as loyal to him.


And you you take that chance when it comes for you. Highlights, I think my dad, he's a great signing, but I hope Jose doesn't stop as a talking player and as far as go one up, they keep pushing that some Damián and Talla Johnny. But he is going to do it out of this as well.


Yeah, tons more on top of the Bohemian situation.


I know what the talk is that they would get 10 percent, nine percent attendance and it's basically 10 percent of tickets, 10 percent over and above whatever they got already, which was like, you know, sort of I think it was 60 grand up front and a couple of appearance clauses. But yeah, they held on to their cars, but yeah. Wanted it sold.


I think I think like that's, you know, some of that, some of the League of Origin players, according to some of them, work out, some of them don't. But I think like clauses like that should really be something that clubs look for because like, make no mistake, this is a massive windfall for those. And it's going to be one of the most prudently run clubs in Ireland. They keep long said after the game and the, you know, their player turning four nights a week, they're not really full time in the truest sense of the word.


And they have they probably don't pay ridiculous wages compared to some other clubs and one point five million. The interesting thing now is the way the dogs are basically blowing money over the last couple of years, the gap between the dog and bowls, for example, is going to get quite narrow if they get that one point five million. And I always do, because those are a very unique club. They're really involved in the community. There's an excellent piece in the Irish Times this week about the Bohemian Foundation and what to do in the community and how their investment is being driven, because as Dan's piece in the end today about Adam is you can basically a football club can kind of turn sour very quickly, both in terms of the move.


It sounds like from a purely football perspective, I don't think it's a good move. I think I going to be slightly worried from an Irish perspective, because I wouldn't be surprised if his form started very much about his attacking play and how he links players and spurs fullbacks. I mean, fullback under Jose Mourinho. That's not going to be provocative necessarily. And so I don't think from a football perspective, it's the best move. Like, as Dan said, at this stage of his life, it's like you don't want to Wotif and you've been to the stadium jadi great options for there.


By all accounts, you're living in London. It's a big club and obviously playing for Mourinho. And but from a football perspective, I could see for him probably doing a bit because he's probably a more honest undefendable well surgery.


I was bombing forward and I think actually the fullbacks were a little bit differently placed in the team at times as far as last season. Whether that was by design or by accident, I don't know. Oriya is going to go he's going to be in the first team. That's that's pretty much given. It is going to be a more flatpack for Tottenham. It is an incredible stadium, obviously the best club in the world. We all know that. But David David, how do you how do you see it working out for my authority.


Is it a good move? How will he fit into the style of play, the counterattacking style of Jozy? Is it something you'd give the thumbs up to?


I think I'd have to agree with Dion and what he's touched on. I think Matt has been out wolves for ten years and like obviously he's played in league one, been promoted captainship, been promoted. I think he's probably almost plateaued wolves, that he's achieved everything that he can. And I think for him, no, it's kind of like it's a great new challenge. I imagine he would have been very happy to stay at wolves. And then obviously he must have given a phone call and said, would you be interested in going to Spurs?


And I think he probably just thought, you know, wanted something different. It's to me, comfort zone. Our goal is Dion said it probably is Spurs will be one of the recognized top six, even though wolves are probably a better team than them. And at the moment that you're kind of paying for a top six team. And so I think, you know what? I think it is a good move for him and I hope he does well.


And he's a great life. And and the thing is, it's just kind of old. Get the best of them. As Johnny spoke about there, we're used to seeing my play as a wingback with wolves where he's appearing in the box all the time. I mean, if you look at the goals he's kind of scored over the last two years and he scored quite a few that you don't want to see him pegged back in these. You back four on the marina where they don't attack because that will hamper my best attributes of getting forward, because he is very composed in the final thought.


He tends to pick the right path. And that's what you want to see him do. Well, but I definitely think, you know, if I was in his shoes, I'd say, you know what? It's a different challenge. You know, I think you even hit the nail, which is that Shamis is one that probably had you know, at that time he was in 18 of the year. He probably had a choice of a few clubs.


Even when David Moyes went to Manchester United, there was talk to is going that maybe he didn't kick up a bit of force and go, you know, he stayed there. The grass is always greener. Yes, I get that. But then you kind of stay and you find yourself in a situation like this now where Everton haven't been doing so well over the last two seasons and maybe Mark's feeling was of reach, the pinnacle of what they can get to.


And so he's looking for a new challenge about his is an absolute gentleman, that is from you. Have you encountered a much, David, you know him personally on the pitch.


Who maffia. Yeah, yeah, I've played against my Lords at times, and I get on really well with them all with great conversations when I played for Ireland with them, you know, he's a lovely fellow who loves his golf, which is, you know, he's a big Tiger fan. But the thing is, he's for the boys. He doesn't have an agent. His father represents him with everything. I think he's still not from an early, early age, which is nice because.


His father is making the most. Well, the best decision for his son, you know, that way, rather than doing it for financial gain or whatever, Dave probably sat down, have a long conversation about it. So, you know, he's he's a great guy and I think he will do well. I just I'm more hopeful with Marino in there. And so please, God, he does. Well, live documentary. Be interesting when it comes out on Monday about Spurs and Amazon and everything in the last year.


It'll be interesting to be propaganda, John. It's very hard to know what. Think of it as far as propaganda.


Well, you'll be you'll be a you'll be glued to the one thing I would say is from from an Irish perspective, I mean, every every chance to see Stephen Kenny is going to play a back for and, you know, we'll see how matters used by far as I take what John is saying about, you know, well, will he be sort of showcasing his defensive side more as far as whatever as you point out, John, correctly like the fallbacks, there have been bombing a bit.


But like does that he still looks like question mark about that. It might still be like defensively on occasion. And would Ireland realistically, we're going to need them to play, you know, if he is going to play. I think the way Stephen Kenny is talking, I'm not sure what he's going to do about the whole Matt and Seamus Coleman thing. But, you know, people are talking about three at the back and all this. I don't think that's going to happen.


What Stephen Kenny? Certainly not in the in the short term. So if he is to play right back, as he did against Denmark, you know, I suppose it's possibly one area at Premier League level that will be a bit of a new challenge for all this Premier League football. Aside from that stint when he was a kid, when he went over, has Coleman that sort of right wing back roads?


If he has to evolve a bit with this challenge now, it might benefit Ireland in a way, too, because he's going to have to I think his responsibilities there are going to be more defensive than people think. I know he's going to be encouraged to go forward, but it's still different to play in a back for them, you know, the right of a right wing.


Back with a back story just on the Harry Maguire discussion. We have to take a break there. Before I went to was speaking so eloquently about his experience and what he knows Harian and what he believes, what Harry is saying, how does listening with interest to the Harry Maguire discussion, I think the whole thing stinks that some Eugene and Trem Don, you wanted to come in on that.


Well, I know I listen, I just I was really struck by David Storey, and I was sort of a sort of reflective. It was.


And I think it's it's an interesting, you know, like obviously there are cases in isolation that you just we don't know what's happened.


And and there's often a thing about footballers on a on a night out. And it's always like it's almost there a stigma that goes with it. And of course, I mean, there are footballers that behave badly, like there's bad stuff to happen to sort of you know, you can't you can't defend, you know, like some of this, you know, Jack RELISTOR and lockdown and stuff like that, you know, various instances which don't reflect well on the profession as such.


But but sometimes, you know, there is this thing that footballers are accused of being out of touch with reality. But then when they try to do things in reality, they go out with their mates from home like they they they they encounter problems. So then what happens then? Well, then you distancia isolate themselves. And obviously, you know, I know a lot of footballers through true work and. Well so what do you do. Well they isolate themselves from that and they, they go to their VIP section and then they might have a lavish bill and then, then they're out of touch, you know, but you can't, you can't actually win sometimes.


And it's sort of a sympathy that I, I do have having occasionally been in situations with sort of er players or players who who encounter this.


And it is sometimes the thing with footballers, you know, I, I remember many years back being in a discussion and with newspaper people, shall we say, and I think it was a story around and I think it was Robbie Keane was playing the guitar and jitneys and not a hide or something.


I can't quite remember the context of it, but I remember being in a discussion.


But what sort of newspaper people and they were saying something like, well, you know, you'd never see you'd never see Brian O'Driscoll doing that. And I was sort of quite young at the time and probably didn't really speak up. But I was sort of thinking, hang on, I'm I'm in Dublin a couple of times a week and, you know, I'm seeing rugby players all the time. And by the way, that's fine. Look, that's absolutely normal and fine, you know, but there's there's always a thing sometimes about like footballers being out.


And it's it's something to do with how much they earn. And there's a sort of an attention and a pressure that comes with it. And you do have these stories. And that's why I just like David speaking about the you know, the the video outside McDonalds or whatever. And like how often do all of us in life, like, you know, hear stories about such and such? I met that fella, whoever it might be, in such such a place.


God, he's a bit of a it's a bit of a prat, as you know. He was, you know, and you wouldn't know someone could just be in bad form at that particular time at that moment. And it leads to like a broad. Are a generalisation, so I just think it's just it was a quite honest and open debate to start. I can't say what happened in the in the Maguire instance and, you know, but it's it's something to sort of take into consideration to some degree that, like, if you want if you want sort of your sports stars to have some kind of normal interactions and life where they encountered people, you know, people need to back off them on occasion.


It's probably not always that easy for people to do it, but it can result in problems. But I don't know.


I assume, David, like you probably encountered people at various clubs like you get skibo. These are instances. And then you shot them. They shot themselves away.


Like there's actually a sort of a thing where you can't go out, like a lot of players don't want to go out into the town that the club they play for is, you know, they'll gravitate towards Manchester or whatever, even if they're playing elsewhere, because you just there's too many risks attached to Darren Gibson at Sunderland. That time was sort of a, you know, got recorded on a night out. And it was just it was a disaster for.


No, that's the problem, it's we're in the we're in the modern day of technology, everyone has a phone, everyone's recording. You know, I could like I could sit here for two hours talking to you about different occasions where there were different things have happened. And you so when you get older and you look back and you reflect on them, you kind of go, well, what is going on? What what am I doing? I like like I said to my father, like my father said to me, you have to take yourself out of that situation.


I found myself in the park and this was before my son was born. I was with my daughter, who was two, and I was quite busy. Nice summer's day. And I thought I was really playing nicely. And a father came up and said, Can you get a photo to my five year old son? And I said, I can't. I'm I'm minding my daughter. And he said, Oh, you can't take two seconds. But in that split moment of talking, my daughter had gone out of my seat and I'm thinking I'm in the park with my daughter.


And this fellow was persistently at me. And I just like I nearly lost the plot because I'm thinking I'm just trying to play with my daughter. She's give me I said, can you give me 10, 15 minutes? My wife is coming to collect those would like he just he he kept persisting. And then my wife came and he was like, oh, I'm sorry. Eventually and we took the photos and can imagine if something had happened to my daughter.


While I'm taking a photo with another child, just give me 10, 15 minutes. It's like there's different scenarios where all this stuff happens. And like you spoke about Darren Gibson, like. You know, he's he's had a few drinks, he's talking to some of the some is holding the phone and everything he says has been recorded and then it's all over Twitter and it blows up.


It's just everybody is OK to make headlines with their phones and be the fellow who captured something, and it's also ruined the moment because the legitimate people that are just delighted to see a David take a photo or a quick video or whatever, and you'd be delighted to give them your time, most the majority of people. But then it just ruins the moment. I don't to get the people kind of feeling that they own you as a piece of public property because they see you on TV and because you're a white person.


Yeah, I I felt like I could talk about another occasion I had in Cork where somebody come up and they kind of pop off me. Right. And I kind of like. My paths then kind of get their backs up thinking like, is this fellow going to try and hit me or something, whatever, and and I said to him, I said, have you got a second? And he's like, oh, no, I don't want to talk.


And I said, Sit down for a second. I said, what's the problem? He said, I see you there with your mates. And I said, Did you go to school with me? And he says, Oh, no, I didn't. And I said, See all these fellows here? We all went to school together. We all live within three hundred yards of one another. I said we grew up. Like I said, I can ring anyone, their mothers, no, contact me and tell me they could ring my parents.


My parents come them. That's how close we are. And then he was there going on and on, and I was like, I come home and I want to spend time with my friends, the people I grew up with, you know, and you're coming over and you're you're having a pop off being shown in your and by the end of a 10 minute conversation turn when you're actually all right. And I said but I said no. I said, are you going to go talk to that person over there and talk to them?


And he says, well, no, I don't know them. I said, But you just explained to me that you don't know me. And he said, Yet you feel you have the right to come up and call me all sorts of names. But you don't know me either. You know, and that's and that's the problem, then you want to take yourself out of those situations, but then you miss out on spending time with my friends or, you know, doing something with my wife because somebody wants somebody wants to get their word in and say something.


I've even had occasions where I've been in England and my mother and father have gone for a drink on a Friday or Saturday night, and somebody has gone up to them and had to cut off them. No, I'm very fortunate that my father is been involved with professional amateur sport, but in my mind are hurting. And football should be professional in a way because of the dedication, the clothes, the whole the whole package of the gear. But he was able to deal with that.


But my mother got upset, like you've got some 40 year old man common abusing their son, you know, to the mother and father. And then, you know, it's kind of like it's a shame that a couple of days later, I'm catching up my dad in the phone. He's telling me about something like that at the weekend when they're just trying to have a quiet drink, said people. People don't understand a lot of it, you know, and then you can understand why people get bitter, you know, and it is a shame.


No, but I'm talking about the negative experience. I've had so many positive ones and I've met so many incredible people from playing football that it's not just all negative. So I do need to say that as well. What are the positive experiences?


You know, all those jerseys in the back of that wall? Yeah, yeah, yeah, well, I've got all of them of Messi. If I actually ask that question, if Messi leaves BioServe, I got to take that down and then try and get a new one. He's in Brazil.


But punter's, though, coming up to him.


John, you know what? You get to meet people. You know, a lot of people like the Breastplates. I'll get someone if you bump into a footballer, a footballer doesn't want to talk about football. You know, I'm not going to ask you about your work and, like, examine you and your performances at work. That's not like what they want to do. And no, I've just people have been so nice, you know, like I don't even know where to start.


You put me on the spot there, like, you can have a think about it. And there has been some great things, you know. Yeah, yeah.


It's interesting. But I'd say like there are lads, David, then that, you know, that shut themselves away from it just because they don't really like that attention. Effectively, the higher profile you go, the more secluded you probably have to be to somebody, because as you mentioned, you put yourself in that position. There is an element of your you're told you're asking for it, but I guess maybe some of the absolute Alastair's you've sort of played with or encountered, it's sort of pretty hard for them to to really do that, to go out with their mates from school and do something like that.


Yeah, of course.


And look. They need be identifying your local kind of where you can kind of go where you know everyone inside there. And imagine if if you guys wanted to go for a drink, that these fellows are nearly going into pub where they want to know every single person in the room so that they are left alone. It's just kind of an old Hawaiian. And it is a shame at times, you know, when the beautiful thing is when I go home and I go with my father for a drink when I go home and catch up with him, but we go to the pub where he knows everyone in the pub, so it's fine.


And you don't really have you might have told you, but they're there is you probably known to my father's friends for 20 years. Twenty five years. So it's fine chatting them about life, you know, and but yeah, it is a sham, OK?


It's just when you can speak from a personal perspective, when you go to the toilet to take a break and be trying to avoid you. Sorry, Johnny.


We just we just got to take a break. We'll be back after 4:00 with the with more chat about it with Dave Miner, Johnny Ward and Don MacDonald unil on Twitter. Don is right about the coverage of football has been out and about lads get the worst coverage for having drinks. Madness. When you think about that, they're amateurs. Rugby lads have a great setup. Just the teams for the community. Shields Arsenal Martinez better in holding Luis Taraneh Maitland, Myles Allen, Ali Agca, Asaka and Katar and Aubameyang and Liverpool Alison Williams, Gomes Van Dijk Robertson, Fabinho Milner.


Final Demand, Salah and Firmino. This is Off the Ball Saturday on Newstalk five three one 306 six. The number of your text messages. Back after this.


You are welcome back to Football Saturday on News Talk Journalism with the three to five o'clock in the company of the former Republic of Ireland, Captain David Moeller, the football correspondent with the Irish Independent Don MacDonald, and the broadcaster and journalist Jonny Ward. Remember our football coverage. Back to you. Thanks to Paddy Power. For more information on responsible gambling visitor Louise UPNESS, you can text us on five three one zero six. You can tweet us out off the ball.


You can also watch us as well. Almost looks like we're on a game show today on the off the ball social channels for Periscope on Twitter, out off the ball on YouTube, on Facebook and on the new TV sports app for iOS and Android search of sports in your app store to download that. Some text in here. We'll get to them in the shortly. In a moment, just Daniel on this nation's league repine Bulgaria and Finland in the next week.


Stephen Carney's first game in charge, really exciting for Stephen, obviously has his new dawn, the new era. Just explain to us, because these nations, league watchers have replaced friendlies. Why are they being played? What is the purpose of them and how do they help with qualification for the euros?


Why are they being played? I mean, first of all, the nations league really exists because of money. Ultimately, it's sort of replacing friendlies in the international calendar. And it's funny, actually, it's very different. Take in media coverage sometimes between England and Ireland and perceptions unfortunate are so used to being cash strapped here and struggling. But a lot of people are like, what? They just cancel this nation's league, obviously with a pandemic. And so why are they bothering even playing these games?


I just cancelled them when the reality is you don't speak to people around you and stuff that this this is very important. And ten million per year, it's been less at the moment, but rising that TV deal that goes to all fifty five to four member nations, which is huge for a country like ours that relies on the TV rights from the Champions League and the Hiyam Nations league games, because obviously League of England, Germany, all the big teams playing each other, that's work loads of money and that's more lucrative than friendlies and erratic.


Katinas So that's a part of it in terms of football terms. Yeah, it's a weird one because the games are important ish, but you don't really find out till, you know, after the main campaign how important they were. So there's often it's often repeated and not having to go with Mick McCarthy here. But I think it's often repeated that, you know what, Nick McCarthy, at least he got Ireland to the euro is playoffs. He didn't it was Martin O'Neill got Ireland serious play offs because Ireland got to the playoffs because of their nation's league ranking.


And the games in the nation's league do is it determines your final nation's league ranking, your position in the chart. And then at the end of World Cup qualifying next year, the playoff places are doled out to the highest ranked nations league teams that haven't always qualified for the World Cup. So that's your backdoor route? I guess so.


To try and sum it up in simple terms, where Ireland right now, they're in League B of the Nations League and for the Nations League realistically to martyr Ireland probably need to win their group. They need to win their nations league group to fourteen group with Bulgaria, Finland and Wales, because then in March, hopefully they'll go with the plan. We will start World Cup qualifying. There will be ten qualifying groups. The ten group winners will qualify automatically.


And then to ten group runners up and hopefully Ireland will be first or second in their group, but the ten group runners up go into a playoff series with the two highest ranked nation league teams that haven't finished in the top two of their qualifying group. And the only way Ireland are going to be one of those top two is if they win that group in the league, basically.


So hopefully we don't have to rely on the nation's league eventually. But if you have a really, really good nations league, then there's a possibility that if you are struggling in the World Cup campaign next year, you have to have an insurance thing on the back door to help you back in Texas.


And here, Kevin Jay on YouTube have seen Jose talking about defending with a back for but attacking with a back three and using his right back like a wingback. That's why I was saying earlier on, I don't think Jose is a fool. He will know how to best use Mataji skills ADAA. He is twice a player. Coleman is at this stage, no way how much he had of Mat in from Graham Hunter, the journalist, the Spanish journalist, to the legendary Spanish journalist listening to a credible, articulate, sympathetic David Modder and off the ball right now, engrossing chat and lards.


These two games are vital for CANY to prepare for the Slovakia game. That alone shows how important the nation's league is. That is from Jim Davis. Let's play a bit of fantasy football here. Here. The Slovak game obviously is a crucial one. The playoff semifinal for the Euros. Watch it, Stephen. Cannis, want to eleven be right now, do you think?


Go. Wow. And Randolph Coleman. Dolfi, Egin and. MacCarthy Hendrickx.


Actor and Connelly McGoldrick, if he's fit McLean, OK, and that's off the top of my head and I'm sure he'll continue through too much like and yes, there's a case for maturity and I think going forward will eventually take over from Shamas. And if he plays it a back five, which I don't think he will. I agree with that. He was down. He said, I think I'll play it back for. And I just think Shamis is defensively, defensively slightly better than my math is better going forward.


You know, I think Duffy has an obviously played as much I say Johnny Kornheiser, but I think. Like, I'm really excited for Stephen Kenny and I watched a bit of twenty once. I won't say I watched loads of them, but it was exciting stuff. But now it's kind of going up a level. I do feel from a bit that, you know, if he hadn't had covid, he would probably taken over, say, at the end of the summer.


You hope that he could have had probably the month of June where he could have had two or three friendly games that he could have, like, sat down with the lights and gone over things and showing everyone what he was doing and then given players the opportunity to play like he's coming in. The two games against Bulgaria and Finland are going to be tough, like because, as Don said, you really need to do well in your nation's league, because I think if you kind of go in if we go into the World Cup qualifying with a positive results in the nation's league, it will then probably kick you one that you and all your farm is good, your spirits are high.


There's kind of that buzz factor, obviously, with Stephen coming in. You want you want the games to go. Well, like, it's an exciting time. And so I'm hoping we'll see what he picks. I've given you a there as quick as I could. It's an interesting it's an interesting team, you know, it's like. Stephen, you know, this whole debate with battery back five and all this, and I've sort of got miffed at times in recent weeks and months because there is an element of that.


Of course, you have to be flexible and versatile.


I think he actually dabbled with that information base in his younger managerial days. But through I suppose, like what got him this job was, you know, the good years. It's been dark. And although we had the job, I guess what confirmed it, and probably, you know, and made sure that the quick transition happened in many respects is how good the twenty ones were to. And there was a pattern, really, in terms of how the team operated to some degree.


And you can see that through the squad that he selected the other day, which to me wasn't surprising at all, really. We might talk about Michael Obafemi in due course, but look how Stephen, his teams will operate. And it was a very pointed. I asked him about it, like about the listing of the squad. I did the breakdown of the 23 players that some people might have had a bit of an eye opener that James McClain.


And was it Callum O'Dowd and Callum Robinson were what kind of Robinson would be? But, you know, halfway house maybe. But but McClain? No, Odetta were listed as forwards. And that's sort of an insight into what we're going to get in, that it will be very much a sort of a four, three, three or four, two, three, one or a version of it where basically you're going to have like a central striker and two Wenger's either side who are going to be very forward and very attacking.


And I think people probably need to have that sort of in their mind, I think. And when sort of mulling over potential elevons and like he has done that midfield three, which is like that choice from, you know, McCarthy and Hendrick kind of heroin after Bellambi, Robbie Brady, maybe because I think he loves Robbie Brady.


I think, you know, I think he's a big fan of Robbie Brady, who if he can get himself going again, he'll have a chance, maybe playing as a sort of an even maybe even a sort of a 10 or whatever. But then those other players, it's going to be a four on three.


And the interesting one for me is when David McGoldrick is back fully fit and, you know, Willie Player and Willie always play them as that sort of central one of the three, or would he be tempted at times if he was really positive to play him as more of a of a number 10? Because I think he's always liked his career to have that sort of strong running number. And I think that's why Shane Long, I think, is back.


And that's why I've always been told, you know, and you can see of 20 ones, like he's a big fan of Adamiya, that type of striking player. And I think with the canny teams, like they're the personalities you need to to look out for, like that strong number nine. But at times, would he play McGoldrick there and those wingers where he uses Aaron Connolly, like there's going to be a lot of big questions and debates, but they're good debates to have because there's good options in the squad.


And that's why he like the Al-Rifai meeting. He was able to explain it tactically because he doesn't necessarily, in his mind anyway, fit into that No.9 vision or fit into that too wide player vision. And that's why he's gone with the squad that he has.


You're eleven is sorry, Jonny. Absolutely, Harry, after Harry's out of control, I forgot about.


I was rattling off my playing card there at to be and what is how are you doing here in the last ten minutes? Bloody hell.


I was surprised at that. So I'm not surprised you change it because are said pieces are going to be massive, like Jack Byrne didn't obviously get into the squad, which wasn't a major surprise. But if Jack were in the squad, one of the big things would be his settings deliveries as nearly as I've seen anywhere. Just unbelievable. But Horin isn't far off and as much as a lot to be said about Stephen. Can you do this, Stephen?


Can you do that? They've got to be pragmatic as well. And they're going to recognize that we have a set piece, Thresh and the likes of Dolfi and so on. And and I think Warren will play Dan's point about, you know, McCleen being listed as a forward. That actually struck me as well when I saw the squad announcement because mccleen has been like an auxiliary left half for Ireland much of the time he's basically had it's almost defend them to do.


And it's been a fairly dysfunctional kind of. I think his relationship with Stevens can be a lot better if he plays. And it wouldn't necessarily be my favorite player in the world. But on his form for Stoke, you'd have to say he probably has a good chance to start and my team would be the same back five as David, with the exception of Derby starting ahead of Kohlman, which I think he will and I think can be very much about his fullbacks often and attack him thrice.


And I think he probably call column, I think on form in the Premier League. It's hard to argue which when you go, it's all if he hasn't been playing as a conventional right back. And so it'd be four or five, one or four, three, three in midfield for him, Hendrick, McCarthy. And I'd hope no doubt it might come in. And maybe I'm hoping against hope. If he plays on the right with his left foot, he can come in and he's very good technical player.


And the right to the right hand side is a kind of a I don't want dauntingness. I honestly don't know who they're going to play there. And Koby Connolly, maybe, as you're saying, there's going to be like a striker kind of playing on the rise.


I think you would think he likes O'Dowd and Callum Robinson as well. I wouldn't be surprised if either I think Callum Robinson or probably have a have a shot of his own. Yes.


And well, I don't know. We've had this debate, you and I both mccleen and obviously mccleen and and can go back a long way. And for me, he doesn't offer enough and he does great defensive work. But we'll see. Maybe he's probably he's probably in pole position to start up top and Otto's going to be interested. And I think he might play Ida and now Troy Powers. I scored a lovely goal in pre-season today. AM absolutely Dion Cleetus Millwall.


I'm really looking forward actually going over and watching the game and and seeing them play because I think this could be a really seminal year for them both. In terms of Obafemi Obafemi, I mean, whatever sympathy he would have had from the fact that he's misspells interesting. And he's tweez kind of probably would have lost a lot of respect from there. But he's not going to play because, as Dan said, he's going to like Kenny's view is quite simple.


As far as I know. It's like Obafemi probably needs to be on top with someone else. He's not a conventional hold the ball up. Whereas I'd either if you're if you look at all you did for the twenty ones, which was really intriguing idea improve massively as as the twenty one is kind of went on. But one thing that he was very kind of capable for are capable of was an outpoll. So if Ireland are priced very high they won't be afraid to say, Randolph, listen, just go for all you do and play along.


Now he's obviously a long way to go. Yes, he's brief cameos in the senior ranks last year for Norwich or a bit of a mixed bag. I think the pricing game probably got him a lot of headlines, but will go for that, too. And so he's going to grow as a player. I think he's a great talent. And I have to say, I've been really impressed with his development, what he will be that outworld, because he's well able to hold off the ball.


He's big, strong lad. He's quick and he's intelligent. And the the big thing is as much as Kenny, like the teams we've named there, they're now dramatic departure from what Mick McCarthy played. Well, I'll tell you one thing that will definitely happen. He won't abide by his midfielders running away from responsibility, and that includes all three of them, with the exception McCarthy, who hasn't been vain. They're going to have to get on the ball and not be run away from it like they haven't shown the games.


I was going to come in.


There may be an affidavit about James McCarthy because he's the one that did that. Let's see if we can. He probably gave the hardest sell to during the week. And amazingly, I don't think he's played for Ireland since twenty sixteen, which is sort of extraordinary, that game and Moldova.


And I think, you know, Stephen's point of view was like he's he's you know, he's he should be considered the best midfielder of his Irish generation and he just hasn't been. And I know Stephen would have encountered him back in Scotland in 2007 when he's at Dunfermline and James was at Hamilton.


But what's your take on like the struggles that James has had aside from injuries? I mean, that's obviously the overwhelming one. But even I think Stephen's view was that actually at this stage of his career, James needs the game ahead of them, is getting face and the goal and that maybe he can be that. I suppose that number six, for want of a better term, that position that you would have played a lot, and what do you think about James in that role at this stage of his career?


No, if you look at the Germany camp where we drew it home and like when we won. Sorry, I beg your pardon? I'm thinking I'm getting my games mixed up. James actually played is the six and he was unbelievable. I think, yes. What Stephen has said, he should be regarded. He look, ever since I've been involved with Ireland, going back the last 10 years, James has been the best midfielder. And there's no question about he has the most to his game defensively and going forward, I think it's just a case of he seems to have found a way.


No. To keep his body right. He's just been terribly unlucky with injuries for the last three, four years. And he's he's chasing there's almost a case if you if you look at like, you know, he started with Hamilton at 16, that he's probably played so many games. If you look at his time from Hamilton going to Wigan every year, he was playing thirty five thirty six games like that. His body might have like and now he's found a way to accommodate it, but.


I just I'm desperate to see him back in an hour to check because he is the best all around midfielder we have and he will be crucial for us going forward and for these next few years. So if Stephen can get him into the six, he is no problem doing that, if he wants to play him is more an advanced one. If you want to look at me, I be playing like Mulumba deeper. Fair enough.


But James, for me, if fit has to play and David, who is the striking is somebody that you think is ready for this level.


Oh yeah. Every Cartman's ready for this level. No he is look like as Johnny touched on, he had that game against Price. Dimity got the hatrick and I don't think Preston we're to much that day. But still you've got to be in the position to score the goals and what have you. And I think he's performances for the twenty ones were very encouraging. I heard a lot about him from Colin O'Brien with Gerard and Seventeen's. And so he's he's kicked on and he's developed.


And it is there is a great case for him because he's he's a big, tall young fella, but he's also quick. So he brings something a bit different than, you know, even tripartism, who's probably more known as a goal scorer, kind of a PULCHER, a Robbie Keane type. And whereas Adam could probably hold up the ball. So I wouldn't be surprised to see Adam feature in these games. You all he can he can probably offer that a little bit more than the others holding the ball up and then obviously using his pace.


So if Stephen plays the four, three, three, you do really need a hold up man through the middle, because at times, if you're way to a pinback a bit, they have to drop back to give the midfielders and you need someone who can hold the ball Texan here.


Is there any evidence that and he goes right back, Victor Moses, a brilliant wingback, but a terrible fullback. McGoldrick Lads, give us a break. We need to score goals, goals, win games, or have you all forgot about what the game is really about? That is Bobby the Dub.


Stephen Ward was speaking earlier in the week and he says to Stephen Kenny, who gave Bohemians debut such a long time ago, is going to be a success.


Well, first, I must see the like to see he's got the chances. It's a fantastic achievement. Know obviously Stephen gave him. They did when I was up bohemians as a striker, albeit, you know, we've seen so many of them fit to bring me on. And obviously that was the start of my career. So, you know, I'll be forever grateful for that. And, you know, I think, you know, as Young got there, I could see the hungry for the game.


You know, I can see you wanted to get to a high level. And obviously, you know, there's no greater achievement in becoming the senior international manager. So, you know, first and foremost, it's a great achievement for him and obviously delighted for him because he played that little you know, that part of my career of giving me my first game. So obviously a new beginning for him and the lads. And it's nothing from you. Look at how the other twenty one so many came.


And I think the other fantastic record, you know, we got to see some of their games and the way they played. And, you know, I think you'll want to bring that up, you know, the transition through to the first thing I think he likes to play football from from what I've seen once wants to play an attractive style. You know what I'll be expecting? I'm sure there'll be new faces in lads from London. The other twenty ones will be better than during his tenure.


You know, I think if you mix that with the sort of experience lads that we are playing, we can we go in the premiership. I think there are some some exciting times ahead. And listen, obviously done a great job. And I think going into a job like that, the hardest job to to know that the only two games or two wins away from qualifying for a major tournament is unbelievable. I'm sure Steve will be very much appreciative of that.


And hopefully we can go and do the business and qualify for the euros next year being a huge amount of frustration.


I think David's with a lot of fans, but the style of play over the years, the functional concentration on results first, whether you agree or disagree with us under certain managers, there's a lot of excitement about Stephen Kenny because he played such a progressive form of football. But like, if results don't go away, does that sour? How long of a honeymoon period does he have? Oh, and look, all managers are judged on results and it's all good and well go not playing this track, this style of football.


But if if we get beat but we have 70 percent of the session, people won't care. You know, you look at the Germany game I alluded to with James's performance, we won one nil. And I think we had 15, 16 percent possession. You know, people still go on about that game, you know, and even the Wales game I played and we beat Wales, we probably had 40 percent possession. So it's not going to be a case of, you know, we want to make the best case scenario.


We play attractive football, we dominate teams, we're on the front foot and we win games. But if we're not winning games, then, you know, that's that's that's what it's all down to. Like as a Steve Moore there touched on his two games away from qualifying for a major tournament. You know, he's only Jack Martin Geovani have done it. So he's a great opportunity to put his name amongst those great managers who've done incredible things with Ireland.


So he just needs to the hardest thing in from his in and then the games will come thick and fast. But they're not friendlies. They're almost in the league. So he needs to I know full well that all the players will buy into it. They'll be excited by this. And I even saw your interview with Andy Stevens where he spoke about he's excited about it. I know they all are. So you just need to get in and keep it, you know, get the message across early and get the players playing the way he wants to.


And then obviously just hope that we put in the performances and we get the results that we need time.


Well, you've learned along the way from his disappointments, Chakarova has been one that obviously springs to mind and that he can bring positively to this biggest challenge of his life now, Stephen.


Yeah, no, I think he well, I think, you know, a lot of things just went wrong in that year, Rovers, I think probably.


And he came in off the back of someone extremely successful. And yeah, I think maybe I dunno, it's hard to generalize and apply it to international football and so on. Like, it's a difficult thing to do. I think it is time to Dunfermline. Probably one of the biggest things I learned, I think, was about staff, you know, having a good staff around you and people that you probably trust around you, and that when you start somewhere that you have that sort of you have that you know, that that team that that that surrounds you.


And that's why things from the start on Dundalk, you almost had a blank canvas and, you know, he hit the ground running, you know, and but yes, from the start, like everyone in that club. But in fact, it had been brought there by him. Now, one of the things he's done with the Ireland squad, you know, now it's not just that he's got Keith Andrews and Damian Duffy. We're going to be hugely important.


And I think we're players and, you know, relations. And I think there are two very smart picks. And Rory Higgins, who he's he's very close to them, offers an analysis. But he's also like changed a lot of, say, the kitman, the backroom stuff, and brought in people from the twenty ones. And that that's a lot of turnover in one go. And, you know, they would obviously be very much aware that there have been some people who were sort of part of the furniture there who who've moved along.


But but I guess, you know, he was hired to be Stephen CANY not to come in and just be a manager overseeing a structure that was there before. And the FBI are backing up. There is no doubt that even though there's been a transition from who appointed them to who was there, now, you know, he's he's he's he's getting his way, I guess, in the sense that he's he's been allowed to, like, make the, you know, the the the personnel decisions to give him everything that he wants.


And so it's then it's up to him to to sink or swim, really. But I think that a lot of decisions he possibly made over the years was to say, if you inherit something that you that you bring your own team in, that you're around, you like again, I understood where people were coming from, from the perspective that you have a legend like Robbie Keane there. But if he didn't want them to be a part of a staff, that he shouldn't be a part of his staff.


And that's that's what he's got. He's been given a great platform. But of course, then the flipside of that is, you know, you have you don't have as many excuses if things work out because you've been given what you've wanted. So, look, I think there's going to be an understanding about the next couple of months, I think, for people anyway, unless there's there's a lot of extremes around the Ireland team sometimes. But you know what coverage and I'm a part of I can't preach about it.


Of course, like if you lose five one somewhere, then of course there'll be a massive enquiry. But I think that broadly there's an acceptance that you have to give disappointment a bit of time to breathe. And a lot of the previous managers over the last decade when the football was of great at times and they had a very simple brief to qualify and just qualify. And the whole business plan was about quality. And there was no real interest about a four year plan or anything like that, it was about getting to the next tournament and they probably tailored their decision-making accordingly with this one.


If you're if you're saying you want to change your style, if you're saying that you want the 21 to to link in with the senior team in some respects and you have a bit of a personality and a pattern, then you probably can't make snap judgments after after three months. So I think he will probably get a bit of time that World Cup campaign, you know, to really show what he can do. And there'll be judgments at the end of it as regards his contract.


When he goes to the end of the campaign, there will be Georgian's at the end of it as regards, you know, do you go again? But I would imagine if things start well, you got the sense that people would probably be willing to try and, you know, try and make that commitment a bit longer. But, you know, you never know. You never know how the dressing room will take to them. And we can have our theories about how it will go and maybe hopefully it will go well.


But, of course, you know, the proof will be in the pudding.


And Johnny, like the one thing actually that Stephen will not have to worry about if the results don't go so smoothly at the beginning as the fans, because generally Irish fans are not shy about making their feelings known about the team.


Yeah, and David's obviously the man to kind of ask about that, I think. We would probably have a hell of a story to tell about how he felt like maybe he was appreciated by the fans and I'd say some of the players at times would feel that they weren't appreciated enough, maybe by the fans and the style of football, maybe greater with some people. But to be honest, I think there's. You know, even the attitude towards the League of Ireland, to my mind, has changed since in the last sort of five, 10 years, more or less since Dundalk in twenty sixteen and to an extent, enrollers 2011.


So I think the I don't think any I think there's a lot of support from him, even from like I think there's a massive groundswell of support across Ireland. And I think if he started badly, he'd be given ample kind of patience and the crowd would would be after him, will be behind him, rather. But I it's a strange campaign. You know, he's trying to block players in like it's bringing in those young guys that have very little or no experience, really, of international football.


You know, Bellambi, we haven't mentioned as well. He can't be that far off playing because he's by all accounts. I didn't really see him a million last year, but his performances were probably every bit as good as what some of our more establishment figures were produced. And like if you look at his role in the twenty ones, like he absolutely loves him and he is he's had a proper championship season now for whatever the greater part of the season.


And he's he's probably knocking on the door. He's probably not a million miles off. And he's a player that I think is going to really need a Ireland. But it's kind of strange in that the deep end in terms of what the whole situation has been. And I think people will be patient. You're not going to expect a team that essentially played a certain brand of football for its shelf life to to dramatically change overnight. I'm expecting changes both me and what I would expect that midfielder just want to get on the ball a lot more.


OK, I've got to take a break, lads. Off the ball Saturday on news talk perhaps to talk about Dundalk, Bohemian Shamrock Rovers and other matters after this. You're welcome back to Off the Ball Saturday on Newstalk Jondaryan with three to five o'clock in the company of the former Republic of Ireland, Captain David Miner Johnny Warren, the broadcaster and journalist and the football correspondent of the Irish Independent Dan McDonnell, ARTAX number five three one of six. You can also tweet us out off the ball.


You can watch us on the social channels for Periscope out off the ball on Twitter, for YouTube, Facebook and on the new Otomi sports app, which you can download now for iOS and Android Search, OTB Sports in your App Store. Our football coverage brought to you. And thanks to Paddy Power. For more information on responsible gambling, visit Tom Liquidnet. If Kenny doesn't qualify playing status football, can all the media experts sign a pledge never to go on about our team's playing like the continental teams, we should play like Charlton's teams.


Still the greatest era of Irish football. That is from Dez in Cork. We've got Mark on Twitter Randolf, Dorothy Duffy, Egan, Stephens, McCarthy, Mulumba, Hendrickx, Brady, Ida and Connolly. What is your Irish team under? Stephen Kenny Serbo on Twitter guys is a Dundalk fan. I want Stephen Kenny to be a success, but I worry the press will not let me stop until one nine out of seventeen games compared to Michael O'Neil, who won one out of his first eighteen at Northern Ireland.


But he was given time as opposed to the vilification. Give Kenny the time, please. That is from Gareth in Armagh. Adon, you've written today in the Irish Independent Tibetan's. OK, so you're from the area, obviously, but that's got nothing really to do with that. But Filippo Giovagnoli, no experience in management is taken over. We've got a greater influence of the American owners on the club and a title slipping away. The title is gone effectively.


The dog effectively being negatively influenced by the decisions are making.


Yeah, I mean I suppose like the reason the story is, is I'm still I'm still reeling from Steve Stanton. Michael O'Neil. A comparison that's just not it doesn't stand.


Unfortunately, I'm not meaning to be to be harsh. And yeah.


I mean, look, it's obviously tied in with what was one of the great stories of recent times, which was a dark charge in twenty sixteen, which which basically got the Steve Steve in the job. I don't think you would have got to without having done that as much as you want to double in twenty eighteen. I think you know, to point to it you have to point to those Europa League games that text they're on about charge of. Go back to being the jock charged by George Harrison at the time was actually the style he was playing was in keeping with trends of that era.


To some respects it was a move towards that type of approach. And now you just have to move with the times. And I think how Stephen Kenny pitted his Irish is the dog team, a team of League of Ireland players against very good European opposition in twenty sixteen. That was the proof to get the job. But it's not all football over the top stuff. It's more, you know, trying to dominate the game. And Bush, but also not not eleven behind the ball if you're to type stuff.


But anyway, as an aside off the back at us, you know, American owners come in and take over with the hope that every year you can replicate that success, that every year you can try and get a team to the group stages European football, but you come to Ireland. It's not that hard to qualify for Europe if you have the resources that they have. So at the very least, you're going to be trying Europa League every year.


But their ambition was to qualify for Champions League every year, and their ambition initially was to do so with Stephen Kenny. But of. Course, as Stephen Kenney left at the end of our first season in 2018, said his company Pick six and you know, they're the main owners and their plan. Yeah. Was to, I suppose, crack Europe. And they do have and still have resources that, you know, people owning clubs here could only dream of.


Definitely. Probably one of the wealthiest groups that we've probably ever had involved in and football here. But what has happened over the last two years, but more so in particular, the last probably year, six months, three months, is that that influence from outside has become and it's become a problem. And, you know, there's been a lot going on over the last couple of weeks.


And I was aware of a certain amount of it and and sort of dug into it a bit more. And that that's what led to suppose this sort of substantial and lengthy piece today. You know, having spoken to a lot of people who were in the middle of it, it's obviously hard for them to to to speak out publicly because they're they have their jobs to do and whatever. But that influence has become probably not such such a good thing. I don't want to get into it because it's a very long piece and I can't sort of explain sort of 4000 words and two minutes.


But the main issue that you've had is that there was obviously a plan there to operate in a particular way and people assumed that you would have this big company over in America that would have there are people that would be sent over here, you know, and then, you know, good people hired on the ground and that's how things would operate. And but they haven't really got the balance right in the last couple of years. I mean, Vinnie Perrottet very well when the league last year.


But even then, there would have been sort of, you know, advisers of people around the place that maybe they wouldn't have seen eye to eye. I think David David was linked at one stage they could transfer. But there's a lot of, you know, outside links, recruitment players, so on.


So far it was you know, that's that's football. That's that's what happens. But what really happened in the end, the twenty nineteen onwards, is that the current chairman, who was the father of the six founder, not all ties are built, is his father.


It doesn't work for six, but he steadily come into the club. People probably initially thought, well, this is great. You know, brilliant involvement to the family are really buying into this. They aren't just over there not worrying about this investment, but the family are really bought into it. And they have.


And but he has become more of an influence behind the scenes and all the people that were probably appointed on the ground before they've all left for various reasons. And what we've basically had a situation in the last year that really the investment, what it boils down to is you have maybe, you know, the manager here and you have the chairman there and maybe there's a board or. Right. But they're primarily based in the states. And yeah, there's just been some wacky stuff happening, really.


And the you know, it's it happens all the time.


And football, the new owners come to the sport, don't necessarily know the game. They're learning about the game. They might have questions. They might have comments they might make. You know, they might wonder why the goalkeeper doesn't take corners because he's the best striker at a ball like like like these are queries that happen. Like, I don't I'm not trying to like I can understand who I'm sure of every discussion that's ever happened from a new owner to a football club was detailed.


You can have similar stories. And and, you know, just just but when that influence starts to get too close, when those questions start to get too close to the point where, you know, for hours, phone calls coming in around before during games, trying to get to people, trying to get instructions across, then then you've you've you've lost it really. You know, you've lost it badly. And there's no coincidence that there's like things haven't been going well there because people behind the scenes have been probably coping with unusual stuff.


And it's come to a head with the manager that to leaving and basically not denying on several occasions that there was disagreements and discussions around team selection. But more importantly, perhaps a lot of the people on the ground, like Ivy League of Ireland Club, do you know at the very core they probably are still community clubs that still rely on volunteers. A lot of good people have been involved with the club for a long, long period of time, are all stepping back or walking away because and they're finding it quite hard to deal with the ownership and and just some stuff that is possibly borne out of just what you could describe as cultural differences and what distractions and stuff that just isn't shouldn't be happening and should just should just not be happening, you know, and stuff around, you know, nearly playing the under 19 team and a league game because there was a friendly against Celtic.


They wanted to play and there would have been 14. covid restrictions that prevented people from planning all sorts of sort of stuff around stuff that you shouldn't be dealing with, it's hard enough to run with a club that is so simple.


Facts are people are stepping back who shouldn't be stepping back. And that should be a red flag for a lot of people.


Johnny, just a you are overdiagnosed and you did an amazing job on the stream. I believe you kept the show on the road. Is there anything to worry about Rovers at the moment with the recent form that they took a while to get rid of this finished team and that they had a couple of draws would be humans might have a chance now and do you think?


They absolutely do. And, you know, I don't think anyone really get both those look like a team that did restructured a bit in the off season. And it's kind of wasn't inconceivable that they'd struggle to make Europe this season and none of it. And there were by far the most impressive of our European teams, even though they were knocked out, they were playing a Hungarian mob that were full of internationals. No, a good side. And to me, you look way better than the team that sat on dock.


They looked like they had a bit about them and both went toe to toe with them. They always played the most, like they wouldn't necessarily play the most attractive football in the league, but they've to really quick wingers and their wingers cause a lot of problems to the Hungarian side. And they wanted to deal with them in some respects, and that's why they both score. But what was missed, two great chances as well. And Keith Ward involved in both.


And I've seen rovers twice recently. I saw the biggest shows in the league and I didn't think they were great in that game. And I thought, it's funny when you're at the games and, you know, you can hear the players, you can basically hear everything. And I thought there were mentally a little bit and just not quite there. And there were kind of getting a bit snarky in the second half when things were going against them and didn't really create a lot.


And that followed on a nil all dragons pats when they really should have won the game because we're playing against 10 men for most of us, didn't create an awful lot in the second half either, despite battering them. And then the other noise, I suppose the thing you could say about them was, first of all, they they had a horrible, horrible decision to go against. And I don't I honestly don't think anyone in the ground except the referee thought it was a penalty when the ball clearly hit you or your brains heads.


But your your brain recovers from that to not only score one, penalty would score two and leam scales, who really, you know, would have been somewhat vilified if they'd gotten knocked out because he was stupidly sent off for, to my mind, to really unnecessary yellow cards in quick succession. So they played the entire extra, extra time with ten men and it was back against the wall. So and they came through it. And the penalty situation, you know, I didn't really find similar penalties.


I thought mentally, I don't know. I don't know where they were. What they came through was what the flip side of all this is the teams, I think, have a way of playing against and both have a really good record against rovers over the last few years. No, not so much the last couple of games, but those won't have any fear of overs whatsoever. The rovers system they play with, the two, wingbacks Farrugia and and Roland Felt, would be vulnerable, definitely vulnerable against those balls.


Winger's Ferrugia is not a defender and he's not actually playing that well from a couple of games I've seen. And polls go ahead against rovers. They tend to win. So I know it seems an absolutely incredible thing to see, but I think rovers are are like five to two to win the league now, and that's probably reflective of their chance. They absolutely have a chance. And in fairness to John, it's been a great story. I was really disappointed for them that they didn't get through in Europe because where that call is coming from and what it's doing in the community, the work it's doing to to help people that are worse off through football in a in an era when you have so many Premier League giants and millionaires and Messi on a million a week or whatever it is, this is grassroots football and both have been exemplary in that regard.


But they are definitely in with a chance to talk to us, keep long assault to down, but they have a chance.


OK, Darren Hennesy on Twitter. We're picking Ireland. Eleven terrorists, even Kenny Randolph, Darren Duffy, Egan Stephens, Wollombi, McCarthy, Brown, Robinson, Long and Connolly and James on Twitter, Randolph, Darity, Duffy, Egan, Stephens, Mulumba, Hendrick, Hiran, MacLane, Connolly and McGoldrick and a four four two as Republic of Ireland season ticket holder in a match away match go. Or I'd rather watch two campaigns a good football to Stephen Kenny, regardless of the qualification outcome than another campaign of rubbish football dated goofball tactics, they'll get exposed to big tournaments anyway.


Give Kenny at least four years to get it right and make the most of a talented squad. One LS Arsenal Aubameyang. On thirteen minutes in the community shield against Liverpool, Shawne Maguire has been on the mark for Preston against Mansfield in the FA Cup. I just want to ask you, David, about Chelsea, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, the expected signing of Clay Roberts. You've also got Verner and Zywiec and they're probably gonna spend about two hundred million the summer.


Can they make a run at the title, do you think?


You know, and short and sweet of us, I think Liverpool City are still still a good bit ahead of them. I know you said there are still obviously beaten Liverpool, but they're missing players. I do think the signings. Chelsea. Made a very impressive I think Thiago Silva would be the pick of them for me, you know, I know, yes, he's 35, but he's experience with your Roediger tomorrow. Azuma Kristiansen will be which will be use huge and or Franky's toid a couple of times with the three at the back.


So I think putting him in the middle would be a great experience. Then Ben Chilwell will go and he'll solve the left back spot. Problem his obviously he's not really paid Alonzo. He seems to be on his way out and then I've been very impressed with every time he's paid for IEX, the Champions League. So and then look, Timo Werner has score goals everywhere he's been. So there are look, they are very good signings, but I just think they're still they're trying to bridge that gap to catch city in Liverpool.


And I still think they won't get there, especially if they end up get messy, both at the same time. It's encouraging for any Chelsea supporter. I think it's really positive. I think Frank had a very good year last year and obviously finishing the top four. So and if a cop can also it is encouraging teams. And look, he's they have to transfer from last year. They were desperate to bring in players. He did he often did interviews where he said we need to bolster the squad.


And I think he's identified key positions he wants to improve. And then he just he slowly but surely carrying with the players he doesn't want. And so if I were a Chelsea fan, I will be excited. But I still think they're probably two, three seasons away from really challenging for the Premier League.


But a minute and a half, David, to go here on the show, Dean Henderson, the new deal on United's a five year deal. A twenty three year old daughter. Hey, needs need someone breathing down his neck because he needs confidence from somewhere?


No, I definitely I definitely do think he knows he's been at Manchester United a long time where he's never really had been tested.


I don't think Dean Henderson, if you go back this time last year in pre-season, just before he went on loan, I don't think anybody Manchester United tip Dean Henderson the following season to be pushing for number one. It just shows that if you if you have a good build move and you do really well, then it's done you good state. And so he's come back. I still think T.J. is ahead of him, even though his confidence seems to be shot since the World Cup and bought at this at this at this point in time, at least, Ali kind of says you really need to knuckle down because I have someone who's ready to go and, you know, United showing the faith in Dean Anderson, giving them I think you said five.


Yeah, I think it's even a six year, which is remarkable. So that shows the faith that Manchester United and having him on, I think he will push to hear a lot of Manuelita fans. I even ran a poll on Twitter. Who do they think should start a lofty goal with Henderson after the season last year? But I still think Ali will go with the hair. But if you remember the games where he had mistakes, I don't think he'll stay in the team if those problems do do happen again.


Well, David Aldana, Jonny, thanks so much for speaking this afternoon. Enjoy the chat, as always. Enjoy the night, lads.


Thanks, Judy. Good luck, lads.


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