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[00:00:00]

The OTB podcast network football on Off the Ball with Paddy Power and more electric team up than Sarla and Marnay gamble responsibly CWG Dot and. It's Friday afternoon, it is time for the party, part of a half hour coming up over the next 30 minutes or so, we will be looking ahead to the community shield, which will pit Liverpool against Arsenal, the winners of the Premier League. And effec up in England last season. A bombshell dropped by Lionel Messi this week where he has decided to leave Barcelona.

[00:00:34]

The clubs say they want 700 million for him to leave. He believes he can leave for free. We're going to be looking at where the Argentine genius could end up for next season. Chelsea have been splashing the cash this week. Tiago Silva has arrived today. They signed Bernd Chilwell for around 50 million during the week and it looks like he could be another 100 million burning a hole in their pocket currently. We'll be looking at my priorities perspective. Move to spurs and the windfall it could see for bohemians of around two million euro.

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We'll talk about bohemians in Europe this week. Shamrock Rovers progressing on penalties, but balls losing out on the sparks and Celtic out of the championship qualifiers at the earliest stage. There have been the Scottish champions since 2005 to break all that down. We're joined by Emma O'Keeffe and Phil Egan. Good afternoon to you, gentlemen.

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Well, as Phil Elsa offered yourself, community shield comes round. I mean, it's felt like a very short pre-season as we get into the traditional curtain raiser for the English season. And Liverpool have picked up an injury with Virgil van Dijk during the week in a friendly. But this has come around remarkably quickly.

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Yeah, I mean, the word there is Van Dyke is fine. It was a bit of a knock, but yeah, even that game against Salzburg the other day, you can see Liverpool players were heavy laggards. So they were probably having morning sessions where Kloppers did a lot of running with them. And obviously Ryan Brewster comes off the bench and scores a couple of goals. But it's a strange one in the fact that usually we got this game and then the following week the season starts.

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But obviously there's two weeks in between this. And it's something Klopp has talked about in his press conference in the last hour or so where they knew the game is coming and it's a good game to have, obviously, Arsenal finish the season strongly, only that cup final on the 1st of August. But, you know, he's trying to make a few signings. The Aubameyang contract hasn't been signed yet, but obviously Arsenal, not only that, they beat Chelsea in the final debate, Liverpool as well at the Emirates, which was the strange game where Liverpool just were their own worst enemies by gifting Arsenal to goals.

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But, yeah, it's it's one of those games where you don't really if you win it, it's great because you get a bit of silverware. If people actually count it, if you lose, people just say, well, it was only the community shield. But that's pretty much how the narrative will go after if Liverpool, when people will say, yeah, Liverpool look good, if they lose Iowa, they lost last season's community shield to Manchester City.

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So they didn't care if Arsenal win. Arteta. Yeah, things are going to be so much better this season. He's got you know, he's kind of his first full season. If they lose, then it'll be a lot of ground to make up in Liverpool.

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I was imagining as well as Phil, when it comes to this game, it'll be seen as a meaningful, friendly football clubs to play before their players are released away for international duty. Then they come back for the start to the Premier League. I'd imagine it's a game there's Arsenal in Liverpool won't be too unhappy about having. No, and as suppose as we've seen in the last few days as well, with players going to play international football and the away in holiday, certain players, you know, Paul Pogba and Tangier's no, they obviously were withdrawn from the front, scribed because they tested positive for covid-19.

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So there's that dynamic that has to be thrown into it as well, where, you know, obviously Klopp and Arteta will be able to pick close enough for their first teams, but then in two weeks time, who knows what effect the international break is going to have on certain squads, because basically, once the clubs that them go into their international groups, it's falls on the international squad and the players themselves to make sure that they stay as safe as possible.

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But yeah, I think you're right in the fact that it was a strange end to the season, obviously. And for Liverpool, obviously, having the season wrapped up so quickly, the last games where obviously they were beaten badly by Manchester City the last hour or so, and people wondered, was that just down to the fact that they'd wrapped up the league or was he, you know, people thinking that maybe Liverpool are starting to people are trying to work that?

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I personally I think it was just the case. The league was wrapped up. They took their eye off the ball and they played in second and third gear.

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And can I ask you about Arsenal? Because they finished the season pretty strongly. The Red Shoes, those victories against Liverpool Man City, Chelsea at the tail end of the season, it seems Mikel Arteta very much determined to do things his own way. He's got this kind of mini pre-season now to be ready for the season starting at the end of next month. How do you fancy Arsenal are going to get on, first of all, tomorrow and then in a more general sense, going into the twenty, twenty one season after kind of starter arsenal?

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It reminds me of when Postino come into Tottenham originally on the way. He's kind of, I think, trying to sechler non-negotiable standards. And certainly you've seen a far, far increased work right from their forwards in terms of their high price, high pressing game to be one of the most interesting angles about the game at the weekend with the debut of William Saliba for Arsenal Centre Half, that's clearly been a problem position for Arsenal for many seasons, with the likes of mustafi, secretase, etc.

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. I've obviously struggled our stance on them for a sizable transfer fever and twenty seven million last summer. But he was lying back Saint Etienne last season despite being only 19. He apparently was outstanding at League One last season and looks pretty big prospects this week. Our US arsenal also seem to be on the verge of signing Brazilian center off Gabrielle Magalhaes from Lille. So I think potentially one of our biggest weaknesses, the last few seasons clearly being addressed. I think if either or if at least one of them became it became a legitimate Premier League centre after season, I think will go a long way to improvement.

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I would still be I, I would still be concerned about the midfield. And obviously, the Aubameyang saga is rumbling on. I think I think despite maybe some of the problems above him, I think our team is doing a very good job. And I think I think Arsala possibly a team on the up.

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They I suppose they and have a few problems to solve. Mesut Ozil trying to get them off the books. He seems quite determined to stay around and see out his contract. And Arsenal probably pay him to leave the club. As you say, they probably need to get a little bit of reinforcement in midfield, but they've looked at their defence. They've got a good goalkeeper in Bernd Leno, a good backup goalkeeper as well, a Martinez. And then you look at their strike force, lots of young players coming through.

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If they can get two or three important pieces of business, including that Aubameyang contract as sorted out between now and October, they're probably not a bad shape for an assault on the top for next season.

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Definitely. I think the Aubameyang one is quite interesting as well, because I my own personal feeling would be that the best long term decision for Arsenal will be to sell him given his given his age. I think you're only going to it's going to be hard to a significant transfer fee for him after the season given given he's in his 30s. And I feel as well, Arsenal are going to be challenging for the title next season. And I also really Raiche the Arsenal young striker Gabriel Martinelli extremely highly.

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I think between him and Lacazette, I think they could at least they could fill some of the void that Aubameyang might leave. But as you say, if Obama did leave the Didley for next season, that would get them somewhat of a hit.

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What do you think feel Arsenal ahead of next season? Yeah, I take Abbott's point about the age and the profile of Aubameyang, but I just think in terms of the message you would Santarus before the start of the season, if they cashed in on them, it would basically say, you know, we're surrendering that momentum we built at the end of last season. And Aubameyang was key to that. It was him that won them the FA Cup. Obviously, he's their captain.

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I know they're probably going to get strong, but I don't think it's the same situation as somebody that I was aware, obviously. Aubameyang. Well, commanders as much of a salary, a weekly salary, but also he gives you so much more than that. Ozil and Williams being a good signing as well. I think we're going to see a lot better from Nicola Pepé, who showed glimpses, but definitely he was one of those players in the last.

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Games of the season where you could start to see the quality and, you know, he's it was his first season in the Premier League coming from from France as well. If they get the business done at the back of a season so young, it was interesting against M.K. Donziger the day he went with Frater back. I just don't think our Tatta wants to play three of the back. But at the moment, because of the deficiencies in there, he feels that that's what he has to do.

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And Kieran Tierney's part of that back three. But you would like to think that Taraneh is going to be your left wing back if you're playing a three. That's where Michaela is. If he comes in, he's a left side of centre half. He can play there and then obviously a free opportunity to play as a wingback or just an Orthodox left back. And we didn't see the best opportunity because he was injured. But there was sure signs at the end of last season just how good he is.

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So when it comes to Liverpool, back to back ninety point plus seasons, finally getting the monkey off the back in terms of ending that 30 years for an English league title, perhaps will be a bit disappointed. They didn't go further in the hopes and particularly in the Champions League, but they've resisted going out to sign players during this transfer window so far. We'll see what develops over the next six weeks or so. But it seems they're going to be going largely with the squad that they had from last season.

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Is that squad good enough to go deep back into the competitions and to defend the Premier League title again?

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Yeah, well, I mean, they did this last summer where they didn't sign any significant players. And, you know, people thought the fact that they'd run city so close, I mean, a point behind them and they thought now is the time to to invest backslapper confidence in the squad that he had. And then they go out and they absolutely walk the league and want to play more. But as I said earlier on, that they kind of went into second gear for that at the last few games of the season.

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They needed a back. They needed back of Randy Roberts and a natural left back because Miller and Gomez obviously played the Merseyside derby after the restart. They can do a job with they're not natural left for the players. So CIMIC was a good sign for them. Menomena was brought in in January and you know, he didn't hit the ground running. That's not a concern. He's look at some of the players Klaper signs. Do you think of Fabinho took him a while to get into the team.

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So many mean are looked even sharper the other day where he's going to play a more he's going to have a bigger role to play next season. And look, there is a slight concern with the front three. That's if something happens, one of them or if you want to take one of them off. What's the backup there, and, you know, Klopp has been talking today about Ryan Brewster, he came off the bench the other day, scored the two goals, also scored against Stuttgart.

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They don't know what they're going to do with him yet, whether they keep him or they send them out to a Premier League club alone for the season. Sheffield United, the club that's been mentioned, but M.A. is is an option as cover for Roberto Firmino. But Ariga, I always felt a righi should have been sold out for the Champions League final that he scored. And that was the highest value that he had. And, you know, it is just too much of a drop off when something happens.

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The front runner, you don't start them, but midfield. If they get Thiago, that's where Klopp is going to do most of his rotation, because obviously there's going to be so many fixtures this season. And that's your engine room. That's where you got to make the changes. So if he gets Tiago and keeps one of them, he's got plenty of options. Even if one of them goes, we don't know what's going to happen there. It doesn't look like he's getting a new contract, but he might be happy enough just to see it out and and play next play this season and then go on a free next summer.

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But no, never put Protocell the team to beat the reason all these clothes behind them are going and splashing the cash is because they have to close the gap. Yeah.

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Šemeta Paddy Power still see Liverpool as favourites for the Premier League next season and not at the moment.

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It's currently the price. Our monthly eight to eleven, Liverpool two to one Chelsea. We haven't won a minority 14 to one with Arsenal outsiders at 45 to one, I think for a two horse race.

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So it's.

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Yeah, it's interesting though, because I think the when the price is opened initially, maybe about a month or so ago, Chelsea might not it would have been bigger prices and and they haven't backed in so much. I think if I would expect Chelsea to sign another goalkeeper and I'd say maybe you need at least one more centre half after signing Thiago Silva Silva today. So I could see all of those prices. Maybe Chelsea Price is shortening a bit like last season.

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Say, as is well documented, Kapur had the worst, worst percentage of the Premier League and one of the worst in Premier League history.

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So that's clearly a position they need to address our football coverage here. And off the ball is with thanks to Paddy Power. Phil, when it comes to Chelsea, they're splashing the cash. This was one of the factors that was brought up repeatedly when people were assessing Frank Lampard first year in charge. He didn't have a transfer window to start with. He had to play the kids. Well, he spent two summers worth the money already in the first couple of months of this transfer window.

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Yeah, absolutely. It's it's like he was stuffing all his money under the mattress and now he's just gone wild. And the sales. No, now not. I don't know how much value he's got this year, but the the bottom line is Chelsea native players definitely think the goalkeeper is an issue. Obviously, by the end of the season, Cafiero is starting and it's never a good sign of Willie Caballeros, your first choice goalkeeper Kepa. It's rare you see capers that when the confidence gets drained out of them so much that they can recover us the same club.

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You see glimpses where. The stakes come in the Caribbean, but it just looked like he had absolutely no confidence at all, the mistakes were there as well, but also the fans had no confidence in him at all either. So if they don't get a new goalkeeper, it's all well and good having the likes of Timo Werner. And how come Zac and obviously we expect Roberts to get on Thiago Silva's there Chilwell but if they don't have a good goalkeeper, you know, they're still going to be question marks about the defense because it's all about and going to have a better defense.

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But if your goalkeeper isn't up to it, then that just leads to nervousness. Those games where you're one stop or your goal and you're trying to see it out but you don't trust your goalkeeper, that just puts defenses on edge, is on the edge. And then also it just gives confidence to opposition teams knowing that you never get a shot on goal here in this caper. Isn't isn't the keeper that Chelsea thought they were getting the world's most expensive caper certainly hasn't lived up to an interesting point.

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You bring up Phil because it was speaking to Kenny Cunningham a couple of weeks ago, an off the ball. And I asked him about the recruitment at the time that they were being linked to Tiago Silva. And the feeling was they would get Chilwell over the line before both happened this week. He reckons it's less so the personnel Chelsea, given that it was largely the same defense that Mauritius had worked with and a lot of the players that Antonio Conte turned into a good defense a couple of season previously, he reckons that a defense coach is probably more important than players coming in because a lot of these problems were conceding at set pieces.

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They were organizational problems on the counterattack. Is that a bigger issue than the actual players they're going to bring in?

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Yeah, well, I mean, this is something we're going to see if they line up, say, against Brighton, they're playing Brighton and the opening weekend and they start with Chilwell and Thiago Silva and their team and they're still conceding goals and corners are set pieces that would suggest they're not coached well enough, that they don't know the players in the team, don't know what their role is when they're defending spaces. And Lampard is obviously a new coach. He's at his first season in the Premier League.

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He's had a season and the championship, you know, he was shortlisted in some places for the manager of the Year awards. And, you know, it made a lot of people laugh. He did OK. You know, he didn't have a transfer window to to work with. He obviously lost that and hazard. It's his first job in the Premier League. You know, there was moments where you thought, yeah, this could work, but the pressure is on because when you spend that cash, you have to back it up with results.

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And, you know, if they start slowly, if they lose a few games already, they'll forget the pain. Liverpool early in the campaign as well. And I spent a needle, given what happened at Anfield a few weeks ago when Lampard and the Liverpool bench got chippy with each other. So, yeah, there's going to be pressure on that free pass that I think Lampard, Goff and some, especially Manchester United fans probably were scratching their heads thinking, why does Lampard not get the same abuse that Salazar gets?

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But, you know, the honeymoon period is very much over for Lampard now.

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And when it comes to defenders going to London, Spurs are about to sign maturity right back. It's been a bit of an issue since Kyle Walker left surgery, had a few and different performances last season. It looks like they've gone for wolves rampaging right back. And he's going to be the most high profile Republic of Ireland player in the Premier League in terms of at least where he plays next season.

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Yeah, it's it's fantastic to see an Irish player and moving to the upper reaches of the Premier League for kind of a significant transfer fee. My only concern would be that it would be a kind of a classic Mourinho move, I would say, to to sign a player and then play him in the position in which he wasn't excelling, because I firmly believe that Dati is a unique kind of player. I don't think he's a I think he's he's definitely much more of a right wing back than a conventional right back the way he can.

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I get on the end of crosses and it's like plays if you like, attacking, attacking midfielder for Wales. Well, some time I'd be worried that Mourinho would kind of see him as a player was kind of a solid right back and not let him cross cross the halfway line that much, because I don't think that's the way you get the best of my maturity. But I'm delighted he's already got the move and hopefully he gets used in the right position.

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Phil, that's a genuine concern. Mourinho doesn't generally like to push his fullbacks up too far. He tends to be defense orientated when it comes to his fullbacks. While not already played most of his good football, those overlapping on the right hand side, sometimes even coming inside to get the ball. Could he be restricted at Spurs under a Marino system? Yeah.

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I mean, if you look at surgery, even under Mourinho, he did get forwards, but the weakest part of his game was defending. So he is certainly a better defender than surgery in terms of maybe what it does for Stephen Kenny as well. I mean, not a bad thing from an Irish point of view that he will be playing as a more Orthodox right back. But I still think they've got chances to go forward. And you know what, Moreno?

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We know there was a few moments last season where you thought, how is this going to end? But we know how it tends and what Marino it's when it ends and this is his first full season as Spurs manager. And maybe if it doesn't go great for authority, the only place there is Jose Mourinho probably won't be around for much longer. Thus, if a new manager comes in, they could say, right, I've seen how you paid Alos and I want you to play a play like that for me.

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So Mourinho will obviously his ideas, but I don't think Marino is going to be hanging around that long because, you know, there's just too many better teams than spurs in the Premier League and that will annoy the hell out of Jose. But I'm not sure if you've got the price in front of you. Could well be putting you on the spot here. But how are the bookmakers seeing Stephen Kenny going into his first few games as the Republic of Ireland manager?

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You know, so we have to we have to match prices for the nation's league anyway. So we're against Bulgaria. It's 15 to Bulgaria. The draw, two to one. The Republic of Ireland, 13 to 10.

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I'm just I'm intrigued to see how we set up and just I think the first time for the first time in many years, I think I'm I'm really looking forward to it because I know the nation's league is in a frenzy, but it's not it's not quite a qualifier either. And I normally would be looking forward to these games at all. But I'm actually I'm really looking forward to this to see how some of the some of the young players are used.

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And I feel like I know Phil reference that we'll be playing a back four, but I really think we should try playing a back three. I think it's just James Coleman is made for a kind of a wide position, about three. I don't think he's the engine to go up and down the line anymore like he used to. But he's still a very solid defensively, as you saw in the Merseyside derby after locked in the way. Short answer to your money.

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I think him, John Egan and shaved off, he'd be an excellent back three and then playing our two most consistent Premier League performers, which would be under Stevens, the maturity and the right positions. I would I would love to see Kenny try that action. What do you reckon, Phil?

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I mean, he has in press conferences mentioned that he's not entirely wedded to forwards back. He's not entirely wedded to any given system, that he'll put players and the system together that fits the squad best. There is that potential that he could go to that exact back three that it's just mentioned.

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Yeah, I think I agree with him and it's perfect. Yeah. You and the Seasons and Authority who were sued in the wingback roles, Seamus Coleman plays that role. That aspect are quite a play so well for Chelsea Handler can't wear because he's a fullback. He is just so used to sweep in off. So it works. It works well. The thing is, Stephen Kenny has been asked about this so many times and it just always seems what I take from it is that he's more inclined to go a for the back, whether it's a.

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It's a four three three is the way he says he wants to play, but it can become a four or five on defense when you're when you're behind the ball. And that just seems that the way he wants to play. But yet it's exciting times because even the squad know you're going to see fresh faces. You'd be looking forward to seeing what his first team is going to be. And does he go if he does go for the box, does he go down here to your Seamus Coleman?

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I think if you're going to play for the back and you want your fullbacks to go forward, he'd have to go with Attardi. But then, you know, I mean, that's not that's not an easy call to make. And Stephen Kenny's find that out from his first squad name the other day where he left out Michael Obafemi. Now, I don't know if our family didn't put that tweet out, would there have been as much of a reaction that he was left out?

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But probably not I mean, it does beg the question of whether he was spoken to about whether he was going to be in the under 21 squad or not, like you would imagine that that conversation would happen. Look, I'm not breaking into the senior squad for these two games next month. I want to see how you get on with the other 20 ones and we'll see what happens with the next senior squad for the qualifier the month after.

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Yeah, and given the fact that the twenty ones are very much in the mix for qualifying for their first tournament, that it wouldn't be the heart sell to say to Michael, if I may. Look, Jim Crawford is in charge now. You know, you played with the 20 ones before. We'd like to see how you get on. These are really important games for us as well. And, you know, obviously, the potential then to see how you get on in the Premier League with Southampton, obviously Southampton finish the season very well.

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Obafemi Carr is going at Old Trafford as well. And then you can work your way into it, but. This is what I'm saying about Stephen Kenny is the you know, he's going he's going to find out. Well, I'm sure he already knows, but every decision you make is going to be scrutinized and criticized. Some people praise Stephen Kenny for certain decisions, but just the way football is nowadays, the way social media acts, that if you make the wrong call, for example, you pick my priority over Seamus Coleman, then it doesn't work out.

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You just leave yourself open for all sorts. Yeah, results business.

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And unfortunate to have to start off with three so important fixtures in the first month in a bit as manager competitively and when it comes to Celtic. I was reading a press release from Paddy Power this week that you guys have no odds against to be in charge at the end of this season, that there's a chance he could walk before the end of the campaign despite Salta going for 10. I'd imagine a huge amount of that is motivated by the fact that it's going to be tricky for them to qualify for the Europa League.

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Now, with two more rounds to navigate after going out of the Champions League early and also his comments about many players now looking to leave the club and that he could facilitate those exits before the end of the transfer window.

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Yeah, definitely. I think as well, given the lack of gate receipts for the foreseeable future, I think Scottish teams need the Champions League revenue much more than the English clubs, given they're like a TV dealer. I think this season, with the lack of gate receipts, there would've been a huge premium placed on the Champions League. So it's clearly a huge disappointment. I yeah, like I'm I'm skeptical of I know Leanna's as an excellent record itself, but his record away from Parkhead is fairly middling at the likes of Bolton and even in the lower reaches of the Scottish League.

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So I I'm not sure how much of a loss he'd be, but I think certainly not making the Champions League was a bit of a disaster for Celtic.

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They got they've got a job to get there. The Irish team sort of mixed weak in Europe, Darrian Bohemians losing out, but no is progressing very dramatically on penalties last evening. That's something we could probably talk about next week as they prepare for round two of the Europa League qualifiers. Dundalk could be in action in that round as well. And my thanks to both Emma and Phil for joining me on the party. Part of a half hour and we'll chat you soon.

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Football off the ball with Paddy Power and more electric team up than Salah and gamble responsibly. CWG Donnette. That was an OTB podcast, Network Presentations. Thanks for listening to the football podcast. Don't miss the next episode. Just hit that subscribe button on the new TV sports at.