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Season Ticket 2017-2018
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Everything posted by EalingGreen

  1. They've just drawn 0-0 with USA in a friendly in California. Both teams were weakened by the non-availability of their European-based "big" players. Oh and Bosnia missed a penalty kick. https://www.si.com/soccer/2018/01/28/usa-bosnia-herzegovina-friendly-live-usmnt-video-goals-morris-sapong-agudelo That's about as interesting as it gets, so I'll leave you with a picture of Eva Herzigova, who may be related. OK, probably not.
  2. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    According to the IFA website: "Both the East and North stands at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park are sold out for the UEFA Nations League opener against Bosnia & Herzegovina next month. And only a limited number of tickets are still available for the two other stands in the ground, the South and West stands" https://www.irishfa.com/news/2018/august/two-stands-sold-out-for-bosnia-herzegovina-match Yet when I went to look for (£50) tickets for a mate in the North Stand Upper, it offered me one, but not two.
  3. Austrian National Team

    Austria, who are one place above NI in the FIFA Rankings, beat Russia 1-0 yesterday in a home friendly: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44301809 Russia, who are shaping up to be the worst World Cup hosts ever, didn't have a single shot on target. Next up for Austria is the visit of their German neighbours on Saturday. Let's hope they remember this time to go back home after the game.
  4. Israel (H) friendly - Sept 11

    What is often overlooked is that the catalyst for the suspension of home games in NI after 1971 was not The Troubles generally, but specifically an IRA threat to Scotland/Scottish FA if they came to Belfast for our sole home game of the British Championship of 1971/72. Meanwhile, 1971 was also the year that the IRA issued a death threat to George Best: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2018/02/10/day-ira-threatened-shoot-george-best/ And it wasn't just football which suffered from the IRA's threat of violence. The following year (1972) Mary Peters received a death threat purporting to come from the IRA, stating that as a "Protestant who competed for Britain" at the Olympics, she would be shot if she came back to Belfast: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2891795/Hail-Dame-Mary-Peters-Queen-Belfast-defied-bombers-picks-prestigious-New-Year-s-honour.html Meanwhile, Rugby got the same treatment from the Provos as well that year, with both Scotland and Wales intimidated from playing in Dublin: http://en.espn.co.uk/england/rugby/story/159995.html And, of course, a decade later the threats against Barry "The Brit" McGuigan were so bad that the police issued him with a gun and also allocated him an armed bodyguard for his personal protection for a period: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/barry-mcguigan-the-police-gave-me-a-gun-131630 None of which is ever mentioned when we get our periodic abuse for some toerag having threatened Neil Lennon etc, often from the self-same SF/IRA thugs who were threatening those sports stars previously.
  5. Israel (H) friendly - Sept 11

    So Argentina have decided not to play Israel because they don't like the (elected) government in power over there? Hmmmm. They're lucky other countries didn't take that stand in 1978, when the World Cup was held in their country, what with the place being ruled by a military dictatorship which had seized power from the elected government two years earlier, and proceeded to prosecute the "Dirty War" against its own people, during which an estimated 30,000 people disappeared.
  6. Israel (H) friendly - Sept 11

    Argentina have caved into pressure demanding that they cancel their forthcoming friendly in Israel: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-44378669 Pretty shameful, really (though the Israeli FA didn't help them - or themselves - by switching it from Haifa to Jerusalem, allegedly after being paid to do so by the Israeli Government)
  7. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    Agree - In the end, it's not the system, but how you use it which counts most, esp insofar as it suits the players available to you. In which case we can all trust Michael to sort it!
  8. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    If you're playing 3 at the back, both your Wing Backs can get forward without worrying overly much about defensive duties etc, esp if their three CB's push up with a high line. And remember too that teams playing three at the back don't mind pushing attacking opposition players out wide, since they can't score from there and if/when they cross it into the middle, you have 3 CB's available to head it out or clear. Meanwhile, opponents who try to negate that by using inverted wingers, find that they're turning into a crowded central midfield, which will always have at least one holding/defensive midfielder, and often two.
  9. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    He was born in the same year as Michael O'Neill! (Few months earlier) I suspect "lifestyle choices" may have something to do with it - seems he's long been a 40-a-day smoker, even when playing eg for Pompey. According to Peter Crouch: "He'd smoke before the game, at half-time in the showers and after the game as well. Red Marlboros, too. The real heavy stuff." And it wasn't just the fags, either: "If there was no booze(?), I would be the best in the world," said Robert Prosineck, who, in addition to his favorite Zagorje cocktail, was a great acquaintance of Marlboro and whiskey. That's why he later had serious health problems, but he said he did not drink in the last few years. The cigarette was still there, but the doctors did not forbid it. Let's hope no-one introduces him to the pleasures of Buckfast when he comes to Belfast.
  10. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    Fair enough, here ya go: Sorry, you meant this one?
  11. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    Interesting analysis of the current/February state of the BiH National Team: http://futbolgrad.com/prosinecki-introducing-new-bosnia-heroes/ Three things stood out for me. 1. Like ourselves, they've lost, or will soon be losing, a few important veterans after their failed 2018 WC qualification campaign; 2. Prosinecki seems to favour a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Edin Djeko as the obvious spearhead up front. If so, I wonder whether Michael will play three at the back against them, since that formation best suits countering a team which has two* up front, not one; 3. Re Buckfast Kid's above query, it seems that BiH may no longer be able to rely on the the children/grandchildren of their huge expatriate population opting to represent their ancestral homeland, as before. However this may be made up by increasing numbers of locally-born Bosnian Serbs and Croats choosing to represent BiH, rather than their ethnic homelands. * - Three CB's vs two strikers means you can man-mark both of them and have one left over to cover. Whereas three vs one means there's one marking and one covering CB, with the third one redundant.
  12. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    Funny enough, I think it is a bit like our situation. As the FIFA/UEFA recognised successor to Yugoslavia, I think anyone born when* Yugoslavia existed can still represent Serbia. Therefore those who are now from Rep.Srpska can play for Serbia, like eg players from the old USSR playing for Russia (see eg Lithuanian/Ukrainian Alexei Kanshelskis). However, it may be that not many do/have, either because they are happy to play for BiH, and/or because they're not good enough to get regular starts for Serbia (bigger playing pool): https://www.quora.com/Are-sportspeople-from-Republika-Srpska-more-likely-to-represent-Serbia-than-Bosnia-Herzegovina Beyond that, Rep.Srpska do have a "national" team, which is kinda tolerated, but not fully recognised, by FIFA/UEFA, in a similar way to the Catalan team(?): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republika_Srpska_official_football_team Interestingly, that link suggests that the domestic Rep.Srpska club League failed to get off the ground, and has become a part of the BiH set-up. Anyhow, whatever the ins-and-outs of the Balkans conflict etc, I retain a soft spot for the old Yugoslavia team, since they were the first international team to play in Belfast after a four year break due to The Troubles in the mid-70's: http://www.wsc.co.uk/the-archive/968-More-than-a-match/3737-northern-ireland-1-yugoslavia-0 https://www.11v11.com/matches/northern-ireland-v-yugoslavia-16-april-1975-233174/ * - I don't know, but I suspect that anyone born in one of the new states after the break-up of Yugoslavia will not automatically be entitled to represent Serbia, but should still be able to do so via a parent or grandparent who was born in Yugoslavia? Which if true, would mean that that "loophole" will effectively be closed in another generation, meaning if you are then born eg in BiH post-breakup, that's who you will represent, unless you have a parent or grandparent who was born in Serbia or Croatia etc. In that respect, it will be different from ROI, who will go on being able to pick NI-born players until there are further constitutional changes, such as Jimmy Carr suggests: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKwZM8TDEa0
  13. Austrian National Team

    Austria beat a handy enough-looking German side 2-1 tonight, having been 1-0 down at H-T: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44034290 "It ensured Austria their first win over Germany in 32 years and maintained Franco Foda's 100% record since becoming their coach last November."
  14. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    Well, Bosnia-Herzetc seem to have found their shooting boots at last (or Edin Visca at least). They've just beaten South Korea 3-1 in Korea, with a Visca hattrick: Match Stats Video of goals here: And dunno if I/anyone has mentioned it before, but the Bosnia manager is Robert Prosinecki, whose last job was managing Azerbaijan in their WC campaign, when we beat them home and away. Meanwhile, it's a while since we've had a pic of Eva Bosnia-Herzigova, so here goes: (She's now eligible for the "Good Life" thread, btw)
  15. Austrian National Team

    Handy for a rainy day:
  16. Bosnia. And Herzegovina too. What are they like?

    Bosnia and Herzegovina have just drawn 0-0 with Montenegro in a friendly, held in the 17.5k capacity Stadion Bilino Polje (Zenica): http://www.espn.com/soccer/match?gameId=508566 By the look of things, it may not have been the most exciting game the crowd of 5,215 have ever seen. Meanwhile, their previous four games this year (all friendlies) were: 27 Mar Senegal 0 v 0 BIH 23 Mar Bulgaria 0 v 1 BIH 01 Feb Mexico 1 v 0 BIH 29 Jan USA 0 v 0 BIH
  17. Score Prediction v Panama

    Panamanians taking it seriously: England are among Panama's opponents in Group G and the Northern Ireland game will be used as preparation for the 24 June meeting with Gareth Southgate's team in Nizhny Novgorod. "They are a complicated rival, a typical European team, English bred," said Panama striker Gabriel Torres. "It's going to be a team we are going to use to measure ourselves to know how we can better apply the work we've been doing. "We've worked a lot on the physical part. We are going to be working more on tactics once we get to Europe. "We're going to face this game very seriously, it will be in front of our people. People want to see a show and hopefully we can deliver that." https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44219809
  18. Central America tour

    Or not making the long trip to Kiev, it seems: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-44241955 Anyhow, hope all the GAWA get out to Central America and come back on schedule.
  19. Score Prediction v Panama

    Nah, can't be, we've got the copyright on that.
  20. Central America tour

    Apparently Alex McLeish has taken a bit of stick in Scotland for arranging an end-of-season tour for them like ours.. Here is what Michael had to say about it: O'Neill has also defended [McLeish's] decision to play two friendlies against Peru and Mexico at the end of the season, calling them "invaluable". Five Celtic players will not travel, while Andrew Robertson will also be missing. Scotland travel to face Peru on 29 May, followed by Mexico on 2 June. He said: "Some of the reaction initially to the tour was poor. I think it's important the clubs try and support the national team. "For instance we (Northern Ireland) are going to Panama and Costa Rica. Four years ago we went to Uruguay and Chile. "One of the big things as an international team manager is when you're in a double header in qualification, it's so intense. This is a different environment, it's an easier environment if you're going to bring young players in. It's invaluable. "It is always different when you play international football and you can only benefit." https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/44116957
  21. Central America tour

    It's surely not a question of Josh or Will, but whether Michael is going to use Josh and Will, since they are different players, performing different roles. Big Josh has forced himself into the team under Michael in the way eg another journeyman, James Quinn, did under Sanchez - old-fashioned, "90 minute men" who do a job which suits our team and our style. And let's be clear, Josh has usually been at the heart of our recent fine run of form, in the same way Kyle L was previously, before he lost form and fitness. So as I see it, if Kyle can get his mojo back, it's him and/or Josh to start, depending on whether Michael wants one or two big guys up front, with Conor W another candidate for that role. Which means Grigg is actually competing with Boyce for the "finisher" role, if Michael decides he wants such a player. Meanwhile, Paul Smyth is now mounting a challenge to Dallas/Ward/McGinn etc for the wide attacking/winger role.
  22. Central America tour

    Must say, I was very surprised to see this selection, since for all that Michael is genial etc, he's no soft touch, either. I guess he doesn't hold grudges, at least with younger players. So like you, I'd be prepared to give McGeehan a second chance.
  23. Central America tour

    Indeed, esp if you add a few others who would genuinely have liked to have been there, if possible (eg Davis, Lewis etc) Not just Worthington. Here is the team Sammy Mac was reduced to picking for an end-of-season friendly away to Italy in 2003 (hardly so arduous or unappealing a trip): 03/06/2003, Campobasso, Stadio Nuovo Romagnoli, 18,270 ITALY 2-0 NORTHERN IRELAND [HT 1-0] Maik Taylor [Fulham] [28/0] >55' Roy Carroll [Manchester United] [13/0] Chris Baird [Southampton] [1/0] George McCartney [Sunderland] [11/1] Aaron Hughes [Newcastle United] [30/0] Danny Griffin [Dundee United-SCO] [24/1] Peter Kennedy [Wigan Athletic] [16/0] >55' Mark Williams [Stoke City] [24/1] Tommy Doherty [Bristol City] [1/0] >86' Stuart Elliott [Hull City] [16/1] Damien Johnson [Birmingham City] [23/0] >69' Ciaran Toner [Leyton Orient] [1/0] David Healy [Preston North End] [25/8] >75' Gary Hamilton [Portadown] [1/0] Paul McVeigh [Norwich City] [9/0] >55' Steve Jones [Crewe Alexandria] [1/0] Andrew Smith [Glentoran] [1/0] Six debutants from seventeen...
  24. Central America tour

    Compare/contrast that with Michael's comment on 13th March: “I also spoke to Will last week. He was very keen to be involved [against South Korea] but League One games will be played on that Saturday and Will thought that he would be better staying with Wigan at this time. With the summer tour to Panama and Costa Rica, we can look at the situation then.” Anyhow, unless we're playing a real "minnow", Michael often tailors his selections according to the opposition, which he always scouts carefully. Perhaps he's going to use these two games to prepare for the NL games v Austria and Bosnia, for whom he has Josh and Liam in mind?
  25. Central America tour

    Apparently he's still unsure whether he'll play on with Hearts etc, Perhaps this tour is a way of keeping him reasonably fit during the close season? I'd say at his age, it would be very easy to lose fitness over the course of a couple of months. Beyond that, the squad's a nice combination of youth and experience, though as ever, we're short up front. Would like to have seen Lafferty on tour, so as to keep his fitness sharp, too. No McGovern? Strange one that, I'd have said.