Genius: Jimmy Bullard

Sunday, 29 November 2009


Get in Jimmy Bullard, the cheeky chappy recreates Phil Brown's team talk of last season. Hull are now unbeaten in four games, so no wonder spirits are high.

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The Old Firm: Two giants in decline?

Thursday, 26 November 2009



A couple of weeks ago Premier League clubs rejected the proposal of allowing Celtic and Rangers to join the top flight of English football, and I have to say I am glad they did.

Why should Celtic and Rangers join the Premier League? For one, they simply haven’t got the quality of a mid-table team, or as former Celtic legend Frank McAvennie said “If the two were playing in the Premier League today, they would finish bottom and second bottom”

Together Celtic and Rangers form one of the most fiercest and famous rivalries in sport: The Old Firm, and over the past 25 years they have dominated football in Scotland, if they were to leave then without doubt the SPL would most likely fall flat on its face because there would no longer be a main attraction.
Of the 18 clubs that have played in the SPL since it’s inauguration in the 1998-99 season only two clubs have won the title: Celtic and Rangers, 6 and 5 titles respectively.

There has been only one season when both Old Firm clubs failed to occupy first and second place in the SPL and that was in the 2004-05 season when Hearts separated the two by finishing second behind Celtic. And with the way things are going this season I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened again.

Both Celtic and Rangers have racked up huge debts in recent times with Rangers £31.1m in the red, and Celtic not far behind. Like everywhere else the recession is hitting the SPL hard, which has seen a reduction in ticket sales. In a recent Scottish League cup tie where Celtic lost 1-0 to Hearts only 18,000 people turned up at Parkhead, which has a capacity of 60,000, while Rangers performances and recent crowd trouble in Europe have been particularly woeful.

One time Celtic could boast of having big named players such as: Henrik Larsson, John Hartson and Chris Sutton, but now they have players like: Georgios Samaras, Marc Antoine Fortune and Scott McDonald, all who are credible players in their only right but not exactly the quality you need when you are competing in Europe or the Premier League.

Neither club can attract the big named players anymore, so instead they are being forced to pick up players from the League of Ireland as well as delving into the lower divisions of the Football League in England.

The Old Firm is the classic example of two bald me fighting over a comb, but the gap is beginning to narrow, and with only three points between league leaders Rangers and fourth place Dundee United, the notion of other clubs mounting a serious title challenge is no longer as far-fetched as it would have been 20 years ago.

Other clubs are beginning knocking on the door, but will the find the key to open it?

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Didier Drogba - Reformed Character



“At 31, he's playing the best football of his life. Bold, brash and beefy, he's quick to turn a defender, positive in decision-making and lethal in front of goal.” Jonathan Pearce BBC football commentator speaking about Didier Drogba.

Think back to last May, when Didier Drogba caused huge controversy after Chelsea's Champions League semi-final defeat at the hands of Barcelona. Feeling that many decisions had gone against Chelsea, after the final whistle he confronted referee Tom Henning Øvrebø, in what were some of the most petulant scenes I’ve ever seen on TV, certainly since Ronaldo’s diving.

Drogba received a yellow card for his outburst, and was recorded shouting "It's a fucking disgrace" into a live television camera. On 17 June 2009 UEFA subsequently handed him a six game European ban with the final two games suspended.

It is without doubt that the ban has done him the world of good because we have seen a reformed character this season; Drogba is like a new man with a new lease of life. The Ivorian is in the form of his life having scored 12 goals in 14 appearances, and with the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at Stamford Bridge, Drogba is once again getting the love and attention that he thrives on for the first time since the Jose Mourinho era.

Drogba joined Chelsea in 2004 for £24million becoming the most expensive player from the Ivory Coast in history, but over the past five years he’s has repaid the Blues.
He has scored more goals for Chelsea than any other foreign players and currently sits in ninth place on the leaderboard of Chelsea’s highest goal scorers of all time.

He is certainly returning to the heights of the 2005-06 season which was a huge personal success for Drogba as he hit 33 goals in all competitions, more than his tally in the previous two seasons combined, including 20 in the Premier League to win the Golden Boot. In doing so, he became the first Chelsea player since Kerry Dixon in 1984–85 to reach 30 goals in a season.

With the way he is playing at the moment he could well smash that record this season, from my point of view, this is possibly his last opportunity to shine, because at 31 it will be all down-hill from here. Drogba will be key to Chelsea’s title challenge this season, and if he can stay fit and keeping scoring at the rate he’s been scoring he could have another Premier League medal come the end of the season.

Keep up the good work Didier.

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Tough week ahead for the Kop

Monday, 23 November 2009



Liverpool legend Alan Hansen was quoted this week as saying “Pepe Reina has been so good for Liverpool during these recent desperate times that he’s saved them from dropping into even more into trouble than they’re already in.” And I have to say I couldn’t agree more.

Last season was Liverpool’s best league campaign in terms of points gained, that said, they still failed to topple Manchester United who claimed their third league title in a row, once again leaving the Kop craving for their first domestic title in 20 years.

After a very poor start to the season another year of waiting could still be on the cards, as Liverpool lie seventh in the league 13 points behind league leaders Chelsea, victories look to be as rare as snowflakes in a desert these days, with the Kop having only won once in their last ten games.

For Rafa Benitez in his 5th season in charge, his Premier League dreams in tatters, knocked out of the Carling Cup, and a crucial make or break week in the Champions League coming up. Liverpool need an away win to Hungarian champions Debrecen, but if Fiorentina are victorious against already qualified Lyon it will put the Kop out. However, if Fiorentina lose to Lyon, Liverpool will only need to beat the Italians; a draw would see Liverpool needing to win by a three goal margin to finish level on points but above the Italians via head-to-head ruling.

Failure to reach the knock-out stages would cost the club around £20million, almost as much as the club being relegated to the Championship. It would also cost just as much to sack manager Benitez, having signed a new 4 year contract in May, the Liverpool board will be reluctant to sack the Spaniard no matter how bad results get.

Some may say Benitez has never had the financial power to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United; he has done very well in spending £230million, but still has not managed to put together a squad capable enough of winning a Premier League title.

Former Liverpool manager Graham Souness wrote recently that “For all the money Benitez has spent you could say only Pepe Reina, Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres are truly world class players.”

This season Liverpool look to have gone two steps forward only to go four steps back, and look nowhere near like challenging for the league title. The squad has had its fair share of injuries in recent weeks but really when you look at the money Benitez has spent he should have players in reserve who can step up to the plate.

It is without doubt that Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard are Liverpool’s best outfield players, while Pepe Reina guards the net. However, their back four has question marks written all over it Jamie Carragher has shown that he is past it in recent weeks, also the loss of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid has meant they are lacking substance in midfield, and with Alberto Aquliani yet to start a game his presence has yet to be replaced.

Without Fernando Torres Liverpool have to rely on average players like Ryan Babel, Andrei Voronin and David Ngog, players who will never be part of a title winning side. Those players are all classic examples of the manager refusing to admit he’s got it wrong, that is why he plays them week in week out, especially Voronin who makes the free transfer Liverpool secured him on look like a waste of money.

I thought at the start of this season Liverpool would win their first title in 20 years, but at the moment I couldn’t be further off the mark. They look like the ones to drop outside on the Top 4, and not Arsenal.

It’s a crucial week for Liverpool Football Club because by the end of Tuesday night, they could be all but out of the running for every trophy, apart from the FA Cup. Rafa Benitez is a Liverpool for the long haul, so it’s a case of que sera sera.

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Roy Keane - Good manners?

Saturday, 21 November 2009



When you're in a press conference, don't leave your phone on. Especially if the manager is Roy Keane.

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Cheating - a dirty scar on the face of the beautiful game.

Friday, 20 November 2009



I have been doing a lot of reading of FIFA’s official website this week, not for their match reports, but their page on Fair Play and interestingly it states: “The generic concept of fair play is a fundamental part of the game of football. It represents the positive benefits of playing by the rules, using common sense and respecting fellow players, referees, opponents and fans.”

A word that they use is common sense, and in my view they have shown none by putting a dampener on the replaying of the World Cup play-off match between France and Ireland, in which a clear hand-ball by Thierry Henry meant Les Bleus booked their ticket for South Africa.

It goes on to say - “Fair Play has a fundamental role in sport and there is a need to apply it to all sporting activities, especially children's activities. Children need strong values to grow up with, and football, being a team sport, makes them realize how essential discipline, respect, team spirit and fair play are for the game and for life.”

Therefore, if fair play has a fundamental role in sport then why is common sense not prevailing, and a replay set-up? Conclusive video evidence that has been seen worldwide by millions of people has shown that Henry handled the ball not once, but twice, before William Gallas put the ball in the back of the Irish net.

Qualification for the World Cup would have lifted the spirits of the Irish nation, a country in darkness; it would have been our shining light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Instead, our team who put on their greatest performance in years on Wednesday night will be watching the World Cup from their armchairs next June.

For players like: Robbie Keane, Shay Given, Kevin Kilbane, Damien Duff and Richard Dunne it would have been their chance to play on the big stage, but now they may never get that chance again.

As long as FIFA abide by their rule book then the injustices will continue. They keep quoting Law 5 - “Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed.”

“The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.”


Those are the rules, and they are set in stone as far as FIFA are concerned, and as long as they are then Fair Play has to give. The referee is not always right, and we have seen that many times in football. But what I can’t understand is why the referee didn’t take the time to consult his assistant or fourth official because it was quite clear from the Irish players’ reactions that they had been cheated. Cheating is a dirty scar on the face of the beautiful game, and once again it has raised its ugly head.

Today the man at the centre of the controversy, Thierry Henry has come out and said “Naturally I feel embarrassed at the way that we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish who definitely deserve to be in South Africa," said Henry in a statement today. "Of course the fairest solution would be to replay the game but it is not in my control.”

Henry knows he is in the wrong and he has admitted it, and accepted responsibility for putting Ireland out of the World Cup. France had their backs against the wall in Stade de France on Wednesday night; but it was a night to remember for all the wrong reasons. As far as I am concerned Ireland were the better team over the two legs, and deserved to go through overall. Instead, France are off to the World Cup next summer courteousy of an own goal and a backhander.

It’s clear to me that FIFA have set a marker down and that’s it, they are not going to budge. The FAI, Irish captain Robbie Keane and French captain the aforementioned Thierry Henry have all accepted that in the interests of fairness the game should be replayed. The next step will be if the French Football Federation also takes the same line, it will put FIFA under huge pressure, and they will undoubtedly have to give in.

If not, then this game will have to be a catalyst for change. The calls for goal-line technology and extra referees grow ever greater. I am sure FIFA won’t want a repeat performance of this at a World Cup.

UEFA have been trialling the extra officials in this season Europa League where two extra officials help the referee and his assistants make decisions regarding incidents within the penalty areas, they are positioned behind the goal lines at either end of the pitch and can communicate with the referee via headsets. If UEFA had been trialling those officials in a major World Cup play-off then this incident would never have happened.

For now, the cries for a replay continue, as this story looks set to run and run for this weekend at least. To sum it up, I quote comedian and Father Ted star Ardal O’ Hanlon who said – “There's nothing like injustice to galvanise a nation” And that is what this has done.

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We're all part of Trappy's Army

Wednesday, 18 November 2009



Ireland head into tonight’s clash against France with a mountain to climb: having not won in Paris for 72 years. On Saturday night we saw the Boys in Green fall to their first competitive defeat under manager Giovanni Trapattoni, losing out 1-0 to Les Bleus from a deflected Nicolas Anelka strike, thus giving France a vital away goal to take back home to Paris.

However, if Ireland scores first tonight then its game on, provided that they don’t concede another goal, the match will enter extra time, and we will have the run the risk of a penalty shoot out. While many say it’s an uphill battle for Ireland, a comeback is possible. Six goals in five qualifying games suggest that Ireland can get a goal in Paris.

Speaking after Saturday nights defeat Trapattoni’s message to the “great Irish fans” was – “to be positive”, its only half-time”.

Despite their inferiority, France showed that they are a shadow of their former selves in Saturday night’s match, not even having to get out of first gear to win the game. Having being kept on the back foot for most of the first half France managed to make their possession count after the break, and deserved their win. In truth is was a poor performance from the former world champions, who could yet be out of the World Cup by the end of tomorrow night, not likely but, hopefully.

The last team to beat Les Bleus in a competitive fixture in Paris was Scotland back in October 2007, where they won 1-0, the impossible is possible, and in the second half of this tie is where David could well beat Goliath. 1-0 is all Ireland to win by, then the dreaded penalty –shoot out will follow, I think we would be much better to play for a two goal win, however, if we do go ahead, the we have to defend that lead.

For sheer guts and determination Ireland deserve their place at next year’s World Cup, but because of the powers that be at FIFA, and their ridiculous decision to seed the play-offs, means teams like Ireland must come up against higher ranked teams like France.

We all have fond memories here in Ireland of the World Cup: Italia 90’, USA 94’ where we sung in the streets – “We’re all part of Jackie’s army”. Let’s hope our Irish team does the business tomorrow night to bring back those glory days, by scoring early and taking control of the game.

Anyone for South Africa 2010 and “We’re all part of Trappy’s army”?

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Blink and you'll miss it!

Monday, 16 November 2009



Fantastic foresight from the player, certainly one for the record books. As far as my reseach goes, the fastest goal in English football is 4 seconds, Jim Fryatt (for Bradford Park Avenue v. Tranmere Rovers, 25 April 1964).

Nawaf Al Abed, the goalscorer, now sets the record at 2 seconds, for the fastest goal in football history. Unfortunately, upon review, the entire game was ruled invalid, as the team had six players over the age of 23 on the field in the second half. Not sure if he keeps his record, but for now, he will be credited with it.

This is why I love football!

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Ireland vs. France – Preview

Saturday, 14 November 2009


World Cup fever is sweeping the nation; belief has never been higher in the Irish camp ahead of today’s crucial World-Cup play-off.

The time has come once again for us to don the famous Green jersey, fly the tricolour, and come out in force to cheer on our Boys in Green in their quest for World Cup qualification. All that stands in our way is the waning superpower that is, France.

Ireland is within touching distance of reaching their first World Cup finals since Japan & Korea in 2002, while France could be faced with the possibility of not qualifying for the first time since 1994.

It’s a worrying time for Les Bleus, who have been finalists in two of the last three World Cups, and will be trying to qualify via the backdoor of the play-off, for the first time in their history.

Raymond Domenech’s French side have paid the price for a dismal qualifying campaign, ending up runners-up in a group they really should have won.

Their away form is very patchy to say the least, with only two wins from five games on the road.

Those games were both 1-0 wins against Lithuania and Faroe Islands respectively, not exactly teams that would set our world alight with their footballing talents. In their other three away games: they drew in both Romania and Serbia, while fell to a defeat in Austria.

For Giovanni Trapattoni’s Ireland, it will be their fourth time being in this play-off situation. Having remained unbeaten in Group 8; Ireland look to have been given a new lease of life under the veteran Italian.

Tonight’s David vs. Goliath game will be the biggest of these Irish players careers, and in a time of doom and gloom Ireland, a rub of the green is what we need to pull off the impossible and life the spirits of the nation.

We know that during the week the Irish squad have been put through their paces with set-piece, in particular, penalties. Trapattoni was even seen keeping the goalkeepers behind for extra training.

So, does this mean the Italian is playing for two draws, and then a subsequent penalty-shoot out in Stade de France on Wednesday night? I would not be surprised.

Ireland have scored 7 goals from set-pieces in qualifying, which accounts for 58% of their goal tally, a feat only bettered by four sides. On the other hand, France have conceded 6 goals from set-pieces in the run-up to this game, which is 67% of the total goals against them. Set-pieces could well have a huge influence on this game.

While France may not be the powerhouse of the past when they won the 1998 World Cup on home soil, and then Euro 2000 two years later, they have got a group of players who have plenty of European pedigree; 40 French nationals are playing in this seasons Champions League, compared to Ireland’s 2, John O’Shea and Darren Gibson, this experience is where France look superior.

All eyes will be on Croke Park tonight, where the two teams will take centre stage, in what promises to be the most exciting two-legged affair since David Beckham and Rebecca Loos.

Ireland have defied odds by finishing second in their qualifying group, now is their chance to defy all the odds once again and do the unthinkable, knock France out, and book their tickets for South Africa next summer.

With 180 minutes of football ahead, fasten your seat belts because the white knuckle ride is about to being. But, be warned, it won’t be pretty, that’s for sure.

Touchline Views Prediction: Ireland 1-0 France

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Miaowwwwwww!

Monday, 9 November 2009

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Premier League - Weekend Review


It was all eyes on Stamford Bridge this weekend as the superpowers of Chelsea and Manchester United collided. Ultimately it was the Blues who won out in the end and moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Just one goal was all Chelsea needed to secure the victory; a header from John Terry saw Manchester United fall to their third defeat of the season.

The Blues now look to be serious contenders for the title, but in truth it was a poor game. However, a win is a win, while The Red Devils winless run continues at Stamford Bridge, having not won there now since April 2002, they now lie third in the table level on points with Arsenal who have a game in hand.

Arsenal continue their unbeaten run which now stretches to 13 games after a 4-1 win over Wolves, and they now look like to be a real danger to Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for the title.

The Gunners are now second in the table, and have been firing on all cylinders this season, scoring 36 goals in the Premier League already, and they are going out of their way to prove the early season doubters wrong.

Wolves were simply undone by Arsenal who were 3-0 up at half-time from two own goals and one from Cesc Fabregas. Andrei Arshavin completed the rout in the 66th minute with a cracking goal. Wolves got a consolation goal in the 89th minute when Jody Craddock scored in the right net this time. The only thing that will worry Arsene Wenger is his side’s ability to keep clean sheets, but that’s just a small piece of the jigsaw at the moment.

Manchester City racked up their fifth consecutive draw of the season as they drew 3-3with Burnley. It was The Clarets who took the lead and were 2-1 up a half-time through goals from Graham Alexander and Steven Fletcher, while Shaun Wright-Phillips was on the scoresheet for City.

It was Mark Hughes’ side who came out all guns blazing in the second half and were winning 3-2 in the 58th minutes; goals from Kolo Toure and Craig Bellamy put them in contention for their first win in four games. But a late goal from Kevin McDonald gave Burnley their first away points of the season and a well earned point at that.

Manchester City’s attacking ability was shown in this game especially recovering from being 2-0 down, but their defensive frailties is what made them come undone in the end, another precious point for Owen Coyle’s men.

Both Tottenham and Sunderland have suffered a downturn in fortunes as of late, but it was Sunderland whose luck ran out at White Hart Lane on Saturday. The Black Cats had chances galore but couldn’t hit the back of the net, as Spurs picked themselves up after last weekend’s 3-0 derby defeat to Arsenal, by beating Steve Bruce’s side 2-0.

Sunderland dominated the game but it was clinical finishing from Robbie Keane and Tom Huddlestone that secured the victory for Spurs. Darren Bent won and missed a penalty as he made his return to his former club; safe hands from Heurlho Gomes to save the penalty, as the London side keep up the pace at the top of the table.

Aston Villa showed some clinical finishing at Villa Park scoring a handful of goals to beat Bolton, to keep up their unbeaten home run, which now stands at five games. Bolton look to be serious candidates for relegation this season, having now conceded goals in every game this season, while Villa look likely to reach a European competition.

Blackburn came from a goal down to beat Portsmouth 3-1 at Ewood Park. Sam Allardyce changed personnel at half-time and showed his intentions of winning the game by brining on two attackers, they ultimately done the business for Big Sam and won him all three points.

In the remaining three of Sunday’s four fixtures Hull beat Stoke 2-1 to win only their fourth game this year. Wigan drew 1-1 with Fulham, while Everton beat West Ham 2-1 to secure their first win in eight.

Tonight, Liverpool take on Birmingham, as The Reds look to get back to winning ways following their run of defeats.

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Ancelotti and Chelsea are top Drog.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


This weekend we see top of the table Chelsea take on third placed Manchester United in what should be the most important Big Four game of the season.

During the close season Chelsea were the only side in the Big Four not lose a big-named player, instead they gained one, in the form of Yuri Zhirkov.

On the other hand, Manchester United lost two very key players Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Who were replaced with Wigan’s Antonio Valencia and the ageing Michael Owen, not exactly credible replacements. But Valencia’s form as of late has been pleasing; however he is certainly no Ronaldo.

The Chelsea squad are however, no strangers to ageing now that most of their key players are the wrong side of thirty, not that that stopped them from flying out of the blocks at the start of the season, racking up seven wins out of seven, before being humbled by both Wigan and Aston Villa.

First blood in this fixture has already gone to Chelsea, when they beat United 4-1 on penalties in the Community Shield back in early August. Since then, United like Chelsea, have also only lost two games, as they were beaten by both Burnley and Liverpool.

Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti are a formidable force, and with Didier Drogba in the form of his life they are most certainly the team to beat this season. Drogba has scored 12 goals in total this season and has shown a change of attitude since his Champions League ban, and the arrival of the Italian, Ancelotti. Of those 12 goals, two were scored in mid-week as The Blues reached the knock-out stages of the Champions League once again.

A victory on Sunday and Chelsea could race into a five-point lead at the top of the Premier League; which could be important come the business end of the season.

Manchester United seem to be in a false position in the league especially when you look at their performances in certain games this season. Mostly notably, in their two defeats against Liverpool and Burnley, but they were also very lucky to win against Arsenal and Manchester City, as well as drawing with Sunderland.

In 11 games The Red Devils have conceded 11 goals, and when compared to their title winning sides of the last three years where, 24, 22 and 27 goals were conceded over 38 games, a defensive crisis cannot be denied.

Those title winning sides were built on an airtight defence, but with the notable absentees of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Edwin Van Der Sar, it’s with no surprise they’ve only kept 4 clean sheets in 11 games, compared to Chelsea’s 6.

While Chelsea have been keeping them out at one end, they’ve also been firing them in at the other end and have been scoring goals for fun lately, having scored 19 goals in 5 games.

Today will be an uphill struggle for Manchester United who have not won at Stamford Bridge since April 2002. Although a lucky omen for United could be Patrice Evra.
If the Frenchman plays for the Red Devils they could well get something out of the game because he has never lost to The Blues in open play, only on penalties in the Community Shield.

So while, Ancelotti and Fergie prepare to face-off for the second time this season and the fifth time in their careers, Sir Alex having lost in three of the previous four meetings between the pair, I truly believe that the winner of tomorrow’s game will go on to life the title in May, and that team will be Chelsea.

Touchline Views says: – Chelsea 2-0 Manchester United

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Goal of the week: Ryan Babel

Friday, 6 November 2009



Possibly one of the goals of this season, struck with some power and precision from Ryan Babel, pity that he then followed it up by taking a free-kick and kicking it straight across the pitch into oblivion.

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No more wrongs, only a Wright.

Monday, 2 November 2009



After 15 games, totalling 1350 minutes of football, Roy Keane and Ipswich have finally notched up their first win of the season.

The Tractor Boys beat Nigel Clough’s injury stricken Derby side 1-0 at Portman Road on Saturday.

Ipswich had gone into the game as the only club in the football league not to have won a league game, but that monkey is now firmly off their back.

The goal came in the 66th minute of the game, a Liam Rosenior cross was headed home by left back David Wright plunging Derby’s woeful form on the road into deeper trouble. The Rams have not won away in 15 games now.

Keane’s side had a knack of conceding late goals but that didn’t happen this time, thanks to goalkeeper Asmir Begovic who made some fine saves in the closing stages of the game.

However, speaking after the game Keane was making sure his players were keeping their feet firmly on the ground.

“I’m obviously pleased – it’s much better than losing. It’s always nice to win football matches but ironically I don’t think we played particularly well,” said the former Manchester United skipper.

“It’s still only one win in 15 games so we will be back on the training ground working hard again first thing on Monday morning”

Now that they have won their first game of the season I really hope Keane and his men can up the tempo and start climbing the table. I have been critical of Keane in the past but I think he knows this is his last shot at management despite it being only his season job. I really hope he proves his critics, as well as me wrong, and stick it out at Ipswich, rather than walking out like in previous situations.

The pressures of looking for his first win are now over and done with, and he needs to get his side focused and starting a run of winning games. If they can they will climb right up the table in no time.

This year’s Championship is hugely competitive especially with the amount of sides in the league that have Premier League pedigree under their belts. With only one and two points separating the teams from bottom to top a winning run will be vital for the Tractor Boys.

There is no more room for error at the Norfolk club, the long and winding road for promotion has surely now begun for Ipswich.

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Touchline Views

This is a football blog by Ian Walsh, covering all aspects of the game - from the Premier League and La Liga to the slightly mental football stories we all love.

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