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The Cross-Channel Conundrum – It’s Complicated

1971: Arsenal Football Club player Charlie George stands between George Graham and a fellow player who are holding the FA Cup on his head. (Photo by A. Jones/Express/Getty Images)

In this strange paradoxical little island of ours, it is a curious fact that you can make a pretty educated guess at an Irishman’s age by the English soccer team that he supports. For instance, there exists a thriving community of fifty-something Irish Leeds United fans, for the simple reason that they were at an impressionable age around the time …

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Passing the Buck: The Evolution Of Ireland’s Footballing DNA

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 13: Wes Hoolahan (C) of Republic of Ireland celebrates scoring his team's first goal with his team mate Glenn Whelan (L) and Robbie Brady (R) during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group E match between Republic of Ireland and Sweden at Stade de France on June 13, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

“A nation holds its breath…” As Ireland continue on the road to the 2018 World Cup against Georgia on Thursday evening, The Opel Jersey analyse how Ireland’s style of play has changed over the years, and how it still needs to evolve yet further. _____ In the days and weeks following Ireland’s 2-2 draw with Serbia in Belgrade, much discourse focused on …

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The Italian Job: Is Serie A On The Rise Again?

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 02: Kostas Manolas of AS Roma celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the Serie A match between AS Roma and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico on October 2, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images )

Italian football has been in steep decline for the last decade or so; Serie A’s glory days are a distant memory. The league that once saw AC Milan’s holy trinity of Marco van Basten, Frank Rikjard and Ruud Gullit stomp its pitches, questioned Denis Bergkamp’s credentials as a top-class striker and gobbled up Europe’s elite players season after season is …

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Opinion: Expanding The World Cup Further Would Be A Disaster

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 18: FIFA president Gianni Infantino speaks during a press conference after the FIFA executive committee meeting at the FIFA headquarters on March 18, 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Valeriano Di Domenico/Getty Images)

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has proposed expanding the World Cup from 32 to 48 teams. According to the BBC, Mr Infantino has suggested that 16 of these countries would be eliminated after a preliminary knockout round. This would ruin the World Cup. 32 teams at a World Cup finals is more than enough. As far as the beautiful game is concerned, the …

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The View From Georgia: Weiss Will Be Planning ‘Smash And Grab’ Victory Against Ireland

Ireland have relied on luck and last gasp heroics against Georgia in the past. Alastair Watt gives Póg Mo Goal the inside view from the visitors to Dublin. – What are the hopes for the current qualification series? The realistic aim is for Georgia to avoid bottom spot and anything higher than fifth would be a good outcome. Moldova are perceived as beatable …

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Exclusive – IRUPA CEO Omar Hassanein: The Stigma Of The Macho Rugby Player Is Being Broken Down

Omar Hassanein

IRUPA CEO Omar Hassanein was in Belfast on Tuesday night to speak as part of IRUPA’s Tackle Your Feelings panel discussions concerning mental health issues in rugby. Ulster and Ireland winger Tommy Bowe was at the event and said that it was encouraging to see “that IRUPA have committed to helping the rugby community and beyond come together and learn how to tackle their feelings”. …

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Exclusive: Doug Howlett Opens Up On The Mentality Of Being An All Black, The Haka, And Julian Savea Catching His Try Scoring Record

There’s not too many guys in world rugby you’ll meet that will come across nicer or more genuine than former All Blacks and Munster legend Doug Howlett. The Aucklander sat in an office space in Dublin on Tuesday and spoke to a handful of reporters openly and candidly about everything from his young family, how his former friend and teammate Jerry Collins had the entire All Blacks squad …

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Ranking The Very Best: England’s Top Five Wingers

We take a look at the five most talented wingers available to England right now, including some big names here but having to leave out some fantastic individuals out as well. 5) Christian Wade Despite prodigious talent, Christian Wade just cannot seem to get a look-in when it comes to England selection. Part of a scintillating Wasps side this season …

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Mayo For Sam: Are They Getting Closer Or Further Away?

Joe Brolly All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Replay, Croke Park, Dublin 1/10/2016 Dublin vs Mayo Mayo’s goalkeeper Robert Hennelly consoled by Andy Moran after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

It is at the stage now where even people from Dublin would have felt sorry for Mayo last Saturday. For the fifth year in a row, Mayo lost to the team that have won the All-Ireland title. Each year has been as heart breaking as the other. We ask the question though; are Mayo closer to lifting Sam Maguire or …

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Opinion: Five Reasons Mayo Can Win The All-Ireland Crown Next Year

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Replay, Croke Park, Dublin 1/10/2016 Dublin vs Mayo Mayo's Aidan O'Shea at the end of the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Napoleon Hill is one of the most successful authors in the history of the United States. His most famous work, Think and Grow Rich (1937), is one of the best-selling books of all time and at the time of Hill’s death in 1970, it had sold 20 million copies.  Hill’s works examined the power of personal beliefs and the role they play in …

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Champions Cup: Our Round Table Predictions For This Season’s Tournament

As the European Rugby Champions Cup gets underway later this month, we’ve taken a closer look at the pool stages, potential quarter and semi-final fixtures and predicted a winner for the final next May… _ Wasps have an incredibly strong side this year and will be a prominent figure throughout Europe and the Aviva Premiership. Their pool could arguably be considered as …

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Wenger’s Most Expensive Arsenal XI Is Ridiculous

Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has celebrated his twentieth anniversary in charge of Arsenal, and fifteen trophies later, we reflect back on his most expensive signings in an all-time starting eleven. Often criticised for not utilising the club’s vast financial resources, Wenger has actually made high-profile and expensive acquisitions over the years. However, many of the players included in this particular team are …

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UFC Fight Night 96: Lineker Vs Dodson – Predicting The Winners

CURITIBA, BRAZIL - MAY 14: John Lineker of Brazil celebrates after defeating Rob Font by unanimous decision in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 198 event at Arena da Baixada stadium on May 14, 2016 in Curitiba, Parana, Brazil. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

With the UFC 205 press conference stealing the majority of the limelight this week, the promotion’s event in Portland has flown under the radar. The four-fight main card is set to be headlined by two bantamweights loaded with punching power in a fight which could have serious title implications. It’s time to take a look at what fights to keep …

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Opinion: Big Sam – The Last Of The Great Football Characters

TRNAVA, SLOVAKIA - SEPTEMBER 04: Sam Allardyce manager of England looks on prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group F qualifying match between Slovakia and England at City Arena on September 4, 2016 in Trnava, Slovakia. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

After sixty seven days, one victory, one pint of wine and a Chinese Sam Allardyce’s reign as England manager has ended in ignominy. When Big Sam was appointed just over two months ago there was that feeling of inevitability that he was not the man to rejuvenate the fortunes of the English national side much like Roy Hodgson and Steve …

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