Monday, 9 July 2007

Size matters... it's Random Monday

JJ here,

There’s little going on today so here’s some random thoughts…

Last week I was on a train that passed the site where once stood Lansdowne Road. The stadium had been described as ‘crumbling’ for about 15 years now so it’s good to see that work has, at last, started on a new home for Irish soccer and rugby.

Over the years, for those of you who may not be familiar with stadium politics in Ireland, there were plenty of arguments and a good amount of humiliation over where exactly a new national stadium should be built. Indeed for those who don’t know what I’m on about just look up ‘Eircom Park’ or ‘BertieBowl’ (in reference to our newly-re-elected leader Bertie Ahern) on Google and you’ll get a flavour of the decade-long battle to build the new stadium.

Above is a picture of what the finished product should look like when Ireland will play their European Championship qualifiers there in 2010, and while it seems like a quality piece of architecture and very modern design there is one huge flaw. The stadium will only hold 50,000 fans; a hugely disappointing number considering Ireland used to play in front of over 40,000 in the old ‘crumbling’ stadium during the early nineties. The capacity lowered with new FIFA rulings on crowd safety but it still had an excellent atmosphere even as the numbers were forced down.

Property prices and complaining neighbours have made the project smaller than originally intended but despite these excuses I’m still a bit bemused that the IRFU (who have plenty of property up their sleeves) and the FAI (who have plenty of dodgy fellas on their board), didn’t try and swing somewhere else with a bigger capacity and therefore bigger earning potential.

Looking at the new Wembley and its 90,000-plus capacity it makes the Lansdowne plan look a little second-rate to say the least. After a decade of drama, looking at all that rubble and thinking of all the cash (at least €400 million) that will be pumped into the project, you really can’t help but be a little upset that it came to this.


So Bernt Schuster is on his way to Madrid to bring sexy back to the newly-crowned champions of Spain. It’s an appointment that’s been a season in the making and having watched Capello’s team play some awful, awful football at times you can’t say it wasn’t coming. They have a record of getting rid of managers after winning the league – The Tragedy of Del Bosque as we call it here at Okeydokefootball – but they also have a formidable record for pedalling complete and utter bullshit.

Ramon Calderon spent the season lying his arse off about, amongst other things, Beckham’s house in LA; the clause in his contract that could keep him at the club; Wenger becoming the next manager; or even Robben being at an ‘advanced stage’ of contract negotiations six weeks ago. While the last rumour may, in the end, have a grain of truth in it, this fool should never be the source of any future headlines.

Want proof? He said that the club also talked to Ronald Koeman about the manager’s position. Yeah, that Ronald Koeman; former Barca legend who managed the two most boring, unimaginative teams in the last two years of the Champions League in Benfica and PSV. Even if he did talk to Koeman, it’s proof he knows nothing about the game. Good luck to Schuster but I would hope Calderon loses his position as bullshitter in chief as soon as possible; the summer is full of enough made-up transfer nonsense without him adding to it every fifteen minutes.


William Gallas is a tit: See this story for proof:,,2122142,00.html


Juan Roman Riquelme is a god: See his two goals and pass for Messi for proof:

And on that positive note, later folks.


Mark V said...

i'm surprised there was no comment on the Jamie Carragher 'asking not be selected' for England story...

The stadium will be a new, new Wembeley - overbudget, overtime. €400m! Pah!

There were also some rumours about Lampard scoring in America, it's one more than he got in Germany last summer....

JJ said...

I actually started writing a blog on the Carra situation but then was so uninterested I had to stop. Who cares? He never gets picked anyway, and scousers are famous for not giving a shite about england too. Himself and Fowler before him have to tell the press it's an 'honour' etc etc but deep down I don't think they're that bothered beyond a little bit of personal glory in being picked.

Like Scholes, the poor fella can now sit back and watch England fail in the comfort of his own home instead of having to cradle John Terry's spiky, tearful head in his arms and tell him everything will be okay.

As for Lamps... I reckon Jamie Redknapp will say that the woman in question should go to prison for wrecking poor Frank's home life. The cheek of her.

Mal said...

I agree that 50000 seems a bit small for Lansdowne. Why is it the residents could have such a major say on it while the GAA could do what they wanted with Croker and get permission for 82500 seats?