Sideline Cuts – 22

Revolving Doors Keeping The Void At Bay

At the risk of boring our devoted and treasured readers, one more mention of displeasure felt at the split season in GAA needs a run out. This time, though, it’s in the context of a long standing part of the off-season filling the void therein.

That being the revolving door system when it comes to county team management. Already we have seen Andy McEntee head for Antrim and Colm O’Rourke replace him close to home.

Elsewhere, Kevin McStay has, belatedly in my view, taken the reins in Mayo, Liam Kearns has taken over from John Maughan in Offaly, Paddy Christie has ventured to Longdord, Oisin McConville has climbed onto the first rung of the managerial ladder with Wicklow while Colm Collins will next season go into double figures with Clare.

On the hurling front, the headline grabbing story has, naturally, been the return of Davy Fitzgerald to Waterford. And, as if expectations won’t have been ignited enough by the great man once again donning the Bainisteoir top, the fact that he has enlisted the services of hometown star Peter Queally and, most significantly the Tipperary Eoin Kelly, will surely have doused diesel thereon.

Chelsea, Tuchel and Celtic and Liverpool pay the price for Champions League profligacy

As reported earlier on this site, it would appear to be a case of new owners, same ruthless approach at Stamford Bridge. Less than 24 hours after Chelsea’s humbling by Dynamo Zagreb, manager Thomas Tuchel was shown the door.

Zagreb scored early but, despite having an abundance of possession thereafter, the London outfit were unable to drag themselves back into the game.

Mind you, they were far from alone in terms of their profligacy costing them dearly. Chief fellow victims were Celtic who, frankly, kicked Real Madrid into a corner but couldn’t score. Thereafter, as so often happens, they were caught by a flooring sucker punches when Carlo Ancelotti’s side scored twice in a four minute spell. And doubled that tally before game’s end.

Having said all of the above, you’d have to wonder will Jurgen Klopp’s position come under the same scrutiny and be liable for similar summary justice as was meted out to Tuchel.

By the standards we have come to expect from the once bespeckled German’s team, the Anfield club have had an abyssmal start to the current season. Something surely compounded by Wednesday night’s thrsshing by Napoli in the opening round of the Champions League.

Klopp’s crew are on a bad run

AJ AND FURY REVIVE INTEREST IN THE RING

Boxing isn’t for everybody and that’s totally understandable. This corner could take it or leave it. Whatever interest there is generally revolves around amateur. Due to a combination of there being a vibrant, successful club here in Dunboyne and the fact that pugilism is one of the sports in which Ireland tends to do well on the international stage. Despite the shambolic incompetence of the IABA.

Tyson Fury

Of course, there can be exceptions to every rule. Thus, where once it was Steve Collins and Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn and Bernard Dunne stoking interest in the pro game, more recently, Aleksondr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, Eubank Jnr and Tyson Fury have been doing the same.

Recently in this space, there was a pondering as to what the future held for Joshua following his second defeat by Usyk.

Now though, Fury – who, a la motor mouth McGregor, has retired more often than an Irish dancer – has thrown down the gauntlet to the recently usurped Brit. It may well be a case of two washed up hasbeens looking for something that’s not there, but here’s one that would definitely tune in.

GOING BACK TO WHAT WE KNOW BEST

Earlier this week, a piece was encountered somewhere in the media lamenting the loss of Bill O’Herlihy, John Giles, Eamon Dunphy and Liam Brady from RTE’s Champions League coverage.

The latter bluffer is no loss, but John and Eamon were quite obviously shafted via ageism. Worse still was to see them replaced by a cabbage like Richie Saddlier. Anyway, mention of the former greats got me thinking about another sporting topic.

Specifically, what Bill would have made of the nation’s recent successes in Athletics. Achieved by Mark English and Ciara McGeean at the European Championships and beyond. Especially given that Athletics is another area in which the Irish have long prospered on the big stage. Going back to the days of Ronnie Delany.

Ciara McGeean: Irish Athletics’ leading lady

But there are further layers to this success story. Not least the fact that the Portaferry, Co Down lady was formerly coached by another sadly departed member of RTE’s athletics coverage team – the late, great Jerry Kiernan.

The European silver in Berlin would be enough for most athletes in a lifetime, but for the 30-year-old, it has turned out to be only one chapter in a storybook year for the UCD alum.

Representing Northern Ireland, McGeean also took silver at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. She finished second to her closest rival, Laura Muir. However, only weeks after Berlin, Ciara – who also somehow found time to be involved in the coaching of at least one hurling team in Down – produced a devastating kick on the final lap of the Diamond League meet in Brussels to comprehensively drop Muir and break Sonia O’Sullivan’s longstanding Irish 1500m record.

Not a bad summer’s work all told!

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