Posted tagged ‘Bohemians’

Football woes

July 22, 2009

Regular readers of this blog will be used to my occasional forays into the world of soccer, and these days it is mainly to allow me to voice my utter despair at things in the club I support, Newcastle United FC. As some may know, Newcastle were relegated this summer from the English Premiership to the Championship. This little disaster was largely the result of the sheer catastrophe of the management by the current owner, businessman Mike Ashley. Having forced out the much loved and successful manager, Kevin Keegan, and then bounced along with a succession of managers dogged by bad luck, inexperience or illness, Ashley eventually – but far too late – appointed local hero Alan Shearer.

And when relegation came, of course Ashley quickly confirmed Shearer in the post and provided funds to reconstitute the team? Like hell he did! Rather, he messed around telling everyone one day he would now focus on getting everything right and confirm Alan Shearer, and then on the next saying he would sell the club while stalling the manager appointment. True, Newcastle has won all three pre-season friendlies so far – one of them was in Dublin against Shamrock Rovers, and my son and I were there; but that’s not enough when the club is rudderless and drifting along. The worst pessimists among the fans are already whispering the words ‘Leeds United’ sotto voce, God help us.

Anyway, to drag myself away from all this pessimism, this evening I accompanied my son to Dalymount Park to watch Bohemians (the ‘Bohs’) play a qualifying round match for the UEFA Champions’ League against Red Bull Salzburg. A capacity crowd, supporters in excellent voice (and indeed there was what we shall call some choice language from the stands). The Bohs started with an advantage, having finished the away game against Salzburg with a 1-1 draw – meaning that a scoreless draw would see them through on this occasion. In the event, just a few minutes from the final whistle, the Austrians scored, and that dream was over.

Who said that soccer can let you escape from the misery of daily life? I am now reading the report of ‘An Bord Snip’ to take my mind off the football woes.