SoccerAll in the Game

Eddie Howe not pleased with Newcastle’s car crash FA Cup draw

Liverpool the hedge funders; Jorginho’s agent sets up Serie A move; Brian Kerr ready to look in the bushes


“I was driving at the time and nearly swerved off the road.”

Eddie Howe on hearing Newcastle’s car crash of an FA Cup draw: they were paired with Manchester City.

SNP MP’s tweet backfires

Most awkward Twitter/X ‘community note’ of the week? We’ll go with the one that appeared under Scottish National Party MP David Linden’s tweet from Wembley after Liverpool beat Chelsea in the League Cup final.

The tweet: “Dockers 1-0 Hedge Funders. It’s what you like to see.”


The community note: “Readers added context they thought people might want to know: Liverpool FC is owned by the Fenway Sports Group the Co-Founder of which is John W. Henry, a hedge fund manager.”

Sensibly, Linden turned off the ability to reply to his tweet, there possibly only being so many “ha, ha, ha” responses he could take.


That’s how many minutes it took for Cristiano Ronaldo to earn the €7,000 he was fined by the Saudi FA for making an ‘obscene’ gesture at the end of a recent game. Crippling.


“He’d suit Lazio more because [Maurizio] Sarri already knows his characteristics very well, but also Juve who have a great director of sport in Cristiano Giuntoli who he spent many years with at Napoli. I would not rule out a return to Napoli with new coach [Francesco] Calzona. When it comes to their strength and tradition, everyone would love to play for Milan and Inter.”

Jorginho’s agent Joao Santos is lining him up for a move from Arsenal to half of Serie A.

“I told John that I’ll chase balls into the bushes or go look at players, whatever he needs. I’m delighted he feels I’ve something to contribute to international football after all these years.”

Welcome back Brian Kerr, interim Irish manager John O’Shea’s new technical adviser.

“You’re just a s**t Andy Carroll.”

Forest fans serenading Darwin Nunez when he came on as a sub for Liverpool on Saturday. After his 99th-minute winner? The serenading ceased.

Rishi Sunak the caretaker prime manager

Footballing analogy of the week? We’ll go with the one offered by author Nels Abbey on LBC last Tuesday when he spoke to Nick Ferrari.

“Rishi Sunak is at best a caretaker manager, he has no popular mandate. I wouldn’t even say he’s of the Sam Allardyce or Avram Grant or Roberto Di Matteo ilk, he’s Glenn Roeder – at best.”

Roeder, alas, died in 2021. Sounds very much like Abbey believes Sunak’s prime ministerial career will expire at the next election.


“Arteta would leave Arsenal to join Man United, 100 per cent. If Man United in a wild dream said top of the list is Arteta, Arteta is going in and saying to the lads, ‘listen guys, it’s been emotional but I’ve got to move, I’ve got to go.’”

Rio Ferdinand – in need of smelling salts.

“When I arrived at City, Brian Kidd told me: ‘Carabao Cup, don’t pay attention! Play young players, nobody cares.’ Sir Alex Ferguson was always, ‘ugh, it doesn’t matter’. I don’t know what happened in the last years!”

Pep Guardiola miaowing in Jurgen Klopp’s direction after the German’s Carabao Cup-winning celebrations.

“I read about how I’ve only come up for a holiday. Make no mistake, I’d have picked a warmer place if I wanted a holiday.”

A shivering Neil Warnock dismissing chat about his motivation for taking the Aberdeen job.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times