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Double Vision

Please come and prove me wrong once again, Jose!

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Double Vision with Charlie Adley

You might think that after winning eleven trophies in the ten years since Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea FC, I’d be a happy fan. There are football teams all over the world who play each week with passion and fury in their quest for glory, who never win anything.

Since 2003, we have won (yes I use that pronoun, because in a primal, personal and faintly pathetic way, I am Chelsea and they are me) three Premierships, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.

Enough silverware to sate the dreams of any football fan. Any, except this Chelsea fan.

Yes of course I’m happy, but I’m frustrated too. You see, within those ten years Roman Abramovich has hired and fired nine managers, and here’s where my madness lies.

Being a lifetime follower of English football, I – along with most other Chelsea fans – like to think I know more about what works in the Premiership than the owner of the club.

The Russian oligarch fell in love with the game years ago, watching Manchester United playing AC Milan, and ever since he has degenerated into a latter day Captain Ahab, desperately casting his fortune into the deep blue sea, hoping to catch that whale which he saw at Old Trafford. Never mind if the team win loads of cups and leagues, the man’s only going to be happy when we win it in style.

It’s an admirable aspiration, shared by any true Chelsea fan. Before Roman took over we were an inconsistent team capable of great performances when the players felt like it. His first manager was Claudio ‘The Tinkerman’ Ranieri, a bespectacled Italian who, as the Snapper quite brilliantly observed, had a facial expression akin to someone who had just had his bicycle stolen.

Claudio built a great team that came second only to Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’, who won the league unbeaten. Yet on a night of high dudgeon, at the very same time that the players were running their hearts out in a Champion’s League semi-final, Roman was meeting with Ranieri’s successor.

Needless to say we lost the match and gained a new manager, in the shape of Jose ‘The Special One’ Mourinho. When the charismatic Portugeezer announced soon after his arrival that Chelsea were going to win the league, I shouted at the TV.

I yelled at this handsome bigmouth to shut up, because he didn’t know what he was talking about. He didn’t know how hard the Premier League was compared to all the other leagues in Europe. He didn’t understand that in the English game, a mid-table clash of no apparent consequence between, say, Swansea and Fulham, would be played with pride, sweat and not a little skill, in front of a packed crowd who really cared about the result.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Space and silence – it’s all us oul’ lads ever wanted in pubs

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

The crowds that flocked into the centre of Dublin last weekend provided the clearest indication yet that, thank God, a cure had been found for Covid.

The masses dancing and hugging on the streets was vindication that all of the self-isolation had been well worth it, when you could now congregate as close as you like to each other, to your little heart’s content.

Or so you’d think.

One weekend of slightly relaxed licencing laws was all it took, and in the blink of an eye thousands of revellers were up and at it like this was Paris in 1945 after it was freed from the Germans.

The newly-imposed regulations for relaxation would suggest that all of these bouncy people at least had the benefit of a nine-euro meal inside them – how else could they get served?

So, we’d better brace ourselves for when they go out on an empty stomach.

Much has already been made of the fact that pub life will never be the same again – and that might well be the case.

Social distancing is bad news for the publicans, limiting their ability to wedge the entire student population of NUIG and GMIT into the equivalent of a phone box.

But it’s great news for curmudgeons – particularly for those whose capacity for imbibing alcohol is shot.

Advancing middle age has seen the tolerance of the early twenties reduced from the equivalent of a sizeable plastic bucket to an amount that once wouldn’t have even pass the standard definition of being out.

Three pints? That’s what you’d order when they rang the bell at closing time.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Angels took pain out of hospital Christmas

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

More than any other time of the year, when we sit around our dinner tables on Christmas Day, we are aware of who is there and who is not. At the age of 17, having performed impressive acrobatics with my Yamaha 250, a saloon car, a ditch and a barbed wire fence, I spent six weeks in hospital over Christmas and New Year.

My femur was snapped in two, which is no mean feat with thighs like mine, and my tibia had a crack or two as well.

Bed-bound, with my leg in traction, I developed a bronchial chest infection after an emergency operation.

Every two seconds for six weeks I coughed in hacking spasms, thus shaking my smashed leg, which was hung in a sling, supported by a metal pole they had driven through me, just below the knee.

Suffice to say I came to terms with pain.

In our part of the ward, there were four beds and three bikers with broken bones.

There was Kev, who had fallen off his sleek and mean Suzuki GT750 (a two stroke 3-into-1, since you ask), and opposite us two was brick shithouse Yorkshireman Gary, ex-SAS, and mighty embarrassed, having survived several covert tours of duty in Northern Ireland, to have to admit to falling off a Honda 125.

Compared to the other patients in the hospital the three of us were well off.

We were not sick. We’d had our operations, and apart from antibiotics for wounds, and pain killers for broken bones, we needed very little medical attention.

We were young, male, bored, and allowed to drink beer. Naturally, we tried to attract the attention of the student nurses as much as possible, and equally, they were happy to have a bit of a laugh with lads who were not ill, physically, at least!

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Don’t be a slave to the algorithm

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Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Saying “I love newspapers!” feels these days like buying a ticket for the next David Bowie gig, but I do: I love them. When I read a newspaper, I’m not a slave to the algorithm. Were I ten years younger, I’d read all my news online, on apps that I’ve set to my personal preferences.

Even when I visit media sites I’ve never been to before, there are cookies and bots and gordknowswot working away to offer me more of what the algorithms think I want.

Every link off each page is tailored to please me, but that’s no good.

I don’t want to be fed things that only fit into my areas of interest and opinion.

Sitting at my living room table, mug of tea and two slices of toast (peanut butter, since you ask), and a paper – any paper – open in front of me, I can see the full wonder and horror of the world, as interpreted by The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The Irish Times or Daily Mirror.

As I browse into the heart of the paper, far from major news items, I let my eyesight fall all over the place, because each page is full of varied items, and, here on page 14, I’ll find the big story that’s being buried: the story they have to report, but are under instruction to dampen down.

Also here are stories that no algorithm-driven link would ever lead me to. Quirky little tales, able to dissolve an adult brain in seconds.

When driven sufficiently doolally by what I’m reading, I tear that particular piece of madness out of the newspaper, placing it on top of the wobbly towering stack of other torn madnesses by my desk.

There are dark torn madnesses and fearsome ones, but today I’m in the mood to prowl the ones that force me to furrow my brow, gasp for breath, pout my lips and grunt “What the -?” at the universe.

Notes are seeds, from which every writer will grow different fruit. When that writer is working for the Daily Mail, the fruit need bear only minuscule relation to the seed.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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