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Sunday 17 December 2017

Dalglish exposed for having feet of clay

He's what they call a great football man, but in his crass mis-handling of the entire Luis Suarez affair, Kenny Dalglish has shown himself to have feet of clay.

Dalglish presided over his players wearing T-shirts in support of Suarez during the warm-up before a match in December. This was after the vile Uruguayan had received an eight-game ban and a £40k fine from the English Football Association for racially abusing Patrice Evra at Anfield in October. "The boys showed their respect for Luis," explained Kenny.

Dalglish compounded his culpability on Saturday in his tetchy response to Sky's reporter after his player's controversial handshake snub before the match against Man United. Being forced to admit that "I did not conduct myself in a way befitting of a Liverpool manager," Dalglish has hammered a nail in his managerial coffin.

A great club that represents a tolerant and resilient community must now realise that the job, which comes with responsibilities greater than simply encouraging fellows to dribble, is too big for little Kenny. Seventh place in the League is nothing to crow about. Liverpool's American owners, the Fenway Sports Group, and chief sponsors, Standard Chartered bank, are assessing Kenny's long-term future as we speak.

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Tom McGURK and George Hook shouldn't be blamed for having been made look foolish on Saturday night as they blathered on regardless while Paris froze and their counterparts on BBC monitored the pre-kick-off drama unfolding at the Stade de France.

Unlike their rivals at the BBC, the RTé Sports Department and behind-the-scenes production crew missed what was a breaking news story. For all the back-slapping that goes on, in an era of micro-blogging RTé were shown to be on the wrong end of what tekkies call the Digital Divide.

Perhaps the national station's unwitting retro style, with its defiant echo of the '70s, will augur well for future campaigns. Sure wasn't it in 1974, during the first era of the Minister for Hardship, that we won the old Five Nations for the first time since '51. And, focussing on the positives, wasn't Saturday's result our best in Paris since 2000.

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How far the once mighty have fallen. Meath's 12-point victory over neighbours Westmeath on Sunday marked the Royals' first away win in the League since beating Wexford in March 2009.

With just one League and two back-door wins to his team's credit last year, manager Seamus McEnaney is hoping that one League swallow will help make his Championship summer.

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An impressive 2-1 Setanta Cup win for Bohemians against Portadown on Monday in the first competitive match in their new era of financial austerity was both a great start for new manager Aaron Callaghan and a fitting tribute to the memory of former Bohemians honorary secretary Donal Crowther, a true gentleman, whose recent death was acknowledged with a minute's silence before the match at Dalymount.

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A website called uniteagainstcity.co.uk is selling property in Manchester at £250 a square foot in a bid to disrupt Manchester City's development plans.

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