Limerick ended 2018 as All-Ireland champions for the first time in 45 years, and they've started 2019 in menacing fashion - beating Wexford away before hammering Tipperary and Kilkenny in successive games. Malachy Clerkin of the Irish Times, and former Limerick captain Donal O'Grady are on the show trying to figure out if Limerick are going all-out for league glory, or if it's a case of them water-skiing on the good vibes of last August. And we discuss Jackie Tyrrell's assertion that they're not in the top 3 teams in the country - gross blasphemy, or something even worse than that? We had a brilliant chat with Howard Bryant about his book "The Heritage: Black Athletes, a Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism" late last year, and he's back on the show today to talk to us about the news that Colin Kaepernick has settled his collusion lawsuit against the NFL. Plus Murph reveals that some of his best friends are from Clare, we pay homage to Ken's hurling nous, and Stuart Barnes throwing petrol-bombs.
It's shaping up to be a big week for Jurgen Klopp, as his Liverpool team meet the challenge of Bayern Munich, a team Klopp has had reason to be at logger heads with over the years. Simon Hughes of the Independent joins us to talk about why Klopp so angered Bayern during his time with Dortmund, his relationship with Uli Hoeness, the loss of Virgil, and why a draw might not be such a bad result tomorrow night for Liverpool. We also talk to James Montague, author of the brilliant "The Billionaires Club", about the story of Bahrainian footballer Hakeem Al Araibi, who was saved from deportation and possibly death by a global movement led by former Australian Socceroos captains Craig Foster. Plus there's #JadoreInchicore, Ken's Kastaway, Klopp sings, why a German curse can equal Irish good luck, and we launch German indie week.
Expect the worst says Eoin, after having his Irish heart crushed by England's Declan Rice. Ken explains this whole sorry saga via a Valentine's message. Pat Kenny has some good clean fun for you all. And we have a teaser for Richie Sadlier's latest Player's Chair interview with Ireland's most decorated and most capped player of all time, the legendary Emma Byrne.
Eoin questioned the wisdom of Maurizio Sarri berating his players in public a couple of weeks back - today he informs us that in their last 3 away games since he said those words, they've conceded 1.2% of their entire premier league goals against. Dion Fanning and Jonathan Wilson are on hand to discuss just how doomed Sarri is, and whether the only thing saving him is Roman Abramovich's new-found disinterest in the Chelsea project. They also discuss whether the clamour for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get the Manchester United job for keeps is now too loud to ignore, or if the games in the next 3 weeks against Paris Saint Germain and Liverpool will give us all a much better idea of his capabilities. Plus there's Brian Clough, Gary Crosby, and apologetic punch-recipients.
Ireland picked up their first win of the 2019 Six Nations on Saturday, but it was pretty hard sledding for most of Saturday. Shane Horgan and Gerry Thornley are on hand to adjudicate on where we stand after two games. England's points bonanza against the woeful French means the title might be beyond us already, but does that give us free rein to experiment with the World Cup in mind? What are we learning from our hesitancy and nervousness in recent weeks? And is there any other option for Johnny Sexton but to stand where he stands and take the punishment he got again at the weekend? We salute the rebirth of Gaelic football, the most entertaining sport on the planet, Jimmy Nesbitt makes a welcome return to our hearts and minds, and we have a new French cliché for the world to adopt.
Essence of Second Captains World Service - Noah McDevitt is only three weeks old but he needs a win this weekend. Eoin explains.
Ireland had an extraordinary 2018, but in their first game of the 2019 6 Nations, their back-to-back Grand Slam dream came crashing down around them. They were out-fought out-thought, and out-kicked by a brilliant England team. Is it time to press the panic button? No, says Eoin Reddan - and there's a chance we learn quite a bit from this humbling experience. Gerry Thornley of the Irish Times, Simon and Murph all try and make sense of it. Plus there's proud Preston, unreasonable expectations, widespread navel gazing, and looking ahead to Scotland.
Manchester City kept the pressure on Liverpool by beating Arsenal while Manchester United continued their resurgence under The Sunshine Man. Rory Smith was at the Etihad to see Manchester City defeat Arsenal. Is Guardiola overthinking it? What happens when managers want to prove points rather than win them? And why do teams seem to find it so difficult to enjoy the process of winning a title? Andy Hunter joins us to talk about where things have gone so horribly wrong for City's next opponents, Everton. How have they managed to spend £300m on players in less than two years and end up with this?
Have a whiff of the Second Captains musk - from Donnacha Ryan to Mike Tindall to US Murph on the Super Bowl, to Premier League fright nights.... its been a hell of a week. Join the world service for daily shows, Richie Sadlier's Player's Chair, top class interviews and to observe Ken's continuing loyalty to David Luiz - at secondcaptains.com
It was a rough start to the GAA season on Saturday night, when it briefly looked as if Castlebar's MacHale Park might be blown away for the opening match of the Allianz National Football League. A hurricane of a different sort ripped through Clones on Sunday however, as Monaghan turned a 6-point deficit into a 3-point win against the reigning league and championship winners Dublin. Their captain Colin Walshe joins us on the line to talk must-win moments, super subs and offensive marks. If the men's final at the Australian Open sounded like a pairing that could have happened in 2009, then the women's final would've sounded impossible even this time last year. Caitlin Thompson of Racquet Magazine joins us to talk about Naomi Osaka's back story, apologies and back to back grand slams, Petra Kvitova's return from getting stabbed in the hand, the great Novak Djokovic mystery and why variety beats dominance. Plus there's the Blair Witch Project, motion sickness, Long Hug Therapy, Eoin McDevitt Junior, and Derek McGrath > Jose Mourinho.
It was another FA Cup weekend, so today's football show is mainly about Luke Kelly. David Sneyd wrote about Kelly's links to Irish football in yesterday's Mail on Sunday and he joins us to discuss it further in studio today. We also talk about the former Ireland coaching dream team reuniting at Nottingham Forest. It was a particularly big weekend for journalism, with Hugh McIlvanney's death reminding us of an old world that is vanishing, and Jesse Lingard's triumphant few days showing us the way ahead. We talk about other pundits including Neil Francis, Ruud Gullit and the email marketing consultant who annoyed Andros Townsend. Plus there's McViolence, village elders, Germans importing English flair, Ole Gunnar Sunshine and Fergie on journalism.
January is a long, cold month, and sometimes the only thing for it is to wrap up warm, hunker down by the fireside, and download a podcast or two. Ken and Murph talk you through what you missed on this week's Second Captains World Service - as we hear why Kerry are no longer contenders for the All-Ireland football championship, 40 is NOT elderly, and why football is still an integral part of Leave-Voting Britain's identity. And we have US Murph on the Superbowl, Neymar's foot, a sneak and a Player's Chair interview with Steven Reid, as we discover Richie Sadlier was not always the bastion of common-sense he is these days...
It was a very, very satisfying weekend for Irish sports fans, with one of our most beloved sports-people Shane Lowry back in the winner's enclosure after a dramatic one-shot win at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship on Saturday morning. Having led by three going into the final round, he found himself 4 shots back on the 12th tee before making three birdies to win by a shot - and he joins us on the show to discuss how he was determined not to relive the mistakes of the US Open in 2016 when he found himself in a similar position. And we look back at the seamless progression of all 4 provinces into the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup and the Challenge Cup, with Gerry Thornley and Tom English. Leinster face Ulster, Munster must travel to Edinburgh, and Connacht have to play Sale yet again in their quarter-final - but it was another impressive weekend of Irish muscle-flexing on the European stage. Plus there's yet more Eddie Jones updates, Ken's latest impressions, and the world's greatest sports co-commentator.
It seems a little early for the Premier League run-in jitters, but Liverpool were made to sweat for their 4-3 win over Crystal Palace. Mo Salah is the fall-guy, but why has everyone conveniently forgotten about Andy Robertson's handball in the build-up to what turned out to be the winning goal? James Horncastle joins us to discuss Maurizio Sarri, who launched the calmest ever verbal broadside against his own players after their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday evening. Of the 3 rats that downed Mourinho's sinking ship, only 1 remains, but there are still plenty of problems for him to contend with, including the plodding Jorginho, who has failed thus far to impress many, including Rio Ferdinand. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may now be the Man United backstop, but has he done enough to be seen as the favourite for the job full-time now? Thierry Henry might be out of his job soon too at Monaco, while Neymar suffers baby heart-break with PSG.
Your weekly spritz of Second Captains on the (Leeds) World Service
Ireland haven't had three provinces in the quarter-finals of the European Cup since 2014, but they're looking good to get it sorted this year, judging by the form shown by Leinster, Munster and Ulster this weekend. There were three fantastic victories, and pinpoint precision kicking was the theme - with Joey Carbery, Ross Byrne and Jacob Stockdale all using the boot to devastating effect. Matt Williams tells us what Irish proficiency with the boot does to opposition defences, and why Munster's win might have been the most impressive, and most significant, of them all. Laurent Depret joins us from Paris with the latest on Simon Zebo's tweet, and whether the French sides wilted mentally, or tactically, in the face of Irish pressure. Plus we speculate on just when even Andy Murray decided things were getting a little too maudlin this morning as he exited the Australian Open, and Snoop Dogg makes a very impressive sports-commentating debut.
It's been a great weekend for Irish Premier League goalscorers and Brian Clough anecdotes, as Declan Rice, Shane Long and Jeff Hendrick ran riot while Martin O'Neill returned to management with Nottingham Forest. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard is convinced that Marcelo Bielsa has flouted English moral norms, but luckily for the Argentine he appears not to have broken any actual rules. It was not such a good weekend for Rio Ferdinand: when any controversy pits you and Richard Keys against the world, it's time to start worrying. We're joined by Jacob Steinberg and John Brewin to discuss Declan Rice's development, Mesut Özil's exile, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's credentials to be named the next permanent Man United manager.
It was the week that very nearly tore Second Captains apart - but we've made it to this time of the week again, unscathed, which means it's time for us to tell you what you've missed on the Second Captains World Service over the last few days. We debate the achievements of David Silva, and things get heated when Murph is asked to put his money where his mouth is. And we get a taster of what delights lie in wait for us this month as US Murph talks us through the first weekend of the NFL playoffs, which go on for all of January. Plus there's FIFA 19 stats, Eamon Dunphy's greatest ever radio performance, 'fanny merchants', Spurs - Man Utd manager playoff, and reports of a Neymar Coutinho swop deal .
Munster put in their best performance of the season and showed enough quality at the vital moments to keep Connacht at arm's length, and central to that effort were Joey Carbery and the centre pairing of Dan Goggin and Chris Farrell. But Shane Horgan still has some reservations about the Munster midfield - we discuss what Chris Farrell has to do to get to the next level for province and country, and what their best combination should be, when everyone is fit. The GAA announced a series of rule announcements to try and revitalise Gaelic football in October. The National League hasn't started and already there are signs those changes may not see the light of day. Oisin McConville watched the McKenna Cup this weekend (so you wouldn't have to) and reports back from the front lines. Plus there's Andres Iniesta, gold steaks, salt bae and strange salutes.
Josh Robinson and Jonathan Clegg's new book "The Club: How the Premier League became the richest, most disruptive business in sport" provides a fascinating account of the business development of the Premier League, from the initial realisations in the 1980s that maybe football was something you could make money out of, to the multibillion-pound global business it is today. We speak to Josh about the story of the Premier League and the people who have shaped it. Where did the founders get the idea? Does the league owe its success to the insights and actions of a few key individuals, or would it have happened anyway? And what is likely to come next? But first up on today's pod, we speak to Newport County hero - and Carlow native - Padraig Amond, whose 85th minute penalty knocked Leicester City out of the FA Cup last night.