Time Out - June 4: Sporting greats, Dates and a Quick Quiz Blitz to kick-start your day
MARTIN O’Neill has been installed as favourite to take over as Liverpool manager after Rafael Benitez left the club yesterday.
Benitez left by mutual consent after six years on Merseyside, and the bookies immediately declared Kilrea man O’Neill the front-runner to take over.
The Aston Villa boss has been linked to the Anfield job a number of times in the past, including recently, though last month Villa owner Randy Lerner issued a hands-off warning to Liverpool.
Liverpool agreed a compensation package with the 50-year-old Benitez after a turbulent 2009-10 season.
Liverpool, having begun the campaign among the title favourites, finished a disappointing seventh in the Barclays Premier League and were eliminated from the Champions League at the group stage.
The Premier League result represented an alarming slide for the club after a runners-up finish the previous season. Benitez, who memorably led the Reds to Champions League glory in 2005, said: “It is very sad for me to announce that I will no longer be manager of Liverpool FC.
“I’ll always keep in my heart the good times I’ve had here, the strong and loyal support of the fans in the tough times and the love from Liverpool.''
Next Liverpool manager betting:
9/4 Martin O’Neill
7/2 Roy Hodgson
4/1 Kenny Dalglish
10/1 Gus Hiddink; Jurgen Klinsmann
20/1 Frank Rijkaard
25/1 Mark Hughes; Manuel Pellegrini; Louis Van Gaal
28/1 Alex McLeish
RONAN Clarke may have declared himself fit, but the Pearse Og clubman is not included in Paddy O’Rourke’s squad to face Monaghan in the Ulster SFC first round at Casement Park on Sunday.
Clarke missed the National League Division Two final against Down and last month’s Ulster preliminary round win over Derry at Celtic Park with an Achilles injury.
He had hoped to be able to play some part against Monaghan on Sunday, but it appears that O’Rourke may not be prepared to risk the star forward, although the Armagh boss has only named 27 players in his squad for the tie.
The Orchard line-up shows one change in personnel from the side which defeated the Oaf Leafers 1-10 to 1-7 almost three weeks ago.
James Lavery remains sidelined through injury, so Kieran Toner returns to midfield to partner Charlie Vernon.
Vincent Martin comes in at left full-back, with Brendan Donaghy returning to fullback.
Crossmaglen’s Jamie Clarke, who bagged the Orchard county’s goal against Derry, must be content with a place on the bench, while Seamus McEnaney will name his team this evening.
The Farneymen edged an unspectacular first round Qualifier meeting between the sides in Clones last year.
Steven McDonnell was sent off following an off-the-ball clash with Dessie Mone and Monaghan went on to win 0- 13 to 0-12 after extra-time in a foul-ridden contest.
Armagh (USFC v Monaghan): P Hearty; A Mallon, B Donaghy, V Martin; P Duffy, C McKeever, F Moriarty; K Toner, C Vernon; M Mackin, A Kernan, G Swift; B Mallon, S McDonnell, R Henderson.
THE WAY WE WHERE
Not much happening currently on the sporting front, but this time 10 years ago World Cup fever was taking hold as the top soccer nations gathered in South Africa for the 2010 showpiece event.
Writing in The Irish News World Cup supplement on this day, former English international Alan Shearer was hoping for the best for his fellow country men, although without much conviction.
''If No.1 to No.11 are fit, and playing well, and we have a bit of luck, then I think England can go far,'' he if, if, iffed,
''My best bet right now would be the semi-finals, but once you get there, then who knows?''
Well, he was right to be a bit iffy in his appraisal, England under manager Fabio Capello, crashing out in the last 16 to Germany 4-1.
Shearer did redeem himself however.
''Who will lift the World Cup on July 11?'' he pondered.
''Well ... I'm going for Spain with the star of the tournament being their striker David Villa.''
The Golden Boot went to Thomas Müller of Germany, Silver Boot to David Villa, and Bronze Boot to Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands.
Oh, and a superb Spain did indeed prove Shearer right too of course.
1. Which county won the 2009 All-Ireland GAA Senior Hurling Championship final?
2. Which nation has won the most Six Nations grand slams?
3. What was the first club managed by Jose Mourinho?
4. What former American heavyweight boxer was known as 'The Bellflower Bomber'?
5. Which county won the 2009 All-Ireland GAA Senior Football Championship final?
6. Who did they beat?
7. With which club did Martin O'Neill play most of his games as a player?
8. The Netherlands have lost in all three of their World Cup final appearances, against West Germany, Argentina, and who?
9. Which player holds a record for having won four Wimbledon women's singles titles without dropping a set in the tournament?
10. In golf, who was the last British player to win the US Open?
(See quiz answers at bottom)
Mick Doohan (motor cycling) - Australian former five-time world champion, born 1965.
Andrea Jaeger (tennis) - American former Wimbledon finalist, born 1965.
Tommy Martyn (rugby league) - former St Helens stand-off, born 1971.
Quinten Hann (snooker) - former snooker player, banned for eight years for match-fixing in 2006. Now a professional pool player, born 1977.
Alex Manninger (soccer) - former Arsenal and Austria goalkeeper, born 1977.
Lukas Podolski (soccer) - Poland-born former Germany striker who plays for Turkish side Antalyaspor, born 1985.
Rajiv Van La Parra (soccer) - Red Star Belgrade's former Huddersfield and Wolves winger, born 1991.
Ben Stokes (cricket) - England and Durham cricketer, born 1991
ON THIS DAY
1966: The Lions recorded their biggest Test win, beating Australia 31-0 in Brisbane.
1987: Ed Moses lost more than a race when Danny Harris pipped him at Madrid - the defeat ended the longest winning streak in track history, 122 hurdles victories stretching back to August 1977.
2000: Peter Schmeichel scored from the penalty spot in his 121st international as Denmark drew 2-2 with Belgium.
2003: Manchester City signed veteran former England goalkeeper David Seaman from Arsenal on a one-year deal. Seaman did not last the season, with injury forcing his retirement in January 2004.
2008: City appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager on a three-year contract.
2009: Former England and Bath boss Andy Robinson was named as the new Scotland head coach.
2011: Li Na became the first Chinese player to win a grand slam singles title when she claimed the French Open crown with a 6-4 7-6 victory over defending champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy.
2012: Chelsea confirmed the signing of Belgium forward Eden Hazard from Lille.
2015: Dick Advocaat signed a one-year deal to return as Sunderland head coach, but left the club in October.
2016: Garbine Muguruza beat Serena Williams 7-5 6-4 to win the women's singles title at the French Open.
2017: India kicked off their Champions Trophy defence with a crushing 124-run victory over Pakistan, who would go on to beat their rivals in the final.
QUICK QUIZ answers: 1. Kilkenny, beating Tipperary 2-22 to 0-23; 2. England; 3. Benfica; 4. Jerry Quarry; 5. Kerry; 6. Cork, by 0-16 to 1-9; 7. Nottingham Forest; 8. Spain; 9. Martina Navratilova; 10. Justin Rose.