“I know what I’d be thinking if I was in Martin O’Neill’s dressing room and he started to question the mentality of any of the players.” Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

The manager can no longer credibly claim to be committed, and the FAI must come clean

Lowest-ranked team Saudi Arabia are drawn against Russia in the 2018 World Cup. The second- and third-lowest ranked teams were also, coincidentally, drawn against Russia. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The stench of corruption and cheating hangs over the greatest sports event in the world

‘At an age where they are forming their own ideas on sex and what it entails, it’s not fair to allow the porn industry be their only guides,’ says Richard Sadlier. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Richie Sadlier: Is Irish sex education failing boys before they've even left school?

Martin O’Neill during the Denmark match.  If he’s okay to continue with his hands-off approach then people are going to query it when it looks like his team lack guidance. Photograph: Reuters/Lee Smith

Ireland were ruthlessly exposed for spending so little time preparing for the Danish threat

Martin O’Neill: “People might have said I’m a bit aloof, but I’m among the players without inconveniencing them by telling them what to do all the time.”

Whatever it is Martin O’Neill actually does, it works

Richie Sadlier: When I first spoke publicly about attending therapy, years after I first went, four friends contacted me to say they had done likewise

Former Irish soccer player Richie Sadlier says it shouldn’t be a stigma to need help with your mental health

Martin O’Neill:  despite the manager’s feat in guiding us to  the play-offs, we can’t keep the ball and  have the poorest scoring record of any team left.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

It’s hard to be precise about O’Neill’s winning ways but our seeded rivals won’t fear us

English-born Ireland player Harry Arter  may not know it, but it may be of benefit for an international player to be born outside the Republic. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

As long as Martin O’Neill’s men keep delivering, the problem will unlikely be tackled

Virgil van Dijk: Chairman Ralph Kreuger said this week that the Southampton defender is going nowhere. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Clubs are not powerless in the battle with want-away players like Virgil van Dijk

Danny Rose. 'The England international has a short career and, like all players, wants to make the best of it.' Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Spurs need to pay the going rate and keep their best players if they want to win trophies

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