All in the Game: As tributes go, PSG coach Luis Enrique’s cap-doffing to Aston Villa’s Unai Emery was right up there

Truro City gaffer Paul Wotton on his English National League South side having to squeeze 13 games into 28 days

Fragrances, quirkily enough, featured in quite a few football yarns last week, starting with British paper the i revealing that visitors to Everton’s brand new ground at Bramley-Moore Dock, which is due to be completed later this year, will find it particularly aromatic. That’s because the club has commissioned “a special stadium scent, complete with notes of sea salt from the river Mersey and hints of freshly cut grass”. Alas, instead of appreciating this initiative, sceptics suggested it’s an attempt to camouflage the pong from the nearby sewage plant.

And there was a similar lack of appreciation for the Daily Mail’s revelation that England plan on taking three “special fragrances” with them to Euro 2024 – the first “a fresh, comforting aroma, with hints of bergamot, lily and jasmine, that lets you know you’re in a high-end space”; the second “a more energising aroma” that will be sniffable in the gym; the third, “with hints of lavender”, aimed at promoting sleep.

How did the paper’s readers react to this news? Much as expected. Eg “It sounds very hipster and woke to me, but that’s to be expected I suppose”; “Seemingly Southgate has got rid of God Save the Queen [hello?] and replaced it with Blowin’ in the Wind choreographed with the players waving vegetarian sausage rolls”. And “the fragrance will last longer than they remain in the Euros.” Tsk.

Word of Mouth

“The Jamaican national team is not professional at all. When you are there, you don’t have any adequate sports equipment. At most they give you a shirt. Then you get to a game and you’re forced to wear a women’s shirt. It’s ridiculous.”


Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey revealing Saipan-esque issues with Jamaica. At least Roy was never asked to wear a lady’s shirt.

“In addition to being a unique coach, he has courage. If we all had his attitude, we would be successful. Unai Emery has the biggest balls in all of Spain.”

As tributes go, PSG coach Luis Enrique’s cap-doffing to Aston Villa head honcho Unai Emery was right up there.

“We’re Saturday, Tuesday, Friday, Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday – oh, and we have to fit into there somewhere the abandoned Eastbourne game from Tuesday night.”

Truro City gaffer Paul Wotton on his English National League South side having to squeeze 13 games into 28 days. Fittingly, The Guardian renamed him Craig David.

“He’s won one Premier League in nine years. Claudio Ranieri won the league! He’s not in the realms of Guardiola.”

England old boy Danny Mills somewhat forgetting about the emergence of his former club Manchester City while dissing poor old Jurgen Klopp.

Neymar de Silvo Santos

Speaking of fragrances, as we have been. We also learnt last week that Neymar’s latest product-promoting gig is with “luxurious Saudi fragrance brand” Ibraheem Al Qurashi. His collaboration with them has produced a scent that “sparkles with citrusy tones of bergamot and soft lavender, dancing together like the sun and moon in a clear sky”. Its name? Brazilian Tobacco. And sure look, which one of us doesn’t want to smell like a South American cigarette?

More Word of Mouth

“He’s got a bit of a mix of Xavi and Sergio Busquets about him when he goes forward... and he has that same positional awareness as Paul Scholes.”

Louis Saha on Kobbie Mainoo

“He gives me vibes of Clarence Seedorf the way he can manoeuvre in tight situations and the way he manipulates the ball.”

Rio Ferdinand on Kobbie Mainoo

“I think he’s incredible for such a young age, with the maturity he’s shown. He reminds me of a young Bastian Schweinsteiger.”

Wayne Rooney on Kobbie Mainoo

“I’d say that Kobbie Mainoo compares more to Nicky Butt.”

Roy Keane on Kobbie Mainoo

Kobbie must be suffering an identity crisis by now.


“What’s next? Are we going to change the three lions to three cats?”

An irate David Seaman after Nike fiddled with St George’s flag on England’s new jersey. But not even three cats on their shirts would stop them dreaming, surely?

By the Numbers: 75

That’s how many euros the new kids’ polyester Ireland jersey will set you back (€95 for grown-ups). But at least it comes in “Jolly Green” and is “crafted with the modern fan in mind”.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times