TV View: Duffer and Liverpool’s ‘delicate ecosytem’ both brewing up a storm

Former Ireland winger’s Shelbourne appointment warmly greeted all round

You'd be assuming that Damien Duff was in front of his telly watching the Champions League on Wednesday night, and you wondered if the sight of Diego Simeone having conniptions on the sideline at Anfield after his side went two down on 21 minutes made him wonder about his latest career choice.

“It’s probably a midlife crisis,” he’d told the press earlier in the day at his unveiling as the new Shelbourne manager – Damien, not Diego – revealing that he’d initially turned down the job while on a family holiday in the south of France where he was merrily slugging red wine and probably thinking life was too short to be doing what Diego does for a living.

“I’ll happily be a barista,” he said, “I’m halfway through my course, so, if it doesn’t work out, you might see me in a coffee shop.”

For now, DuffBucks is on hold. And Brian Kerr couldn't but smile. And probably feel a bit antiquated.


Cripes, that World Youth Cup bronze in Malaysia is closing in on a quarter century old, his little diamond from back in the day, so fond of sleeping Kerr suggested he had “adhesive mattress syndrome”, now a fully grown gaffer.

"He's the highest-profile person in football to come back to Ireland since Johnny Giles went to Rovers," said Kerr, doffing his cap to the fella for taking on the challenge.

Damien Delaney, Kerr's Virgin Media sidekick, reckoned it could be the first stepping stone to a gig in England, but Kerr had a notion that the Duffer was in Ireland to stay, his and his family's hearts being firmly lodged here.

Over on RTÉ, Tony O'Donoghue tried to ask Galway United manager John Caulfield for his views on the Duffer's new job, the pair positioned on the edge of the Carlisle Grounds pitch ahead of the First Division playoff between Bray Wanders and the lads from the west.

So cold was Tony, though, possibly even suffering from hypothermia, the question sounded a bit like “gd2y vhuqwgd bjgdagk”. But Caulfield got the drift, expressing his delight at the fella showing his commitment to Irish football. Not Tony, Duffer. Although, both deserved a salute.

“He has a deep knowledge of the game, he’s probably the most technical player to ever play for Ireland in terms of his ability in the attacking part of the field,” said Kerr back on Virgin, that there being the loftiest of lofty praise.

But, time to turn our attention to Liverpool’s tussle with Atlético Madrid, the contest’s two goals confirming that Trent Alexander-Arnold’s right foot is almost as useful as the Duffer’s left was in the olden times.

It might even be time for it to feature in Britain's National Portrait Gallery, alongside images of William Shakespeare, Russ Abbot and Julie Andrews.

"Oooooooooh," as Steve McManaman put it over on BT, reckoning Diogo Jota and Sadio Mané could have finished off Trent's crosses even if they had mattresses superglued to their backs. He didn't actually say that, in so many words, but he was thinking it.

The Liverpool midfield? "It's a delicate ecosystem," said Delaney, like it was up for discussion at #COP26, Greta Thunberg arguing for an Oxlade-Chamberlain-Henderson-Fabinho axis, Joe Biden preferring Henderson allied with Keïta and Milner. Each to their own, although you have to wonder about Leonardo DiCaprio's pick of Caoimhín Kelleher flanked by Torben Piechnik and Istvan Kozma.

Once Felipe was sent off, though, it didn’t matter how delicate Liverpool’s midfield ecosystem was, they could have had William Shakespeare, Russ Abbot and Julie Andrews in there and they’d still be laughing.

Diego? He had the look of a man who wished he was in the south of France merrily slugging red wine, with a mattress sellotaped to his back before heading off to his part-time job in DuffBucks.

Liverpool home and hosed, in to the knock-out phase with two games to spare, barely breaking sweat along the way, ecosystem looking less than indelicate. Easy peasy.