Euro 2012 Man of the Day: Darragh Maloney
Theo Walcott made a late bid for this honour but RTE’s Darragh Maloney stole the show, all thanks to a few (billion) drops of rain.
Is it wrong for an Irish person to pray for rain in June? Probably, but if I am praying for it to fall in Ukraine then there’s no harm, right? That’s what I was up you yesterday and I don’t think I was alone.
After just settling down to watch Ukraine against France in Donetsk yesterday, the heavens opened and the game had to be paused for close to an hour. While we were disappointed, the lads covering the game live back at Montrose were now hit with a dilemma; what do we do?
That’s where our man of the day steps in. We like Maloney, a capable host when in the studio, while his commentary on GAA is one of the best in the business too. Add in the fact that just a few months back he brought us the superb documentary on Irish soccer Green Is The Colour and Maloney’s stock is very high right now. Unlike Facebook, his just got even higher last night.
When the rain began to fall the lads over on ITV had a very brief chat and stuck on a rerun of England v France. Not the RTE lads. With the nation still mired in misery over the 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Spain, Maloney chaired a superb discussion, one that roamed all over the place, for almost 40 minutes.
The future of Trapattoni, the potential additions to the squad, the role of Irish media in the perception of the team, how much Trap is paid and football beliefs all came up. Maloney expertly marshalled the competing voices of Eamon Dunphy, Liam Brady and Richard Sadlier and it was a compelling, and enlightening, debate on the state of the game here.
Maloney, as we have come to expect, let the lads get on with it when it suited, and stepped in when the arguments began to get circular. He conducted his orchestra of football opinions superbly and treated those who didn’t switch over to a real treat.
Footage of the debate has yet to surface on YouTube but the entire discussion is on the RTE Player here. It was great stuff, so good in fact that we were disappointed when it was interrupted firstly by Trap’s press conference and then by some actual football when the Ukraine game restarted.
Everyone involved in RTE deserves some kudos but Maloney gets the nod. Whenever Bill hangs up his mic, the big chair is in safe hands.