Archive for July 2, 2020

Thank you, Tony

Posted in Covid-19 with tags on July 2, 2020 by telescoper

As Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan has been constantly in the public eye during the Covid-19 outbreak. At the daily press briefings he has impressed with his authoritative and frank delivery. During this time he has come across not only as a leading health expert, but as a good honest man and a dedicated public servant. His personal qualities have done much to win the confidence of the public in the battle against the Coronavirus.

Today I learnt that throughout this period Dr Holohan had also been caring for his wife, who is very ill with cancer, and their two young children. I have no idea how he managed to carry out his public role, which must have been onerous in itself, so professionally while carrying such a heavy additional burden in private.

Now his wife has gone into palliative care, and he has taken the decision to stand down from his job in order to be with her and their family.

All I can do is add a small voice to the many others saying a heartfelt “thank you” to Dr Tony Holohan for service far beyond the call of duty, and send my best wishes for the challenges ahead.

Football Roundup

Posted in Football with tags , , on July 2, 2020 by telescoper

By way of a diversion this lunchtime after a morning of Microsoft Teams, I thought I’d comment briefly on another kind of team, by looking at the state of play in the Premier League.

Liverpool of course deservedly won the title last weekend when Manchester city lost to Chelsea. To have won the Premiership with seven games left to play is a remarkable achievement. All credit to their excellent manager Jürgen Klopp, who actually seems a thoroughly decent fellow as well. Although based in the English Midlands, Liverpool have a strong following here in Ireland so there were many celebrations here when the Premiership race was sealed.

The absence of any football for many weeks at least removed one usual cause of springtime stress, namely Newcastle United’s struggle to avoid relegation. Since the return, however, Steve Bruce’s team have done pretty well, with seven points out of a possible nine, though they did get knocked out of the FA Cup. Last night they beat struggling Bournemouth 4-1 away from home which leaves them on 42 points with six games left to play. They’re not mathematically safe from relegation but it’s very difficult to see any of the bottom three teams getting more than 15 points from their remaining games so I think relegation is extremely improbable. Norwich look relegation certainties, but who will go down with them? Based on last night’s poor performance at home, I’d say probably Bournemouth and one other.

The Bookies odds at the moment are:

  • Norwich: 1/100.
  • Bournemouth: 1/6.
  • Aston Villa: 1/4.
  • Watford: 2/1.
  • West Ham: 6/1.
  • Brighton: 28/1.

Watford or West Ham might be worth a bet. There are still six games to be played, after all.

I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the games since the season restarted. Playing in an empty stadium makes football very strange to watch, and the artificial crowd noises make it even stranger. It problem reduces home advantage not having supporters in the ground, but I haven’t looked at the statistical evidence whether or not this is the case..

It’s worth mentioning the situation in League 1:

Here the season has been declared closed. Wycombe Wanderers finish in third on the basis of points per game despite having fewer points than the team in fourth. Wycombe’s 35th game would have been against Coventry…

I’ll just mention in passing that Sunderland will not be promoted. Tragic.