Paul Healy’s Week – 3rd February 2017

Conte’s canter?

In the real world, away from all that Trump stuff, it looks like Chelsea, under Antonio Conte, are on an unstoppable march to Premiership glory.

I wouldn’t begrudge Chelsea the title – they’re certainly the team of the season so far – but I would like to see a meaningful, competitive title run-in.

As ever, well at least until Leeds are back in business, my heart is with Arsenal, simply because they have played such breathtaking football over the Arsene Wenger era.

But patience has been wearing thin amongst Gunners’ fans in recent seasons –they love the swashbuckling football, but resent the cobwebs in the club’s trophy room, a place which sees little activity.

After losing at home to Watford on Tuesday night – while Chelsea were being held to a draw at Anfield – it looks like Arsenal’s best hope is to finish second once again.

Still, there may be a twist over the next month or so and neutrals – not to mention fans of the other top clubs – will hope that Chelsea hit a poor patch. Don’t fully rule Arsenal out yet!

Meanwhile, in this new era of alternative news/facts, I was delighted to see Leeds brush aside non-league Sutton United and continue on their march to FA Cup glory (or get humiliated 1-0 by Sutton and knocked out of the competition if you want to be pedantic).

Trump shakes up the world!

‘I shook up the world! I shook up the world!’ So said Muhammad Ali, leaning forward, arm outstretched, king of the boxing ring, Sonny Liston on the flat of his back.

Just now, it’s Donald Trump who is shaking up the world – world leaders and mere ordinary folk collectively feeling as dazed as Sonny Liston was.

To say that Trump hit the ground running in his first week as President of America would be quite an understatement.

A flurry of executive orders were made, the world watching in amazement as a politician, on taking office, immediately began doing what he had said he would do while on the campaign trail. Extraordinary!

Mind you, did he have to be quite so combative? In week one, Trump created a huge diplomatic row with Mexico, stunned people all over the world with his hardline stance on travel into the USA, and sacked his Attorney General. Quite an opening seven days!

Still, only 1453 days to go…

Have I Got Bad Dudes For You…

Terrorism update from President Trump on Twitter (tweeted on Monday): ‘If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad dudes out there!’

Theresa doesn’t take the biscuit…

You have to hand it to David Davin-Power…he’s a bit of a one-off alright. The fact that he hardly ever smiles to camera shouldn’t be held against the RTE man.

After all, we go about our busy lives day after day, week after week, year on year, and it’s David who’s marooned at the front gates outside the Dáil, his fate to be neither an insider nor an outsider, a man on the edge of something and the edge of nothing.

Just when the rest of us are ready to settle down after our hectic day, we summon David from his lonely spot outside the Dáil and expect him to summarise what’s going on in the political world.

And, in fairness to David, he tries his best. Of course, like all the political correspondents, or ‘pol corrs,’ David has become masterful at talking at length even though there is an absence of information. It is speculation as detail.

These folks are gifted at giving the impression that they are highly informed on what’s going on behind the scenes, when in fact they are feeding off mere morsels, at best dancing to the tune of the spin doctors.

You have to say that they put on a good show, sitting in the ‘Tonight With Vincent Browne’ studio, telling us everything they know about the latest political crisis, which is usually about as much as we know, only it’s delivered with a verbal confidence and seriousness of expression that convinces the viewer the pol corr has been nightcapping with Enda, all his ministers and the entire Civil Service.

On Monday night, this enjoyable charade reached new levels of madness when David Davin-Power was speculating on the RTE News about how British PM Theresa May and Taoiseach Enda Kenny had got on earlier that evening.

Getting to the end of his contribution, David showed signs that it had been a long and cold day outside the Dáil gates.

Describing how Ms. May is a formidable, straight-talking woman who doesn’t stand on ceremony and who gets down to business, David explained – as evidence of her no-nonsense traits – that it was his understanding that none of the biscuits served to Ms. May and Enda had been touched!