Whelan faces Pulis sanction
Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan could face sanctions from his manager Tony Pulis for his part in a dressing-room bust-up with Stoke team-mate Abdoulaye Faye at Stamford Bridge.
However, Pulis' immediate priority is identifying the person who leaked details of the clash to the media.
Stoke captain Faye retired injured for the fifth time this season in the first half of the embarrassing 7-0 defeat and, at half-time, Whelan confronted the 32-year-old, accusing him of not taking the game seriously, pointing out that he took part in a dressing-room warm-up wearing flip-flops instead of boots. He added that his attitude was a factor in recurring injury problems.
Faye responded by asking Whelan how many Premier League games he had played. The row erupted again after full-time, and it's alleged that Faye struck Whelan in the face before others waded in to separate the protagonists. In December, a dressing-room scrap between Pulis and James Beattie entered the public domain.
"I maintain that what happens in the dressing-room, stays in the dressing-room," said Pulis. "The lads have also expressed their own disappointment but understand there are obviously one or two people who, for their own reasons, feel it necessary to leak out this information."
Meanwhile, 20 years after they enjoyed a famous success with St Patrick's Athletic, Johnny McDonnell and Brian Kerr will work together again in circumstances they could never have imagined.
McDonnell has been thinking about the anniversary of the Saints' memorable 1990 League of Ireland win over the last couple of weeks, as he mulled over an offer from Kerr to join the Faroe Islands national team as coach and assistant manager.
The former defender had two stints playing under Kerr at Inchicore, and was then manager when the former Ireland boss returned to Emmet Road as director of football three years ago. Now, they will share a dugout in Euro 2012 qualifiers against the likes of Italy and Serbia, the prospect of which has energised McDonnell, who recently parted company with Newry.
"I haven't been this excited in a long time," said the 45-year-old yesterday. "It's a fantastic opportunity. To work at senior international level will be brilliant -- there's so much experience to be gained from it."
McDonnell will travel to the Faroes next week to sign a contract and take in some matches ahead of a training camp in Denmark and a friendly with Luxembourg.
He had agreed to work alongside Paul Doolin, manager of the Irish U-23 team -- made up of League of Ireland players -- until this opportunity arose.
Applying for the position of U-21 boss left vacant by Don Givens was also on the agenda, but he's unsure what kind of candidate the FAI want.
"It's a big chance," he said. "I'm going in at a level where I'm comfortable, in terms of working with the players on the ground. I'll be watching plenty of DVDs now and I'm looking forward to seeing some games to understand things a bit more.
"I have experience of European football with St Pat's, and this is going to be another level. I'd been speaking to Brian over the past couple of weeks and, knowing the way he is, he wouldn't do these things lightly. He's got his feet under the table a bit there now, and he knows what he wants going forward to the next campaign."
Certainly, a tough challenge lies on the horizon. The Faroes are in the only Euro 2012 qualifying group with three teams competing at this summer's World Cup -- the Italians, the Serbians and Slovenia.
Meanwhile, Birmingham's Stephen Carr is the subject of a police investigation after allegations he made gestures towards Aston Villa fans at the end of Sunday's derby at Villa Park.
The former Ireland international has also been charged with improper conduct by the FA, and Birmingham have been charged with failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion after referee Martin Atkinson was surrounded by a furious group following his award of a penalty. Carr and his team-mates were incensed by the decision, which doomed Birmingham to a 1-0 defeat. The right-back was at the centre of the protests and it is alleged he made a gesture towards Villa fans as he left the pitch.
It was confirmed yesterday that the 2010 Setanta Sports Cup final between St Pat's and Bohemians will take place on Saturday, May 15 (6.30) at Tallaght Stadium.