FORMER Republic of Ireland striker John Aldridge has let the cat out of the bag on more than a few former team-mates in a new book just published.
Boozy nights out, with Ireland and Liverpool, get a fair mention and his old Anfield team-mate Steve McMahon might not like to be reminded of how, according to Aldo, McMahon "left the contents of his stomach on the team bus" the morning after a particularly heavy session on a tour of Israel, or how Mike Hooper downed eight pints in one go.
He also reveals that an on-air quip saw him lose work as an RTE analyst, as Aldo says he was never asked back by our national broadcaster after working at Euro 96. "Bulgaria's goalkeeper got hit between the legs with the ball and during the half-time analysis I said he might have to change his name to Bolokov. I don't think RTE liked that and I haven't done much work for them since."
Apart from the yarns, Aldo gets a few digs in as well. He reveals how he fell out with his former team-mate Kevin Moran over the departure of Ireland player Alan Mahon from Tranmere when Aldo was manager, and Aldridge does not hide his feelings about being passed over for the Ireland job and his thoughts on Brian Kerr.
"Mick McCarthy had quit after a poor start to the qualifying campaign for the 2004 Euros and I sent the FAI my CV," he says. "When we sat down with them I honestly thought I was the favourite. A lot of people say now it was going to be Brian Kerr who got it, no matter what. The decision was a joke, a terrible choice. I'd met Brian once while I was over in Dublin working at a game. After we'd spoken I though it was him who had played for Ireland 69 times, not me. He came across as very, very arrogant.
"He had some decent results but mainly in friendlies. When he needed to win important qualifying matches he didn't do it, he'd never dealt with those situations at the top level and couldn't handle it," said Aldo, who was also unimpressed with many of the recent signings for Liverpool: "Nobody can tell me that the likes of Voronin or Degen are talented", Voronin a key player in Aldo's 'worst XI' of players signed by Rafa Benitez, the Ukrainian standing out from Josemi, Dossena and Babel as "the worst of the lot, he did my head in".
- Alright Aldo, Sound As A Pound, by John Aldridge and John Hynes, is published by Sport Media, priced €17 approx. www.merseyshop.com.