Danny's Football Bluff

January 30, 2012

Jnuary 30th, 2012

It was a Cup weekend in Britain. The Scottish League Cup semi finals were played at Hampden Park, Kilmarnock and Celtic triumphed and will meet in the final on March 18th. South of the border and there were many big matches, none bigger than Liverpool v Manchester United. Newspapers previewed this match as a battle between two legendary Scottish managers, and there’s no doubting the pedigree of Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson. But this blogger believes Fergie may be losing his touch. Not only did Liverpool win 2-1, but when Park Ji-Sung equalised just before half time, the United manager clearly asked his assistant “Who scored?”. Whether he meant which player or which team is unclear.

He may be replaced as early as next season if Jose Mourinho gets his way, sources say he is tired of Real Madrid and wants to return to England. This is odd in a footballing way as Real are seven points clear of rivals Barcelona and on target to win their first La Liga championship in three years. It’s also odd in a lifestyle sort of way as he wants to leave this:

For this:

manchesterchavspollard

Despite victory over the Red Devils, a dark cloud hung over Anfield Stadium on Saturday as the Liverpool fans booed Patrice Evra. This is in response to the suspension of Luis Suarez, who was suspended for racially abusing Evra in their last encounter. Chelsea fans gave the exact same treatment to QPR’s Anton Ferdinand who was vilified by John Terry in October. I have searched far and wide for some sort of humorous twist on fans booing a victim of racial abuse but I can’t find one. It’s just reprehensible behaviour and embarrassing for the sport.

Adelaide United were roundly thumped by Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium yesterday, although the result could have been better is Bruce Djite hadn’t missed three absolute golden opportunities in the first half. To commiserate with the Adelaide supporters who read Danny’s Football Bluff – at least they weren’t as bad as this miss from the Turkish league over the weekend.

The African Cup of Nations knock out round is shaping up with Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Tunisia all qualified. Morocco was sadly knocked out, never really having topped their result of making the 1998 France World Cup, but as they say in Casablanca “We’ll always have Paris”.

Goal of the Week from the Cypriot league

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January 23, 2012

January 23rd, 2012

The Manchester clubs continued their dominance of the EPL. United saw off a hapless Arsenal who’s fans are turning on their fearless leader Arsene Wenger. Wenger admitted he made a “tactical error” by substituting Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Andrey Arsharvin in the 74th minute. Wenger justified his change by saying that Oxlade-Chamberlain was sick during the week, stopping just short of producing a note from Alex’s mother. Wenger’s excuses are almost as baffling as Robin Van Persie’s goal celebration where he produced a T shirt which seemed to wish Oprah Winfrey a happy 91st birthday.

 

Manchester City continued their home unbeaten run with a last minute penalty to snatch a 3-2 victory against Tottenham Hotspur. There were four goals in ten minutes, all of them brilliant in their own way: A Gareth Bale wondergoal, a Jermain Defoe suckerpunch, a pin point pass by David Silva to Samir Nasri, and Joleon Lescott even scored a try from a corner. As usual the talking point is Mario Ballotelli who attempted to squash Scott Parker’s nose with his heel. However, as he missed this is considered within the rules of the game.

Melbourne Victory continued their nightmare season with a 4-1 defeat by a dominant Perth Glory. New manager Jim Magilton said he was shocked and disappointed by the performance, he blamed a lack of confidence within players. This is contrary to popular belief that the form slump is due to a lack of any defensive talent.

Jim Magilton has been the subject of a major spat between broadcasters Craig Foster and Robbie Slater. Foster condemned the appointment of Magilton in his Sunday newspaper column, saying Australian soccer shouldn’t be reliant on Britons. Slater then accused Foster of racism. Both broadcasters seem to miss the fact that as Magilton is Northern Irish he is not British at all.
[Fact: Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom but not Britain, rather a touchy subject for some people, some of whom are blood relatives of this blogger]

Goal of the week – Miroslav Stoch of Fenerbache:

January 16, 2012

January 16th

Brisbane Roar achieved a small sense of revenge against Sydney FC on Saturday night. Sydney FC were the first team to defeat the Roar this season, ending their unbeaten run and beginning their catastrophic string of defeats, however in the rematch Brisbane scored two injury time goals to snatch victory 2-1. Roar striker Besart Berisha was so excited to score the winner he accidentally grabbed the shirt of his opponent Pascall Bosschaart and attempted to celebrate with him. This misunderstanding was sorted out with a traditional all-in melee.

The A League transfer window begins tomorrow, with rumours abounding of trades and deals. Apparently the strong Australian dollar is being dangled as a carrot in front of many big names, although the Fox Sports website is taking ‘big names’ rather literally, naming both Bryan Bergougnoux and Julio Cesar Dailey Leon as possible A League signings.

Arsenal & Liverpool continue to frustrate the hell out their fans by not being able to win matches against smaller teams. Liverpool have a forward line worth over 100 million pounds yet could not score against Stoke. Arsenal lost to newly promoted Swansea overnight with the returning prodigal son Thierry Henry involved in an altercation with a fan after the match. Henry was quoted afterward as saying, “Why would fans abuse us? We have won every trophy possible in the last few years and yet they abuse us… Merde! I meant to go back to Barca not these losers!”

Inter Milan took the honours in the first Milan Derby of the year. If AC Milan had have won they would have taken top spot in Serie A. However Juventus remain on top despite dropping points against Cagliari. This blog doesn’t follow the Serie A too closely, but often goes with the assumption that Juventus are on top as they have the horrible cheating Fabio Grosso who dives his way to victory. Maintaining the rage since 2006.

Goal of the week: from the Egyptian league;

January 9, 2012

January 9th, 2012

The Football Bluff returns for 2012. The Christmas/New Year period offered up a plethora of stories, but here are the ones people will be talking about this week:

Melbourne Victory unveiled their new manager, Jim Magilton. Magilton’s last management position, at Queen’s Park Rangers, ended when the Northern Irishman allegedly headbutted one of his players during a halftime ‘chat’. Needless to say, Kevin Muscat has hailed the new manager as one of the true idealists of football.

Magilton’s first match will be against John Kosmina’s Adelaide United. Victoria Police have employed over a hundred more officers to keep the two management teams separate.

The weekend’s English football had a certain sense of déjà vu about it. Thierry Henry returned to Arsenal, Paul Scholes returned to Manchester United, and Manchester City returned to choking in derbies. The much touted clash between the two Manchester sides ended before half time with United dominating, although City captain Vincent Kompany suffered the harshest straight red card since Kewell against Ghana. Kompany tackled Nani, collecting the ball, however he used both feet which is technically illegal (to misquote the head Bureaucrat from Futurama, “The best kind of illegal”) and City paid the price.

It’s been a good month for Sunderland. Ever since new manager Martin O’Neill took the reins the Black Cats have only lost one match and claimed the scalp of Manchester City. It’s been so good that some fans are getting a bit handsy…

It’s been a bad month for Liverpool, dropping points against cellar dwellers Wigan and Blackburn, Stewart Downing being questioned by police over an assault and star player Luis Suarez being banned for eight matches for racially abusing Patrice Evra. Suarez claimed that ‘negro’ is not used derogatorily in Spanish. However, he could not explain the Nazi salute and burning cross he erected.

It seems David Beckham is staying in Los Angeles for another season. Beckham was expected to leave LA for French side PSG but the deal was halted when Beckham realised he’d have to memorise another letter.

Goal of the week [You’ve probably seen it, but it’s worth another look]

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