Danny's Football Bluff

March 31, 2014

31st March 2014

Liverpool are top of the league with eight matches remaining! All the results went the way of the Reds over the weekend with Chelsea losing to Crystal Palace, and Arsenal and Manchester City drawing. Liverpool haven’t won the English league since 1990. After the defeating Tottenham 4-0 last night Reds manager Brendan Rodgers claimed it was an honour to be in charge of such a big club as Liverpool has “an army of 533 million supporters throughout the world”. Meaning 1 in 13 people globally supports the Merseyside team. So if you notice your neighbourhood getting a bit jittery, it’s only because about 8% of the entire planet is so excited about Liverpool. Seems unlikely, maybe he’s banking on anecdotal evidence that all dogs support Liverpool.
Liverpooldog

liverpooldog2

There were some big name departures in the A-League this week, notably the retirement of Harry Kewell, but also Marcos Flores and Mile Sterjovski who is retiring to focus on finding a consensus on how to pronounce his surname. Alessandro Del Piero’s future at Sydney FC is still up in the air. When questioned about whether he’d be at the club next year Del Piero merely mumbled something about being to too tired and would give an answer after he had slept on his solid gold futon.

The Asian Cup Finals were drawn on Wednesday night – Australia will be taking on traditional rivals Kuwait, South Korea and Oman. There is one final spot up for grabs remaining in the tournament. The eligible teams are: Maldives, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Palestine, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Philippines and Turkmenistan. Already Rupert Murdoch is using his influence to ensure Laos get through so News Limited’s sub-editors can have a field day with Laos-sy headlines.

Germany and Scotland have their rather predictable champions!! Bayern Munich and Celtic have won the respective silverware in both countries and both celebrated with their trademark cuisines. In Bayern the beer flowed and schnitzels, sausages and pretzels were enjoyed by all, and in Scotland the Celtic fans got wasted on cheap whisky then deep fried the trophy.

Juventus are about to win the Italian league. A nice man has informed me this is a good thing, he was so happy about it he didn’t have time to tell me in person, just attached it to a brick and threw it through the window of my bedroom.

Goal of the Week from the Superclasico!!! {Boca Juniors v River Plate}

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March 24, 2014

24th March 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 12:20 pm

Brisbane are the A-League Premiers! This would be amazing news pretty much anywhere else in the world, but Australia plays by American rules when it comes to soccer, meaning finishing top at the end of the season doesn’t mean you are champions (like it does in almost every other league in the world). It just means you are favourites to win the finals. So the Roar are not Champions, yet. The ones in orange will be tough to beat in the finals. Their three closest challengers are all in the middle of Asian Champions League campaigns so will be exhausted for the rest of the season. So should we just cancel the finals, hand the trophy to Roar and move onto next season where Melbourne City, nee Heart, buy the trophy with their Arab gold? Sadly thats not an option so let’s hope something interesting happens.

Something interesting happened on Saturday in England. Over a month ago this blogger was lamenting how there were no big matches in the EPL until this weekend just gone. Well finally we were to be treated to Chelsea v Arsenal. As my wife is currently ready-to-pop pregnant I am off the grog so the highlight of my weekend was to be watching this match on Saturday night (whilst slamming down glasses of milk). I got home from my gig on Saturday night having missed the first 15 minutes of play and Chelsea were already up 3-0 and Arsenal were a man down. Disappointing. The Gunners have now been thrashed by Liverpool 5-1, by Man City 6-3 and now Chelsea 6-0, meaning the EPL is now a three horse race. (Which is still two more than Australia, Scotland, Italy, Germany and France.) Given the poll results from last week’s poll it seems readers of this blog are Liverpool fans so I will write with a Scouser bias for the rest of the season.

Up next: Why The Beatles could beat Oasis in a fight, followed by a guide to a romantic dinner (clue – have chips!)

This morning the El Clasico was played and it lived up to it’s name. Barcelona went 1-0 up within the first ten minutes, only to see themselves 2-1 behind before half time, then 2-2 at half time. The second half saw more end to end action, with Barcelona finally taking the win 4-3. This rivalry is one of the best as it’s not only two separate cities, but also two different political viewpoints and football philosophies. The best way to describe it is Barcelona is MI6 – they’ve got James Bond, M, Q, all the good guys and they work as a team for good and for right. Real Madrid are SPECTRE – they’re cashed up, only in it for themselves and we should hate them, but they’re just so much fun!!!

The Champions League Quarter Finals were announced. They are:
Barcelona v Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund
Paris St Germain v Chelsea
Manchester United v Bayern Munich
So poll time: Who do you want to win the Champions League?

Goal of the Week – there were some crackers but let’s go for home grown!

March 17, 2014

St Patrick’s Day, 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 12:23 pm

Even though we are coming to the very pointy end of the A-League season, with finals places still up for grabs, the talk is all about one man and one incident – Besart Berisha. The Albanian striker opened up the scoring in Brisbane Roar’s 1-1 draw with Sydney. That’s not the issue, that’s what he’s paid for. The issue came twenty minutes later when he ninja kicked Seb Ryall. Seriously, he jumped with both heels up in a very dangerous tackle, then writhed in agony on the ground in a performance that even Ashton Kutcher would have deemed terrible. Brisbane fans don’t have to worry though, as Berisha is on his way to Melbourne Victory next year, where his dangerous tackles and horrible personality will make him Kevin Muscat’s favourite.

Leo Messi was his usual amazing self, scoring a hat trick for Barcelona in their 7-0 thrashing of Osasuna. Barca are still trailing both the Madrid teams in La Liga but if Messi continues this run of form then Barca will be back on top Osasuna rather than later.
[I’m really sorry]

Last night Liverpool beat Manchester United 3-0. Arsenal beat Tottenham 1-0. For both United and Spurs it was classic nightmare stuff. David Moyes was seen checking if he was wearing clothes. He was. It was all too real – the loss to their rivals, Alex Ferguson scowling from the stands, and of course the fact that he is one of the most hated men in football at the moment. Thankfully he is living in Manchester so he won’t actually meet many United fans.

The Premier League is really a four horse race now. Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City could all claim the title. Who do you want to win? Check the poll below! Personally I have no allegiance in the EPL* [I support Celtic] so I’m curious as to whom the general public wants to win.

*I used to live near West Ham so officially that’s my team, but I’m not that passionate about them. As an Australian with Scottish and Irish parents it’s against my DNA to cheer an English sports team.

Goal of the Week

March 10, 2014

10th March 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — dannymcginlay @ 2:08 pm

Wigan Athletic have done it again and knocked cashed up Manchester City out of the FA Cup! They upset the Blues in last year’s final and they did it again last night! This means the semi finals of the FA Cup are:
Wigan Athletic v Arsenal
Hull City v Sheffield United
So who does the neutral fan follow? Let’s go through the teams:

Arsenal – Firm favourites whose fans haven’t seen a trophy win in nine years! Famous fans include Kevin Costner, Queen Elizabeth II and Osama Bin Laden.

Wigan Athletic – Current FA Cup holders, would be the first non-Premier League team in history to win back-to-back FA Cups. Famous Fans are rare, but apparently Mikhail Gorbachev was one.

Hull City – Have never made the FA Cup final before! Known as The Tigers, they do get mocked for their fans song “you’re getting mauled by the Tigers” which has rather Rock Eisteddfod-like clawing motions. Even more obscure fact – the only team of all the professional clubs in England which doesn’t have a letter you can colour in.

Sheffield United – known as The Blades. Michael Palin is a fan. That’s locked it in for me. Go Blades!

Across the Atlantic and the North American football world began its season over the weekend. Major League Soccer opening weekend is a big deal, as it is slightly less ignored than the rest of the season. This is the final season before Manchester City’s New York City FC joins the league, and the year after David Beckham’s Miami based team joins, so perhaps there’ll be a bit more attention over the next few years. In the meantime there are some passionate if misguided fans. Portland Timbers’ ultra fans unfurled this banner on the weekend:
timbers
It reads, “This is how the world knows we’re here”. Which I guess is true, but tactfully avoids the fact that the world doesn’t really care that they’re there.

Lots of people care about the Sydney derby though, and on Saturday night the Sky Blues upset their Western neighbours 3-1. In an absolutely troubling turn of events for news.com and its affiliates, there was no violence or arrests to overact to. Thankfully The Block is still on so they have some news to report.

Goal of the Week [more for his foot skills than the actual shot]

March 3, 2014

3rd March, 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 3:40 pm

Manchester City last night won the Capital One Cup, which used to be the League Cup, which is just like the FA Cup but for some reason less prestigious. The Sky Blues came from behind to beat Sunderland 3-1. It was Manuel Pellegrini’s first trophy since taking over City; the only downside coming during his post match interview where he spoke of how proud he is to manage Manchester United. Check it out –

The A-League match of the round was Newcastle unexpectedly knocking off Western Sydney Wanderers. What’s that? Melbourne Derby? Never heard of it. Go away this is a blog about the Oscars. Who are you wearing?

What you won’t be wearing is an undershirt with a message on it. FIFA has banned this practice after Didier Drogba revealed the words “Thank You Madiba” after he scored for Galatasaray recently. Given that Nelson Mandela died over a month ago it’s clearly been a bit of a goal drought for the Ivory Coast striker. Perhaps if Scott McDonald ever scored for the Socceroos we could finally see his tribute to Mother Teresa.

In the contest of which league will be over sooner Celtic have edged ahead of Bayern Munich. The often bizarrely called “Scottish Giants” are 21 points second placed Aberdeen whilst Bayern are only 20 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund. Who will win? I am on the edge of my seat as I try to think of a way for Celtic’s season to be interesting again!
The Socceroos will play their final home match before the World Cup against South Africa at ANZ Stadium nee homebush. Which is great news for those Aussies who love playing in front of empty chairs.

Goal of the Week! Watch is from the reverse angle. Unbelievable.

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