Danny's Football Bluff

May 19, 2014

May 19th, 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 12:16 am

I swear I wrote a post last week. It just didn’t seem to show up. How odd. Well in case you didn’t know, Manchester City won the EPL. If you didn’t know that but you are reading this I can only assume you are a blood relative of mine. In which case, the baby is doing fine and can you please bring us some soup.

Arsenal defeated Hull City to claim the FA Cup on Saturday night. Coming from 2-0 down was a hell of a feat, and full credit the Arsene Wenger’s men. Last time Arsenal won a trophy was 2005, pre-facebook & twitter. Meaning in order to be insufferable you had to find an Arsenal fan in person. Now they can shit you through the convenience of your smart phone. What an age we live in.

At the same time that Arsenal were lifting the FA Cup, Atletico Madrid were celebrating winning the Spanish title. Next week they play cross town rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League Final. If they win that, then it will mark a perfect year for Atletico. How did they get so good so quick? Well you can go with them having great scouts and development OR their shirt sponsor is ‘Azerbaijan – Land of Fire’ and believe in some sort of dark magical dragon that is controlling them. Depends how into Game of Thrones you are.

Ange Postecoglou has named his 30 man squad for the World Cup. For 8 of these players it will be only temporary joy as the squad will be cut to 22. Many sub-editors are hoping it comes down to a choice between Curtis Good and Josh Brillante.

The Matildas have qualified for the Women’s World Cup next year in Canada. At time of writing they are 2-0 up against Vietnam in the Asian Cup. The qualification process is baffling and I’m on no sleep. So if anyone can explain to me what’s going on I’ll be very grateful.

We will play South Korea or China in the semi final. For more details follow the Matildas @TheMatildas on twitter because the media will give this bugger all coverage.

Video of the Week –
Instead of a goal watch St Johnstone Dave Mackay’s point of view as he lifts the Scottish Cup Trophy!

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

February 17, 2014

17th February, 2014

It was FA Cup weekend in England so only a sixteen teams played but it included some big familiar names. Arsenal got a small amount of revenge on Liverpool defeating them 2-1 at Emirates Stadium. Manchester City knocked out fellow cash cow Chelsea, proving that Arabian oil is stronger than Russian gas. The interesting thing is we could have a Steel City Derby in the quarter finals. Sheffield United will play the winner of Charlton Athletic vs Sheffield Wednesday. This blogger doesn’t know any Sheffield fans of either team but my research has shown me that a famous Sheffield United supporter is Sean Bean, which means somehow they must be the villains of the piece. Go Wednesday!

Melbourne Heart continued their run of great form, recording their highest ever win, thumping Wellington Phoenix 5-0! David Williams scored a hat trick, which is another first for Heart. The A-League’s cashed up underdogs have won four of their last five matches which has seen them climb up the ladder to… remain in last place. They could leapfrog Perth if they defeat ladder leaders Brisbane next Sunday. But that’s highly unlikely.

The Socceroos launched their world cup kit this morning – here it is:
http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/news-display/2014-socceroos-team-kit-revealed/86266

The logic clearly being the more we look like Brazil the more chance we will play like them. Or perhaps we’re hoping short sighted football fans will watch us thinking we’re Brazil so we get more ratings? Who knows? I know I’m not a fan of a collar on a football strip. Unless we play one match with ties, then thats fine.

This Wednesday Barcelona v Manchester City promises to be a very entertaining match. Cashed up English vs The soul of Catalonia. Is it enough for me to get up at 6.30am to watch? Hell no, I’ve got a baby coming in two months, I need all the sleep I can get. I’ll tape it and watch when I get up. What are you mental?

Goal of the week – from Saturday night’s Asian Champions League. Despite this amazing goal Melbourne Victory won!

January 20, 2014

20th January, 2014

Hi all, apologies that the Bluff is a bit late this week. My laptop did some sort of big software upgrade which inadvertently made my modem obsolete. Now my old modem is pointless and irrelevant. The Craig Foster of modems.

Anyway – back to football. As I reported last week the English Premier League is a three horse race. Arsenal sit on top after defeating Fulham 2-0; Manchester City sit second after dispatching last placed Cardiff City 4-2; and Chelsea are yapping at their heels in third place after beating Manchester United 3-1 this morning. Samuel Eto scored all the goals for Chelsea, meaning this rather foolish twitter user will have to make good on his promise:

Samuel Eto is a rather attractive Cameroonian, so the tattoo will be weird but not too scary. He must be grateful he’s never made a similar promise about Wayne Rooney.

In the A-League some droughts were broken. Melbourne Heart won their first match in eleven months defeating Newcastle Jets 3-1! The Jets have responded by sacking their manager Gary Van Egmond [who is named after a Disney villain] and replacing him with Clayton Zane [who is named after a Disney heartthrob].
It’s cruel to sack a manager but sometimes it’s necessary. If a coach is clearly not qualified for the task then sometimes it’s just best to move them along. Keeping them there would damage the players self belief and the reputation of the club. On an unrelated note Kevin Muscat is still at Victory.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or! The best male player in the world for 2014! The best male coach went to Jupp Heynckes for winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich. Silvia Neid, the German National team coach won the best female manager and the best female player went to Nadine Angerer, the goalkeeper for Brisbane Roar. Yes! Our Brisbane Roar!!! Why this wasn’t front page news I honestly don’t know! Call it sexism, anti-round ball sentiment whatever you want. It’s disappointing.
Ballon d’Or also has goal of the year. Zlatan Ibrahimovic won for this:

December 16, 2013

16th December, 2013

As the majority of teams in the A-League go about the business of confusing the shite out of punters by losing games they should win and vice-versa. Brisbane Roar has been grinding out solid wins over the past month and suddenly have a five point gap on second place Western Sydney Wanderers. The majority of these matches have been won by a solitary goal. Positive football fans would say that Roar is implementing inspired Mourinho style tactics to achieve victory, but most of us would agree they’re boring the other teams to sleep.

The big match overnight was Liverpool thumping Tottenham Hotspur 5-0, putting the Reds in second place on the EPL ladder and placing Spurs manager Andres Villas-Boas under intense pressure to resign. Tottenham fans took to social media demanding @AVB leave the club immediately. Sadly @AVB is the twitter handle of Ashley Van Buren, a musical theatre fan from New York City. Ashley responded to angry Spurs fans with musical lyrics. Including a certain song from Carousel that Liverpool fans know quite well.

Andres Villas Boas could go for the job of manager of West Bromwich Albion after they sacked Steve Clarke after four straight losses. Australia’s West Brom fans were shocked until they remembered they were actually West Ham fans and went back to checking facebook.

Saturday night saw one of the matches of the season when Manchester City defeated Arsenal 6-3. Gunners fans are claiming that the referee got several offside decisions wrong. This blogger has watched several replays using slow motion and a protractor and I can honestly say they have a case and should have lost 6-4. Maintain the rage!

Goal of the Week – Gary Hooper from Norwich

November 4, 2013

November 4th, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 1:21 pm

You know today is unofficially a public holiday here in Melbourne. But here I am, churning out a football blog for you, because I am a good sort. Also the wife has gone to work so it’s either this or I do housework, and because I’m going to Victory v Wellington tonight I’d probably open a beer whilst I did the housework and before you know it I’m trying to gaffer the vacuum cleaner to my back so I can be a Ghostbuster.

This week the A-League revealed very little surprises. It seems that this season if you support the smaller team in a big city, it’s not going to be fun. Both Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC had poor results over the weekend, but intriguingly have different reactions. Whilst the Sky Blues of the Harbor City are baying for manager Frank Farina to be sacked, Heart remain confident that John Aloisi is the right dreamboat for the job. A spokesman for the Heart fanbase was quoted as saying “He’s got a great eye for tactics… and another gorgeous hazel eye for fashion… sorry what was the question?”

In England though, it’s good to be from the big town! London teams make up three of the top four spots with Arsenal sitting five points clear! Exciting times to be a Gooner! This is the first time since 2005 that the Gunners have started a season so strongly. At least back then we didn’t have to see all their gloating on facebook & twitter. I don’t remember their being this much smugness on livejournal back then.

History was made in Wales overnight. Cardiff played Swansea in the first ever top flight Welsh derby. It was a fiery affair but Steven Caulker’s 62nd minute header was enough to give Cardiff a 1-0 win. I am however disgusted with the British media for the distinct lack of pun headlines when covering this match. So here is my list of wasted opportunity headlines.
5. Wale of a Derby
4. Swansea’s Leek-y defence!
3. Caulker of a header!
2. Cardiff’s Rarebit o’ magic!
1. Derby Victory on the Card-iff
That took all of three minutes & forty three seconds, and I’m not even an employee of News Ltd. It’s just such a waste.

Here’s goal of the week.

September 30, 2013

With the oval shaped football season finishing in Australia, people will slowly be realizing that the round ball game is happening in Europe, and things are certainly getting interesting over that side of the planet. In England, both Manchester teams are playing really badly with United losing to West Brom at home on Saturday night. Normally that would be cause for great celebration for Man City, but they were beaten 3-2 by Aston Villa. Now it’s easy to pick on the struggling teams, not to mention fun, but who’s playing well?

Tottenham – who bought a cavalcade of great player on the off season.
Arsenal – who only bought one.
Chelsea – who bought in some great kids and of course, Bond villain manager Jose Mourinho.
And finally Liverpool – who are setting themselves up for their traditional good start to a season then choking magnificently against the struggling clubs. Sadly for Liverpool though, it looks like the struggling club this year will be their arch rivals from Manchester.

In Scotland the ladder is topped by Inverness Caledonian Thistle, usually only famous for being the home of Scotland’s biggest celebrities, Nessie and James Bond.

In Italy, perennial underachievers Roma sit at the top of the table, what’s next? A Pope that embraces homosexuality? Oh.

In Spain the Madrid derby was played out on Saturday night and Atletico upset Real 1-0! In the French leagues, Monaco are playing exciting attacking football, FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven are making the Dutch league a great contest, Porto and Benfica are taking the Portuguese title down to the wire it is all happening! Such a pity daylight savings starts this week and now all games will be played at stupid o’clock and Australians will lose all interest.

Goal of the Week –

September 16, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 10:47 am

This weekend in the English Premier League all eyes were on the Arsenal debut of Mesut Ozil. Some crueller pundits have suggested that Arsene Wenger’s reason for signing the German was that Ozil is the only person on earth with bigger eyes than Wenger. Even if this was the case those big eyes worked a dream, setting up Arsenal’s first goal with a brilliant through pass to Oliver Giroud that mere mortals with regular sized peepers would never have seen. The Gunners defeated Sunderland 3-1, although it is worth reminding you that Sunderland are managed by batshit mental Paolo DiCanio, who claimed the referees helped Arsenal to victory but it won’t happen next time as he has his tin foil hat at the ready.

South a bit and Gareth Bale made his long awaited Real Madrid debut and scored an impressive goal, however Real are still slowly working Bale into the Galactico way of football and made sure he still felt like he was at Tottenham by conceding a late equaliser.

Over at Barcelona, they are just scrambling to prove how much they are the good guys of football, when it was revealed Brazilian left-back Dani Alves offered to donate his liver to teammate Eric Abidal. Mark Bosnich immediately contacted Alves to ask if his hair was on offer but has not heard back as yet.

Millwall. You heard of them? They are the team in England with the most violent, bigoted, clichéd fans. They were the villains in Green Street Hooligans. Things have got so bad they’ve signed Scott McDonald as a striker [booo!! Cheap gag McGinlay!! Boooo!!]. Anyway – one of their fans ran onto the pitch on Saturday as they lost 5-1 to Derby County, shoved the rival coach and the ran back into the stands. It was an impressive piece of efficient hooliganism.

But who won on the weekend? Nobody exciting, there was a lot of 0-0 draws. Everton upset Chelsea but that’s really all worth mentioning. See you next week.

Goal of the week – sure it’s from an indoor match but it’s pretty sweet!

September 2, 2013

September 2nd, 2013

The more things change, the more things stay the same…

When David Moyes was the long suffering Everton manager he could never beat his cross town rivals Liverpool at their home ground of Anfield. However now that he is in charge of Manchester United, surely this means he will be playing the role of the Washington Generals no more… Nope! The Scousers defeated the Red Devils 1-0 in a pretty big upset. Admittedly United were without Wayne Rooney who tragically suffered a gash in his cheek when accidentally kicked in the face at training. Rooney’s face is said to be horribly disfigured, but the injury has not been able to improve that at all.

If David Moyes is Liverpool’s Washington Generals, then Arsenal are Tottenham Hotspur’s Tony Abbott. The Gunners have spent no money over summer, have a thin playing list and there are grave doubts over their manager’s ability to control the team… The Spurs on the other hand have a great young manager, have spent big and smart and are really doing everything right in their quest for the Premier League title… and yet…. Arsenal swatted them aside as easily as you can say “Stop the Boats”

**NB it appears in that last article that I am saying Kevin Rudd is a great young manager… he’s not but this blogger would pick him over Abbott any day.

The Champions League group stage draw is out and for the first time in history there is a “Group of Champions” – four teams in the one group who have all won Europe’s greatest prize. Group H consists of Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic. With 16 Trophies together they will create a glorious feast for all football fans. My tip is Celtic will top the table. Easily. Shut up… you are.

What about the Aussies? I hear you ask, well yesterday I received a tweet from the FFA promising all the news of which Australian players did well for European clubs on the weekend… and all it told me was Mile Jedinak did okay for Crystal Palace. That’s it. World Cup 2022 could be a bad few weeks for us.

Goal of the Week!

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