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}

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.

October 28, 2013

October 28th 2013

People say that when a club is bought out by a billionaire it loses its soul. This myth was absolutely busted last night when the two richest clubs in England played last night. Chelsea v Manchester City, Russian billionaires v Arab billionaires. Or if you will James Bond villains v Jack Ryan villains. These two clubs are hated by football purists by buying their success, however last night they showed how friendly they can be, with Chelsea making it easier for their opponents by only having shots on goal from offside positions. Manchester City were not to be outdone though, and thought it only fair that their goalkeeper Joe Hart should run halfway across the field so Fernando Torres could score the winner in injury time. What great sports. Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

The weekend’s big game in Australia was the Sydney derby, played to a packed house on Saturday night. Sydney FC showing the great defensive acumen that manager Frank Farina is known for, as their centre backs stood completely still for Shinji Ono to score the opener. It brought back great memories of when Farina lead the Socceroos to an inspiring 3-0 thumping by Uruguay to end our World Cup dreams. Sydney FC 0-2 Western Sydney Wanderers

It wasn’t the only big derby played over the weekend, Sunderland beat Newcastle in a victory for animal rights everywhere. Last time these two rivals played the big story was an angry Newcastle fan punched a horse in the face. Reports that after this 2-1 defeat some ducks were molested have gone unconfirmed…

The Glasgow Derby used to be one of the biggest matches on the football calendar. However since the death of Rangers FC in 2012 there hasn’t been one, until last night, and it was a classic. A lot of people didn’t think that Celtic v Partick Thistle would reach the heights of the old Celtic v Rangers matches but they were wrong! Celtic triumphed 2-1 in an epic battle for bragging rights! Firhill Stadium’s home support was silenced by Amido Balde’s 75th minute strike. Although that was because one of the home support had gone to the toilet but the other five were pretty gobsmacked.

Goal of the week is the winner from the El Clasico on Saturday night. I was trying to write about this match but really it was too good to make jokes about. I love these matches. Apologies about the quality of the video, any decent ones are geoblocked or some other computer term I don’t understand.

October 21, 2013

October 21st, 2013

This weekend in the world of round ball was not one where people celebrated greatness; instead enduring horror was the order of the day. The best you could hope for this weekend was that your preferred teams didn’t royally stuff up or have stuff ups thrust upon them. Like when Quentin Tarantino acts in one of his own films, you just cross your fingers it won’t be too bad and hope it’ll all be over soon.

So who stuffed up the worst? Here we go with my…

Top Five Worst performances of the weekend!

5. Manchester United only manage a draw with a plucky Southampton. This has been United’s worst start to a season in living memory and of course the fans are turning on new manager David Moyes. This is a bit unfair as any new manager takes time to bed in and all the smaller clubs reckon they can beat the Red Devils at the moment so they play their hearts out.

4. Juventus coughed up a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 against Fiorentina. The referees had done their part gifting Juve a penalty in the first half but it seems the bribery money had run out as Giuseppe Rossi slammed in a hat trick to record a famous win. I’d hate to be a racehorse in Turin tonight.

3. On Friday night traditional rivals Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory played the SBS showcase match. The third worst performance of the weekend goes to the referees! Adelaide were given a penalty that wasn’t there, then Jeronimo Neuman [who is one of the few players to always be called by his full name] scored from an offside position, then Victory scored a goal that was incorrectly given as offside. Socceroo manager apparent Ange Postecoglou was so angry he looked like he was going to punch someone. Sadly he didn’t, which is annoying because if he did, he might have not got the Socceroos job and Victory could keep our wondercoach.

2. Second worst performance of the weekend goes to Sydney FC. It must be exhausting being an FC fan, just over a week ago, they beat Newcastle 2-0 and they were apparently “throwing down a gauntlet for the rest of the league” this week, after they lost to Brisbane 2-0 they are “destined to be cellar dwellers for a long time”. The Hyperbole is without doubt the worst Hyperbole in the known universe. It would have got my worst performance of the week but that goes to…

1. Setanta!! The Specialty Sports channel which certain fans of certain leagues have to get in order to see their heroes. As a Celtic fan I am one of them, and already this year my chances of seeing the Hoops have been slashed drastically as some dickhead over at Setanta thinks more people want to watch Ipswich vs Doncaster than Celtic [who are reportedly the second most supported British team in Australia*]. So although Setanta did play Hibernian v Celtic on Saturday night, as of midday on Monday [36 hours after the match], Setanta are still yet to put the match online for those who couldn’t watch it live. Despite their website saying all matches will be available on Setanta Sports Plus Catch Up between 3 and 6 hours after match completion.
Can you imagine any other service provider getting away with such blatantly awful service? Apart from Banks, Airlines, Public Transport and mobile phone providers the answer is … still probably!

*Source – The Department of Celtic Biased Statistics, c/o The Pint on Punt, St Kilda.

Goal of the Week from the Irish ladies league.

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!

May 27, 2013

May 27th, 2013

And there we go – that’s club football over for another season!
On Saturday night Bayern Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to be crowned champions of Europe. The all German final, which was nicknamed “The Sausagefest” by certain bloggers, was decided by a bit of Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben magic in the dying minutes. Munich has not celebrated this hard since… well, last October.

What to watch during the off season? Well there’s the Socceroos’ final World Cup Qualifiers, against traditional rivals Japan, Jordan and Iraq. We should be okay. Don’t listen to the panic of the mainstream media. For calm analysis just follow me on twitter @dannymcginlay where I also RT funny jokes.

Keeping with international matches, the Confederations Cup will play out in Brazil next month. This is a dress rehearsal for next year’s world cup and is played out by all the great sides – Brazil, Spain, Italy, Nigeria, Mexico, Uruguay, Japan and of course Tahiti. This blogger is completely on Team Tahiti as all of Australia should be! A phrase you will hear a lot over the next month – Tahiti’s On! [Say it aloud… still don’t get it? Neither did my wife. But English isn’t her first language.]

To end the year I leave you with my three favourite moments of the 2012-2013 season.
#3 Celtic 2-1 Barcelona.
The Glasgow club were celebrating their 125th birthday, and they did it by defeating the greatest team in the world! Fairytale stuff. The only thing that ruins the memory of that night is the music in this video – I really tried to get better highlights. Sorry.

#2 Victory 2-1 Heart
For some reason the Victorians always struggled to beat their cross town rivals Heart, and at the Christmas Derby it looked like the boys in red had scored an unlikely draw – but Archie Thompson had other thoughts –

#1 Cute Kid 1-0 Desire to not have kids.
The Chelsea reserve goalkeeper Ross Turnbull’s two year old son takes over the end of season speeches by scoring the cutest goal in the history of everything.

May 20, 2013

20th May 2013

The English Premier League finished overnight, the final day big winners were Arsenal, who maintained their one point lead over Tottenham Hotspur to keep 4th spot and therefore a place in next year’s Champions League. Poor old Tottenham really are the Washington Generals to the Gunners, or is there something else at stake? Tottenham are the only team in the Premier League to not be awarded a penalty all season long, and were indeed denied seemingly obvious ones yesterday. Rumours that Arsenal’s winning goal was scored via a stepladder have remained unconfirmed.

David Beckham announced his retirement from all forms of Football during the week. Horribly it seems a career in commentating seems inevitable.

Although the Football season is winding up there’s still some interesting matchers to go this weekend – Sunday morning Australian time is the Champions League Final – Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich, Monday morning is both the Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Hibernian, a classic Glasgow v Edinburgh clash, and also the Premier League playoff decider – who will be in the top tier next year? Watford v Crystal Palace. Watford’s most famous fan is Elton John, Palace’s is Eddie Izzard. All that is known is this will be the most fabulously dressed play off ever.

And apart from that….. it’s all a bit quiet…. Anything else? Anderlecht won the Belgiun league. Tim Cahill scored the winner for New York Red Bulls… yeah okay when I’m talking about American soccer thats my cue to leave it there. Oh look below – a great goal!
Goal of the Week –

April 29, 2013

29th April 2013

This is a weird time in football, especially here in Australia as all the popular leagues have been decided. Central Coast won the A-League, Manchester United won the Premier League and Celtic claimed its second straight Scottish title. So what’s happening everywhere else? Well – in Spain, Barcelona are eleven points clear of Real Madrid so that’s pretty much over; Juventus are dominating Italy; Bayern Munich have already won Germany. Where can we look for footballing interest?

Well the Champions League Final is looking to be an all German affair. In the two semi finals; Borussia Dortmund are leading 4-1 over Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich are similarly trouncing Barcelona 4-0, both with return matches still to be played. Although this seems quite dull there is hope for all of us for the following reasons –

If the return legs do not provide us with epic comebacks, then May 25th will be Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund. Then we are all given an excuse to host German themed parties! Lederhosen, schnitzels, and large steins of beer! [Very important, they dull the pain of over enthusiastic slap dances, which will happen if Bayern win]

A much more attractive solution is if Real Madrid & Barcelona stage great comeback wins, then not only do we get an ‘El Classico’ Final [That’s the nickname of a Barca v Real clash], but then things will become even more interesting due to…
Mario Balotelli! AC Milan striker, an absolute talent who also happens to be bat-shit crazy. Balotelli has publicly declared that if Real Madrid make the Champions League final that his girlfriend will publicly sleep with all of Real Madrid. Now some voyeuristic fans might like the idea of watching such an outcome, but surely the more fun end product will be Balotelli’s girlfriend – a Belgian model named Fanny Neguesha – publicly slapping her nutjob beau, because who knows, maybe Balotelli will bleed confetti, at this stage nothing would surprise us.

Yes you know it’s an awkward time in football when the most exciting prospect is an argument between a lunatic and his attractive ladyfriend. Tune in next week and I’ll have found something else midly interesting.

Miss of the week:

April 15, 2013

April 15th 2013

It was semi final week in the world of Football. In England the FA Cup Semis were played at Wembley and every team played their part. Manchester City were lucky but triumphant, Chelsea were dull with flashes of brilliance, Wigan were disciplined and Millwall fans were violent. The final is on May 11th between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City.

The A-League Grand Final, however, is this Sunday. It’s between the two best sides of the season in Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers. Whoever wins, it will be touted as a fairytale ending. For the Mariners it would be the breaking of an eight year Grand Final hoodoo, for the Wanderers, the ultimate prize in their first season. My heart says Central Coast but my head says Wanderers. The only safe bet is that WSW fans will punch someone/thing.

The best semi finals were played at Hampden Park for the Scottish Cup. Falkirk led Hibernian 3-0 at half time but the Edinburgh side fought back and won 4-3 after extra time. Last night Celtic knocked out Dundee United 4-3 in a match for the ages. At the end of the game the players were so exhausted they made glaring mistakes, often it seemed like when you’re playing FIFA and your controller is out of battery. Kris Commons scored two controversial goals, one whilst falling over and the other with his elbow. The final between Celtic and Hibernian will be on May 26th.

Goal of the Week –

With Melbourne Comedy Festival still happening [tix through dannymcginlay.com] I am having guest columnists aide my blog with:
WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT – This week TV producer David Barrett will convince you to follow Southampton!

Being a Southampton supporter you’re pulled into conversation by one of three things. One, the plucky Second Division club who beat Man U in ’76 final of the FA Cup. Two, Matt Le Tissier. Three, Ali Dia.
May 1 1976 will always live long in my memory. It’s my first ever memory as it happens. I can’t particularly remember the match as such, but running out onto the streets with my red and white wooly scarf and hat on to celebrate will forever be etched in the grey matter. It was the hottest day of the year and the start of the hottest summer on record, but none of us kids in the street took our red and white ensembles off for days.
Matt Le Tissier kept us in the Premiership for a decade, pretty much single handily, and there’s not a fan I know, of any team, who didn’t want him in their side. I don’t think there’s anything to add apart from this … http://youtu.be/m3jVh_IJwO0
And then there’s Ali Dia. Ali Ali Ali. If you don’t know the story then it’s a classic. Ali turned up at Marchwood, the Saints training ground, after a call from a fella purporting to be George Weah to the then manager Graham Souness.
“Georgie Weah” had recommended his “cousin” to Souness, and said the lad had turned out for Senegal and PSG. Who was Souey to argue with that. Bearing in mind this was before the likes of a quick check on Wikipedia that could dispel such BS, so Souness took the lad on a month’s contract. I’ll let our man Matt Le Tiss take up the story … http://youtu.be/GyT1r_oVcdA
Nice one eh? So there you have it. Saints are great for having beat the odds, produced countless diamonds on the pitch, and also let a completely useless dreamer to live out all our dreams – albeit for a half hour or so. If you have a lead on Ali Dia’s current whereabouts tweet @insearchofali as it is a film project to find Ali.

David Barrett is a Southampton supporter, and independent producer and director. Follow him on @david_barrett1

March 18, 2013

March 18th, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , — dannymcginlay @ 12:27 pm

Come on people! It’s the day after St Patrick’s Day and you expect me to write a blog? I’ve just done three weeks of my new stand up show at the Adelaide Fringe and Brisbane Comedy Festival, and last night my relatives were in which made the wedding night sex routine a tad awkward.
As for football I’ll keep it brief. [I know I did this last week but Festival season is a killer and I’m the Virgin Australia lounge about to board a flight home, so time is of the essence.]
England – Tottenham Hotspur lost to Fulham, Schwarzer made some classic saves.
Scotland – Celtic came from 3-1 down to knock off Aberdeen 4-3. Especially good for St Paddy’s Day. Ooh Guinness burp, not good.
Australia – a comedian did a bunch of gigs then went out drinking with other comics. He promises he will write a better blog next week. Now please keep it down.

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