Danny's Football Bluff

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

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December 9, 2013

December 9th, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 12:43 pm

All talk this weekend has been about how Australia has been drawn in the World Cup’s “Group of Death”. Lazy journalists say this every tournament so they’ll be relieved that this time it’s actually true. Australia will have to play Champions Spain, runners up Netherlands and the technically gifted Chile. Are we effed? Yeah pretty much, but if you want some optimism here you go –
1. Everyone will underestimate us. This is ideal for the Socceroos, we play our best football when we’ve been written off. See the entire 2006 World Cup campaign, plus our defeat of Serbia in the 2010 tournament. For more examples of underdogs prevailing, see any Disney film ever made.
2. Ange Postecoglou is a properly brilliant coach. He can make mediocre players do amazing things. The bigger the stage, the better his troops perform.
3. Alphabetically we win the group. Sadly not the whole tournament [stupid Algeria] but coming runners up is great for the game in this country.
4. Actually now that I think about it. We have two Disney style storylines happening in our squad. We have the young kids who nobody really believes in [Rogic, Kruse etc] who are like The Mighty Ducks, but also the old guard [Neill, Cahill, Bresciano] coming together for one last heist – like The Wild Bunch or Space Cowboys if you’re young. If we can just find some sort of talking animal, this World Cup is ours!

In other brief news – Manchester United lost at home again! This time to Newcastle. It’s looking like a very real possibility that the Red Devils may not even qualify for the Champions League. They’re 13 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal and three games behind rivals Liverpool & Man City. Coach David Moyes has remained on cliché, pleading with fans to “Keep the Faith” and that “There’s light at the end of the tunnel”. Sadly for Moyes the only cliché he’ll be saying at his next job might be “Big Issue”

In Major League Soccer – two of the most optimistically named American teams played off for the MLS Cup last night. Sporting Kansas City thrilled fans of Portuguese-Midwest sports franchises by defeating Real Salt Lake City in a penalty shoot out. Although this result has devastated Morman Spaniards worldwide, there’s always next year, or as they say in Salt Lake City – tomorrow is a latter day.

Goal of the Week comes from Groundskeeper Willie’s team – Aberdeen!

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!

August 19, 2013

19th August 2013

Welcome to the Football Bluff for another season. Over the next few weeks your workplace conversations will be dominated by Oval Ball Finals/Federal Election/Breaking Bad [really depends how nerdy your work is] so you will only need a simple understanding of the Round Ball Game, but that’s why I’m here.

The English Premier League kicked off on Saturday night – who started well?

Not bloody Arsenal! Although the Gunners were up 1-0 within six minutes, Aston Villa gave the North London club a rude awakening as they piled on the next three goals. As the fans booed, the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger surely was doubting his summer signing policy of going to Mars and sitting in a cave with his eyes shut and his fingers in his ears.

Manchester United began the David Moyes era with a 4-1 win over Swansea. Danny Welbeck & Robin Van Persie both scored with amazing individual efforts. Wayne Rooney played the final half hour of the match, but quite begrudgingly. Rooney has made no secret his desire to leave the Red Devils, however post match teammate Michael Carrick said “Wayne is still one of us”, whereas Rooney was quoted as saying “Shut up, you’re not my real dad”

Chelsea returned to Jose Mourinho’s style of play like a duck to orange sauce. The Blues eased back into the sit-back-and-wait-for-the-opposition-to-make-a-mistake game plan seamlessly as they defeated Hull 2-0. At times the strikers even played like proper team mates, but I’m sure those little mistakes will be ironed out.

Barcelona won their first match of the Spanish season 7-0. If you’re a Real Madrid fan, apologies, it’s gonna be a long year.

Yes but how did the Australians go? I hear you ask, with the World Cup happening at the end of this season, this blogger will try and keep you up to date with how our Socceroos are going at a club level. Mile Jedinak played well as he lead Crystal Palace to a gallant 1-0 loss to Tottenham… and…. um… oh Lucas Neill signed with a Japanese club… apart from that…. um…. I think Mark Schwarzer got to finally meet Jose Mourinho, that would have been exciting for him.

May 13, 2013

May 13th, 2013

On Saturday night the FA Cup proved to be magical with underdogs Wigan Athletic upsetting the moneybags of Manchester City 1-0 to claim the trophy. It was dramatic to the end with Ben Watson heading home the winner in injury time. It’s the first time in its 81 year history that Wigan has won some major silverware, not counting the World Pie Eating Contest. ***

You probably already heard but Sir Alex Ferguson has retired as the manager of Manchester United. Fergie won 13 league titles with the Red Devils and the Champions League twice. United have replaced the wee angry Scotsman who never smiles with David Moyes, who is a wee angry Scotsman who never smiles. Apparently after Moyes finishes his time managing the club the next in line is Groundskeeper Willie.
The media have talked about Sir Alex’s achievements but the reason for his retirement is pretty obvious, he was clearly petrified of taking on Ange Postecoglou and the A-League All Stars in July. Understandable.

Staying in England and the Championship play-offs have begun – those vying for a spot in the Premier League next year are Brighton, Crystal Palace, Watford and Leicester. Well Leicester was in the running, but not anymore. They cocked it up royally! In one of the most dramatic ends to a match in recent history, Leicester had a penalty awarded to them in injury time, but it was saved. Watford then ran the ball up the other end and scored the actual winner, all within 20 seconds. Brighton and Crystal Palace play off tomorrow morning Australian time – can they match the drama? Not likely, the first leg ended as a 0-0 snorefest.
***[Not a cheap joke, factually correct, seriously, google it.]

No matter how bad you’re day is going, take a moment to be grateful that you are not this Slovenian goalkeeper –

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