Danny's Football Bluff

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

February 6, 2012

February 6th 2012

Manchester United and Chelsea played out a classic 3-3 draw at Stamford bridge overnight. The Blues took a 3-0 lead just after half time, with Fernando Torres playing the unlikely role of competent footballer. However United were awarded two penalties, one fair, one harsh, and it seemed inevitable when they equalised with five minutes to go.

There are some relieved members of the London Police Force today after traditional rivals West Ham United and Millwall played out a relatively peaceful match. In 2009 fans clashed outside the stadium injuring 20 people. These fiery scenes were successfully avoided by only allowing a small number of Millwall fans to attend the match. Those lucky enough to get tickets had to stay inside a special cardboard fort and could only make noise when they were holding the ‘talking stick’.

Melbourne Victory and Heart played the final derby of the season to finally decide whose season was the bigger disappointment. Somehow they both lost.

Australia’s chances of playing football at this year’s Olympics took a dive with a 2-0 qualifying loss to Uzbekistan. The Olyroos struggled in the -12 degree conditions despite manager Aurelio Vidmar doing everything he could for the squad including hiring a personal chef for the trip. The downfall of this strategy was the that chef had been told to prepare the team for London cuisine so every meal was prawn sandwiches, curry chips and a side order of deep fried sadness.

Scottish Football could be about to be turned on its head with Glasgow Rangers on the brink of liquidation. In a nutshell – Rangers owner Craig Whyte has borrowed against the income of the next four years worth of seasons tickets meaning the club will have very limited income in the next few years. Combine this with a court case regarding an alleged tax scam which could cost the club over 50 million pounds, and things are bleak for the blue half of Glasgow. To add to their woes, Rangers were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Dundee United last night. [There’s no joke here, I’m a Celtic fan so this is just a bit of schadenfreude I’m afraid.]

Goals of the week –
You may have seen this one on Fox Sports FC but reader Jeremy Dooley spotted it first!

here’s another one in case you already saw the previous one

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