Danny's Football Bluff

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.

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January 14, 2013

January 14th, 2013

Two big blockbusters were played out in England overnight. In London champions Manchester City defeated Arsenal 2-0. It was a fiery affair, with two men being sent off. Edin Dzeko continued the trend of City players showing messages on their shirts when they score. ‘Za Moje Mahalce’ sent fans googling like crazy and apparently means ‘For the people in my neighbourhood’. Sadly the Bosnian striker didn’t score again so it’s unclear as to whether it was a tribute to his hometown or if he was just doing references to Sesame Street jingles.

Up at Old Trafford Manchester United beat old rivals Liverpool 2-1. Predictably Robin Van Persie scored the opener and even more predictably, Liverpool offered no real resistance or fight. This fixture has been quite controversial in recent years but this time it had nothing, no red cards, no fights, no racism. The match was so polite Danny Welbeck even decided to tackle himself – http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/gif-danny-welbeck-falls-on-his-arse-v-liverpool/

Staying in England and Reading have been involved in a few epic matches this year, most notably cocking up a 4-0 lead against Arsenal, but finally they have won a dramatic match. Reading trailed West Brom 2-0 with eight minutes remaining and then somehow managed to win 3-2! Manager Brian McDermott claimed it was the ‘fantastic fans’ who ‘got us over the line in the last ten minutes’. McDermott seemed to have forgotten that the same fans booed him off the pitch at half time.

Sydney FC’s fans have been through a lot this season and yesterday the ones that braved the cold and rainy conditions were rewarded. The Sky Blues robbed Melbourne Heart, with two late goals. There was some debate on how many people were actually at the Allianz Stadium, with the media claiming about 13,000 but others saying there were far less. The one thing people can agree on is that the number would have been much smaller if Melbourne Heart’s away support hadn’t both shown up.

Real Madrid appear to have hit a new low with a 0-0 draw with bottom of the table team Osasuna. The Spanish media is already calling for Jose Mourinho to leave the club, with many newspapers hoping it happens this week so they can run the headline JOSE LEAVES OH-SO-SOONA!

Save of the week – what an effort

March 5, 2012

March 5th, 2012

There was a particularly ‘Old West’ feel to the Tyne-Ware Derby last night between Newcastle & Sunderland. The Black Cats took the lead in the first half when Mike WIlliamson threw Michael Turner to the ground as if he was trying to slide the Sunderland player right across the saloon bar and get his head to land in a spittoon. Nicklaus Bendtner, wearing a face mask reminiscent of the Lone Ranger, converted the penalty easily. Then the brawling continued, Stephane Sessegnon was sent off for elbowing Cheik Tiote and at this stage there had been more cards than shots on goal. The cavalry came for Newcastle in injury time when Shola Ameobi equalized. Leaving the agitated Sunderland team to ride off into the miserable overcast.

The bigger news to come out of England was the sacking of manager Andre Villas-Boas by Chelsea. Since 2007 when Jose Mourinho left in controversial circumstances the Blues have gone through five managers, including some of the greatest football minds on the planet. Luiz Felipe Scolari – a World Cup winner, Guus Hiddink – deadset legend, Carlo Ancelotti – two time Champions League winner who took Chelsea to the Premier League & FA Cup double two seasons ago, and Villas-Boas himself is the youngest manager to ever win the Europa League. Quite simply – Chelsea are going through the footballing elite so quickly they’re running out of people to hire and fire. And who would want the job? You’d need someone who is part evil genius and part delusional egomaniac – so naturally Mourinho once again is the favourite.

Speaking of delusional egomaniacs – Clive Palmer started his own football association last week, with rumours he would like to start a rival competition to the A-League. The situation was summed up perfectly by comedian Adam Rozenbach “I bet Gold Coast United win the premiership in the Gold Coast United Football League”
Follow Rozie on twitter – @arozenbachs

FIFA announced it will trial goal line technology at the Club World Cup in Japan this year, bringing the sport up to date with the late 20th century. Next they’ll be clamping down on players diving and high level corruption… these reforms are due to take place in late 2082.

If you’re feeling down about your team’s disappointing season, cheer up; at least you don’t support South African Side ‘Powerlines’ who were beaten 24-0 in the Nedbank Cup. The Powerlines manager was quoted as saying, “This is an embarrassing day, but at least we’re not owned by Clive Palmer”

Goal of the week –

January 30, 2012

Jnuary 30th, 2012

It was a Cup weekend in Britain. The Scottish League Cup semi finals were played at Hampden Park, Kilmarnock and Celtic triumphed and will meet in the final on March 18th. South of the border and there were many big matches, none bigger than Liverpool v Manchester United. Newspapers previewed this match as a battle between two legendary Scottish managers, and there’s no doubting the pedigree of Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson. But this blogger believes Fergie may be losing his touch. Not only did Liverpool win 2-1, but when Park Ji-Sung equalised just before half time, the United manager clearly asked his assistant “Who scored?”. Whether he meant which player or which team is unclear.

He may be replaced as early as next season if Jose Mourinho gets his way, sources say he is tired of Real Madrid and wants to return to England. This is odd in a footballing way as Real are seven points clear of rivals Barcelona and on target to win their first La Liga championship in three years. It’s also odd in a lifestyle sort of way as he wants to leave this:

For this:

manchesterchavspollard

Despite victory over the Red Devils, a dark cloud hung over Anfield Stadium on Saturday as the Liverpool fans booed Patrice Evra. This is in response to the suspension of Luis Suarez, who was suspended for racially abusing Evra in their last encounter. Chelsea fans gave the exact same treatment to QPR’s Anton Ferdinand who was vilified by John Terry in October. I have searched far and wide for some sort of humorous twist on fans booing a victim of racial abuse but I can’t find one. It’s just reprehensible behaviour and embarrassing for the sport.

Adelaide United were roundly thumped by Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium yesterday, although the result could have been better is Bruce Djite hadn’t missed three absolute golden opportunities in the first half. To commiserate with the Adelaide supporters who read Danny’s Football Bluff – at least they weren’t as bad as this miss from the Turkish league over the weekend.

The African Cup of Nations knock out round is shaping up with Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Tunisia all qualified. Morocco was sadly knocked out, never really having topped their result of making the 1998 France World Cup, but as they say in Casablanca “We’ll always have Paris”.

Goal of the Week from the Cypriot league

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December 5, 2011

December 5th, 2011

The draw for the finals of Euro 2012 was revealed on Saturday morning Australian time. Inevitably the moniker “Group of Death” has been placed on Group C, with Current World & European Champions Spain, previous World Champions Italy, Croatia and Ireland. Group A has been dubbed the ‘easy’ group with Greece, Russia, Czech Republic and Poland. England fans are said to be very excited about going to Ukraine and rioting in towns they’ve not rioted in before

Any Australian wondering which team to support in Euro 2012 have a few options –
On a financial level the two countries that have invested the most in Australia are England [although that’s as part of the United Kingdom, it may be Wales doing most of the investing, I don’t care enough to properly research] and Netherlands.

Ethically, the corruptions perceptions list was released this week and the least corrupt country participating is Sweden. 2nd place is once again Netherlands.

For music lovers, Ireland should be the team of choice seeing as they have won the most Eurovision Song Contests. However this argument is null and void once you consider Brian McFadden.

On a purely superficial/objectifying level you can’t go past Ukraine. I’m not racist but… all Ukrainians are good looking. There I’ve said it. Complaints can be made in the comments section.

Back downunder and Sydney FC had the embarrassing task of playing their match against Brisbane Roar at a suburban rugby ground when the Sydney Football Stadium was booked for an Eminem concert. However this worked out in Sydney’s favour as they ended Brisbane’s unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory. The Sky Blues second goal was scored when Roar keeper Theoklitos forgot which sport he was playing and mistook a corner for a lineout. No really, look: [1.22 to go, apologies for not having a better link, if anyone has one let me know]
http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/sydney-fc-end-brisbane-roars-unbeaten-streak-with-comfortable-victory-at-win-jubilee-stadium/story-e6frf4gl-1226213551425

David Beckham’s LA Galaxy play a friendly against Melbourne Victory this Tuesday which has fans in a state of indifference. With tickets set at $50 minimum I predict this will be played in an empty stadium, giving Victory a taste of what it’s like for Melbourne Heart week in week out.

Rolling Stone Magazine has declared Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho “Rockstar of the Year”. Can’t argue, his post match interviews are preferable to listening to Katy Perry.
Goal of the week

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