Danny's Football Bluff

May 12, 2014

12th May, 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , — dannymcginlay @ 2:12 pm
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May 5, 2014

May 5th, 2014

So, being a new Dad takes up a lot of time! Thankfully there’s only one more week of club football for the season. So I’ll attempt to write an update for you all.

Brisbane Roar defeated Western Sydney Wanderers to win the A-League Grand Final. The Wanderers went 1-0 up in the second half but Besart Berisha equalized with minutes to spare. Then, in injury time, Henrique put the Queenslanders in front 2-1. Berisha is now hated by all clubs, as he is leaving Brisbane to join Melbourne Victory, where he and Kevin Muscat will battle it out for the title of most despised man in Australian soccer. Events include punching kittens, climate change denying and writing more “I bought a Jeep” commercials.

In England it all boils down to the last week. Manchester City and Liverpool are both locked in equal first place with 80 points each with two matches to spare.

If they both win, then City claim the title as they have a superior goal difference [unless of course Liverpool wins one of it’s matches 10-0]. It’s extremely tense: Manchester v Liverpool. Money vs History. Blue vs Red. We hate United vs We hate United more…

Tomorrow Morning 5am EST – Crystal Palace v Liverpool

Wednesday Morning 4.45am EST – Manchester City v Aston Villa

Sunday night midnight [technically Monday morning, don’t be a pedant] – Liverpool v Newcastle, Manchester City v West Ham United.

There’s other matches on as well but trust me, nobody really cares. Sunderland, West Brom & Norwich are trying to avoid relegation… yeah I thought so.

Oh – the Champions League final is Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid. The Aristocrats vs The Rebels! Go Atletico! Even though Real does stuff like this: [Goal of the Week]

April 7, 2014

7th April, 2014

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

The A-League has one week left of the regular season. In a league of 10 teams it is a bit daft to have 6 finals places but that’s what we have. I’ll do my best explain the best and worst case scenarios for all the clubs.

Brisbane Roar – Guaranteed a week off and a place in the semi finals, no matter what else happens. So their situation is as dull as their defence tactics.

Western Sydney Wanderers – If they beat Melbourne Heart they will secure 2nd place and a week’s rest. If they lose and Victory, Mariners, Adelaide and Sydney all win they could drop down to 6th. Pretty insane, huh?

Central Coast Mariners – Similar to the Wanderers, if they win and the Wanderers don’t that’s 2nd place stitched up for them! If they lose and Victory, Adelaide and Sydney all win they could drop to 6th.

Adelaide United – Could finish second if the results go their way… actually this is getting repetitive. Now that I think about it all the teams could finish 2nd and 6th. Newcastle could sneak into 6th if they slaughter Adelaide and Sydney loses to Perth. But that’s probably unlikely.

This is one of the most exciting season finishes in A-League history. The mainstream media might even report on it, unless of course James Hird gets a haircut then obviously that takes precedence.

Here’s how the A-League Finals work.
Week One – Elimination Finals
3rd v 6th, 4th v 5th,
1st and 2nd get a week off.
Week Two
1st vs winners of one of the Elimination Finals
2nd vs the other winner
Week Three
Grand Final
Good luck to your team! Unless of course your team is Brisbane, Western Sydney, Central Coast, Adelaide or Sydney. Then I hope you lose.

Things in England are equally exciting! Each team has about five matches left and it’s down to a three horse race! Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City. Next Sunday, 10.30pm Eastern Australian time is what could be the title decider – Liverpool v Manchester City. I try to avoid hyperbole [even thought I am better at hyperbole than everyone else in the world!] but this is the biggest match of the year!
Which means it will probably be a disappointing 0-0 draw.

But the greatest 0-0 draw in the history of the universe!

Goal of the Week

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 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 28, 2014

January 28th 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 9:48 am

As I wait to board a plane to Perth for a week of gigs, I remember that I’ve not updated you all with what’s happened in the world of the round ball.
Frankly it’s been a shitty week. Melbourne Victory got thumped 5-0 again, local rivals Heart got bought by Manchester City with their bottomless pits of money and because the FA Cup was on the most interesting match in England was Liverpool beat Bournemouth.
This week should be better with top placed Brisbane playing 3rd placed Mariners in the A-league and a Merseyside derby in England plus Juve v Inter Milan in Italy.
I myself will be in the away support at Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory crossing every appendage that Kevin Muscat learns how to coach a side.
Tune in Monday for my reports on all of these! Gotta fly!

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 25, 2013

25th November

Hi folks,

The Football Bluff is back after a two week hiatus due to me being off mainland Australia, which makes it hard to watch football and get a decent coffee.

It was a good week for the lazy journalists of Australia. Firstly, Lucas Neill abused the Socceroos fans who booed him in the friendly against Costa Rica, which meant the media could re-hash the standard is-he-fit-for-captaincy malarkey. Secondly, the top two teams in the A-League played each other on Friday night, meaning they could constantly call it a “Grand Final Preview”. Brisbane Roar defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 with some pretty sweet goals. I guess that means the A-League is wrapped up then? Hand the trophy to Roar and we can focus on The Ashes and how great Tony Abbott is?

If you’re a Tottenham fan you might be keen for all football to disappear for the rest of forever. Spurs were smashed 6-0 by a clinical Manchester City last night. The first goal came within fifteen seconds, and the sixth came with fifteen seconds to go. So if you don’t count those 30 seconds it’s only a 4-0 loss. That’s something right? Sadly for Spurs, it is.

The Merseyside Derby on Saturday night was an absolute classic. Liverpool led 1-0, then Everton equalised. Liverpool led 2-1, Everton equalised again, then Everton took the lead 3-2 with a minute to go, then Liverpool equalised with seconds to spare. I realize this match report is a little simple, but I’m hoping to cover next year’s World Cup for the Herald Sun.

Speaking of the World Cup – this is who’s playing and why Australia will beat all of them:

Uruguay – We beat them seven years ago.

Mexico – They just played New Zealand and will think we’re as bad as them.

France – Beat us 6-0. But that was pre-Ange. We’re a much better side now. Seven goals better.

Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo has never scored against Australia. He’s our bunny.

Croatia – They’re still scared of us after 2006 World Cup.

Greece – We can bribe them to lose as long as we pay cash.

Algeria – Teams that come before us alphabetically are always overconfident.

Ghana – Could only draw with us in last world cup and that was with a horrible ref.

Cameroon – Their oldest player is 32. Our oldest player is 34. Mere children.

Ivory Coast – Beyond mismanagement. They keep some loser called Didier Drogba in the squad but not Melbourne Victory legend Adama Traore.

Nigeria – Conceded a goal against Tahiti during Confederation’s Cup.

Honduras – National team’s nickname is “La H” which means, “The H” – a slang term for heroin.

Ecuador – This country can’t even decide which hemisphere it’s in, let alone how to play Australia.

Chile – Their captain is named Claudio Bravo. Clearly a fake name to try and throw us. Desperate tactics mean they must be rubbish.

Spain – They won last time. They’re bored by winning.

England – All we have to do is bring Mitchell Johnson and they’ll panic

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Their first major tournament. It’s rude to win first go.

Russia – Are hosting the next one. They’re focusing on that one.

Colombia – Only care about beating Ecuador and Argentina. Will not mind Australia defeating them.

Germany – According to the USA government Angela Merkel reckons they won’t do as well.

Switzerland – Will be too busy watching the clocks. Their fans are quite neutral.

Belgium – Only got one vote at Eurovision this year. They are a broken country.

Argentina – The tournament is in Brazil. Someone will give them food poisoning.

USA – The Americans are down on their team as nobody has scored a touchdown this year.

Costa Rica – We beat them on Tuesday.

Italy – We will want revenge for the diving cheat Fabio Grosso in 2006.

Netherlands – Haven’t recovered from losing the 2010 final.

South Korea – We beat them in the Asian Cup.

Iran – Lost to Uzbekistan, which is like losing to Narnia.

Japan – They beat us in Asian Cups, we beat them in World Cups. That’s the deal.

Brazil – As host nation they haven’t played any qualifiers. Will be unfit.

So there you have it folks – Australia 2014 World Cup Champions!!

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 –

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