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 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.

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!

February 3, 2014

3rd February 2014

Just over a fortnight ago, when this Melbourne Victory fan had a bit of hope remaining, we played Western Sydney Wanderers on a hot Tuesday night. The match was played at a very slow pace, understandable due to the conditions and the fact that both teams had played only days beforehand. However I did notice that the referee Ben Williams made some pretty bad decisions, all of them favoured Western Sydney. At the time I dismissed my conspiratorial theories as just that. A disgruntled fan whinging. However on Saturday night Ben Williams was once again helping the Wanderers. Newcastle had just scored an injury time equaliser against WSW, when the dying moments of the game Michael Bridges slid the ball into the path of Adam Taggart who ran into goal, only to be intentionally taken out by Wanderers keeper Ante Covic. Normally free kick to the Jets and very likely a red card for Covic; however Ben Williams had decided the match was over, despite the late goals and drama, and then red carded Jets new boy Joel Griffiths for voicing his disapproval with the decision…
Now could Ben Williams have a soft spot for Western Sydney Wanderers, considering he was born and bred in the region. [Sure, Canberra is a few hours away but geographically closer to Wanderers than anyone else] Does the FFA want the Wanderers to win the league because they’re the fairytale of the competition? Or more importantly does the FFA want to increase the value of the Wanderers because a consortium is making a bid for them soon?
The answer is simple – Ben Williams is just a rubbish referee. How do I know? It’s on his Wikipedia page – have a look:

Screenshot 2014-02-03 10.19.40

The other big matches of the week were less interesting. Liverpool thrashed Everton in the derby. Juventus easily dealt with Inter Milan. Oh and I have a new theory regarding Manchester United – they’re trying to lose to every team in the Premier League with the colour red. Stoke, Liverpool, Sunderland have all had a turn, meaning Arsenal, Southampton and Crystal Palace shall taste victory soon.
[I didn’t count Cardiff because I know they are blue deep down! Respect to my Welsh readers!]

Brisbane Roar continued their canter towards winning the A-League by coming from behind to beat Central Coast Mariners yesterday. On the Fox Sports website there is an article claiming Roar attacker Thomas Broich is the best player in the A-League. Meaning Melbourne Victory will be making an offer for him in the next 24 hours.

Tomorrow morning Australia time Manchester v Chelsea kicks off at 7am. The league will probably go to one of these overly cashed up soul less teams so enjoy the spectacle!
Goal of the Week

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!

January 20, 2014

20th January, 2014

Hi all, apologies that the Bluff is a bit late this week. My laptop did some sort of big software upgrade which inadvertently made my modem obsolete. Now my old modem is pointless and irrelevant. The Craig Foster of modems.

Anyway – back to football. As I reported last week the English Premier League is a three horse race. Arsenal sit on top after defeating Fulham 2-0; Manchester City sit second after dispatching last placed Cardiff City 4-2; and Chelsea are yapping at their heels in third place after beating Manchester United 3-1 this morning. Samuel Eto scored all the goals for Chelsea, meaning this rather foolish twitter user will have to make good on his promise:

Samuel Eto is a rather attractive Cameroonian, so the tattoo will be weird but not too scary. He must be grateful he’s never made a similar promise about Wayne Rooney.

In the A-League some droughts were broken. Melbourne Heart won their first match in eleven months defeating Newcastle Jets 3-1! The Jets have responded by sacking their manager Gary Van Egmond [who is named after a Disney villain] and replacing him with Clayton Zane [who is named after a Disney heartthrob].
It’s cruel to sack a manager but sometimes it’s necessary. If a coach is clearly not qualified for the task then sometimes it’s just best to move them along. Keeping them there would damage the players self belief and the reputation of the club. On an unrelated note Kevin Muscat is still at Victory.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo has won the Ballon d’Or! The best male player in the world for 2014! The best male coach went to Jupp Heynckes for winning the Champions League with Bayern Munich. Silvia Neid, the German National team coach won the best female manager and the best female player went to Nadine Angerer, the goalkeeper for Brisbane Roar. Yes! Our Brisbane Roar!!! Why this wasn’t front page news I honestly don’t know! Call it sexism, anti-round ball sentiment whatever you want. It’s disappointing.
Ballon d’Or also has goal of the year. Zlatan Ibrahimovic won for this:

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!!

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