Danny's Football Bluff

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

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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 7, 2012

The last six months…

Hi everyone, I’m back from my honeymoon. It was great, thanks. Football related highlights were: Watching Celtic defeat Barcelona in a meth lab posing as an Irish Club in Cambridge; visiting the San Siro and watching Inter Milan completely outclass their opponents and still draw 2-2, and watching my beloved Celtic live at Paradise. [Never mind it was a dull 1-1 draw with St Johnstone]

So here’s what happened in the last six months – not in order.

Spain won Euro 2012. You probably knew that, if you didn’t then some of the following jokes aren’t going to make sense as they require a basic knowledge of football. You may have just forgotten it, which is understandable, as Spain can be quite dull sometimes.

Chelsea’s Champions League winning manager Robert DeMatteo was sacked for daring to lose two matches.
He was replaced by former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, who if it wasn’t for Nick Clegg would be the most hated man in Britain.

Fernando Torres remained rubbish
as did Andy Carroll

Melbourne Victory gained super manager Ange Postecoglou but lost Harry Kewell who went on to play for… as yet nobody.

Brighton & Hove Albion were voted Britain’s poshest fans! The Championship side immediately rubbished the notion, according to their butlers.

Liverpool poached Brendan Rogers from Swansea City, proving that the Reds can ruin even the most promising of Managers.

Rangers FC were liquidated and a new team has replaced them in the Scottish league 3rd division, creatively named “The Rangers”

Robin Van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United. Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke was devastated at the loss and wouldn’t talk to reporters until after he had gone for a swim in his Scrooge McDuck style money-pool.

Alexandro Del Piero joined Sydney FC and has bravely led them to the bottom of the table. [However this is huge news in Italy, when I was at San Siro the knock off shops all had Sydney FC shirts!]

Emile Heskey, a constant underachiever in his native England, joined Newcastle Jets and promptly began scoring tons of goals, proving once and for all the the quality of the A-League coaching is obviously higher than the Premier League. I’m kidding of course, it’s a tribute to mining magnate and Jets’ owner Nathan Tinkler who looked at Heskey and saw something valuable whereas everyone else saw a pile of inert materials.

and that’s all you need to know, I’ll be back Monday with an update on the weekend’s football news written hastily from Melbourne Airport departure lounge. [Doing gigs in Brisbane next week dannymcginlay.com for details!]

April 16, 2012

April 16th, 2012

Two epic FA Cup Semi Finals were played at Wembley Stadium over the weekend. On Saturday Liverpool defeated their local rivals Everton. The meeting of the Merseyside teams is often referred to as “The Friendly Derby” due to the fact that fans can sit alongside each other without incident. This was taken to a whole new level on Saturday when Jamie Carragher kicked the ball into opponent Tim Cahill which gave Nikica Jelavic an open goal. The Blues returned the favour in the second half when Sylvain Distin politely crossed the ball to Luis Suarez, who slotted home the equaliser. Suarez immediately sterilized his foot because the ball had been touched by a black man. The winner was headed home by Andy Carroll in the 87th minute after missing three easy shots on goal, making his 35 million pound price tag still nowhere near worth it.

The Reds will meet Chelsea in the FA Cup final after the Blues demolished Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 in Sunday’s Semi Final. Chelsea were so completely dominant they were scoring goals without the ball even crossing the white line. Juan Mata kicked the ball into a ‘clutch of prone bodies’ [exact wording from the Guardian so apparently this baffling selection of words is accurate] and the referee, who did not have a clear view of the action, claimed it as a goal. Cue the inevitable call for goal line technology from the wronged club and complete silence from FIFA.

There was shock in the A-League when the Newcastle Jet’s owners handedtheir club’s licence back to the FFA. The FFA responding with a very clear “no givsies backsies!” and running away. Jets owner Nathan Tinkler was much maligned this week and what little sympathy is left for the mining magnate should dry up with Craig Foster supporting Tinkler in his newspaper column yesterday. This is the death knell for any logical person to support a cause in Australian Football.

In the other, less interesting competition that’s happening in Australian Soccer at the moment, the A-League Finals, Perth Glory upset the Central Coast Mariners in the preliminary final. Setting up a Grand Final between Brisbane and Perth, the A-League’s oldest clubs. Brisbane Roar began life as Hollandia Inala Soccer Club in 1957 and Perth Glory began in 1996 as Not The Eagles Or The Dockers So Who Gives A Fuck Wogball Club.

There’s excitement that Manchester City may snatch the English Premier League. But it’s misguided. They won’t. United have this wrapped up.

Goal of the week –

February 13, 2012

February 13th, 2012

The biggest story to come out of the UK this week was the grudge match between Manchester United and Liverpool, but more importantly Luis Suarez and Patrice Evra. This was the first time the two players had faced off since Suarez was banned for eight matches for racially abusing the Senegal born Evra. In the moments before the match Suarez refused to shake hands with his rival, despite Evra grabbing the Uruguayan’s arm in an attempt to force some decency into the Liverpool striker. Karma smiled on the Red Devils and they prevailed 2-1. However their fortune with the football gods may be short lived after Evra gloated openly in front of Suarez and a United fan was quoted on a post match radio phone in as saying “Suarez is a filthy racist, like all Uruguayans”.

The other big news in England was the shock resignation of Fabio Capello. The national team manager walked away from his post after John Terry was stripped of captaincy. The English now have no coach or captain going into the Euro 2012 finals in a few months. Bookmakers have Tottenham’s Harry Redknapp as favourite to replace Capello as England manager. Redknapp last week was acquitted of offshore tax evasion by the Crown Court. The contract, rumoured to be worth millions, will of course be paid in unmarked bills to Redknapp’s dog’s deposit box in the Cayman islands.

Capello will go back to his old job of playing Postman Pat.

Zambia took out the African Cup of Nations early this morning with a dramatic 8-7 penalty shoot out against Ivory Coast. The good thing for sports journalists is every team in the tournament is a Cinderella story with a real heart breaking background. Except for that odd year where the Gaddafi family won it. We don’t talk about that.

In the A-league there was a return to more nostalgic days when all the former Champions recorded wins – Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC, Newcastle and Brisbane all took maximum points. To keep with the feel, Sun Herald columnist Craig Foster moved away from his controversial articles and returned to simply stating the bleeding obvious. Foster’s point this week was that choosing a football manager is a tough decision. Dizzy stuff.

The most exciting title race in Europe is happening in the Bundesliga. The top four teams, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Schalke 04 and Borussia Monchengladbach are all separated by a mere five points. It’s anyone’s guess as to who will be crowned German champions. This blog is hoping not Monchengladbech after they progressed to the semi finals of the Cup with one of the most comical dives this blogger has ever seen…

http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xogguw_hertha-bsc-0-2-monchengladbach-dfb-pokal_sport
Hertha BSC 0-2 Monchengladbach (DFB Pokal) by goalsarena2012-2

Goal of the Week:

November 21, 2011

November 21st 2011

Brisbane beat Newcastle Jets to equal the Australian record for an unbeaten streak by a club. Sound familiar? It should; apparently this was happening three weeks ago, for some reason they are breaking this record every bloody week. Who is this statistician who keeps stuffing up week after week? Regardless, let’s talk about some other records they’ve equalled – throughout their dominant streak they still only average attendances of 12,000 – matching the Melbourne Storm’s record of dominating a sport that their home town does not give a shit about.

 
A good weekend for Australians overseas, Scott McDonald scored both goals for Middlesbrough against Blackpool and Mark Schwarzer saved Fulham from defeat at Sunderland with an amazing injury time stoppage. Matt McKay started for Rangers in their nil all draw with St Johnstone but was substituted in the 64th minute when the Glasgow side’s fans realized that he had worn a green shirt whilst training with the Socceroos. Security has been placed outside his house.

 
A real Jekyll & Hyde week for Manchester City. They announced a record breaking loss of $309 million AUD for the last financial year, but then they set a new club record of fifteen wins in a row in the top flight. They had a record attendance at their match against Newcastle United, but there was a near riot when the stadium ran out of chips before half time. Yes this really happened.

 
Once again, Sepp Blatter proved himself to be the Prince Phillip of the football world when he stated that racism wasn’t an issue in football. This followed Bulgaria being fined 40,000 euro for racist chanting during a qualifier against England. The Bulgarian fans directed vile chants at England’s dark skinned players Ashley Cole, Ashley Young and Theo Walcott. Why they would chant racist things at these players when you can so easily bag Young for being inconsistent, Walcott for being lazy and Cole for his ex-wife’s horrible singing is beyond me.

 
In other football racism news, Bundesliga 2 side Rostock threw bananas at their opponents St Pauli’s dark skinned players, which leads to the question: WHO CAN AFFORD SO MANY BANANAS THEY CAN THROW THEM AWAY?? Not even Manchester City would be so lax with cash!

 
UEFA Champions League magazine held a poll with all their readers on which is the greatest moment in the history of the league. Despite the obvious blunder in omitting Scott McDonald’s 2007 injury time winner for Celtic against AC Milan, fans have chosen some great moments. The winner was this double save from Liverpool’s Jerzy Dudek in the 2005 final.

First save is amazing but I think the second is more a stuff up from Shevchenko than anything else. You can see all the other moments and vote for your fav here:
http://www.101greatgoals.com/uefa-announce-the-greatest-20-champions-league-moments/115470/
The highlights were limited to Champions League, otherwise this would have got 100% of the votes [NSFW]

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