Danny's Football Bluff

January 7, 2013

January 7th, 2013

Last night’s A-League match of the round lived up to its hype with the Central Coast Mariners seeing off a dogged Western Sydney Wanderers in a fast paced, entertaining match. To be honest though, this blogger didn’t get to watch the match as last night was Orthodox Christmas and I was celebrating with my Ukrainian in-laws. But through my vodka-and-borscht flavoured hangover I have read some reports of the match in the NSW media and apparently it was amazing. One leading Sydney broadsheet called it, “The best game of wog-ball in the world, the only bad bit right was when that prick Daniel McBreen scored a try in each half, which meant Parramatta Wanderers lost, but that McBreen bloke should be really good for us in Origin.”

Over in the UK and it was FA Cup weekend, meaning there were cracking matches all over the country but really people only really want to know which little teams upset Premier League teams. The only Premier League team knocked out by a lower league team were Newcastle, who were knocked out by Brighton & Hove Albion. Although it’s not that exciting considering Brighton are in the Championship, only one tier below Newcastle. The big upset came when Cardiff City were knocked out by non-league team Macclesfield Town. To explain the disparity between the two teams: you could fit the whole population of Macclesfield inside Cardiff’s stadium. As is tradition when one of the big Welsh teams suffer an embarrassing loss, rugby shirt sales have skyrocketed.

It’s transfer season – here are the latest rumours:
Lampard to leave Chelsea, possibly to a USA club
Michael Owen to Perth Glory
Mario Ballotelli to return to Milan
Cristiano Ronaldo to Paris-Saint Germaine
Shinji Ono to Manly Sea-Eagles. [Sorry… damn NSW media again]

In Italy, AC Milan have walked off the field in a friendly match against Pro Patria after the crowd chanted racist taunts at Ghanaian player Kevin Prince-Boateng. Many folk have applauded Milan for the move but not FIFA president Sepp Blatter who called the reaction ‘inappropriate’. Blatter has reminded all players that FIFA’s official stance on dealing with racism is that players ignore the racism and hope really really hard that it will stop.
The Guardian have released their list of top 100 footballers of the moment. Unsurprisingly the top two are Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, but what is surprising is that no Australians or even A League players made the list. To remedy this I have sent the following highlight reel to The Guardian

Goal of the Week – [blink and you’ll miss it]

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 –

November 28, 2011

November 28th, 2011

This week’s Football Bluff comes to you with a bit of a sore head. In the interests of transparency I should admit I am a Melbourne Victory fan, and in Europe my team is Celtic. This weekend I saw Victory win their first home match of the year (including Harry Kewell score his first goal), and combined with Celtic’s 5-0 demolition of St Mirren and Kilmarnock upsetting Rangers, there were a few beers had last night! However – onto the Bluff!

Interesting weekend in the EPL with six of the top eight teams dropping points. Alex Ferguson took his 1-1 draw with Newcastle in typical good grace, “It was an absolute travesty! I don’t think anyone in the ground apart from the assistant thought it was a penalty, but he then let the linesman overrule him! The problem is assistant referees are not full time, even if referees are. I could not understand the decision at all. It was a terrible decision, two years ago a decision like that cost us the league…” At this point the media backed away slowly and avoided eye contact. It is presumed that Ferguson is still on this tirade, Manchester United hopes he will have stopped in time for Wednesday’s Carling Cup clash with Crystal Palace.

American Samoa, the lowest ranked of the 204 members of FIFA, have won their first ever match defeating Tonga 2-1. This brings the Polynesian team’s goal difference in all matches to a much more respectable minus 272.

The Olyroos hopes of qualifying for London 2012 took a hit when they were held to a scoreless draw by Uzbekistan. Manager Aurelio Vidmar blamed a lack of finesse in front of goal, however the fact that the players were constantly stopping play to ask “No really, is soccer actually part of the Olympics now?” was more of a factor.

English/Nigerian winger Sone Aluko has broken new ground in the world of transfers. Aluko completed his transfer from Aberdeen to Rangers by paying his own transfer fee! The 22 year old forked out 150,000 pounds from his own pocket to help him make his dream move. In light of this cash-strapped Portsmouth have signed Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the Sultan of Brunei on the off chance they will make similar moves.

Goal of the week goes to Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez. Who has scored an amazing injury time winner from the half way line!

This is even more incredible due to the fact that this is the second time he’s done it this season! Martinez is famous in Spain for these sort of arsey goals, sadly the only time he’s done it at international level, he did it into his own goal!

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