Danny's Football Bluff

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 –

December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve, 2012

In the past week this blogger has been accused of having a bias against Adelaide United for my continuing negative stories about the Reds. I take my role of amateur football writer very seriously so we begin this week with a positive story about my friends from the City of Churches:

If you ever need to look up ‘sagacious’ in the dictionary [I know I just had to] there should be a picture of Adelaide United FC. Last week it looked like Adelaide, along with the Central Coast Mariners, were going to be the dominant forces in the A-League, making for an unexciting end to the season. However the boys from Hindmarsh showed that they always see the bigger picture and realise that football needs excitement. In order to make the season seem more unpredictable they allowed Western Sydney Wanderers to smack them 6-1 on Friday night. This is the true meaning of sportsmanship (or sportspersonship if you’re politically correct, or sportshorsemanship if you write for the Daily Telegraph). Here’s a tip: FIFA Fairplay award – put money on the South Australian club.

Across the border and Saturday’s Melbourne Derby was the most dramatic yet! Melbourne Heart had the better of its navy blue (and flouro green) rivals in terms of possession, shots, corners, crosses, tackles and better dressed managers. So pretty much everything except goals. Archie Thompson scored the winning goal in injury time in front of the sell out crowd, but since the ball only barely went over the line, there was confusion in the crowd as to whether it was a goal or not. Thompson then continued the confusion in the post match interview where he answered questions through a mixture of clichés and interpretive dance, before finally he admitted he had no idea what he had just been asked. At this stage I can’t find the interview on youtube so if anyone has a link please email to himself@dannymcginlay.com (would do more work but come on it’s Xmas eve, I have Celtic FC socks to wrap).

In the Premier League overnight – Chelsea absolutely thumped Aston Villa 8-0. Villa defended so badly even Fernando Torres scored. Man United could only manage a draw with Swansea and in a hark back to the old days of football, Liverpool actually won a match.

The Italian capital is a happy place after Roma convincingly beat rivals AC Milan 4-2. Roma are fast becoming the favourite team of nerdy football fans everywhere because crowd shots of the Roman fans in their red and yellow scarves look a lot like fans of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. If only they could sign a keeper named Weasley.

Staying in Europe and the Champions League round of 16 draw took place on Friday morning Australia time. Teams from Spain, Germany, England, Italy, France, Portugal, Ukraine, Scotland and Turkey are all playing.
The fixtures look like this:
Schalke 04 v Galatasaray
Juventus v Celtic
Bayern Munich v Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund v Shakhtar Donetsk
Barcelona v AC Milan
Manchester United v Real Madrid
Paris Saint-Germain v Valencia
Malaga v Porto

Although most folk will be salivating over the Man U v Madrid fixture, my tip is to keep an eye on Shakhtar Donetsk v Borussia Dortmund, both teams play fast attacking football but are also mortal enemies of autocorrect.

Goal of the Week: Lionel Messi. [All of his goals from 2012! All 91 of them!]

Have a great Xmas! May all your teams win. {Unless they’re Adelaide United… oh crap, quick! Delete! Delete! Shit I already hit send!}

December 10, 2012

December 10th, 2012

Last night’s Manchester Derby proved to be one for the ages with United taking the points thanks to a last minute Robin Van Persie free kick. It’s often reported that these matches are vitriolic affairs but nothing could be further from the truth. United and City are great friends! In the 16th minute the City defenders proved what generous hosts they are by letting Ashley Young give a free pass to Wayne Rooney who graciously tucked it home. If that wasn’t polite enough, the City defenders did it again twelve minutes later! The Red Devils are nothing if not reciprocally courteous, returning the favour in the 58th minute by allowing City four shots on goal in five seconds The fourth one finally finding its way into the goal. Just when the niceties couldn’t get any rosier, the City fans decided to help out United defender Rio Ferdinand with some milk money, cheerfully throwing loose change at him. Ferdinand expressed his gratitude by bleeding from his forehead. Manchester City are known for throwing money at players, but usually not this literally. It all ended 3-2 to United, and presumably with all in attendance having a lovely afternoon tea.

The Socceroos have qualified for next year’s East Asia Cup! Our boys sealed their spot at next year’s tournament with an 8-0 win over traditional rivals Taiwan. Manager Holger Osieck is said to be over the moon, as it has been his dream to win the East Asia Cup ever since he heard about it last week.

Western Sydney Wanderers have piled on the misery for reigning A-League champions Brisbane Roar with a 1-0 win at Parramatta yesterday. The decisive kick came from a penalty, which this blogger thought was a blatant dive, but interestingly the Roar and the Queensland media aren’t kicking up a fuss. Perhaps last year’s Grand Final “win” from the penalty spot has rendered the “Champions” tactfully quiet.

And the winner is… everyone! Euro 2020 will be played all over the continent rather than in a host country. This new format was adopted when the only country that applied to host the tournament turned out to be Turkey. Experts have theorised that this new format is a tester for the Eurovision Song Contest which is still attempting to work out how to avoid Jedward visiting other nations.

Champions League round of sixteen will be drawn next week with the remaining clubs being Paris Saint Germain, Porto, Schalke 04, Arsenal, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Juventus, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayern Munich, Valencia, Barcelona, Celtic, Manchester United, Glatasaray and Spainish side Malaga, who even last year hadn’t yet heard of themselves.

Goal of the week –

May 7, 2012

May 7th, 2012

Well I’m a bit of a fuckwit aren’t I? Last night Manchester City defeated Newcastle United 2-0 to put themselves in prime position to win the English Premier League! I have said for the past six weeks that United had this title wrapped up. I have been wrong in the past – I thought Gold Coast United would be a genuine threat in the A-League and not be run by a massive dickhead – I will be wrong again in the future – I think Melbourne Victory will overcome their problems and win the league next year and not be run by incompetent dickheads. All City need to do is defeat QPR on Sunday and they win the league. United need City to lose or draw with QPR and they need to defeat Sunderland for the trophy to stay at Old Trafford. Will be an interesting day.

Chelsea defeated Liverpool 2-1 to claim the FA Cup on Sunday morning. Some interesting facts from Saturday’s game – When Ramires put the ball in the net he became the first Brazilian to ever score in an FA Cup final; Chelsea are the sixth team in a row to win the cup who wear blue, the last non-blue team to win the Cup was Liverpool in 2006, who back then were the sixth red team in a row to win the cup. The last non red or blue team to win the Cup was Tottenham in 1991. This blogger predicts this tradition will continue with a glut of Yellow teams triumphing. Norwich next year, followed by Hull, Watford, Burton Albion and then, even more unexpectedly, the Socceroos.

Juventus are the champions of Italy for the first time since 2003. The Zebras went undefeated all season, including European competition. It’s an amazing result. For a team that only six years ago were found to be bribing referees and fixing matches, to not lose an entire game for a whole year, it’s quite mind boggling. How could it happen? I cannot think how this could occur. Nothing short of amazing. Let’s think about this achievement, actually no, I’ve just received a large bag of unmarked bills so I will not think about it. I will just keep saying how amazing it is.

Here are the list of Championship winning teams for this year so far:
Portugal – FC Porto
Netherlands – Ajax
France – Paris Saint-Germaine
Germany – Borossia Dortmund
Spain – Real Madrid
Scotland – Celtic
If I’ve missed anyone out it’s because the league is even more irrelevant than the Scottish Premier League. [Notice Brisbane Roar aren’t mentioned?]

Goal of the week –

December 19, 2011

December 19th 2011

Adelaide United has replaced beleaguered coach Rini Coolen with their prodigal son John Kosmina. Club chairman Greg Griffin said Kosmina was perfect for the job as he is a “passionate South Australian”. The Reds will now presumably begin a new training regime in keeping with this ‘passionate South Australian’ campaign; running laps of the Veale Gardens, only drinking Farmer’s Union Iced Coffees and most importantly, not doing anything for eleven months of the year.

The round of sixteen draw for the UEFA Champions League happened on Friday. The most exciting encounter is easily AC Milan v Arsenal. Cypriot minnows Apoel Nicosia have been drawn against Lyon. The Europa round of thirty two has some exciting clashes as well with Manchester City taking on Porto and Manchester United meeting Ajax. However Salzburg v Metalist Kharkiv has failed to excite punters.

Manchester United may be reinstated to the Champions League due to a furore between UEFA and the Swiss FA. In a nutshell Swiss Club Sion illegally signed a player in 2009 which led to them having a transfer ban imposed on them which they dutifully ignored. This has escalated to the point where all Swiss clubs may be expelled from European competition, meaning FC Basel would forfeit their position in the last sixteen of the champion’s league, Basel’s spot could be taken by the next best team in their group, Manchester United. Confused? Fair enough, but are you interested enough to do more research? Yep, didn’t think so. Carry on.

Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has allegedly has driven around Manchester dressed as Santa giving people twenty pound notes. Other rumours about the Italian star have included that he’s punched teammate Micah Richards at training, threw a dart at another teammate, is allergic to grass, set off fireworks in his toilet, paid 1000 pounds for a copy of the big issue and cannot sexually climax without yodelling. [I’ve made one of those up, you decide which one]

Brisbane Roar have lost their fourth match on the trot, confirming this blog’s theory that their unbeaten run was made with the aid of a soul-selling deal with Satan. The dark prince is now claiming his due and we expect Ange Postecoglou to slowly morph into some kind of donkey like creature over the rest of the season.

Goal of the week [51 seconds in]

Save of the week

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