Danny's Football Bluff

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 –

April 30, 2012

I take a week off from writing about football and a cavalcade of shit goes down. Chelsea will meet Bayern Munich in the Champions League final after knocking out Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively, which resulted in the resignation of Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola. Then just to prove we do things differently in the Southern Hemisphere, Brisbane Roar win the A-League Grand Final with the most laughable “penalty” ever which results in Ange Postecoglou announcing he’s becoming the manager of Melbourne Victory.

Sydney FC have announced they have poached Graham Arnold as manager! The country’s second biggest club are expected to make an official announcement in the next couple of days. Arnold is best known for leading the Central Coast Mariners to two losing finals campaigns and his disastrous stint as Socceroos coach at the 2007 Asian Cup.

In a similar move, England look like they will sign Roy Hodgson as manager for the Euro 2012 finals campaign. Hodgson has managed more clubs than Tiger Woods and seems a perfect fit for the English side, as he has not won any silverware in over ten years.

One of football’s biggest and most famous rivalries possibly came to an end last night in Glasgow. Celtic and Rangers have been bitter enemies for over one hundred years, but with Rangers facing probable liquidation over the summer the old foes battled it out one last time. Celtic ran riot with an emphatic 3-0 win. Who will take Rangers mantle of Celtic’s biggest rivals? Aberdeen? Ross County? North Kilt-Town? Only time will tell and even less people will care.

Chelsea Captain John Terry will miss the Champions League final after receiving a red card in the semi final against Barcelona. Terry made the unprecedented move of apologising to the fans in the official match programme of last night’s win over QPR. Terry said “I’m big enough to man up when I make a mistake”. Good to see Terry is aware that intentionally kneeing an opponent from behind is a mistake, Now we just need to teach him about sleeping with teammates’ girlfriends and racism.

Reminder – City v United Tuesday morning Australia time. Should be a very exciting match, which means it probably won’t be.

Goal of the week – Luis Suarez v Norwich. [Not bad for a racist]

April 10, 2012

10th April, 2012

And then there were three… Perth Glory knocked out a feisty Wellington Phoenix whilst Brisbane Roar secured a home Grand Final. This weekend sees a preliminary showdown between Central Coast Mariners and the Perth team. The Mariners have been the best team this year but the Glory are on a hot streak… Who will win? Who will choke? And much more pertinently, considering the oval ball footy codes are in full swing, will the A-League get any coverage at all? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic “Huh? Sorry I was checking Ablett’s dreamteam points.”

In England it has become depressingly apparent that Manchester United are to be the Champions of 2012. A few weeks ago this blogger called United’s season the Steven Bradbury of the EPL with all other teams falling over at crucial moments, but considering the cataclysmic results for all other top clubs, I vote that this be known as the Jonestown Season. Mass Suicides all around, with the Red Devils the only ones to not drink the Kool-Aid.

The only interesting angle for the EPL season now is who will get into the Champions League, both Man City and United have their places stitched up. The other clubs battling it out are Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle and Chelsea. Logic would suggest that the Spurs should claim the final spot, but I’ve got my fingers crossed for Newcastle to sneak in for something different. How brilliant would it be to see them take on a Scandinavian or Baltic team and watch their Geordie fans still refusing to wear coats?

North of the border and the league is even more one sided, Celtic stitching up the Scottish title in spectacular fashion thumping Kilmarnock 6-0. It’s the first title since 2008 for the Bhoys in green. Were Celtic the best team in Scotland due to their inspired and gruelling pre-season campaign against A-League teams? Definitely not, but expect Craig Foster to claim it in his column this week, as soon as he works out how to spell Celtic.

An absolute treat for all football fans is coming up with Real Madrid having the opportunity to win the Spanish title at Barcelona’s home ground. This will take place on April 22nd Australian time, same day as the A-League Grand Final. The two biggest football matches on the planet on the same day, what a treat! All fans will be excited to read about these games the day after, right after seven pages about Ablett’s dreamteam points.

Goal of the week:

January 30, 2012

Jnuary 30th, 2012

It was a Cup weekend in Britain. The Scottish League Cup semi finals were played at Hampden Park, Kilmarnock and Celtic triumphed and will meet in the final on March 18th. South of the border and there were many big matches, none bigger than Liverpool v Manchester United. Newspapers previewed this match as a battle between two legendary Scottish managers, and there’s no doubting the pedigree of Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson. But this blogger believes Fergie may be losing his touch. Not only did Liverpool win 2-1, but when Park Ji-Sung equalised just before half time, the United manager clearly asked his assistant “Who scored?”. Whether he meant which player or which team is unclear.

He may be replaced as early as next season if Jose Mourinho gets his way, sources say he is tired of Real Madrid and wants to return to England. This is odd in a footballing way as Real are seven points clear of rivals Barcelona and on target to win their first La Liga championship in three years. It’s also odd in a lifestyle sort of way as he wants to leave this:

For this:

manchesterchavspollard

Despite victory over the Red Devils, a dark cloud hung over Anfield Stadium on Saturday as the Liverpool fans booed Patrice Evra. This is in response to the suspension of Luis Suarez, who was suspended for racially abusing Evra in their last encounter. Chelsea fans gave the exact same treatment to QPR’s Anton Ferdinand who was vilified by John Terry in October. I have searched far and wide for some sort of humorous twist on fans booing a victim of racial abuse but I can’t find one. It’s just reprehensible behaviour and embarrassing for the sport.

Adelaide United were roundly thumped by Perth Glory at Hindmarsh Stadium yesterday, although the result could have been better is Bruce Djite hadn’t missed three absolute golden opportunities in the first half. To commiserate with the Adelaide supporters who read Danny’s Football Bluff – at least they weren’t as bad as this miss from the Turkish league over the weekend.

The African Cup of Nations knock out round is shaping up with Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Gabon and Tunisia all qualified. Morocco was sadly knocked out, never really having topped their result of making the 1998 France World Cup, but as they say in Casablanca “We’ll always have Paris”.

Goal of the Week from the Cypriot league

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December 12, 2011

December 12th, 2011

Manchester United were astonishingly bundled out of the UEFA Champions League by Swiss side FC Basel. It’s the first time United have not qualified past the group stages in six years. To the delight of sub editors everywhere the headline “BASEL NOT FAWLTY” was bandied across the globe. United rebounded from the midweek ignominy by thrashing Wolverhampton 4-1.

Barcelona defeated Real Madrid in the first ‘El Classico’ of the season. Madrid were favourites moving into the match but Barca outclassed their rivals 3-1. This is despite Barca keeper Victor Valdes feeling sorry for Real and handing them a free kick at goal at the twenty second mark…

The unthinkable happened at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night with Melbourne Heart upsetting Brisbane to inflict their second straight defeat. The highlight of the match being Jonatan Germano’s goal celebration, producing a Santa hat and delighting the travelling fans. [both of them] Raises the question, what was the greatest prop related goal celebration that never occurred was? What treasures have players had hidden in their shorts and never scored?

Adelaide United and sometime Socceroos keeper Eugene Galekovic played one of the games of his life on Saturday when he kept out Melbourne Victory all but once. A European call up might not be out of the question… especially when you consider the competition is this:

What happens when oil rich Arabs take on the richest man in Russia? Find out tomorrow morning when Chelsea take on Manchester City in what pundits are calling the “Everything-that-is-wrong-with-football-today derby”

GOTW – Robin Van Persie

December 5, 2011

December 5th, 2011

The draw for the finals of Euro 2012 was revealed on Saturday morning Australian time. Inevitably the moniker “Group of Death” has been placed on Group C, with Current World & European Champions Spain, previous World Champions Italy, Croatia and Ireland. Group A has been dubbed the ‘easy’ group with Greece, Russia, Czech Republic and Poland. England fans are said to be very excited about going to Ukraine and rioting in towns they’ve not rioted in before

Any Australian wondering which team to support in Euro 2012 have a few options –
On a financial level the two countries that have invested the most in Australia are England [although that’s as part of the United Kingdom, it may be Wales doing most of the investing, I don’t care enough to properly research] and Netherlands.

Ethically, the corruptions perceptions list was released this week and the least corrupt country participating is Sweden. 2nd place is once again Netherlands.

For music lovers, Ireland should be the team of choice seeing as they have won the most Eurovision Song Contests. However this argument is null and void once you consider Brian McFadden.

On a purely superficial/objectifying level you can’t go past Ukraine. I’m not racist but… all Ukrainians are good looking. There I’ve said it. Complaints can be made in the comments section.

Back downunder and Sydney FC had the embarrassing task of playing their match against Brisbane Roar at a suburban rugby ground when the Sydney Football Stadium was booked for an Eminem concert. However this worked out in Sydney’s favour as they ended Brisbane’s unbeaten run with a 2-0 victory. The Sky Blues second goal was scored when Roar keeper Theoklitos forgot which sport he was playing and mistook a corner for a lineout. No really, look: [1.22 to go, apologies for not having a better link, if anyone has one let me know]
http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/sydney-fc-end-brisbane-roars-unbeaten-streak-with-comfortable-victory-at-win-jubilee-stadium/story-e6frf4gl-1226213551425

David Beckham’s LA Galaxy play a friendly against Melbourne Victory this Tuesday which has fans in a state of indifference. With tickets set at $50 minimum I predict this will be played in an empty stadium, giving Victory a taste of what it’s like for Melbourne Heart week in week out.

Rolling Stone Magazine has declared Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho “Rockstar of the Year”. Can’t argue, his post match interviews are preferable to listening to Katy Perry.
Goal of the week

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