Danny's Football Bluff

August 19, 2013

19th August 2013

Welcome to the Football Bluff for another season. Over the next few weeks your workplace conversations will be dominated by Oval Ball Finals/Federal Election/Breaking Bad [really depends how nerdy your work is] so you will only need a simple understanding of the Round Ball Game, but that’s why I’m here.

The English Premier League kicked off on Saturday night – who started well?

Not bloody Arsenal! Although the Gunners were up 1-0 within six minutes, Aston Villa gave the North London club a rude awakening as they piled on the next three goals. As the fans booed, the Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger surely was doubting his summer signing policy of going to Mars and sitting in a cave with his eyes shut and his fingers in his ears.

Manchester United began the David Moyes era with a 4-1 win over Swansea. Danny Welbeck & Robin Van Persie both scored with amazing individual efforts. Wayne Rooney played the final half hour of the match, but quite begrudgingly. Rooney has made no secret his desire to leave the Red Devils, however post match teammate Michael Carrick said “Wayne is still one of us”, whereas Rooney was quoted as saying “Shut up, you’re not my real dad”

Chelsea returned to Jose Mourinho’s style of play like a duck to orange sauce. The Blues eased back into the sit-back-and-wait-for-the-opposition-to-make-a-mistake game plan seamlessly as they defeated Hull 2-0. At times the strikers even played like proper team mates, but I’m sure those little mistakes will be ironed out.

Barcelona won their first match of the Spanish season 7-0. If you’re a Real Madrid fan, apologies, it’s gonna be a long year.

Yes but how did the Australians go? I hear you ask, with the World Cup happening at the end of this season, this blogger will try and keep you up to date with how our Socceroos are going at a club level. Mile Jedinak played well as he lead Crystal Palace to a gallant 1-0 loss to Tottenham… and…. um… oh Lucas Neill signed with a Japanese club… apart from that…. um…. I think Mark Schwarzer got to finally meet Jose Mourinho, that would have been exciting for him.

January 21, 2013

21st January, 2013

In a battle of the big clubs with managers that their fans don’t like – Chelsea defeated Arsenal in London overnight. Arsene Wenger has blamed his side’s poor performances on his players breaking the little rules of their code of conduct. For example not turning up to meetings on time, reading newspapers in the dressing rooms and wearing incorrect shoes to training. Most pundits would also argue that defending like idiots and not shooting straight may have been a contributing factor.

At White Hart Lane, Sir Alex Ferguson had a much more traditional excuse for Manchester Utd not beating Tottenham – blaming the linesman. Former Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie put the Red Devils ahead in the 25th minute which pissed off the Spurs fan no end. The Tottenham faithful were the angriest folk on Earth, which only prompted the ever competitive Fergie to turn on his perma-rage and prove that no one can match him when it comes to fury. He berated every player, every official and even the weather as the snow came down, although United were still leading. Thankfully Tottenham scored in the dying minutes and Sir Alex was once again crowned the angry, wicked king of Narnia.

Sydney FC may have started a late season surge towards the finals by demolishing Wellington Phoenix 7-1 at ANZ stadium. Alessandro Del Piero scored four goals and set up most of the others. The New Zealand press has claimed that Phoenix’s match was the worst performance by a New Zealander since Russell Crowe in Les Miserables.

Exciting news for young Socceroo Tom Rogic who has signed with Celtic. Of course esteemed pundit Craig Foster has claimed moving to the rather scrappy Scottish Premier League is a mistake. He is right, as he always is – Tim Cahill made the same mistake when he played for Millwall, Mark Schwarzer too when he played for Dynamo Dresden, and don’t get me started on Harry Kewell going to Leeds United. All those talents have been wasted and I believe all three are now at Centrelink looking to score heroin.

The most exciting young manager of the moment has finally chosen a club, Pep Guardiola will coach Bayern Munich from next season. The former Barcelona magician was courted by everyone from the Brazilian National Team to the mega rich Manchester City, whose next manager remains a mystery. A source has said – “it really could be anyone, obviously except obviously Mehmet Durakovic.

Miss of the week: [Even Ronaldo misses sitters!]

January 14, 2013

January 14th, 2013

Two big blockbusters were played out in England overnight. In London champions Manchester City defeated Arsenal 2-0. It was a fiery affair, with two men being sent off. Edin Dzeko continued the trend of City players showing messages on their shirts when they score. ‘Za Moje Mahalce’ sent fans googling like crazy and apparently means ‘For the people in my neighbourhood’. Sadly the Bosnian striker didn’t score again so it’s unclear as to whether it was a tribute to his hometown or if he was just doing references to Sesame Street jingles.

Up at Old Trafford Manchester United beat old rivals Liverpool 2-1. Predictably Robin Van Persie scored the opener and even more predictably, Liverpool offered no real resistance or fight. This fixture has been quite controversial in recent years but this time it had nothing, no red cards, no fights, no racism. The match was so polite Danny Welbeck even decided to tackle himself – http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/gif-danny-welbeck-falls-on-his-arse-v-liverpool/

Staying in England and Reading have been involved in a few epic matches this year, most notably cocking up a 4-0 lead against Arsenal, but finally they have won a dramatic match. Reading trailed West Brom 2-0 with eight minutes remaining and then somehow managed to win 3-2! Manager Brian McDermott claimed it was the ‘fantastic fans’ who ‘got us over the line in the last ten minutes’. McDermott seemed to have forgotten that the same fans booed him off the pitch at half time.

Sydney FC’s fans have been through a lot this season and yesterday the ones that braved the cold and rainy conditions were rewarded. The Sky Blues robbed Melbourne Heart, with two late goals. There was some debate on how many people were actually at the Allianz Stadium, with the media claiming about 13,000 but others saying there were far less. The one thing people can agree on is that the number would have been much smaller if Melbourne Heart’s away support hadn’t both shown up.

Real Madrid appear to have hit a new low with a 0-0 draw with bottom of the table team Osasuna. The Spanish media is already calling for Jose Mourinho to leave the club, with many newspapers hoping it happens this week so they can run the headline JOSE LEAVES OH-SO-SOONA!

Save of the week – what an effort

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!]

March 12, 2012

March 12th 2012

For the first time in almost five months, Manchester City is not on top of the English Premier League. The blue half of Manchester is very much in panic stations as the familiar story of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory seems to be playing out. Their cross town rivals United are more than happy to play the role of pantomime villain and take the top spot. In footballing terms City fans are right to panic, the team are lacking fluency and seem out of sorts; however the Sky Blue fans can take solace in the fact that they are playing to perfection the role of the Mighty Ducks. It’s the classic tale – Multi Millionaire Arab Sheik collects ragtag group of misfit top-rated footballers. At first they don’t get along but then things finally begin to gel… things go bad before the end of the season to set up a plucky heart warming victory at the end. Trust me City fans, it’ll all be okay when Carlos Tevez and Mario Ballotelli learn the true meaning of friendship…

Unless of course the rumours that City are about to snatch Robin Van Persie from Arsenal are true. Then the overly rich bastards can keep losing, serves them right. Stop trying to buy trophies and try and bring a positive culture to the club.

On a less ranty note – for the first time ever in European club competition it seems there will be no English teams in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League or Europa League. Chelsea are England’s last hope but they trail Napoli 3-1 going into the second leg. Danny’s Football Bluff favourites Apoel from Cyprus continued their fairytale run by defeating French giants Lyon. They have joined Barcelona, Benfica and AC Milan. For those unfamiliar with Apoel their last trophy was the 2010 Cypriot Supercup – a basketball trophy.

Closer to home and the Socceroos’ road to Brazil was revealed as the final round of World Cup Qualifiers was announced on Friday night. Our lads will play Oman, Japan, Jordan and Iraq. Australia is the favourite to progress to the finals, however we might not be guaranteed of that until June 2013. In the meantime we have friendlies lined up against Denmark for the Frederick-Mary Cup and Scotland for the Liver Cirrhosis Shield.

Yesterday I watched Brisbane Roar play Adelaide United with a friend from England who had not watched A-league. After reassuring him that the Australian competition was not as bad as he imagined, we were then treated to the most inept finishing in the history of sport. A team of blind amputee donkeys would have had better finishing. Even after they’d been shot.

To distract from this horror show – here is proof that other competitions have shockers too:

Goal of the Week – [Forgive the music]

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

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