Danny's Football Bluff

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!}

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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 –

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:

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