Danny's Football Bluff

May 19, 2014

May 19th, 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 12:16 am

I swear I wrote a post last week. It just didn’t seem to show up. How odd. Well in case you didn’t know, Manchester City won the EPL. If you didn’t know that but you are reading this I can only assume you are a blood relative of mine. In which case, the baby is doing fine and can you please bring us some soup.

Arsenal defeated Hull City to claim the FA Cup on Saturday night. Coming from 2-0 down was a hell of a feat, and full credit the Arsene Wenger’s men. Last time Arsenal won a trophy was 2005, pre-facebook & twitter. Meaning in order to be insufferable you had to find an Arsenal fan in person. Now they can shit you through the convenience of your smart phone. What an age we live in.

At the same time that Arsenal were lifting the FA Cup, Atletico Madrid were celebrating winning the Spanish title. Next week they play cross town rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League Final. If they win that, then it will mark a perfect year for Atletico. How did they get so good so quick? Well you can go with them having great scouts and development OR their shirt sponsor is ‘Azerbaijan – Land of Fire’ and believe in some sort of dark magical dragon that is controlling them. Depends how into Game of Thrones you are.

Ange Postecoglou has named his 30 man squad for the World Cup. For 8 of these players it will be only temporary joy as the squad will be cut to 22. Many sub-editors are hoping it comes down to a choice between Curtis Good and Josh Brillante.

The Matildas have qualified for the Women’s World Cup next year in Canada. At time of writing they are 2-0 up against Vietnam in the Asian Cup. The qualification process is baffling and I’m on no sleep. So if anyone can explain to me what’s going on I’ll be very grateful.

We will play South Korea or China in the semi final. For more details follow the Matildas @TheMatildas on twitter because the media will give this bugger all coverage.

Video of the Week –
Instead of a goal watch St Johnstone Dave Mackay’s point of view as he lifts the Scottish Cup Trophy!

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March 3, 2014

3rd March, 2014

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 3:40 pm

Manchester City last night won the Capital One Cup, which used to be the League Cup, which is just like the FA Cup but for some reason less prestigious. The Sky Blues came from behind to beat Sunderland 3-1. It was Manuel Pellegrini’s first trophy since taking over City; the only downside coming during his post match interview where he spoke of how proud he is to manage Manchester United. Check it out –

The A-League match of the round was Newcastle unexpectedly knocking off Western Sydney Wanderers. What’s that? Melbourne Derby? Never heard of it. Go away this is a blog about the Oscars. Who are you wearing?

What you won’t be wearing is an undershirt with a message on it. FIFA has banned this practice after Didier Drogba revealed the words “Thank You Madiba” after he scored for Galatasaray recently. Given that Nelson Mandela died over a month ago it’s clearly been a bit of a goal drought for the Ivory Coast striker. Perhaps if Scott McDonald ever scored for the Socceroos we could finally see his tribute to Mother Teresa.

In the contest of which league will be over sooner Celtic have edged ahead of Bayern Munich. The often bizarrely called “Scottish Giants” are 21 points second placed Aberdeen whilst Bayern are only 20 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund. Who will win? I am on the edge of my seat as I try to think of a way for Celtic’s season to be interesting again!
The Socceroos will play their final home match before the World Cup against South Africa at ANZ Stadium nee homebush. Which is great news for those Aussies who love playing in front of empty chairs.

Goal of the Week! Watch is from the reverse angle. Unbelievable.

February 17, 2014

17th February, 2014

It was FA Cup weekend in England so only a sixteen teams played but it included some big familiar names. Arsenal got a small amount of revenge on Liverpool defeating them 2-1 at Emirates Stadium. Manchester City knocked out fellow cash cow Chelsea, proving that Arabian oil is stronger than Russian gas. The interesting thing is we could have a Steel City Derby in the quarter finals. Sheffield United will play the winner of Charlton Athletic vs Sheffield Wednesday. This blogger doesn’t know any Sheffield fans of either team but my research has shown me that a famous Sheffield United supporter is Sean Bean, which means somehow they must be the villains of the piece. Go Wednesday!

Melbourne Heart continued their run of great form, recording their highest ever win, thumping Wellington Phoenix 5-0! David Williams scored a hat trick, which is another first for Heart. The A-League’s cashed up underdogs have won four of their last five matches which has seen them climb up the ladder to… remain in last place. They could leapfrog Perth if they defeat ladder leaders Brisbane next Sunday. But that’s highly unlikely.

The Socceroos launched their world cup kit this morning – here it is:
http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/news-display/2014-socceroos-team-kit-revealed/86266

The logic clearly being the more we look like Brazil the more chance we will play like them. Or perhaps we’re hoping short sighted football fans will watch us thinking we’re Brazil so we get more ratings? Who knows? I know I’m not a fan of a collar on a football strip. Unless we play one match with ties, then thats fine.

This Wednesday Barcelona v Manchester City promises to be a very entertaining match. Cashed up English vs The soul of Catalonia. Is it enough for me to get up at 6.30am to watch? Hell no, I’ve got a baby coming in two months, I need all the sleep I can get. I’ll tape it and watch when I get up. What are you mental?

Goal of the week – from Saturday night’s Asian Champions League. Despite this amazing goal Melbourne Victory won!

December 9, 2013

December 9th, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 12:43 pm

All talk this weekend has been about how Australia has been drawn in the World Cup’s “Group of Death”. Lazy journalists say this every tournament so they’ll be relieved that this time it’s actually true. Australia will have to play Champions Spain, runners up Netherlands and the technically gifted Chile. Are we effed? Yeah pretty much, but if you want some optimism here you go –
1. Everyone will underestimate us. This is ideal for the Socceroos, we play our best football when we’ve been written off. See the entire 2006 World Cup campaign, plus our defeat of Serbia in the 2010 tournament. For more examples of underdogs prevailing, see any Disney film ever made.
2. Ange Postecoglou is a properly brilliant coach. He can make mediocre players do amazing things. The bigger the stage, the better his troops perform.
3. Alphabetically we win the group. Sadly not the whole tournament [stupid Algeria] but coming runners up is great for the game in this country.
4. Actually now that I think about it. We have two Disney style storylines happening in our squad. We have the young kids who nobody really believes in [Rogic, Kruse etc] who are like The Mighty Ducks, but also the old guard [Neill, Cahill, Bresciano] coming together for one last heist – like The Wild Bunch or Space Cowboys if you’re young. If we can just find some sort of talking animal, this World Cup is ours!

In other brief news – Manchester United lost at home again! This time to Newcastle. It’s looking like a very real possibility that the Red Devils may not even qualify for the Champions League. They’re 13 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal and three games behind rivals Liverpool & Man City. Coach David Moyes has remained on cliché, pleading with fans to “Keep the Faith” and that “There’s light at the end of the tunnel”. Sadly for Moyes the only cliché he’ll be saying at his next job might be “Big Issue”

In Major League Soccer – two of the most optimistically named American teams played off for the MLS Cup last night. Sporting Kansas City thrilled fans of Portuguese-Midwest sports franchises by defeating Real Salt Lake City in a penalty shoot out. Although this result has devastated Morman Spaniards worldwide, there’s always next year, or as they say in Salt Lake City – tomorrow is a latter day.

Goal of the Week comes from Groundskeeper Willie’s team – Aberdeen!

November 25, 2013

25th November

Hi folks,

The Football Bluff is back after a two week hiatus due to me being off mainland Australia, which makes it hard to watch football and get a decent coffee.

It was a good week for the lazy journalists of Australia. Firstly, Lucas Neill abused the Socceroos fans who booed him in the friendly against Costa Rica, which meant the media could re-hash the standard is-he-fit-for-captaincy malarkey. Secondly, the top two teams in the A-League played each other on Friday night, meaning they could constantly call it a “Grand Final Preview”. Brisbane Roar defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 with some pretty sweet goals. I guess that means the A-League is wrapped up then? Hand the trophy to Roar and we can focus on The Ashes and how great Tony Abbott is?

If you’re a Tottenham fan you might be keen for all football to disappear for the rest of forever. Spurs were smashed 6-0 by a clinical Manchester City last night. The first goal came within fifteen seconds, and the sixth came with fifteen seconds to go. So if you don’t count those 30 seconds it’s only a 4-0 loss. That’s something right? Sadly for Spurs, it is.

The Merseyside Derby on Saturday night was an absolute classic. Liverpool led 1-0, then Everton equalised. Liverpool led 2-1, Everton equalised again, then Everton took the lead 3-2 with a minute to go, then Liverpool equalised with seconds to spare. I realize this match report is a little simple, but I’m hoping to cover next year’s World Cup for the Herald Sun.

Speaking of the World Cup – this is who’s playing and why Australia will beat all of them:

Uruguay – We beat them seven years ago.

Mexico – They just played New Zealand and will think we’re as bad as them.

France – Beat us 6-0. But that was pre-Ange. We’re a much better side now. Seven goals better.

Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo has never scored against Australia. He’s our bunny.

Croatia – They’re still scared of us after 2006 World Cup.

Greece – We can bribe them to lose as long as we pay cash.

Algeria – Teams that come before us alphabetically are always overconfident.

Ghana – Could only draw with us in last world cup and that was with a horrible ref.

Cameroon – Their oldest player is 32. Our oldest player is 34. Mere children.

Ivory Coast – Beyond mismanagement. They keep some loser called Didier Drogba in the squad but not Melbourne Victory legend Adama Traore.

Nigeria – Conceded a goal against Tahiti during Confederation’s Cup.

Honduras – National team’s nickname is “La H” which means, “The H” – a slang term for heroin.

Ecuador – This country can’t even decide which hemisphere it’s in, let alone how to play Australia.

Chile – Their captain is named Claudio Bravo. Clearly a fake name to try and throw us. Desperate tactics mean they must be rubbish.

Spain – They won last time. They’re bored by winning.

England – All we have to do is bring Mitchell Johnson and they’ll panic

Bosnia & Herzegovina – Their first major tournament. It’s rude to win first go.

Russia – Are hosting the next one. They’re focusing on that one.

Colombia – Only care about beating Ecuador and Argentina. Will not mind Australia defeating them.

Germany – According to the USA government Angela Merkel reckons they won’t do as well.

Switzerland – Will be too busy watching the clocks. Their fans are quite neutral.

Belgium – Only got one vote at Eurovision this year. They are a broken country.

Argentina – The tournament is in Brazil. Someone will give them food poisoning.

USA – The Americans are down on their team as nobody has scored a touchdown this year.

Costa Rica – We beat them on Tuesday.

Italy – We will want revenge for the diving cheat Fabio Grosso in 2006.

Netherlands – Haven’t recovered from losing the 2010 final.

South Korea – We beat them in the Asian Cup.

Iran – Lost to Uzbekistan, which is like losing to Narnia.

Japan – They beat us in Asian Cups, we beat them in World Cups. That’s the deal.

Brazil – As host nation they haven’t played any qualifiers. Will be unfit.

So there you have it folks – Australia 2014 World Cup Champions!!

October 14, 2013

October 14th

It was indeed a big weekend in Australian round ball events. It all kicked off on Saturday morning with France spanking the Socceroos 6-0. Now to defend our performance – let’s not forget France are one of the best teams in the world, and they have been underperforming so they were fired up. However, we were shithouse. Double Fronted McMansion in the heart of Caroline Springs shithouse. So we sacked Holger Osieck. It’s a shame, I liked Holger but the results had been a bit rubbish recently. We’re in a bad spot as a national team at the moment, our “Golden Generation” are all a bit too old but no kids are really stepping up to the plate either. So who is our next coach? According to rumours… it could be:

Guus Hiddink – The first answer all the amateur pundits gave. Mostly because, they don’t know anyone else. I don’t think it’ll happen, Guus is quite astute at choosing which teams he manages; he either chooses teams of great potential who will add to his mystical pathos or he chooses teams that will add to his bank balance. I don’t think the current Socceroos can do either of those.

Marcelo Bielsa – The Argentinean they call “El Loco” would be an ideal choice for the Australian media as he sort of looks like Holger Osieck so they could just re-use old photos. He’s a genuine personality so if he’s successful then Mad Marcelo’s Men become engrained in Australian Football history, and if he fails then at least he’ll implode in a way that leaves no survivors, which ultimately could be a good thing.

Robert Di Matteo – Won the Champions League with Chelsea two years back. He’s a frustrating manager: can be amazing, can be awful. Could be worth a punt but I can’t see him succeeding.

Graham Arnold – There’s a lot of calls for a local to be the coach. How the shopkeepers from The League of Gentlemen managed to become football pundits in this country I’ll never know. Graham Arnold has a brilliant knowledge of the way Australians play and has proven himself as a fantastic tactician during his time with the Central Coast Mariners. However when he managed the Socceroos in 2007 one thing was blatantly obvious – our national players don’t respect a local coach.

Ange Postecoglou – arguably the greatest manager the country has ever produced, but as a Victory fan I have to say BACK OFF!!! HE’S OURS!!

In other news the A-League began this week. This blogger took in the Melbourne Derby on Saturday night. It’s a really stupid idea putting the Derby in round one as teams are always dusty in the first game of the season. With Heart and Victory there are always big bragging rights at stake so both teams were more interested in not losing than they were in winning. A sell out crowd of over 45,000 people witnessed a very dull match. Hopefully some of them will come back sometime, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. You know a match is boring when the highlight was the ground announcer.

Goal of the Week

May 27, 2013

May 27th, 2013

And there we go – that’s club football over for another season!
On Saturday night Bayern Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to be crowned champions of Europe. The all German final, which was nicknamed “The Sausagefest” by certain bloggers, was decided by a bit of Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben magic in the dying minutes. Munich has not celebrated this hard since… well, last October.

What to watch during the off season? Well there’s the Socceroos’ final World Cup Qualifiers, against traditional rivals Japan, Jordan and Iraq. We should be okay. Don’t listen to the panic of the mainstream media. For calm analysis just follow me on twitter @dannymcginlay where I also RT funny jokes.

Keeping with international matches, the Confederations Cup will play out in Brazil next month. This is a dress rehearsal for next year’s world cup and is played out by all the great sides – Brazil, Spain, Italy, Nigeria, Mexico, Uruguay, Japan and of course Tahiti. This blogger is completely on Team Tahiti as all of Australia should be! A phrase you will hear a lot over the next month – Tahiti’s On! [Say it aloud… still don’t get it? Neither did my wife. But English isn’t her first language.]

To end the year I leave you with my three favourite moments of the 2012-2013 season.
#3 Celtic 2-1 Barcelona.
The Glasgow club were celebrating their 125th birthday, and they did it by defeating the greatest team in the world! Fairytale stuff. The only thing that ruins the memory of that night is the music in this video – I really tried to get better highlights. Sorry.

#2 Victory 2-1 Heart
For some reason the Victorians always struggled to beat their cross town rivals Heart, and at the Christmas Derby it looked like the boys in red had scored an unlikely draw – but Archie Thompson had other thoughts –

#1 Cute Kid 1-0 Desire to not have kids.
The Chelsea reserve goalkeeper Ross Turnbull’s two year old son takes over the end of season speeches by scoring the cutest goal in the history of everything.

April 2, 2013

April 2nd 2013

It’s been a long Easter Weekend. With all the family commitments, chocolate consuming and Melbourne International Comedy Festival tickets you’ve been booking [hint] you probably missed a fair chunk of all the football news that happened. Good thing I’m here.

Firstly, you will have heard that the Socceroos played out a draw against Oman in Sydney. This has the tabloids screaming blue murder that Australia might not reach the World Cup Finals in Brazil. Everyone take a deep breath… and flick yourself in the eyeball for listening to the tabloids. We’re fine, we have three matches to play, and we are favourites to win in two of them. The other teams in our group only have two matches left so we’re pretty safe. If you want to panic about something just consider that Tony Abbott is very likely going to be Prime Minister. Although you’re the one who reads the tabloids, so you probably think this is a good thing.

Western Sydney Wanderers took out the ‘Premiers Plate’ in their first season. This means that they finished the regular season on top of the ladder; this is a big deal because in every other major football league in the world [except USA] this means you are the champions! However we, like the Yanks enjoy big sudden-death events so we have a finals series. Purists may complain that it’s against tradition, but without the finals series we would never have the great Aussie tradition of the Central Coast Mariners choking!

Chelsea knocked Manchester United out of the FA Cup last night with a mind blowing performance by goalkeeper Petr Cech. Demba Ba put the London club in the lead pretty much by accident early in the second half *see goal of the week. Which means Ba should be starting for Chelsea when they take on Sunderland this Sunday. Could get awkward. Why?
Sunderland have just hired Paolo Di Canio as their manager. Paolo Di Canio is an Italian manager who is a self proclaimed Fascist. He has a tattoo of Benito Mussolini on his arm, and once gave the Nazi salute to his fans when he was playing for right-wing club Lazio. Already several Sunderland board members have stepped down because of the decision. The UK press have attacked DiCanio who went on to say the immortal line “I’m fascist, not racist, some of my best friends are black”. Di Canio is due to appear on The Bolt Report this Sunday.

Time for this week’s WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT this week’s comes from UK comedian Gordon Southern currently down under for the Comedy Festival season
WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT… LIVERPOOL
Liverpool is the best club in the world because I decided it was in 1977. I had just seen the European Cup with cheeky little Kevin Keegan and stern Kenny Daglish as I became ‘football aware” I had briefly flirted with the idea of supporting Manchester United as many of my school friends did (or West Ham our local team, but that didn’t seem exotic enough. I also liked Aston Villa for a while but that’s because I liked vanilla ice cream and had the two mixed up in my head.
I was not making clear, mature footballing decisions…Then Kenny Daglish came to our small own to be the celebrity at the opening of our new Asda superstore. He signed my Liverpool lampshade but also a Star Wars one that he didn’t have to sign as it was not Liverpool merchandise. That sealed the deal. That and their utter dominance of football for what seemed like forever
They’re a bit rubbish at the moment, and hard to love as their superstars tend to be dicks (Craig Bellamy, Luis Suarez…) but now my love is blind and unwavering. Not unconditional mind, this is a football team, not a dog or a child.

Gordon Southern is appearing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tix here – http://www.ticketmaster.com.au/search?tm_link=tm_homeA_header_search&user_input=Gordon+Southern+&q=Gordon+Southern+&search.x=85&search.y=20

And hey there’s my show happening too!
http://giggletix.com/MICF/danny-mcginlay-hypertonic.html

Goal of the Week

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 –

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]

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