Danny's Football Bluff

November 4, 2013

November 4th, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 1:21 pm

You know today is unofficially a public holiday here in Melbourne. But here I am, churning out a football blog for you, because I am a good sort. Also the wife has gone to work so it’s either this or I do housework, and because I’m going to Victory v Wellington tonight I’d probably open a beer whilst I did the housework and before you know it I’m trying to gaffer the vacuum cleaner to my back so I can be a Ghostbuster.

This week the A-League revealed very little surprises. It seems that this season if you support the smaller team in a big city, it’s not going to be fun. Both Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC had poor results over the weekend, but intriguingly have different reactions. Whilst the Sky Blues of the Harbor City are baying for manager Frank Farina to be sacked, Heart remain confident that John Aloisi is the right dreamboat for the job. A spokesman for the Heart fanbase was quoted as saying “He’s got a great eye for tactics… and another gorgeous hazel eye for fashion… sorry what was the question?”

In England though, it’s good to be from the big town! London teams make up three of the top four spots with Arsenal sitting five points clear! Exciting times to be a Gooner! This is the first time since 2005 that the Gunners have started a season so strongly. At least back then we didn’t have to see all their gloating on facebook & twitter. I don’t remember their being this much smugness on livejournal back then.

History was made in Wales overnight. Cardiff played Swansea in the first ever top flight Welsh derby. It was a fiery affair but Steven Caulker’s 62nd minute header was enough to give Cardiff a 1-0 win. I am however disgusted with the British media for the distinct lack of pun headlines when covering this match. So here is my list of wasted opportunity headlines.
5. Wale of a Derby
4. Swansea’s Leek-y defence!
3. Caulker of a header!
2. Cardiff’s Rarebit o’ magic!
1. Derby Victory on the Card-iff
That took all of three minutes & forty three seconds, and I’m not even an employee of News Ltd. It’s just such a waste.

Here’s goal of the week.

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October 28, 2013

October 28th 2013

People say that when a club is bought out by a billionaire it loses its soul. This myth was absolutely busted last night when the two richest clubs in England played last night. Chelsea v Manchester City, Russian billionaires v Arab billionaires. Or if you will James Bond villains v Jack Ryan villains. These two clubs are hated by football purists by buying their success, however last night they showed how friendly they can be, with Chelsea making it easier for their opponents by only having shots on goal from offside positions. Manchester City were not to be outdone though, and thought it only fair that their goalkeeper Joe Hart should run halfway across the field so Fernando Torres could score the winner in injury time. What great sports. Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

The weekend’s big game in Australia was the Sydney derby, played to a packed house on Saturday night. Sydney FC showing the great defensive acumen that manager Frank Farina is known for, as their centre backs stood completely still for Shinji Ono to score the opener. It brought back great memories of when Farina lead the Socceroos to an inspiring 3-0 thumping by Uruguay to end our World Cup dreams. Sydney FC 0-2 Western Sydney Wanderers

It wasn’t the only big derby played over the weekend, Sunderland beat Newcastle in a victory for animal rights everywhere. Last time these two rivals played the big story was an angry Newcastle fan punched a horse in the face. Reports that after this 2-1 defeat some ducks were molested have gone unconfirmed…

The Glasgow Derby used to be one of the biggest matches on the football calendar. However since the death of Rangers FC in 2012 there hasn’t been one, until last night, and it was a classic. A lot of people didn’t think that Celtic v Partick Thistle would reach the heights of the old Celtic v Rangers matches but they were wrong! Celtic triumphed 2-1 in an epic battle for bragging rights! Firhill Stadium’s home support was silenced by Amido Balde’s 75th minute strike. Although that was because one of the home support had gone to the toilet but the other five were pretty gobsmacked.

Goal of the week is the winner from the El Clasico on Saturday night. I was trying to write about this match but really it was too good to make jokes about. I love these matches. Apologies about the quality of the video, any decent ones are geoblocked or some other computer term I don’t understand.

October 21, 2013

October 21st, 2013

This weekend in the world of round ball was not one where people celebrated greatness; instead enduring horror was the order of the day. The best you could hope for this weekend was that your preferred teams didn’t royally stuff up or have stuff ups thrust upon them. Like when Quentin Tarantino acts in one of his own films, you just cross your fingers it won’t be too bad and hope it’ll all be over soon.

So who stuffed up the worst? Here we go with my…

Top Five Worst performances of the weekend!

5. Manchester United only manage a draw with a plucky Southampton. This has been United’s worst start to a season in living memory and of course the fans are turning on new manager David Moyes. This is a bit unfair as any new manager takes time to bed in and all the smaller clubs reckon they can beat the Red Devils at the moment so they play their hearts out.

4. Juventus coughed up a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 against Fiorentina. The referees had done their part gifting Juve a penalty in the first half but it seems the bribery money had run out as Giuseppe Rossi slammed in a hat trick to record a famous win. I’d hate to be a racehorse in Turin tonight.

3. On Friday night traditional rivals Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory played the SBS showcase match. The third worst performance of the weekend goes to the referees! Adelaide were given a penalty that wasn’t there, then Jeronimo Neuman [who is one of the few players to always be called by his full name] scored from an offside position, then Victory scored a goal that was incorrectly given as offside. Socceroo manager apparent Ange Postecoglou was so angry he looked like he was going to punch someone. Sadly he didn’t, which is annoying because if he did, he might have not got the Socceroos job and Victory could keep our wondercoach.

2. Second worst performance of the weekend goes to Sydney FC. It must be exhausting being an FC fan, just over a week ago, they beat Newcastle 2-0 and they were apparently “throwing down a gauntlet for the rest of the league” this week, after they lost to Brisbane 2-0 they are “destined to be cellar dwellers for a long time”. The Hyperbole is without doubt the worst Hyperbole in the known universe. It would have got my worst performance of the week but that goes to…

1. Setanta!! The Specialty Sports channel which certain fans of certain leagues have to get in order to see their heroes. As a Celtic fan I am one of them, and already this year my chances of seeing the Hoops have been slashed drastically as some dickhead over at Setanta thinks more people want to watch Ipswich vs Doncaster than Celtic [who are reportedly the second most supported British team in Australia*]. So although Setanta did play Hibernian v Celtic on Saturday night, as of midday on Monday [36 hours after the match], Setanta are still yet to put the match online for those who couldn’t watch it live. Despite their website saying all matches will be available on Setanta Sports Plus Catch Up between 3 and 6 hours after match completion.
Can you imagine any other service provider getting away with such blatantly awful service? Apart from Banks, Airlines, Public Transport and mobile phone providers the answer is … still probably!

*Source – The Department of Celtic Biased Statistics, c/o The Pint on Punt, St Kilda.

Goal of the Week from the Irish ladies league.

March 11, 2013

11th March, 2013

It’s a very brief Football bluff this week as most of the country is still enjoying it’s long weekend and I’m about to board a plane, here we go!

It was FA Cup Quarter final weekend in England and the big winners were Manchester City. The light blues thumped Barnsley 5-0, whilst Wigan upset Everton 3-0. Overnight Chelsea and Manchester United played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in a match that had everything: amazing headers, long range beauties and even a goal scored by Jonny Evan’s arse. The replay should be even more dramatic, and answer the big question: who hates Rafa Benitez more? Alex Ferguson or the Chelsea fans?

Sydney FC caused one of the upsets of the season, knocking off Central Coast Mariners on Saturday night. The shock win increases the chances that Western Sydney Wanderers will finish in top spot in their debut season. Speculation that Tony Popovic has made a deal with the devil in exchange for this perfect season are unconfirmed, however the fact that he is slowly turning into a gemsbok is true.
153155-tony-popovic

gemsbok5

And now for the increasingly popular why you should support, this week featuring comedian, broadcaster and Chelsea fan, the Fabulous Adam Richard!!!

WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT… CHELSEA!!!

Because they’re the best looking.

For more brief thoughts from Adam Richard follow him on twitter – @adamrichard

Goal of the Week:

February 18, 2013

18th February, 2013

One of Australia’s most beloved sons is returning home! Socceroos Captain Lucas Neill made the expected announcement that he is coming to the A-League but not to the club we all expected. The media reported all week that Neill would join Melbourne Heart, only for Sydney FC to make a last minute snatch. With Sydney FC already boasting Alessandro Del Piero and Brett Emerton, their salary cap is completely stretched and they are now offering fans a chance to play. $50 gets you one half, $75 a whole match and for $100 you play the whole match and Frank Farina does an Al Pacino impression for the whole day.

In England, the FA Cup continued its surprising journey as Blackburn Rovers defeated Arsenal on Saturday and cash strapped Oldham Athletic drew with Everton. Oldham are so poor at the moment the players were ordered not to swap shirts after the match. But things are tough all over. Chelsea defeated Brentford overnight but only the players who scored goals were allowed to fly their private helicopters home.

It’s been a tough year for AS Roma, currently 8th on the Serie A ladder, however local hero Francesco Totti scored a belter of a goal to beat Juventus 1-0 last night. It was new coach Aurelio Andreazzoli’s first win since taking over from Zdenek Zeman who was wacked, sorry, sacked, at the start of the month.

Liverpool are coming downunder to play an exhibition match against Melbourne Victory at the MCG this July. With Manchester United to play a game in Sydney that same month it will be a great month for Australian round ball fans. Not to be outdone Adelaide are showcasing their own big match featuring a European Powerhouse. Tickets for Adelaide United vs Bristol Rovers reserves will be available soon.

It’s not often I post training videos but this drill by Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev just shows what true team mates can achieve when they work together…

Goal of the week – [Not so much the goal but the assist]

January 29, 2013

January 29th 2012

The FA Cup showed us why it’s one of the most fun competitions in the round ball game with some giant killing moments over the weekend. Oldham Athletic knocked Liverpool out of the competition with a 3-2 victory. Other results that surprised the world were Leeds United defeating Tottenham 2-1, Brentford holding Chelsea to a 2-2 draw, Luton upsetting Norwich 1-0 and MK Dons beating QPR 4-2. The most embarrassing of these is Liverpool’s loss, as Oldham are hovering only four points above relegation in the 4th tier of English football and, despite the win, are about to sack their manager.

On the weekend the traditional Australia Day Big Blue between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC ended in a 3-1 win for the Victorians. Before kick off 54 people became Australian citizens and they were witness to some very fair dinkum Aussie mateship as Seb Ryall helped out his opponents by knocking the ball into his own net in the 23rd minute. Allegedly many European scouts were in the stands to watch Marco Rojas, who dominated the match. Sadly for Rojas one of the scouts watching turned out to be from Liverpool so winning the match means he’s just “not right” for the Reds at the moment.

Straight after the Big Blue was the Little Red between Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Heart, the Wanderers taking the honours 1-0. The good news for Heart was that Socceroo Vince Grella finally made his debut for the club, the bad news was that he retired from top level football yesterday.

Adelaide United is looking for a new coach after the shock exit of John Kosmina yesterday citing a “lack of trust within the club environment”. Rumours abound that Kosmina will take over as manager of Brisbane Roar next year, which is like abandoning the Titanic by escaping on the Hindenburg.

In Spain, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both dominated for Barca and Real Madrid respectively. Seriously what’s the point of reporting on Spanish Football? Can we just assume that I type that exact sentence every week? I’ll let you know if it ever doesn’t happen.

Goal of the Week

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 17, 2012

December 17th 2012

Western Sydney Wanderers piled extra misery on their crosstown rivals Sydney FC on Saturday night, beating the Sky Blues 2-0 and condemning them to the bottom of the A-League table. As if by divine intervention a rainbow appeared over the Sydney Football Stadium linking the two sets of fans. After kick off however, the atmosphere was less gorgeous with flares thrown and an unconfirmed number of arrests. Which is either a dazzling display of passion or the most outrageous behaviour in the history of sports, depending on which newspaper you read. The Melbourne Derby is this weekend and promises much of the same excitement, except with better coffee and worse weather.

Fans were also criticised in Adelaide after the Reds defeated Wellington 3-1. Phoenix striker Paul Ifill claims he was racially abused by certain members of the Adelaide support. This follows bad conduct at Hindmarsh last week when Melbourne Victory fans complained of having coins thrown at them by Adelaide supporters. “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness” was the mantra of one Victory fan, who allegedly gathered up all the coins and used them to buy beer.

Lionel Messi has broken the record for most goals in a calendar year – or has he? The Zambian Football Federation has claimed that in 1972 a striker named Godfrey Chitalu scored 107 goals. FIFA have stated they do not keep databases of every match in every league ever played so the record is impossible to verify. In this case however, they are both wrong as the actual record holder for most goals in a season is held by me, when I scored 213 goals in my backyard in 2004. Sponsorship enquiries can be made at dannymcginlay.com

For the first time since May, QPR are on the winners list! Under new manager Harry Redknapp, the west London club beat neighbours Fulham. Clearly what was holding them back was paying income tax.
Goal of the Week:

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!]

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