Danny's Football Bluff

December 16, 2013

16th December, 2013

As the majority of teams in the A-League go about the business of confusing the shite out of punters by losing games they should win and vice-versa. Brisbane Roar has been grinding out solid wins over the past month and suddenly have a five point gap on second place Western Sydney Wanderers. The majority of these matches have been won by a solitary goal. Positive football fans would say that Roar is implementing inspired Mourinho style tactics to achieve victory, but most of us would agree they’re boring the other teams to sleep.

The big match overnight was Liverpool thumping Tottenham Hotspur 5-0, putting the Reds in second place on the EPL ladder and placing Spurs manager Andres Villas-Boas under intense pressure to resign. Tottenham fans took to social media demanding @AVB leave the club immediately. Sadly @AVB is the twitter handle of Ashley Van Buren, a musical theatre fan from New York City. Ashley responded to angry Spurs fans with musical lyrics. Including a certain song from Carousel that Liverpool fans know quite well.

Andres Villas Boas could go for the job of manager of West Bromwich Albion after they sacked Steve Clarke after four straight losses. Australia’s West Brom fans were shocked until they remembered they were actually West Ham fans and went back to checking facebook.

Saturday night saw one of the matches of the season when Manchester City defeated Arsenal 6-3. Gunners fans are claiming that the referee got several offside decisions wrong. This blogger has watched several replays using slow motion and a protractor and I can honestly say they have a case and should have lost 6-4. Maintain the rage!

Goal of the Week – Gary Hooper from Norwich

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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!!

September 30, 2013

With the oval shaped football season finishing in Australia, people will slowly be realizing that the round ball game is happening in Europe, and things are certainly getting interesting over that side of the planet. In England, both Manchester teams are playing really badly with United losing to West Brom at home on Saturday night. Normally that would be cause for great celebration for Man City, but they were beaten 3-2 by Aston Villa. Now it’s easy to pick on the struggling teams, not to mention fun, but who’s playing well?

Tottenham – who bought a cavalcade of great player on the off season.
Arsenal – who only bought one.
Chelsea – who bought in some great kids and of course, Bond villain manager Jose Mourinho.
And finally Liverpool – who are setting themselves up for their traditional good start to a season then choking magnificently against the struggling clubs. Sadly for Liverpool though, it looks like the struggling club this year will be their arch rivals from Manchester.

In Scotland the ladder is topped by Inverness Caledonian Thistle, usually only famous for being the home of Scotland’s biggest celebrities, Nessie and James Bond.

In Italy, perennial underachievers Roma sit at the top of the table, what’s next? A Pope that embraces homosexuality? Oh.

In Spain the Madrid derby was played out on Saturday night and Atletico upset Real 1-0! In the French leagues, Monaco are playing exciting attacking football, FC Twente and PSV Eindhoven are making the Dutch league a great contest, Porto and Benfica are taking the Portuguese title down to the wire it is all happening! Such a pity daylight savings starts this week and now all games will be played at stupid o’clock and Australians will lose all interest.

Goal of the Week –

September 2, 2013

September 2nd, 2013

The more things change, the more things stay the same…

When David Moyes was the long suffering Everton manager he could never beat his cross town rivals Liverpool at their home ground of Anfield. However now that he is in charge of Manchester United, surely this means he will be playing the role of the Washington Generals no more… Nope! The Scousers defeated the Red Devils 1-0 in a pretty big upset. Admittedly United were without Wayne Rooney who tragically suffered a gash in his cheek when accidentally kicked in the face at training. Rooney’s face is said to be horribly disfigured, but the injury has not been able to improve that at all.

If David Moyes is Liverpool’s Washington Generals, then Arsenal are Tottenham Hotspur’s Tony Abbott. The Gunners have spent no money over summer, have a thin playing list and there are grave doubts over their manager’s ability to control the team… The Spurs on the other hand have a great young manager, have spent big and smart and are really doing everything right in their quest for the Premier League title… and yet…. Arsenal swatted them aside as easily as you can say “Stop the Boats”

**NB it appears in that last article that I am saying Kevin Rudd is a great young manager… he’s not but this blogger would pick him over Abbott any day.

The Champions League group stage draw is out and for the first time in history there is a “Group of Champions” – four teams in the one group who have all won Europe’s greatest prize. Group H consists of Barcelona, AC Milan, Ajax and Celtic. With 16 Trophies together they will create a glorious feast for all football fans. My tip is Celtic will top the table. Easily. Shut up… you are.

What about the Aussies? I hear you ask, well yesterday I received a tweet from the FFA promising all the news of which Australian players did well for European clubs on the weekend… and all it told me was Mile Jedinak did okay for Crystal Palace. That’s it. World Cup 2022 could be a bad few weeks for us.

Goal of the Week!

May 20, 2013

20th May 2013

The English Premier League finished overnight, the final day big winners were Arsenal, who maintained their one point lead over Tottenham Hotspur to keep 4th spot and therefore a place in next year’s Champions League. Poor old Tottenham really are the Washington Generals to the Gunners, or is there something else at stake? Tottenham are the only team in the Premier League to not be awarded a penalty all season long, and were indeed denied seemingly obvious ones yesterday. Rumours that Arsenal’s winning goal was scored via a stepladder have remained unconfirmed.

David Beckham announced his retirement from all forms of Football during the week. Horribly it seems a career in commentating seems inevitable.

Although the Football season is winding up there’s still some interesting matchers to go this weekend – Sunday morning Australian time is the Champions League Final – Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich, Monday morning is both the Scottish Cup Final between Celtic and Hibernian, a classic Glasgow v Edinburgh clash, and also the Premier League playoff decider – who will be in the top tier next year? Watford v Crystal Palace. Watford’s most famous fan is Elton John, Palace’s is Eddie Izzard. All that is known is this will be the most fabulously dressed play off ever.

And apart from that….. it’s all a bit quiet…. Anything else? Anderlecht won the Belgiun league. Tim Cahill scored the winner for New York Red Bulls… yeah okay when I’m talking about American soccer thats my cue to leave it there. Oh look below – a great goal!
Goal of the Week –

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!]

April 16, 2012

April 16th, 2012

Two epic FA Cup Semi Finals were played at Wembley Stadium over the weekend. On Saturday Liverpool defeated their local rivals Everton. The meeting of the Merseyside teams is often referred to as “The Friendly Derby” due to the fact that fans can sit alongside each other without incident. This was taken to a whole new level on Saturday when Jamie Carragher kicked the ball into opponent Tim Cahill which gave Nikica Jelavic an open goal. The Blues returned the favour in the second half when Sylvain Distin politely crossed the ball to Luis Suarez, who slotted home the equaliser. Suarez immediately sterilized his foot because the ball had been touched by a black man. The winner was headed home by Andy Carroll in the 87th minute after missing three easy shots on goal, making his 35 million pound price tag still nowhere near worth it.

The Reds will meet Chelsea in the FA Cup final after the Blues demolished Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 in Sunday’s Semi Final. Chelsea were so completely dominant they were scoring goals without the ball even crossing the white line. Juan Mata kicked the ball into a ‘clutch of prone bodies’ [exact wording from the Guardian so apparently this baffling selection of words is accurate] and the referee, who did not have a clear view of the action, claimed it as a goal. Cue the inevitable call for goal line technology from the wronged club and complete silence from FIFA.

There was shock in the A-League when the Newcastle Jet’s owners handedtheir club’s licence back to the FFA. The FFA responding with a very clear “no givsies backsies!” and running away. Jets owner Nathan Tinkler was much maligned this week and what little sympathy is left for the mining magnate should dry up with Craig Foster supporting Tinkler in his newspaper column yesterday. This is the death knell for any logical person to support a cause in Australian Football.

In the other, less interesting competition that’s happening in Australian Soccer at the moment, the A-League Finals, Perth Glory upset the Central Coast Mariners in the preliminary final. Setting up a Grand Final between Brisbane and Perth, the A-League’s oldest clubs. Brisbane Roar began life as Hollandia Inala Soccer Club in 1957 and Perth Glory began in 1996 as Not The Eagles Or The Dockers So Who Gives A Fuck Wogball Club.

There’s excitement that Manchester City may snatch the English Premier League. But it’s misguided. They won’t. United have this wrapped up.

Goal of the week –

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:

March 19, 2012

March 19th 2012

It was an unhappy day for Scottish Football yesterday. Not only because Celtic lost to Kilmarnock in the League Cup Final. No really, it’s fine, it’s good for football. I’m not mad, honestly. Just stop asking okay? Sheez. However the joy for the Ayrshire team was short lived after midfielder Liam Kelly’s father Jack collapsed at the final whistle and died of a heart attack. The feeling in the Killie rooms was described as ‘despondent’. This, combined with Bolton Wanderer’s Fabrice Muamba suffering cardiac arrest during his side’s fixture against Tottenham, has made it a sobering weekend of football. For the record, Kilmarnock’s keeper Cammy Bell played the game of his life making nine saves and ruining Celtic’s treble dreams. Now can we talk about something else?

Who can still win a domestic Treble for season 2011/12? Well, Liverpool would need a mathematical miracle to win the Premier League but they could do a League Cup/FA Cup double after they swept aside Stoke City. Barcelona won the Supacopa de Espana and is in the final of the Copa Del Rey, however they are eight points adrift of Real Madrid in La Liga, so they’re unlikely. In France Paris St Germaine may also go two out of three, as they are on top of the Ligue 1 and in the semi finals of the Coupe de France. In other leagues it is only possible to win the double – in Italy Juventus and AC Milan are still alive in all contests, same for Borussia Dortmond, Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach. So come on glory hunters! Pick a team and get bandwagon jumping before the season’s over!

In England, where there are about eight matches remaining, things are heating up for the pivotal relegation/promotion race. Realistically the five teams that could drop out of the Premier League are: Wolverhampton, Wigan, Queens Park Rangers, Bolton and Blackburn. Eager to take their place are championship contenders: Southampton, Reading, West Ham, Birmingham, Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Hull, Cardiff and Brighton. You may think that in the A-League we don’t have relegations but think again. Last year’s cellar dwellers North Queensland Fury were dissolved after finishing last, a fate that may await Gold Coast United as well. Although that’s not so much ‘relegated’ as ‘disappeared up Clive Palmer’s arse’.

On a more positive note the A-League finals begin in two weeks. To remind you 1st and 2nd play each other over two legs for the right to host the Grand Final. 3rd play 6th as well as the 4th and 5th, these are knock out comps, the winners play each other for the chance to play the loser of the 1st v 2nd matches in the preliminary final which is played over two legs, the winner advancing to the grand final. Confused? Understandable – to be brutally honest, just enjoy the football and wait for the inevitable Central Coast v Brisbane grand final.

Embarrassment of the week – there are many times to fake an injury, I’ve just never seen it done after celebrating a goal. [At the 3.44 mark!]

Goal of the week –

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