Danny's Football Bluff

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!]

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:

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 26, 2012

March 26th, 2012

The English Premier League is turning into a chokers paradise, with three top teams all dropping points in vital matches this weekend. Chelsea & Tottenham played out a groin grabbingly dull 0-0 draw on Saturday, followed by Manchester City drawing with Stoke City. As if to prove that they are still relevant as a top team, Liverpool followed suit and lost to cellar dwellers Wigan Athletic. The winner being scored by Gary Caldwell, who holds the Champions League record for most own-goals. It’s all set up for Manchester United to claim a Steven Bradbury like waltz to the Championship. They play Fulham Tuesday morning Australian time.

Things are getting very interesting in Italy, with Juventus and AC Milan battling it out for the title. Only four points separate the two clubs, which put Milan fans in the very odd position of cheering on their arch rivals Inter when they played Juve yesterday. Inter have had a shocker of a season, and weren’t going to find form just to please their neighbours. They duly lost 2-0.

The A League final round played out yesterday, with only one real surprise. Fox Sports tried to market the last few matches as ‘Super Sunday’, but to no real excitement. Sydney FC saw off Newcastle with ease, Brisbane dismissed Gold Coast after an early scare, and Central Coast defeated Wellington. This gives the Mariners the Premier’s Plate, which is the trophy awarded to the team who finishes the season on top of the ladder. This is how the championship is decided in all the big football leagues, but not in Australia, as we need a grand final or else we don’t understand who has won. The only surprise was that the A-League forgot to take the Premier’s Plate over to Wellington, so the trophy was not awarded. However credit to the people of New Zealand who fashioned a makeshift trophy out of an Esky and Central Coast were awarded the ‘Champion’s Chillybin’ of 2012.

By the way, if you ever want to test how much of a football fan someone is in Australia. Ask them how long a league is, as in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. If they know it is about 5.5 kilometres then you know they are a fan. See every time you do a google search for A-League, it tells you how long a league is.

Here are next week’s finals:
Major Semi Final leg one – Brisbane v Central Coast
Elimination Final One – Wellington v Sydney
Elimination Final Two – Perth v Melbourne Heart

Have a look, they should be great matches. Well, except for Perth v Heart, sorry Jambos fans but I think Perth will thump you. Will be happy to be proved wrong.

Goal of the week –

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