Danny's Football Bluff

May 5, 2014

May 5th, 2014

So, being a new Dad takes up a lot of time! Thankfully there’s only one more week of club football for the season. So I’ll attempt to write an update for you all.

Brisbane Roar defeated Western Sydney Wanderers to win the A-League Grand Final. The Wanderers went 1-0 up in the second half but Besart Berisha equalized with minutes to spare. Then, in injury time, Henrique put the Queenslanders in front 2-1. Berisha is now hated by all clubs, as he is leaving Brisbane to join Melbourne Victory, where he and Kevin Muscat will battle it out for the title of most despised man in Australian soccer. Events include punching kittens, climate change denying and writing more “I bought a Jeep” commercials.

In England it all boils down to the last week. Manchester City and Liverpool are both locked in equal first place with 80 points each with two matches to spare.

If they both win, then City claim the title as they have a superior goal difference [unless of course Liverpool wins one of it’s matches 10-0]. It’s extremely tense: Manchester v Liverpool. Money vs History. Blue vs Red. We hate United vs We hate United more…

Tomorrow Morning 5am EST – Crystal Palace v Liverpool

Wednesday Morning 4.45am EST – Manchester City v Aston Villa

Sunday night midnight [technically Monday morning, don’t be a pedant] – Liverpool v Newcastle, Manchester City v West Ham United.

There’s other matches on as well but trust me, nobody really cares. Sunderland, West Brom & Norwich are trying to avoid relegation… yeah I thought so.

Oh – the Champions League final is Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid. The Aristocrats vs The Rebels! Go Atletico! Even though Real does stuff like this: [Goal of the Week]

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February 3, 2014

3rd February 2014

Just over a fortnight ago, when this Melbourne Victory fan had a bit of hope remaining, we played Western Sydney Wanderers on a hot Tuesday night. The match was played at a very slow pace, understandable due to the conditions and the fact that both teams had played only days beforehand. However I did notice that the referee Ben Williams made some pretty bad decisions, all of them favoured Western Sydney. At the time I dismissed my conspiratorial theories as just that. A disgruntled fan whinging. However on Saturday night Ben Williams was once again helping the Wanderers. Newcastle had just scored an injury time equaliser against WSW, when the dying moments of the game Michael Bridges slid the ball into the path of Adam Taggart who ran into goal, only to be intentionally taken out by Wanderers keeper Ante Covic. Normally free kick to the Jets and very likely a red card for Covic; however Ben Williams had decided the match was over, despite the late goals and drama, and then red carded Jets new boy Joel Griffiths for voicing his disapproval with the decision…
Now could Ben Williams have a soft spot for Western Sydney Wanderers, considering he was born and bred in the region. [Sure, Canberra is a few hours away but geographically closer to Wanderers than anyone else] Does the FFA want the Wanderers to win the league because they’re the fairytale of the competition? Or more importantly does the FFA want to increase the value of the Wanderers because a consortium is making a bid for them soon?
The answer is simple – Ben Williams is just a rubbish referee. How do I know? It’s on his Wikipedia page – have a look:

Screenshot 2014-02-03 10.19.40

The other big matches of the week were less interesting. Liverpool thrashed Everton in the derby. Juventus easily dealt with Inter Milan. Oh and I have a new theory regarding Manchester United – they’re trying to lose to every team in the Premier League with the colour red. Stoke, Liverpool, Sunderland have all had a turn, meaning Arsenal, Southampton and Crystal Palace shall taste victory soon.
[I didn’t count Cardiff because I know they are blue deep down! Respect to my Welsh readers!]

Brisbane Roar continued their canter towards winning the A-League by coming from behind to beat Central Coast Mariners yesterday. On the Fox Sports website there is an article claiming Roar attacker Thomas Broich is the best player in the A-League. Meaning Melbourne Victory will be making an offer for him in the next 24 hours.

Tomorrow morning Australia time Manchester v Chelsea kicks off at 7am. The league will probably go to one of these overly cashed up soul less teams so enjoy the spectacle!
Goal of the Week

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 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.

August 27, 2013

August 27th, 2013

Filed under: Weekly Wraps — Tags: , , , , , — dannymcginlay @ 11:20 am

There was no Football Bluff yesterday as it was my birthday and I had a hangover that would have made even Mark Bosnich’s hair hide under the doona.

So I guess you probably know the results and what not from the weekend, Arsenal finally won a match, Manchester City were beaten by Cardiff, West Ham & Newcastle bored everyone to death.

So the only really big story I can report is Manchester City are wanting to buy the Western Sydney Wanderers. Right now the A-League newbies are owned by the FFA, who are positively salivating at the concept of the English side owning the Wanderers. Their asking price is about $15m, which is how much Manchester City spends on player’s wages in a fortnight. So unless there’s a sudden price rise in Ivory Backscratchers, it looks like the deal could definitely happen.

Transfer Updates- Gareth Bale will sign with Real Madrid this week, in a transfer deal that has lasted longer than the Essendon drugs saga. Dario Vidosic has gone from Adelaide United to Swiss club Sion and Wayne Rooney is still playing for Manchester United against his will.

There’s some big matches this weekend – Liverpool v Manchester United, Arsenal v Tottenham and of course the big clash in Scottish 2nd division between Cowdenbeath v Dumbarton.
Only five weeks til the A-League!

Goal of the week –

August 14, 2013

Season 2013/14 Preview!

Hi folks, welcome to my blog. It’s about football and it’s aimed at people who don’t care that much about football but want to stay informed. The good folk at The Project have published my season preview, but in case you missed it, here it is below:

Enjoy!

On Sunday the English Premier League and many other European Football Leagues kick off for the year, and the A-League season is just under six weeks away. So you know what that means – that guy in your workplace who is OBSESSED with the round ball game is going to start boring you to death with opinions and facts about it all.

I know that guy, because I am that guy. I am, however, much more self-aware than most of the other ‘that guys’ and I know most of Australia does not share my passion, so I am using my powers for good. I know you don’t mind soccer, {see I even call it soccer, I am aware that other codes use the name football, so to avoid confusion, I call it soccer, already I’m less of a dick} and with the World Cup in less than a year you probably want to bone up on your knowledge a bit, but who has the time? I do!

So this is my guide to surviving a conversation with that soccer nut and knowing more than your friends in preparation for the World Cup. These easy opinions and fun facts on the upcoming football season will you have sounding like a true fan, but with minimal effort.

The English Premier League.

What big things happened in the off season?
1. Manchester United have their first new manager in 27 years! They replaced the angry Scotsman Sir Alex Ferguson with a slightly more googly eyed angry Scotsman, David Moyes.

2. Jose Mourinho returned to manage Chelsea. Mourinho is football world’s Bond Villain. He’s maniacal, egotistical, not afraid to ruin matches with dull defensive tactics, but at the same time so ridiculously charming. I would have loved to have seen him at Man United, in the same way I would love to see a real bull in a real china shop.

3. Arsenal promised their fans they would bring in some big name players during the off season, but haven’t. Unless you count Yaya Sanogo as a big name**.

**You don’t.

Three handy phrases
A] “With all the new managers it’ll be the closest season in years.”
B] “I can’t wait for the first Manchester derby! Or the first North London derby! They’ll be fascinating!”
C] “If Rooney moves to Chelsea, it’s game on!”

Don’t say – “I’ll be interested to see what hairstyle David Beckham plays with this year.”

My prediction – Chelsea to win the league, but only just.

The A-League

What big things happened in the off season?
1. Central Coast Mariners won the grand final, and since then have lost five members of that team. It’s well known the Mariners are in financial trouble, but that hasn’t stopped the fans flocking to see the winning trophy proudly on display at Gosford Cash Converters.

2. Harry Kewell returns to the A-League! But not for his old team Melbourne Victory, for their rivals Melbourne Heart! This has enraged the Victory support, but brought no end of joy to all the Heart fans, both of them.

3. SBS managed to claim the right to broadcast one match a round on free-to-air. This will be a ratings bonanza for the network, especially if they get all matches commentated by Julia Zemiro and Sam Pang.

Three handy phrases
A] “It’ll be great for football if the Western Sydney Wanderers can repeat their amazing season.”
B] “Adelaide’s new Spanish manager seems exciting, but can he adapt to the more physical A league?”
C] “With the salary cap in place, you never can predict A League matches let alone seasons.”

Don’t Say – “Did you know A League is about 4.8 kilometres?”

My prediction – Melbourne Victory to win the league.

The rest of Europe

1. Bayern Munich won the Champions League last year and now have signed Pip Guardiola, widely regarded as one of the best managers in the world. So they seem like an unstoppable German machine!
2. Barcelona signed the Brazilian wonderkid Neymar, widely regarded as the next Pele. Considering they still have Lionel Messi on their books, they seem like an unstoppable Spanish/Catalan machine!
3. Carlos Tevez transferred over to Juventus, widely regarded as one of the most corrupt teams on the planet. Considering a lot of these allegations have also included links to the mafia, this blogger thinks they are all wonderful gentlemen and wishes them all the best, as he fears their unstoppable Italian machine guns.

Three handy phrases:
A] “Gareth Bale could be brilliant at Real Madrid, provided they play him in the right position.”
B] “Paris Saint-Germaine are a team of champions, but nowhere near a champion team.”
C] “I hope the headlines coming out of Italy are about football for a change.”

Don’t say – “I thought European football was cancelled after Lance Armstrong was found to be a drug cheat?”

My prediction – Juventus to win the Champions League. I like my thumbs.

April 15, 2013

April 15th 2013

It was semi final week in the world of Football. In England the FA Cup Semis were played at Wembley and every team played their part. Manchester City were lucky but triumphant, Chelsea were dull with flashes of brilliance, Wigan were disciplined and Millwall fans were violent. The final is on May 11th between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City.

The A-League Grand Final, however, is this Sunday. It’s between the two best sides of the season in Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers. Whoever wins, it will be touted as a fairytale ending. For the Mariners it would be the breaking of an eight year Grand Final hoodoo, for the Wanderers, the ultimate prize in their first season. My heart says Central Coast but my head says Wanderers. The only safe bet is that WSW fans will punch someone/thing.

The best semi finals were played at Hampden Park for the Scottish Cup. Falkirk led Hibernian 3-0 at half time but the Edinburgh side fought back and won 4-3 after extra time. Last night Celtic knocked out Dundee United 4-3 in a match for the ages. At the end of the game the players were so exhausted they made glaring mistakes, often it seemed like when you’re playing FIFA and your controller is out of battery. Kris Commons scored two controversial goals, one whilst falling over and the other with his elbow. The final between Celtic and Hibernian will be on May 26th.

Goal of the Week –

With Melbourne Comedy Festival still happening [tix through dannymcginlay.com] I am having guest columnists aide my blog with:
WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT – This week TV producer David Barrett will convince you to follow Southampton!

Being a Southampton supporter you’re pulled into conversation by one of three things. One, the plucky Second Division club who beat Man U in ’76 final of the FA Cup. Two, Matt Le Tissier. Three, Ali Dia.
May 1 1976 will always live long in my memory. It’s my first ever memory as it happens. I can’t particularly remember the match as such, but running out onto the streets with my red and white wooly scarf and hat on to celebrate will forever be etched in the grey matter. It was the hottest day of the year and the start of the hottest summer on record, but none of us kids in the street took our red and white ensembles off for days.
Matt Le Tissier kept us in the Premiership for a decade, pretty much single handily, and there’s not a fan I know, of any team, who didn’t want him in their side. I don’t think there’s anything to add apart from this … http://youtu.be/m3jVh_IJwO0
And then there’s Ali Dia. Ali Ali Ali. If you don’t know the story then it’s a classic. Ali turned up at Marchwood, the Saints training ground, after a call from a fella purporting to be George Weah to the then manager Graham Souness.
“Georgie Weah” had recommended his “cousin” to Souness, and said the lad had turned out for Senegal and PSG. Who was Souey to argue with that. Bearing in mind this was before the likes of a quick check on Wikipedia that could dispel such BS, so Souness took the lad on a month’s contract. I’ll let our man Matt Le Tiss take up the story … http://youtu.be/GyT1r_oVcdA
Nice one eh? So there you have it. Saints are great for having beat the odds, produced countless diamonds on the pitch, and also let a completely useless dreamer to live out all our dreams – albeit for a half hour or so. If you have a lead on Ali Dia’s current whereabouts tweet @insearchofali as it is a film project to find Ali.

David Barrett is a Southampton supporter, and independent producer and director. Follow him on @david_barrett1

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

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:

March 4, 2013

March 4th, 2013

Western Sydney Wanderers are sitting atop of the A-League ladder! The league newbies defeated the Central Coast Mariners and are now favourites to finish the season in top spot. Despite the loss, Mariners manager Graham Arnold was upbeat claiming his team were in finals form, “We’re ahead of schedule, it feels good, normally we have to wait til at least the semi finals to choke so this is nice…”

Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 in a spiteful El Classico on Saturday night. Barca defender Gerard Pique was absolutely outraged after the match, complaining that Real get all the big decisions. Pique then stated he wasn’t that mad, as Barca are still 13 points clear and he still gets to have sex with pop star Shakira.

Arsenal’s season is going from worse to even worsener. The Gunners were defeated by fierce rivals Tottenham last night, but there may be some saviours. According to London tabloids, some “Middle Eastern Billionaires” want to buy Arsenal, but American owner Stan Kroenke has stated he will not sell. Kroenke has stripped Arsenal down to its most basic squad in years and still charges it’s fans more for tickets than any other club. Speculation that Kroenke is a Tottenham fan is still unproven, but highly likely.

In continuing our “Why you should support….” series of guest writers, this week we are joined by The Age writer and Bolton fan Luke Morris…
Why you should support… Bolton Wanderers.
Manchester. It is shite. Have you been to Manchester? It is shite. Leave Manchester well alone. Half an hour north-west and there’s Bolton. A happy-go-lucky town with so little concern about cash that we pay players to lose. Not on purpose, we just overpay horrible players. It’s part of a three point plan to stimulate the economy. 1) Exit the Premier League, 2) Stay in the Championship, and 3) tour the country’s regional areas, lose, and boost celebratory goodwill. It’s an altruist and emphatic approach that we all could learn from. Bolton. Support them to the betterment of the world.

Luke Morris is the Robbie Cornthwaite of writing, a Bolton Wanderers supporter, and head honcho at http://www.st-r.com.au.

Goal of the week:

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