Danny's Football Bluff

May 13, 2013

May 13th, 2013

On Saturday night the FA Cup proved to be magical with underdogs Wigan Athletic upsetting the moneybags of Manchester City 1-0 to claim the trophy. It was dramatic to the end with Ben Watson heading home the winner in injury time. It’s the first time in its 81 year history that Wigan has won some major silverware, not counting the World Pie Eating Contest. ***

You probably already heard but Sir Alex Ferguson has retired as the manager of Manchester United. Fergie won 13 league titles with the Red Devils and the Champions League twice. United have replaced the wee angry Scotsman who never smiles with David Moyes, who is a wee angry Scotsman who never smiles. Apparently after Moyes finishes his time managing the club the next in line is Groundskeeper Willie.
The media have talked about Sir Alex’s achievements but the reason for his retirement is pretty obvious, he was clearly petrified of taking on Ange Postecoglou and the A-League All Stars in July. Understandable.

Staying in England and the Championship play-offs have begun – those vying for a spot in the Premier League next year are Brighton, Crystal Palace, Watford and Leicester. Well Leicester was in the running, but not anymore. They cocked it up royally! In one of the most dramatic ends to a match in recent history, Leicester had a penalty awarded to them in injury time, but it was saved. Watford then ran the ball up the other end and scored the actual winner, all within 20 seconds. Brighton and Crystal Palace play off tomorrow morning Australian time – can they match the drama? Not likely, the first leg ended as a 0-0 snorefest.
***[Not a cheap joke, factually correct, seriously, google it.]

No matter how bad you’re day is going, take a moment to be grateful that you are not this Slovenian goalkeeper –

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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

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.
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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 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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