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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Is Wenger Soft & Beckham For England

Written by on April 20, 2011 | 9 Comments »
Posted in Ask the Extra


Do you think Arsenal’s short comings are in part a reflection of Wenger’s positive portrait of them to the media when they fail or make a mistake? Does he allow them to fail again and again with no punishment?

In short admitting to mistakes to grow to be better and demand that his team is capable of winning because sometimes when they play they look tentative and have no killer instinct which is down to Wenger not being hard enough?

Response – I think we need to understand that what a manager says in public is often very different than what he says to the players in the dressing room or on the practice pitch. Managers will very rarely criticize players in public because they know that if they shame players through the media they it is  likely to lead to a crisis in confidence or a fracturing of the relationship with the player.

There are some managers who are well known for going into a club and trying to stamp their authority by challenging certain players. Few have achieved much success. You may point to Wenger but the days of management by fear – not just in soccer – are dead and gone. No one gets better by being terrified of making a mistake.


We are fans of Manchester United, Rooney hasn’t been too good, why not play Berbatov? I also like to see D. Beckham back in UK playing. You would make your money back twofold. He is a star and still has a few more years of performance. I really like to see him play for England. Does Capello understand the English ways?

Response -Well needless to say while others were second guessing Sir Alex Ferguson the manager was showing once again why he is one of the great managers of this and any other generation. Maybe you will see David Beckham back playing in the UK but it certainly will not be for a good team. He might sell jerseys to the gullible ones but he is well past the stage of being able to contribute on a consistent basis to a top class team.

As for the English ways I think you are going to have to explain to me what the English ways have got to do with recalling a 37-year-old player when the objective is to win the European Championship.

You’ve been put in complete control of Scottish football at all levels. You have the power to change anything and everything. What would you do?

Response – Run the other way! Honestly, I have been away from Scotland for far too long to comment on what needs to be fixed in Scottish football. Suffice to say that problems in an organization or business can always be traced back to poor leadership and poor governance. That would be the best place to start.


Once again I was so disappointed watching a penalty denied Chelsea (first game against Manchester United in the Champions League). I am not a fan of either team but what is the use of 5th and 6th officials…..behind the goals.

Can they really tell the Ref in case of a tackle in the box? He was in a better position to see the tackle? Do you think soccer should pause for a few seconds to review such a case?

Response -For every person who disagrees with a call, you will probably find someone who agrees with it. If you are going to look for perfection you will never find in soccer……no matter how many sets of TV cameras there are around a ground and how many replays you watch.

As for the 5th and 6th officials, my sense is that the referees have yet to work out how best to use them. I think they could help the other officials to a far greater extent than they do at present.

houyhnhnm twit

Outside of foreign ownership, what may the foreign owners bring to the PL? How will the bar change with foreign owners?

Response -With owners coming from different environments it should bring a different perspective and new ideas. However, if foreign owners come in and don’t spend time trying to come to grips with the culture and context then they will have fresh ideas but will make lots of mistakes.

I don’t see how the bar will change just because owners are foreign …..based on the bar being set at running a successful operation that provides entertainment.


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9 responses to “Is Wenger Soft & Beckham For England”

  1. Danh says:

    Not to take a whack at Arsenal, but maybe Wenger do need to make his players accountable for their performances. Even when they leading Spurs 3-2 today, never once I thought Arsenal was going to win the match. RVP was right to say they must stop the “almost criminal” points dropping in the BPL. United will lift the trophy this year…

  2. Gus Keri says:

    After few exciting games in Europe today, back to the reality of North American soccer.

    I hope RSL bring this trophy to MLS and end the Mexican domination.

    Go RSL

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – Why are there football hash marks on Monterrey’s pitch?

  4. Gus Keri says:


    I guess even in Mexico, there is American football.

  5. Gus Keri says:

    According to Wikipedia, the stadium is not own by the club, but by Monterrey instiutute of technology which has a college (American) football team

  6. Gus Keri says:

    What a goal by Morales at the 90th minute to tie the game.
    2-2 is a great result for RSL with two away goals.

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – I totally agree.

    Funny hearing that commentator Rogandino or Miles state “RSL will be upset not to have won but at least they tied”. Does he realize how the aggregate (away goals) work or does he not think before speaking?


  8. rahul says:

    Bobby, love your response on AW’s softness, totally agree. Helping the media lynch your own players is not helpful.

  9. J says:

    I guess I’m wondering why we assume that 2nd place in the Premier League requires an inquest toward accountability…or much else for that matter. Last time I checked, 2nd place was an improvement for Arsenal. And while others are freewheeling towards bankruptcy, the club profited to the point of attracting a responsible buyer.

    True, they’ve done some awful nosedives this year, but this is still a young team. Is the 6-point gap a question of attitude or just the absence of one keeper and/or one central defender? They are two penalties, two bounces or two goalkeeping gaffes away from the title. Pick a set yourself, it’s not that hard to remember.

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