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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 Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

Sunday Super For City & QPR; Shocking For United and Chelsea & Don’t Forget the Others

Written by on October 23, 2011 | 15 Comments »
Posted in Arsenal, Chelsea, English Premier League, Everton, Fulham, Stoke City

Sunday was one of the sort of days that remind us why we are so drawn to sport and in particular football. Over an entire season we pretty much know each year the likely challengers.

But that does not guarantee that the favourites over the season are going to come out on top each week.

There are always surprises but two of the results on Sunday went well beyond that description. And it wasn’t even just the results.

City beating United and QPR coming out on top of Chelsea are not that far-fetched but it was more a case that nobody could have possibly forecast the manner of the wins.

The story of how Manchester City went to Old Trafford and left with a 6-1 win is  a story that will be told as long as the game is played in England.

There is enough material for an entire podcast so the weekly Soccer Report Extra.com offering with Eoin O’Callaghan will be devoted to the Manchester derby.

The sight of a team playing with ten men is far from a unusual occurrence nowadays. Nine against eleven not so much so but that was what Chelsea faced for over half of their match against QPR.

What’s is more Chelsea really should have left with a point or even all three. It was just as well that QPR led 1-0 when Bosingwa and then Drogba were sent off by Chris Foy because they rarely troubled a patchwork Chelsea side in the second 45 minutes.

The other games that saw Everton and Tottenham win away from home and Arsenal beat Stoke at the Emirates have been relegated to the equivalent of the foreign language movie awards at the Oscars by the media.

Everton actually achieved something that only one other side in the Barclay’s Premier League has done in 2011 – win at Craven Cottage. Liverpool did it in May and on Sunday two late goals gave Everton a 3-1 win.

A feature of the match was the tenacious tackling of Everton.

Arsenal continued to show some improvement after a troubling start to the season. Two goals from substitute Robin Van Persie will generate the headlines but there were also a couple of other solid performances. Perhaps benefiting from scoring the late winner in midweek against Marseille Aaron Ramsey looked very comfortable in midfield.

Gervinho scored one and added two assists. But his passing was also spot on at 100% – something rarely seen in a striker.


When Arsenal finally took the late lead against Sunderland last week at Emirates I mentioned that they had done an impressive job of managing the game through to the final whistle. The same trait was on display again with only four passes out of well over 100 missing their intended targets in the 12 minutes.


Stoke will be disappointed in not dominating the areas where they held a physical advantage. For a side known for size and physical approach the number of aerial duels should have been greater.

The same goes for Peter Crouch who could only win 5 of 10 aerial duels and known of these in critical areas of the field.


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15 responses to “Sunday Super For City & QPR; Shocking For United and Chelsea & Don’t Forget the Others”

  1. Erik says:

    Who had the worst Sunday:

    Man Utd or Chris Foy

    Strong cases can be made for each one

    April 28 QPR plays the reverse fixture @ Stamford Bridge. I am not here to condone gambling but gotta think Chelsea will try to put up a similar score (or worse) than what City did to United on Sunday

    Not a great Sunday for the Glasers – either. That might have been the longest Copter flight in some time from Old Trafford to Wembley. At least the Bucs were competitive

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    Carmelo Gabriele – Regarding nominees for the England post.

    I think the FA’s most important requirement for the next England manager is motivation/man management… considering all the candidates you had mentioned, Redknapp is still top of the list and best suited for current situation.

    Bobby – What the heck is goin’ on with Wolves… is it McCarthy?

  3. Roberto Manita says:

    This was the best EPL Sunday of my recent memory! Old Red Nose gets absolutely humiliated in the Old Toilet, the Gunners beat the EPL’s answer to a rugby team on the day of the rugby World Cup Final, and the Chav$ki get beat by the mighty QPR. Now, if only Joey Barton could have potted the game winner even an atheist like me would believe an all mighty were actually pulling the strings.

    First off, SL I hope you had ManUre +5.5 goals with your bookie because, as you know, even if you could have found an extremely generous bookie willing to give you ManUre +5.0 goals at home it would have been a push 😉

    Secondly, the Old Gum Chewer got his player selections all wrong. The minor discretion was selecting Welbeck over the Mexican Jumping Bean (MJB). Now, I must say that I do like Welbeck and he has had an excellent start to this season. But he is no MJB. If it weren’t for the MJB, ManIOU would never have over achieved and reached the UCL Final last season and may not have even won the league.

    The major player selection discretion I have was his selection of Jonny Evans. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it until the cows come home, “If Jonny Evans is a footballer then I am the Dalai Lama.” He never was, is, or will be a footballer. He’s a veritable bloody nightmare waiting to happen. That lad should not be allowed anywhere near a footy pitch. Even to walk his dog. It wasn’t Jonny Evan’s fault that he was selected to start this key derby match. It was Fergie’s. Jonny Evans doesn’t know that he’s not qualified to be a footballer. He cannot change his spots and become a real footballer on a whim overnight any more than a leopard can change his spots and become a lion. But Fergie should know better. Jonny Evans is a perfect player to have played on this coming Tuesday … in the Carling Cup. Now he won’t get the chance because he’s on a red. Duh!

    Let’s see now. Okay, I understand that Vidic wasn’t on the team sheet as he probably has a wee injury/knock from just getting back from a long injury spell. Fine. Jones was on the team sheet as were Fabio and Valencia. Maybe Jones couldn’t go the full 90′ and that’s why he didn’t start. I don’t know. If he was fully fit, start Jones with old flippy lip Rio with Smalling and Evra as your FBs and it’s all sorted. Option two and three, start Smalling with flippy lip as your CBs and have either Fabio or Valencia as your RB. But under no circumstances do you start that Jonny Evans. Unless, of course, it’s one of those vital League Cup matches. You’ve gotta conserve the lad’s energy for those key fixtures on the calendar. Old Fergie boy shot himself in the foot before the match started. Asking Evans to patrol a CB spot when Kun is on the pitch is akin to suicide. Fergie should know better. Enough said.

    The biggest shocker of the weekend, for me, is to find mighty Levante atop the La Liga standings. The same Levante squad that are usually second fiddle in the city of Valencia and have about 1/20th the wages of Real Madrid and Barça. They’ve already defeated Real Madrid this year and are on a six game winning streak in the league (I believe). Levante fans have gotta be pinching themselves. Can this really be happening this far into the season? And how long can it last?

    Another shocker this weekend was from the Bundesliga. I didn’t see it but I still cannot believe Bayern Munich lost at Hannover. Was Jonny Evans playing CB for Bayern on Sunday as well?

    My player of the weekend (the Lucas Award) goes to Sevilla GK Javi Varas. Hands down. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a goaler perform like that. Sevilla defended well and I give them credit. But Barça had 77% possession and created plenty of scoring chances. Varas single handedly put his team on his back, stood on his head, and saved a PK from Messi at the death. I hope he plays that well when Sevilla play Real Madrid. And no Gus, FCB does not resort to diving when the going gets tough. Certainly no more than Suarez flops about (or players like Rooney, the MJB, and Nani do, for that matter).

    Oh, and did anyone notice an Englishman, Joe Cole, playing in Ligue Un? How often does that happen? Let alone seeing an Englishman score a goal in that league. Well done Joe.

    Salute the Noisy Neighbours! Old Red Nose, there’s a new sheriff in town and you best get used to it. Repeat after me, “Man City the 2011-12 EPL Champions.” I know it’s a long season and it’s a marathon 38 rounds but we might as well get used to singing that phrase and avoiding the rush after it becomes a mathematical certainty. And I suspect City are only getting started. Who said Arsenal players couldn’t win a league title? There’s plenty on City now and by next summer I suspect you can add van Persie to their roster — unfortunately 🙁

  4. Roberto Manita says:

    And another thing, Balotelli was on fire this weekend!! 👿

    It had to be said 😆

  5. Roberto Manita says:

    Or, wasn’t that Balotelli a firecracker this weekend?

  6. Roberto Manita says:

    And I’ll give Fletcher his due for his work and the quality of his strike to achieve his goal. But is there anyone on earth slower on the turn than Gareth Barry? Other than zombies from a horror movie, I mean.

  7. Roberto Manita says:

    Three more observations:

    1) Has ManU really “closed the gap on Barça” as a certain rosy nosed fellow recently postulated? Hmmmmm.

    2) What’s the over/under in terms of days it will take ManU to sign Sneijder once the January transfer window opens? It’s gotta be a pretty low number of days. That central midfield is quite weak and Cleverley, as well as he’s played this season, is not going to bridge the quality gap they currently find a massive discrepancy in when compared to the top clubs in Europe.

    3) It looks like Shrek was right this time last year and made a mistake re-signing with the red Mancs. ManU lack the ambition and power of the oil tycoons. I honestly can’t see ManU winning more silverware than ManC during the remainder of Shrek’s career (and he could have been better paid, to boot). ManC have the greater resources, less constricting debt, and who honestly can trust the UEFA FFP rules to have any real enforcement teeth? I’ll believe it when I see the first major club getting excluded from UCL competition. And even so, ManC could theoretically snub their noses at European competition (if they wanted to), spend like there’s no tomorrow, focus on domestic competition and clean up there, all without any competitive domestic repurcussions as the UEFA FFP rules only apply for European competition and not within the domestic leagues (at least that’s my interpretation unless I missed something).

  8. rdm says:

    You got all of that out of 1 game? Goodness, I must miss things when I watch…

    Manchester United could have “comfortably” lost that game 3-1. Bad yes but not a tragedy. There was naievty in the midfield which resulted in a gross lack of support for the defense. How many times was Welbeck or Rooney (who if nothing else should both get credit for routinely tracking their marks) the closest players to the CBs? Way too many. Also I can’t remember the last time I saw Evra just standing around or jogging towar… oh wait yes I can, it happens every week, what is up with that? Take that armband off, it appears to be weighing you down.

  9. fabr04 says:

    Not a Chelsea fan here, but I thought Chris Foy was awful. The Drogba red was absolutely correct, but SWP’s chance was only a hint of a GSO, and nowhere near an OGSO. As for the PK…I can understand why Foy made the call, but if that’s a penalty in the 8th minute then it has to be a penalty for the rest of the match. It wasn’t.

    I don’t blame AVB for being upset.

  10. Soccerlogical says:

    Roberto M – One thing I have learned from betting is to NEVER place a W/DNB/DC wager when you have 2 sides with at least 3 proven creative players/game changers (i.e. MU v MC, MIL v INT, MAD v BARC, etc) as ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.

  11. Carmelo Gabriele says:

    BTW I think the 2 red cards that Chelsea received were not particularly harsh or uncalled for, I thought Bosingwa was naive and clearly beaten by a man in form, with a lot more pace and strength, obvious scoring chance, Drogba typical spoiled brat, he as a very immature and naive side to his game that is revolting, I would take Samuel Eto’O anytime anywhere over Drogba, Samuel would have never remotely come close to making that challenge…. Drogba too often decides he as had enough of the match and switches to spoiled 12 year old boy….

  12. TomL says:

    Amen, Carmelo. A lot of the people complaining about the Bosingwa card argue that SWP wasn’t clearly by him, so how could it be an “obvious” goal scoring opportunity. Well, even Usain Bolt couldn’t have gotten by with Bosingwa putting a death grip on his shorts. That’s the point of the rule. It’s really no different than if he’d put a headlock on SWP – a player was going by him and Bosingwa held him to prevent it. The only reason people want to say it’s somehow different is that shirt-pulling has become such a standard technique. But it stops an opponent just as surely as if he’d tripped him. And there was no one close to stop SWP if he’d gotten by, so the red was fully justified.

  13. Carmelo Gabriele says:

    BTW as anybody else read the comments made by Yohan Cabaye ?? he quite “surprisingly” mentioned his surprise at the drinking culture in the English game… he mentions how this would not happen in France (according to Yohan French clubs police they’re players more) so maybe this re-affirms the previous comments by Mancini and Capello…. I think this is the real reason why England as only won one world cup ….. I enjoy going out and partying, I enjoy my Ketel on the rocks, staying up until 4 or 5 am and partying but I do not have to be on a football pitch the next day being televised ….. Vialli & Marcotti wrote one of my favorite football books: the Italian Job …. Ciao!

  14. Ed Gomes says:

    Since I rip Walcott all the time, let me add another one trick pony.
    Is it me or does Young just only run fast up the line and then cuts it back towards the middle and tries a curving shot every single time?
    Evra is deservingly getting ripped, but on more than one occasion Young tracked back but once player passed ball he didn’t follow. He watched. I thought it was Nani, he was doing it so well.
    I actually agree with the comments pertaining to Evans.
    This was a shameful performance, that shouldn’t go unpunished. Couple this with their poor European performances, and it’s looking very shaky.

    All kudos to Man City.
    I still say the the Sheik thought he was buying Man United and was shocked to find that his team wasn’t wearing red when he arrived?

    Question?
    Is anyone else at Arsenal capable of taking a corner besides RVP? If so, why is he taking them. Even if he was awful at headers, he would at least attract defenders, clearing space for teammates.
    Shouldn’t Walcott be staying late and kicking 100 corners after every training session?

    McCarthy just commented himself out of a job, right. You can’t call a group of fans “mindless idiots” even if they are, right?

    Newcastles bubble will burst soon, no?

    I know that they’re winning, but I still say the Spurs should look and be better than they’ve been.
    And no, Harry would;t be a good manager for England. He’s just good enough to mess up the Spurs, so you can only imagine what he’ll do to England.

  15. Soccerlogical says:

    ED – First off, Arteta and Arshavin are just as good at taking corners.

    Secondly, if you follow the world game then you know that the likes of Tiote, Ba, Ben Arfa, Cabaye and Marveux are all very good players who make NUFC a top 10 EPL side (on paper and on past performances with previous teams).

    Finally, you said:
    ‘And no, Harry would;t be a good manager for England. He’s just good enough to mess up the Spurs, so you can only imagine what he’ll do to England.”

    – Redknapp plays attacking football, knows how to handle the English media and would be the perfect national team manager who gets the best out of players who he would only manage a few weeks out of the year.

    Am I saying England will reach the WC final match under ‘Arry…no. Am I saying ‘Arry would create a good team spirit and get the best out of the players he picks for England… YES!

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