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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

Caught The Eye – The Sky Is The Limit For Suarez & Mexico It Seems

Written by on August 15, 2011 | 16 Comments »
Posted in General

1. Luis Suarez might find that is low man on the totem pole after that penalty miss against Sunderland that is till heading ever higher. With crack penalty takers such as Charlie Adam, Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard when he returns available to Liverpool it may take a while before his name rises to the top of the list again.

2. Teams who giveaway needless free kicks and corner kicks will do so at their peril against Liverpool this season. With Charlie Adam’s delivery and the threat (and decoy) offered by Andy Carroll Liverpool fans will expect a bucketful of goals from set plays this season.

3. You have to have a heart of stone not the feel pity for Kieron Dyer. He has been very well paid for playing very little over the last few years but nonetheless the seemingly never-ending run of injuries and rehabilitation must be almost unbearable. (I get annoyed when a niggle or two stops me for going for a run let alone eyeing weeks of treatment at a time).

Dyer lasted five minutes before going down during his debut for QPR against Bolton and looks to be out for at least three months.

4. On Friday’s Fox Soccer Report we talked of how Bolton might have to find a way to spread the scoring load this season. It is exactly what they did on opening day against QPR in a 4-0 win. An own goal along with one from a defender (Cahill), a midfielder (Muamba) and a forward (Klasnic) did the trick.

5. Quite a match for Maurice Edu on Saturday against Inverness Caley Thistle. He contributed a yellow card, a goal and another yellow card that got him sent off in Rangers 2-0 win.

6. Buried amongst the two controversial incidents involving Joey Barton (the stomp by Song on Barton and the incident leading to Gervinho being sent off) it is being widely overlooked that both Arsenal and Newcastle put on an anemic display. Little in the way of creativity and few genuine scoring chances created. Altogether a poor match.

7. What a year this is turning out to be for Mexico’s football teams. Winning the CONCACAF club and international tournament is not in any way exceptional but when you add a FIFA under 17 crown and now a semi final place at the FIFA Under-20s it is something pretty special.

8. Some talk before the season got underway about Andre Villas-Boas wanting his Chelsea side to play a quicker tempo. The game against Stoke was clear example of why he wants that to happen. While the first half was cagey stuff Chelsea visibly increased the pace of the game and speed of their passing at the start of the second half.

They dominated possession in the second 45 minutes and started to camp out in the Stoke half. Nonetheless Stoke defended resolutely and by the closing stages Chelsea was relegated to pumping high balls into the Stoke penalty area – that was easy pickings for the Stoke defence.

Stoke fans will be pleased with Woodgate’s debut and will hope desperately that he maintains his fitness. One other performance of note I thought was from Asmir Begovic.

He looked very composed in the Stoke goal and pulled off a terrific save from a Nicolas Anelka chip. By the time the 2012 season ends Begovic might well have developed into one of the Premier Leagues top five goalkeepers.

9. Last season it was new arrival Javier Hernandez who turned some draws into wins for Manchester United – particularly in the early going. In this season’s Premier League opener Ashley Young’s name may not appear on the score sheet (or it might depending on how the goals panel rules on United’s winner) but he was a key part of a United win that for much of the second half looked destined for an away draw.

Young was a constant threat down the left to both Steven Reid and Chris Brunt.

West Brom will probably feel a bit aggrieved at allowing a point to slip away. However, they did look well-organized and a team well positioned to avoid a relegation scrap.

10. Real Madrid and Barcelona set down their markers for each other and the rest of Europe on Sunday in the first league of Spanish Super Cup. Mourinho tried rope-a-dope tactics last season in the April el clasico series. However, on Sunday his tactics shifted 180 degrees and he went after Barcelona with power and speed.

The pressure applied by Real Madrid was relentless for long stretches of the match and although Barcelona fans will point to a number of players that were missing the Mourinho message was clear.

All-in-all it was a terrific game and more is in store at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Stat Facts

1. Bolton kept a clean sheet away to newly promoted QPR. It was their first shut out away from home since the 2009/10 season – 26 games ago.

2. It was a bad opening day for home teams on Saturday in the Barclay’s Premier League – six games, no home wins, four draws and two losses. No better on Sunday with a draw and another win for the visitors.

3. Last season Newcastle and Arsenal played to a classic 4-4 draw – this season it was scoreless. How different were the games statistically?

Shots on target – 09/10 Newcastle 9, Arsenal 7; 10/11 Newcastle 1, Arsenal 2

Accurate passes – 09/10 Newcastle 274, Arsenal 319; 10/11 Newcastle 223, Arsenal 459

Passing completion rate – 09/10 Newcastle 73%, Arsenal 77%; 10/11 Newcastle 67%, Arsenal 81%

Fouls – 09/10 Newcastle 30, Arsenal 28; 10/11 Newcastle 21, Arsenal 21

Red Cards – 09/10 Newcastle 0, Arsenal 1; 10/11 Newcastle 0, Arsenal 1

Newcastle/Arsenal statistics courtesy of EPL Index

4. Portugal has made it to the last 4 of the FIFA Under-20s and has yet to concede a goal – they have also to yet score a goal from open play. Their single goal came from the penalty spot in the round of 16 against Guatemala.

5. Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United all matched the results in the corresponding fixtures last season against Sunderland, Stoke, Newcastle and West Brom respectively.

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16 responses to “Caught The Eye – The Sky Is The Limit For Suarez & Mexico It Seems”

  1. Mary Gillmeister says:

    Robbie Keane has indeed signed for LA Galaxy, what a strange one that is. No doubt he supported them as a boy….

  2. jc says:

    Real madrid vs barca was a wonderful game. I’m a madrid fan but that goal by villa was unreal. I`m really happy about the wonderful, pressing style we played in this game. People seem to have this perception of mourinho that he is a overly defensive manager, but we played some fantastic footy last year, those who reguarly watch la liga and not just the classicos would attest to this. What do you think of our chances in the camp nou, bobby?

  3. Jack says:

    Bobby,

    A quick question, if I might: a few weeks ago on the podcast you mentioned Roberto Martinez as a possible replacement for Wenger. Just wondering if you could please expand on that.

    I always enjoy your articles. Keep up the good work.

  4. Gus Keri says:

    Bobby:

    England is the team that failed to score any goal in the group stage. Portugal had 2 goals from open play.

    Also, on the Newcastle/Arsenal stats, you mean to compare 10/11 vs 11/12 games.

  5. Gus Keri says:

    Bobby:

    Is there a rason why the “edit” button doesn’t show up any more?

  6. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – The edit button appears after you make a post with a happy face sign, just type + sign and ) sign so you make a 🙂 and then edit button appears.

    It’s kinda weird.

  7. MExico is going through a true golden era, let us all witness it. Every country has one sooner or later if they have the investment and fortune.

    I dont know why Adam’s wasnt allowed the penalty kick anyway, nothing against suarez, who will be legend one day at this rate, but Charlie Adams is the best man with a dead ball on that club.

    I predict arsenal in 5th place and that game confirmed it. The injury prone nature will not help either, let alone the departures. If Arsenal place 5th, do you think Arsene is gone Mr. McMahon? I dont think so but I wonder what your experience says.

    Chelsea has to learn what BArca does so well, have faith in the posession and the pass. BArca will be in the 89th minute tied and still passing crisply with speed, they dont give up on the passing game, and unfortunately too many talented teams do.

    Young was great during the off season, I think he really wants to capture the moment for himself.

    finally Classicoes are coming to the quality that fans expect, but what few are saying is how Mourinho came in with a Real Madrid that was of an old mold with CR7 at the helm and has put in youth, has changed the formation.
    Mourinho’s greatest attribute as a coach may be his ability to set up clubs systems so deeply that it is truely his mark and even after he is gone , remnants are felt. Villas-Boas was his understudy and brought Porto to greatness like he did.
    His mark on Chelsea is still felt though VB has made some adjustments which I think the players like. Inter wasnt able to sustain the mold he left for them but have many of the pieces.
    Cant wait for Wednesday. I just wish all the people who said Benzema should be traded and Khedira should be traded would confess.

    I cant wait for the big boys in the premier league to have their matches, I consider them virtual nine pointers. Considering how important those wins will be. I expect few losses from the top six to other sides, so their own battles will be more paramount than ever.

  8. Gus Keri says:

    SL:

    It didn’t work

  9. soccerlogical says:

    LOL

    Ok, try typing in the following:
    “She sells seashells by the seashore”

  10. Gus Keri says:

    She sells seashells by the seashore

  11. Gus Keri says:

    SL:

    It didn’t work either

  12. Soccerlogical says:

    Hmm.. odd that.

    Try doing 2 cartwheels and clicking your heels 3 times… that should definitely fix the edit button problem.

  13. Gus Keri says:

    Should I be wearing a special type of shoes or any one will do?

  14. Andre says:

    That was the first time in the Mourinho era at Real Madrid that they were the better team against Barsa, but I’m not so sure that is a sign of things to come. Under optimal conditions they held them to a draw, in Madrid, and conceded twice. I suspect tomorrow’s return leg will be a much different game. I don’t support either team but I think Barcelona will win by more than a goal at Camp Nou.

  15. rahul says:

    thanks for sharing the match facts, interesting stats, particularly, the top 4 matched the corresponding fixtures last season…

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