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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

From New York to LA – Stars Or Gallant Patsies

Written by on May 6, 2011 | 15 Comments »
Posted in General

Premier League

The focus is on the relegation battle as well as the fight for the title this weekend. Both have been covered in both articles and the podcast but here are a couple of other things to consider.

On Saturday we have Aston Villa v Wigan, Bolton v Sunderland, Everton v Manchester City, Newcastle v Birmingham, West Ham v Blackburn and Tottenham v Blackpool.

City’s trip to Goodison is one that has flown under the radar – probably on account of Spurs challenge for 4th place falling away.

Nonetheless City will want to maintain that seven point lead on Spurs and Liverpool (City with a game less played) and maintain pressure on Arsenal for third.

City also has Spurs as visitors to Eastlands on Tuesday. 

MLS

Los Angeles Galaxy v New York Red Bulls

It is commonly accepted that strong and contending teams in New York and Los Angeles would be a major boon to MLS in North America.

There was the possibility of a Red Bulls/Galaxy MLS Final in 2010 until both teams fell short of the mark in the play offs – Red Bulls were knocked out by San Jose while the Galaxy lost to FC Dallas.

Twelve months the Galaxy’s defensive prowess was one of the main topics of discussion and debate. It took until round 18 for the team to concede 9 goals.

This season they have reached that mark in half as many games. Instead, it is the Red Bulls (along with the Philadelphia Union before Friday night’s match against Portland) appear to have taken on the mantle of defensive king-pins with both tams only allowing two goals so far.

NYRBs have only trailed once this year and that was in the loss to Philadelphia Union. Since conceding that goal to the Union the Red Bulls have gone 292 minutes without allowing a goal.

The Galaxy go into this game a point better off than New York but having played two games more.

The other games in a seven-match Saturday schedule are: Real Salt Lake v Chivas USA (2 wins and 3 draws in last 5 games); Toronto FC (winless in last 6) v Houston Dynamo; D.C. United v FC Dallas; Columbus Crew (unbeaten in last 6) v Seattle Sounders; New England Revolution v Colorado Rapids; Chicago Fire v Vancouver Whitecaps – two teams with only a win apiece so far.

Serie A

Roma v Milan

With three games remaining in the Serie A season Milan needs just one point to clinch their 18th top flight title in Italy.

On the other hand Roma are still very much in contention for the 4th and final (final in the absolute sense given that Italy loses the right to qualify 4 teams after next season) Champions League spot.

Lazio is currently fourth a point ahead of Udinese and Roma (Roma trail Udinese on goal difference but have the edge on head-to-head encounters which is the first Serie A tie-breaker).

Lazio also plays Udinese on Sunday so there is an excellent opportunity for Roma to take control of their destiny this weekend.

However, Roma will be missing Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta for the rest of the season on account of three-match bans. This places even more pressure on Francesco Totti who has once again become the main man for Roma.

Totti has scored 10 goals in last 9 Roma games (including 6 penalties) to go with a meagre return of four from earlier in the season.

For Milan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic returns from suspension.

The already relegated Bari travels to Sicily to play Palermo.

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15 responses to “From New York to LA – Stars Or Gallant Patsies”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Bobby – Do you think Ally McCoist is “suitable” and capable of handling such a high profile position as managing Rangers when Smith steps down at season’s end?

  2. Boris says:

    Tottenham get 1 point against Blackpool in two games. How pathetic. T

  3. Erik says:

    Boris – and they were LUCKY to get that 1 point

    NO ONE has given away more points on late goals than Villa. But gotta think B’Pool ain’t far behind. How many points have they dropped on goals in the 85th Minute or later as opposed to how many points they have earned on goals in that span? Off hand I would guess it is at least 10

    Mick McC has to be loving the way Saturday went down. The 5 other sides in the Relegation battle all Drew – except for B’ham who lost. Wolves have the sked to stay up – now will they? If they don’t they have NO ONE to blame but themselves.

    B’Pool MUST beat Bolton next week or they are done and Ian Holloway better pray that Man U BEATS Chelsea Sunday

  4. Gus Keri says:

    Boris:

    Guess how many points Liverpool got against them!

    If it wasn’t for these two clubs, Blackpool would have been already relegated. Who would’ve thunk it?

  5. Sunderland have done a good job of throwing away more leads than an incompetent detective as well although they did bounce back today.

  6. Erik says:

    I asked – I’ll answer regarding Blackpool and late goals

    Aug 28 @ Fulham: Dickson Etuhu’s goal in the 87th minute gives Fulham a 2-2 Draw (2 points lost for Pool)

    Sept 25 hosting B’Burn: Brett Emerton’s goal in the 90 minute PLUS 3 give B’Burn a 2-1 Win (1 point lost for Pool – 3 for the season)

    Nov 10 @ Villa: DJ Campbell scores in the 87th Minute only to see James Collins get the Villa winner in the 89th. We’ll call this a “Wash”

    Nov 27 @ Bolton: Mark Davies’ goal in the 89th Minute gives Bolton a 2-2 Draw (2 points lost for Pool – 5 for the season)

    Jan 4 hosting B’ham City: Scott Dann’s goal in the 89th Minute gives B’ham a 2-1 win (1 point lost for Pool – 6 for the season)

    Jan 15 @ West Brom: Peter Odemwingie’s goal in the 87th Minute gives West Brom a 3-2 win (1 point lost for Pool – 7 for the season)

    Jan 25 hosting Man U: Dimitar Berbatov’s goal in the 88th Minute recaps a wild Man U comeback as they score 3 goals in the 72nd, 74th and 88th Minutes to win 3-2 (1 point lost for Pool – 8 for the season………although Pool should have won this game outright)

    March 19 @ Blackburn: David Hoilett’s goal in the 90 Minute PLUS 3 on literally the last kick of the game gives B’Burn a 2-2 Draw (2 points lost for Pool – 10 for the season………including TWO 90+3 Minutes goals to B’burn……..and 3 points lost and more importantly – 4 points GAINED by B’burn – do the math and give Pool 3 more and B’burn 4 less and see what difference that makes in the table…………Pool would be safely in for next season while B’Burn would be dead and relegated)

    May 7 @ Totty: Jermain Dafoe’s goal in the 88th Minute gives Totty a 1-1 Draw (2 points lost for Pool – 12 for the season)

    So Blackpool has DROPPED a DOZEN points on late goals………2 EACH in Minutes: 87, 88, 89 and 90+3 with BOTH 90+3 to Blackburn – the side they are very close to and would be safely above if not for this

    In Sports – and really in life – when you waste precious opportunities to succeed you almost always regret them later on. If Blackpool goes down they have no one to blame but themselves

  7. Boris says:

    I was tired of watching the game after the first half. Pav should not be starting. VDV should have been playing behind the striker in the first half instead.
    Poor tactics and clearly Tottenham have lost confidence and are looking tired. Gomes…well he had some great saves but then in the end cost the team a penalty. That is typical of him; a great save followed by a great blunder. As Bobby has mentioned recently, Harry might have to consider getting a new keeper as well. Any money allocated for a keeper however will take away from a bid for an elite striker who Spurs desperately need if they want to progress in the future.

    Erik you are right. Tottenham did get lucky to even snatch a draw.

    I missed out on the Roma vs. AC Milan game, but from the looks of it, I didn’t miss much.

  8. Seattle_Loon says:

    With all due respect to Blackpool who are no pushovers that was a terrible result for Spurs. Especially after Everton had helped keep the door open for Champions League football by beating Man City.

    While a lot of people have been focused on the perceived failings of Arsenal it’s now clear that their North London rivals have also been relatively poor over the last several months. This is perhaps more disappointing since Van Der Vaart, Bale, Modric and arguably Lennon would be first-choice players at any top club.

    It looked briefly as if Spurs would do even better than to cement their top-4th finish in the EPL last year with a promising Champions League run and maybe even a flirtation with the EPL title itself.

    Well at least Man City are capricious enough that Spurs have one last chance on Tuesday in a game where they have nothing to lose.

  9. Boris says:

    Gus,

    Liverpool could still beat us for the number 5 spot from the looks of it. In any case, I am looking forward to the game. Hopefully it will be better than the atrocity I have watched today. On to City first though.

  10. Soccerlogical says:

    Most incompetent manager of the season:

    1) Avram Grant (West Ham)
    2) Jena Tigana (Bordeaux)
    3) Dave Jones (Cardiff City)
    4) Shteeve McClaren (Wofsburg)

    Any other nominees?

  11. Gus Keri says:

    Boris:

    “I missed out on the Roma vs. AC Milan game, but from the looks of it, I didn’t miss much.”

    Wrong!

    It was a very well played game. Although it ended 0-0 but there were a lot of opportunities to score. Both goal-keepers were superb.

    AC Milan’s Boateng wasted a glorious chance in the second half.

    Overall, Milan was the better team and they won the Serie A deservedly. It was their 18th title; tied with Inter on second behind Juventus with 27 titles.

  12. Gus Keri says:

    Ibrahimovic played the whole game and won his 8th consecutive league championship with 5 different clubs (9 out of last 10 seasons ).

    His enegma continues, though. He has yet to win a UCL title.

  13. Erik says:

    Soccer:

    Avram – not even close

    The scary thing is this isn’t a “one year wonder” for Avram. It’s not like he went from SAF to what he is now. He has ALWAYS been like this.

    He is to good managing what Kirstie Alley is to good health and fitness

  14. Tim says:

    @soccerlogical….add mourinho to the list…maybe not incompetent but definitely off his rocker

  15. John Bladen says:

    … just couldn’t resist the disco reference, huh?

    Well done… too bad the much anticipated MLS “battle of the elites” didn’t live up to the hype.

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