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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.


McCarthy Vindicated Sort Of; Diame Deserved Better; Liverpool Wasteful

Written by on October 22, 2011 | 9 Comments »
Posted in General, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Wigan Athletic, Wolverhampton Wanderers

Howls of derision and chants of “you don’t now what you’re doing” greeted the decision by Wolves boss McCarthy to make a double substitution with his side trailing Swansea 2-0 and only 22 minutes left.

As turned out McCarthy might not have known what he was doing in sending out his original eleven but his double substitution worked. Matt Jarvis and Adam Hammill had been extremely ineffective and their crosses into the Swansea penalty box were not particularly threatening.

Two goals late in the game turned the jeers to cheers and the goals came from Wolves creating more chances. That came from Wolves reshuffled midfield enjoying more control and also playing closer  to the Swansea goal. Wolves created 6 chances in the first 68 minutes and another 5 in the last 22 minutes.

You can see the change in the pattern of passing in the final attacking third before and after the double substitution. Less long balls launched and more success through the middle.

Newcastle left it late but a Yohan Cabaye goal was all that was needed to beat Wigan 1-0 and to maintain Newcastle’s great start to the season. Wigan can feel hard done by and deserved to leave with a point. They matched Newcastle in every category and area of the field except the one that matters the most – goals scored.

Wigan’s Mohamed Diame was outstanding in the midfield and along with David Jones and Ben Watson the superior numbers subdued  Tiote and Cabaye.

Diame rarely gave the ball away (33 of 36 passes for 92%) and he was the game’s most productive tackler winning  6 of his 7 tackles.

Liverpool dropped another two points for the second consecutive week and they have only themselves to blame. They created chance after chance but failed to hit the target. On the other hand Norwich threatened less often but made the best of the opportunities when they arose.

One of the features of the game was the match-up between Luis Suarez and Norwich centre back Leon Barnett. Suarez was his usual array of twists, turns, nutmegs, and histrionics. He was a constant threat to Norwich never hesitating to take defenders on and more times than not in dangerous areas.

Well over a third of Liverpool’s attempts on goal came from Suarez and two-thirds of their attempts on target.

Leon Barnett fought a constant rear-guard action but in the end he will be happy to have kept Suarez scoreless.

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9 responses to “McCarthy Vindicated Sort Of; Diame Deserved Better; Liverpool Wasteful”

  1. jimsakeeper says:

    Bobby – can we get the legend on the Barnett chart?


  2. Jimsakeeper – it won’t transfer automatically. Here is the manual version.
    Yellow X – successful tackle
    Purple X – Failed tackle
    Green diamond – interception
    Purple I – Block
    Orange o – Successful clearance
    Purple o – Failed clearance
    Orange inverted v – successful aerial dual
    Purple inverted v – failed aerial dual
    Blue arrow – Successful pass
    Red arrow – Failed pass

  3. John Bladen says:

    Was I the only one thinking Suarez earned at least two yellows for dissent and a third for diving (not alone in the last, at least)?

    Patience and tolerance are virtues, but Mr. Walton (?) really ought not to have let such an unsporting performance go unpunished.

  4. J says:

    I hope Eoin is ready to brush-up on his Italian accent for the Podcast (can’t wait).

    Mancini, postgame:

    “I like we play good today. Many player were good. Is very important for win and we have respect…uh…the United. I understand they no like the noise. So quiet in this place”.

    “I take out Mario because…uh…day like today many player can score goal. So Dzeko he score…and Sergio he score. And Mama get one. She try so hard, you know”.

  5. Soccerlogical says:

    J – Thanks for the laugh!

    Perhaps Roberto Benigni will play Mancini in his life story entitled…. Scarfini?

    PS has there ever been a more diverse and potent striker trio than Mario, Kun and Dzeko?

  6. Gus Keri says:


    Best post ever

    Especially this: “I understand they no like the noise. So quiet in this place”

  7. Gus Keri says:

    With Houston beating LA Galaxy today, the MLS play-off match-ups have been decided.

    Wild card game: (one game)

    Dallas vs NYRB
    Colorado vs Columbus

    The quarterfinals: (home and away series)

    1- Houston vs Philadelphia
    2- Seattle vs Real Salt Lake

    The other two quartefianls match ups depend on the result of Dallas vs NYRB game.

    If Dallas win:

    3- LA Galaxy vs (winner of Colorado/Columbus)
    4- Kansas City vs Dallas

    If NYRB win:

    3- LA Galaxy vs NYRB
    4- Kansas City vs (winner of Colorado/Columbus)

    The semifinals: (one game)

    winner 3 vs winner 2
    winner 4 vs winner 1

  8. Erik says:

    Gus – I made a rather large bet on Houston over the Galaxy expecting to see what we saw. Houston came to win – LA came to run around the park for 90 minutes

  9. Roberto Manita says:

    Well done J. Brilliant stuff. I lika. I lika a lot. Si 🙂

    Even Mama Celeste scora a goal. Bravo.

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