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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.


Raves and Rants – A Geezer Down the Pub, Offside Trap, Why AVB Should Stay…oops

Written by on March 7, 2012 | 21 Comments »
Posted in General

Some of the best of the soccer web with an atrocious piece thrown in now and again.

From the “New Humanist” the story of a man suing the Baptist World Alliance for depriving him of a Premier League career. He is going to need a miracle to win this one.

As the League of Ireland gets ready to kick off another season Barry Ryan sees a league that is deep financial trouble.

A ESPN story with a Harry Harris by line. It includes this magical little piece –  a source told ESPNsoccernet: “Roman wants the best in the world, so Guardiola clearly fits the bill, if he can get him of course. There have been one or two English managers names put forward, like Harry Redknapp and Glenn Hoddle, but Roman and his advisors like the men in vogue and they are usually the foreign coaches.”

Seems like a done deal to me. Wonder if the geezer down the pub has any thoughts on the England job as well.

Daniel Taylor and statistics come to the defence of Premier League officials.

Dion Fanning had some interesting thoughts on Stuart Pearce’s decision to name Scott Parker England captain against the Netherlands.

Click on cracking own goal to see one of the funniest you will ever see. I remember playing in a game when our goalkeeper attempted a drop kick clearance and a gust caught and sent it back over his own crossbar.

Simon Kuper goes all Clouseau and tries to solve the case of the missing Jules Rimet Trophy (ies) or to most people the World Cup.

Ben Lyttleton believes that Laurent Blanc has France on the right road.

Nick Harris provides the details in the Portsmouth Administrators debt report. Wait till the Rangers one is published.

Thom Watt has the seven players who have scored 20 goals in both the SPL and EPL. Make your guesses first then look.

Jonathan Wilson laid out the reasons why Chelsea and Abramovich should stick the course with Andre Villas Boas. Three days later we found out that Roman does not listen to Jonathan.

Eamon Dunphy has that nice Mr. Trapattoni in his cross-hairs again.

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21 responses to “Raves and Rants – A Geezer Down the Pub, Offside Trap, Why AVB Should Stay…oops”

  1. Rob says:

    Arsenal could’ve used Arteta in the final 30 minutes. They needed someone who could help retain possession.

  2. Rob says:

    Bobby-We hear a lot of different things about why Liverpool is so profligate and why they seem to be struggling…anything different that you could add on it? Or something that you can pin-point?

    I really do think its guys like Adam and Henderson lack of chance creation plus Liverpool’s lack of athletic ability that really hurts them when it counts the most, whether it be on the offensive end or defensive end.

  3. redfan says:

    Rants and raves eh?
    Chelsea will struggle to land a top manager after the recent events and Phil Scolari’s comments. It’s a poisoned challice and no top manager will take it………..well there is Rafa, but why Guardiola would leave what he has for what he would get under RA defies reason. He won’t touch it with a barge pole imho.

    Rob: I think all that Liverpool need to do is hire Rush as their attacking coach to work with Kenny or Kenny needs to take a more direct hand in that side of the coaching.
    I watch as many games as possible and one of the weaknesses that occurs to me is the failure to work at gaining quick possession of 2nd phase ball as an attack breaks down. I also notice far too often that there is nobody coming in on the back post when crosses come over from either side. This failure by wingers/wingbacks is linked to losing the ball after a single attack/cross. It needs addressing. Stevie G is the only one with that sort of awareness.
    The other problem I noticed last weekend was the lack of bodies in the box attacing crosses. I watched the WBA vs Chelsea game after the Arsenal loss and was amazed at how many striped shirts were in the box for corners and crosses by comparison to ours in the Arsenal box.
    Otherwise as things stand I think Suarez needs Carroll to draw some of the defenders and create some space; both need Stevie G working in the space behind them creating and supporting and we need more from our wingers.
    As said, an attack minded coach or Kenny has to take a stronger hand in the training sessions if Clarke and Kean don’t get it.

    That’s my rant or ten penneth worth.

    Messi was amazing but Leverkusan did not look up to much. Tella must have a pretty good CL scoring average now lol.

    I wonder what will becomes of the council of Europe’s words reported on the BBC today? Requesting FIFA to investigate itself, again, I doubt will come to much. Bit like asking Blatter to investigate himself.
    As for the recommendation for football clubs to be forbidden to take sponsorship from any companies linked to ownership, well it might hit Man City but it will need rule changes and careful wording to become effective; will that then be retrospective or leave Man City with 400 million and everyone else looking in unable to do same?
    Be interesting to see what FIFA and UEFA do in response.

  4. redfan says:

    Oh and will Lyon fire their coach after today’s loss and hire AVB?

  5. Based on the stats it is chance conversion not chance creation that is the problem. Adam is up there in terms of assists and I don’t understand why so many fans who were non critical of signing Henderson are now pissing on him. If he was signed – and accepted as – as a young English prospect I don’t see why after 8 months he should be dropped.
    He is going to be Liverpool’s version of James Milner – reliable, keeps the ball reasonably well and has good positional sense. Nothing much more, nothing much less. Is that worth $27M? Liverpool fans would have us believe it was last summer.

  6. Soccerlogical says:

    Bobby – Sorry, I do not see Henderson’s “ability” developing into a James Milner. Milner is much more versatile, imposing on the pitch/tackler, better shot and more technical. I see Henderson developing into a Joey Barton with a better attitude… at best.

    Are you as excited for the MAN U vs BILBAO match as I am? 🙂

  7. Astronomer says:

    The Ben Lyttleton piece was interesting. For the last one year or so, France has become my second national team (due to the influence of my significant other — she is from that country).

    I was impressed with France’s performance against the Germans — especially, their offensive performance in the second half did have the Germans on the ropes periodically (well, somewhat). And, yes, Nasri did put in a good show.

    I still have doubts about Blanc’s team selection. He rates Arsenal’s Diaby highly?? I have always felt that diabolical Diaby is a (tactical) disaster waiting to happen and, in Blanc’s mind, this guy is a serious contender for a midfield starting place!

    Similarly, Blanc’s frequent selection of Evra is another one that makes me queasy. Evra’s form (as evidenced by his performances in recent months for Man Ure) has dipped quite significantly — and yet he remains a strong candidate for a starter position!

    I wish Blanc well, but the above issues make me worried.


  8. Shane Boyd says:

    Spot on with the Liverpool chance conversion Bobby. My mate at LFC View has showed me the statistics and LFC are one of the worst in the league. Suarez isn’t a natural finisher & Carroll still not high on confidence.

    Interesting to see how poor Adams has been at set pieces, looks like a complete lack of confidence too.

    Henderson is being played out of position and is still very young. He has displayed excellent technique at times and seems to be a mature player for his age. Being played out of position in a side that has so many struggling players is no basis to judge him.

    I remember Dunphy having similar criticisms of Charlton and McCarthy, yet all the best Irish football memories were a result of them. Giles even had a go himself at “playing football”, but there weren’t any results.

  9. redfan says:

    Danger of knocking young potential, especially so quickly into a new season and career step, is that the player might do a Lucas. Look at what he achieved in the face of so much vitriol thru his first two seasons.
    Any new team needs time to blend and settle and the Liverpool side right now still needs some time. Rome only burned in a day and to expect miracles from 7 new signings, well I think we are doing ok considering the time frames. I am not liking what I am seeing from Henderson but I am not writing him off yet. Kenny will make changes in the summer and I can see two or three leaving and 3 or 4 coming in to strengthen midfield and attack. Any plsyers showing a lack of zeal to play for the shirt will be out the door no matter what their worth or status……remember Torres and Moreilles.
    Time is key and I am watching not the league right now but the FA cup. I think the team really fancy their chances and it will interesting to see how hard they go at Stoke next week. Time will tell.

  10. JRob says:

    Agree with all the comments about Liverpool. Interesting too to see how important Lucas is to Liverpool. Up to his injury Liverpool looked like they were progressing. Since then results have been worse not better. His industry and efficiency almost give Liverpool the equivalent of an extra player in midfield.

    Beyond that it all comes down to being able to perform under pressure. I am repeating myself but Danny Murphy said after Liverpool had beaten Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage at the end of last season that their players might find it hard to do so well playing under greater expectations. He was 100% right.

  11. Rob says:

    “Based on the stats it is chance conversion not chance creation that is the problem.”

    Yes and no. They are having trouble converting penalties which is something that should be converted but chances missed like Martin Kelly had against Arsenal are very rare. Its usually like the one Kuyt had where he collided with the goalkeeper and it ran towards the goal and hit the post.

    There is rarely a chance in which Liverpool have created actual GILT-EDGED chances. Those are quite different than half-chances like Stewart Downing’s volley into the stands.

    ” Adam is up there in terms of assists”

    Meh. Adam does have six assists. Lets take a look at those. He had a great game against Wolves(I thought he was going to turn it around then so I started to shut up about him but lo and behold…) with two assists and he also had the great cross to Suarez against QPR for the winner(3). Then there is the Johnson goal against Chelsea(he had absolutely zero to do with that but still gets an assist)(4), and then he had the corner for Skrtel’s goal against Bolton and the cross to Suarez from a free kick in the opener. That is Adam’s production for Liverpool.

    And if you think its been Liverpool missing sitters with Adam’s distribution, you’d be wrong. He doesn’t create, he is very jittery on the ball when pressed(which ends up with him giving away the ball half the time) and he is terrible at defending. Oh and those set pieces and corners? Sir Alex must be laughing to himself.

    “I don’t understand why so many fans who were non critical of signing Henderson are now pissing on him. If he was signed – and accepted as – as a young English prospect I don’t see why after 8 months he should be dropped.”

    Thats kind of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of thing. If you slate the signing you will get guff for not giving the boy a chance. If you wait and give him a chance and he’s been crap a lot of the time(more on that later)
    and then criticize him, you get things like this. Personally, I didn’t like signing because he never did anything that impressed me. Of course I never really “scouted” him or really took an in-depth look to him so I gave him a chance.

    Now that I’ve seen him play in a Liverpool shirt for 7 months, I’m not impressed at all. Could he improve? Of course. But there are too many mistakes that are school-boy mistakes to think that he will make a mighty change. After watching that special of him on the Soccer AM tricks show, you can tell he has a bit of a prima donna attitude.

    ” reliable, keeps the ball reasonably well and has good positional sense.”

    Is he any of those? I know he doesn’t keep the ball well. Him and Adam are our two biggest culprits of giving the ball away. I think that run against Arsenal is the first time I’ve seen him make a run behind the defence in an intelligent way but other than that very rarely do you see him being in a good position on-the-ball or off-the-ball, on the offense or on the defense.

    Its why its crazy to listen to people slate Downing. I would say those traits suit Downing more than Henderson, which is why I don’t berate Downing and his “lack” of production.

    Any case, I think Liverpool need a creative midfielder and either a winger or a striker. They need to improve the chances that are created and they need someone on the right that can bring balance to this side.

    I do feel Liverpool is very close though.

  12. Ed Gomes says:

    Great article on Fox Soccer today, by Brian Fobi.
    It goes into the self imposed segregation by Bilbao. It also delves into the whole Spain, Cantalonian and Basque regions/rivalries and how they represent more that just a football club.
    You can very well call it racist or if you to be softer, separatist, but there is some charm to the thought of a totally “local” club. Let’s all be clear that the charm quickly goes always with all the hate that is spewed at matches.

    For me, the marketplace will always dictate these kind of beliefs. I doubt anyone would care about how Bilbao runs its club if they were in the 2nd or 3rd division.
    Keep in mind hat Real Sociedad, currently sitting 12th, is also in La Liga.
    Let me add that Bilbao just might not change what they are doing even if they were to get relegated. It’s also impressive how much talent they have been able to organize in the Basque region.

    Wrong or right? I don’t now and frankly I don’t want to go down that road. I much rather enjoy watching a wonderful team play. Sometimes sport should be just sport.

  13. Soccerlogical says:

    I really can’t see either Pep or Jose willing to “work” for Abramovich, regardless of what that unstable oligarch promises or offers. Firing Ancelloti put off lots of top managers and soccer “elders”.

    What are the chances of Wenger and RvP going to Bayern should Arsenal not finish top 4 and the natives start getting restless? I think the missing piece at Munich is a world class CF to replace Gomez who only score when its served on a plate.

    On a side note, Podolski signs for Arsenal, IMO it’s 50/50 for success. Clearly Wenger prefers players from France and Germany in the £10M range due to his Strasbourg roots where there is a heavy German influence.

  14. Astronomer says:

    This is in reference to your first post about Man Ure versus Athletic Bilbao. I sincerely hope that for the sake of the EPL, Sir Alejandro takes this game seriously.

    If Man Ure loses at home to Athletico Bilbao, then all the La Liga-worshiping low lives and trolls would come out in troves proclaiming how that result further proves that La Liga is superior to the EPL.

  15. Ed Gomes says:

    Why are La Liga followers low lives or trolls?
    I happen to follow several European leagues and I would say there’s more, so called, trolls that follow the EPL than La Liga.
    For your information there’s plenty of crap football being payed in the EPL, as there is throughout Europe. That doesn’t diminish the great football in any league.
    Unbelievable comment.

    I actually apologize for giving this post any attention. I happen to outright ignore trolls.

  16. Astronomer says:

    I just noticed that I had made a typo in my previous post.

    I wrote: “……in troves……”

    I meant to write: “……in droves…..”

    I don’t like making such mistakes.

  17. Ed Gomes says:

    As a Man United supporter, I am truly troubled by the recent run of form. Chelsea was allowed to came back from 3-0, Looked awful verse the Spurs and absolutely let Bilbao boss the game.
    Very fortunate to get that penalty in order to make it somewhat acceptable.

    I know that Liverpool and Arsenal have been getting killed for their player transfers/choices, but Man United has gotten a pass. Their midfielders just aren’t good enough at this point. We are depending on Scholes and Giggs. Scholes does bring a ton of experience and leadership, but he has the habit of costing us plenty as well. Everybody became enamored, myself included, with Jones and but DeGea has faced a ton of shots. The midfield doesn’t close out fast enough are our defense is lacking, no matter how the youngsters have showed.

    All credit to Bilbao and the job they did.
    I will not be easy for Man United at La Catedral.

  18. Astronomer says:

    Ed Gomes,
    You wrote: “Chelsea was allowed to came back from 3-0.”


    Chelsea were leading 3-0. Then with the help of two Howard Webb-mandated penalties, Man Ure ended up tying the game.

    Thus, it was Chelsea that “allowed” Man Ure to come back into the game.

    You are making up your own facts, my friend.

  19. Ed Gomes says:

    ou’re right about getting my thoughts crossed.
    I was trying to make the point that they played badly verse a very down Chelsea squad.
    I do love how all of a sudden they weren’t penalties. Lol.

    Speaking of trolls.

  20. Ed Gomes says:

    A lot of talk of City going after Higuain.
    I say here that areal will pay for the ticket if reported amount is correct.

  21. Ed Gomes says:

    Also, why all of the excitement over Podolski. Are people still on the memories of him with the German Int’l squad? Which he’s been bypassed in.
    Bayern gave up on him and he went back to his roots at Koln. He has 16 goals in 20 matches for a team in a relegation battle. He was mediocre last season and even worst the previous one. Let’s just say that the last three seasons have been as nondescript as the ones at Bayern.
    He’s 26 years old with a transfer clause of 35 mil euros. Yes that ultimately means nothing, but what are you getting for the reported 13 mil?
    Is this what you want to replace RvP or to sit rotting on the bench?

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