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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 Giant, Overrated Players, Racism, Salaries, Construction Problems and Even Some Football

Written by on November 2, 2011 | 8 Comments »
Posted in General

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

Anyone interested in how Tony Adams is doing in Azerbaijan? Les Rosbifs can answer that one.

Michael Cox writes about the career and impact of Andrea the Giant.

John Sinnott writes on the evils or virtues of third-party ownership of players.

Ian Winwood looks back at the annual NFL game at Wembley and at how quickly the lustre has faded.

When Richard Scudamore announced his ludicrous 39th Premier League game proposal there were are a number of people who quickly pointed to the NFL/London experience as a reason to support Scudamore.

I wonder if they would now be so quick to use the NFL as a bellwether?

This article by Tom Pyman is bound to generate discussion – he lists his ten most overrated players in the Barclay’s Premier League. Agree, disagree, any to add?

The 40 biggest scandals ever to hit the game or so the headline claims.

Wow, all but two in the last 20 years and over a third of them involving the game in England. What a corrupt society we have become, especially it would seem in England. Or is it more a case of a weak grasp of history beyond the obvious?

Gabriele Marcotti on the accusations against Suarez and Terry and the rush to judgement based on their history.

If you don’t know the name “Glenbuck Cherrypickers” then you should automatically fail your Liverpool supporter test.

Has anyplace so small produced so many professional footballers? Over a period of 50 years a village of 1,000 produced around 50 professional players.

Alas the village of Glenbuck was abandoned many years ago.

Six decades on and the time-crunch of renovating the Maracana in Rio is strikingly similar to that faced by the original builders says the BBC.

Soccermetrics looks at the correlation between the salaries paid out by MLS teams and their finishing position in the league.

Keir Radnedge suggests that the ongoing legal battle being fought out between FC Sion and UEFA calls into question the position of the Court of Arbitration for Sport as a neutral arbiter.

Just one of an avalanche of articles we can expect this week covering a quarter of a century of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. Soccer Report Extra may even have one later this week. This one from the Daily Telegraph.

The art of defending is coming under increasing criticism in the Premier League and Mina Rzouki says it is the same in Serie A.

Monday’s Fox Soccer Report had video of the incident. Here are Jonathan Wilson’s thoughts on the attack on George Galamaz of Steaua.

A piece from Louise Taylor on the changed face of Newcastle football.

A very interesting piece that breaks down viewing figures for the Premier League from Sporting Intelligence.

Quote #1

“Our commitment to the beautiful game in Canada goes beyond just what you see or hear on our various platforms. Soccer is the No. 1 participatory sport in Canada and we will continue our longstanding commitment to fostering the growth of the game in this country through grassroots initiatives like Soccer Day in Canada and Sports Day in Canada.”

Kirstine Stewart, executive vice-president, CBC English Services upon learning that Bell Media had secured the rights to FIFA properties, including the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals.

Anyone who calls it the “beautiful game” should be instantly disqualified from being within a mile of a match let alone being granted permission to broadcast.

Quote #2

“Bale’s club manager, Harry Redknapp, has said he would have no problem with the 22-year-old turning out for a British team.”If that’s what he wants, then I wouldn’t stop him playing,” Redknapp said. “I think it’s a great honour for anyone to play in an Olympic Games. It must be fantastic, something to look back on for years to come.

“To play in the Olympic Games in England, I think it would be a great honour for any player. I certainly wouldn’t stop anyone going.””

This from the Guardian after Gareth Bale of Wales was part of a promotional photo-shoot that had him wearing a Great Britain jersey.

Well not quite a GB jersey but something that Adidas had mocked up.

Anyhow – let’s just file this one away and let’s see how Harry feels in nine months time after Bale gets injured or is looking tired only a couple of months into the season.

Will Harry still be as positive about Olympic soccer then?

Sam Wallace has a far better handle on what Olympic soccer actually means.

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8 responses to “Raves and Rants – A Giant, Overrated Players, Racism, Salaries, Construction Problems and Even Some Football”

  1. J Rob says:

    Re: Tom Pyman’s article on over-rated players surely no list is complete without Glen Johnson of Liverpool? His arrival at Anfield two seasons ago prompted the concession of a parade of soft-goals. He’s improved in the last year but it’s hard to see how he will ever justify his $24 million price-tag. Going forward I can’t remember his last assist or goal. Added to that he is extremely injury-prone.

    Who would you add to the list?

    For fantasy managers this season is there a more over-rated player than Leighton Baines? He did hit the bar at the weekend but ten weeks in and no goals or assists. And defensively Everton haven’t looked nearly as strong as in previous seasons.

  2. what about overrated clubs
    My list,
    QPR- just because you have a big owner and had a funny game against Chelsea doesnt mean you are a top club, why are QPR’s games showcased.
    Juventus- The OLd lady is better and growing but not their yet, it will take time,
    Lille- Just because they won ligue 1 doesnt mean lille isnt a feeder club still, ligue 1 is very managed, clubs do not spend over themselves too deeply.

    MLS is financially managed to not let money dictate, much to the chagrin of Henry and Beckham at times.
    Though if you look at the fact that la won the supporters shield two years in a row and toronto has been the canadian representative for three 3 years in a row, the money has some value.

    that is true, NESTA did score!!! great point, i didnt consider it had ben 2 years. But it is all over UEFA, I will say it again, when Inter beat Barca with defense the media ignored or negated Inter’s defensive quality and skill and praised Barca as having two bad days.

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    Ever wondered why subs are made to warm up in different coloured tops? check out Lavezzi v Catania:

  4. John Bladen says:

    Overrated is a bit of a double edged term to use. It doesn’t, for example, mean the players named are useless… just not worthy of the adulation the British Press (and fans) heap on them. Who’s fault is that? The player or the press?

    I would say it’s a bit early to put Nasri in the overrated category, and a meaningless profundity to explain that “he looked better when playing with Fabregas”. I would too, if only just.

    It’s hard for me to accept Bale on Pyman’s list. He may be overrated by some pundits, but he is a great player. Barry & Crouch, on the other hand, deserve a place there (possibly even co #1). Crouch should do better in the air, fair enough. But nobody who has ever selected him for anything did it for his general footballing skills… but for height advantage alone. And Barry, well, glad Pyman mentioned the Germany game. I still laugh when I think about that one. IF this is the best England has, oh god…

    As for Crouch collecting most of his goals when playing the Faroe Islands or Andorra, well, that would be true of most internationals on top 25 ranked teams. It’s easier to score against bad teams and hopeless defenses – in any sport.

    Additions? Well, if overrated means overpaid and unworthy of a first team place… too many to mention…

    Re: the issue of calamitous defending, it isn’t something peculiar to the EPL or to football in general. The rise of the multimillionaire teenager in the sports world (and by extension, the international trade in footballers who’ve proved nothing as of yet) has lead to skewed training methods and programs. Young players with a particular gift these days are no longer forced to become complete players before earning first team places. Instead, they are encouraged to develop that one gift (be it pace, shooting, set pieces etc) and rushed to the PL asap. Thus we have some top level defenders who don’t know where to position themselves and really can’t tackle properly.

    This is true in all sports. If you follow baseball, you’ll find any number of elite players who make the most fundamental of fielding errors. List some of the highest paid NBA players and then look at their free throw percentage or foul frequency. While there are a few complete players around, most are anything but.

    I’d agree with J Rob, though. Johnson has to be on the list. If you are selecting an England team and his name is on the first XI, you really ought to think about skipping the tournament… In present form I’d add Terry, Torres & Carroll too. Really, every team has one or two highly paid and highly touted players who you believe the manager would secretly love to be rid of. You really could fill a notebook with the names of players who aren’t as good as advertised.

  5. J Rob says:

    John – good points.

    Re: the poor defending it’s interesting and probably not surprising to note that the most improved EPL team this year are Newcastle. I read a good article recently explaining that Alan Pardew insists on separate coaching sessions for his defenders. He drills in the importance of positioning at all times and stresses not straying up the field unless someone provides coverage for you. The results are there for all to see.

  6. Blake says:

    Seems the over rated tag was mixed up with other terms that should have been applied next to some of the players on that list.

    There is a lot of HYPE around Phil Jones.
    There seems to be a pool of POTENTIAL under Theo Walcott that he hasn’t dipped much into.
    I’m not sure many people would rate David Luiz that highly.
    Nasri hasn’t settled yet, took him a while at Arsenal remember?
    Why is Modric on the list?
    I think we all learned our lesson with Bale last year. He is a bit over rated.
    Who even watches Gareth Barry play? He is so BORING.
    Jordan Henderson is clearly over rated lol. Number 1 for me.
    Michael Dawson and Daniel Sturridge are over rated.

    Re: JT and Suarez. I don’t put it past either of them really. Yeah, they have a history of “theft” and not “fraud” but both players have the evil inside them to do what they are accused of, you can feel it. Even if they are found falsely guilty I think most fans can agree they had it coming. Suarez is a great player, but if I have to keep watching some of these pathetic decisions he keeps making, i’d prefer just get him out of the EPL, send him to Real Madrid for a nice profit.

  7. Alberta Gooner says:

    Loved the quote from Kirstine Stewart. She’s the same CBC executive that proposed a BBC-style television levy on Canadians to raise more money for the CBC, which would presumably to use to bid against private broadcasters for the rights to air the World Cup.

  8. Ed Gomes says:

    I was excited to read and rip it apart the “Most Overrated” and make additions that I thought would be clearly missed.
    To my surprised I agree with all the selections.

    A few notes
    I think that Luiz will settle in. I watched him at Benfica and he was always prone to the silly foul or needless yellow. As for his stature and play in the middle, I think that it will grow over time.
    I know that it’s crazy to say after such a nice match vs Chelsea, but Walcott is just a tease. He has pace and ….. That’s right, not much else. Verse Chelsea he had good movement to go along with his pace. He also crossed the ball well and shot on target. The question that everyone should be asking is when will we see that again. On most nights he just disappoints.
    I can only guess that Barry starts at City to fill some sort of British quota. Maybe it’s Mancini’s way to undermine England’s squad. City wins, Barry played, he must start for England.
    Bale is very intriguing to me. Is he another Walcott? Although I agree that he has become overhyped, I wonder if his deficiencies have more to do with the Spurs. I’ve never thought of Harry as a great manager. Maybe he is for a small club, but not one that wants to contend. Bale is basically given the ball and told to go ahead and do something. No movement, no setting up, no support, just here you take it.

    A few left off
    Lamps is nowhere near form. He should have retired from the Int’l squad and concentrated on club football. Instead he’s running himself to the ground and looking more and more depressed. Yes he can bring experience and leadership on the field, but he just can’t bring it every match. Mata now rules the middle, and Lamps is a sub.
    John Terry has also looked past it. He just hasn’t looked good at all, and that’t not putting any blame on him for the goal vs Arsenal. His persona is getting the best of him, and I don’t think that he’s going to deal with a demotion in skill and play, well. This one will end badly.
    On a side note, there are a lot of center backs throughout Europe that have all of a sudden dropped in form.

    What took place in Romenia is ridiculous. The FA’s are either completely incompetent or afraid of the “Ultra’s” that have taken over. In Italy people are staying away from games in droves. In Portugal you saw golf balls being thrown at players.
    It’s crazy, and until clubs start realizing that these so called “fans” actually cost the club money, nothing will change.

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