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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 – Beckham In The Headline Because Everyone Else Does It

Written by on January 10, 2011 | 21 Comments »
Posted in General

Best Reads
A mini-compilation of some of the best articles and blog postings from the last week.

Ian Plenderleith at WSC on the fault lines of reasoning being used to justify a cameo appearance by David Beckham at White Hart Lane.

Rob Hughes on Kaka and Xavi.

Giancarlo Rinaldi looks back at the great and very entertaining Parma side of the 90s and in particular their rivalry with Juventus.

Rob Paton looks at some of the Serie A players who may be available on Bosman transfers this summer if their clubs cannot convince then to move for a fee in this transfer window.

The 100 most watched sporting events in 2010 on US TV.

A piece from Private Eye (through Transparency in Sport)

The clubs share of World Cup Finals money from FIFA.

Hey big spender – Premier League wage bills for the top 5 spending clubs since 2006

“The other day one of the major tabloids in England came out with a pearler of an exclusive, a sensational story that had the FA in talks with David Beckham about becoming ‘Arry’s No.2. This is where blind optimism just gets stupid. It wasn’t so much a scoop as a PR job, a piece of fluff that made you wonder if Beckham’s greatest ability has more to do with manipulating the media rather than bending a football.”

Tom English writing in the Scotsman of Sunday. The full article is worth a read as well.

Curmudgeon Corner

“Reports out of the Netherlands this morning indicate that former Dutch international Aron Winter has signed a three-year deal to become Toronto FC’s new technical director and first-team coach. The move allows Canada’s first Major League Soccer club to move closer to its vision of replicating the Total Football philosophy of the great Ajax sides of the 1970s, a club where Winter has learned his trade as an assistant for the past five years.”

Last Monday’s Globe and Mail. Where do they get rubbish like this from?  TFC has a vision of playing Total Football – that is a stunner.  No it is not a stunner, it is just the dumbest thing I have read for some time…….oh here we go with a Dumb Double-Header

“The AD Sportwereld writer did offer up a possible clue as to Winter’s MLS prospects, though, referring up the case of former Ajax teammate Johan van’t Schip. The Netherlands assistant to Marco van Basten at World Cup 2006 left that post two years ago to become the manager at Australian expansion side Melbourne Heat. Van ‘t Schip already has the team battling in mid-table, and considering the relatively small budget sizes and player acquisition rules Down Under, Wijffels surmised that Winter could have a similar positive impact in building a Total Football annex in Toronto.” – This is certainly an encouraging analogy for Toronto FC fans. They must be chomping at the bit at the prospect of their team playing Total Football and rising to the dizzy heights of mid-table. Anyone who tries to tie “Total Football” to a team of today did not see the Dutch team of the 70s nor do they understand the concept and why it worked it then. Otherwise, they would not dare to even utter the words.

Glad to see Sounder at Heart else feels the same way as I do.

Jonathan De Guzman wants to play for Toronto FC. Obviously he has seen the money that his brother pockets for contributing nothing.


“Comments from alcoholic drug abusers are not really gonna upset me and who is Paul Merson to judge players, he was average at the best of times. The only reason he’s on that show is coz he gambled all his money away. The clown!”

So wrote the toilet seat stealing Liverpool full back Glen Johnson after Merson criticized Johnson’s performances this season.

“Howard Webb’s kids have denied their father is a Manchester United fan. “He’s totally unbiased” stated Alex, Bobby, George & Cristiano!”

From Soccerdemics.

Fun Bit

“In case you missed the news over the holiday period, Gary Neville has resubmitted the plan for his futuristic carbon-neutral home-hub near Bolton which was turned down by the local council last June. The main change is that the wind turbine will now be only 100 feet high rather than 130 feet. A final decision is due in the spring – if it’s rejected again, Gary is going to live up a tree.”

From Ross Burton and included in the Howler from WSC.


“Avram Grant reveals his lucky scarf is behind West Ham’s revival”

The Guardian on Wednesday just prior to West Ham getting thrashed 5-0 away to Newcastle. How easily a lucky scarf can morph into an unlucky noose. As a follow up try Harry Pearson’s article on football superstitions and Fergie’s lucky underpants.


How often to hear commentators prattling on about revenge? A win after a loss is not revenge for anything unless it is a two-legged tie and you ultimately win. It is an even more ridiculous concept when applied to a Stevenage side playing Newcastle 13 years after they last played in the FA Cup.

How quickly things change in the world of David Beckham or just take it all with a pinch of salt?

Friday 8:06 am – Loan move

Saturday 8:09 pm – Permanent move

Sunday 7:15 am Just training

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21 responses to “Raves and Rants – Beckham In The Headline Because Everyone Else Does It”

  1. Gus Keri says:

    Few points:

    The fact that Liverpool is 4th on the list speaks highly of the level of talents in the squad and strongly indicate how badly was managed.

    Even Barcelona, the team that play the most beautiful soccer in the world, can’t play “total football”.

    In the Asian Cup, Australia beat India 4-0. They totally dominated the game.
    It’s only in Asian cup finals, you see the 26th ranked team in the world play the 142nd ranked team. The winner of the Challenge Cup should not have an automatic birth in the finals. At best, they can join the final stages of the qualification.
    Imagine if Bin Hammam win FIFA presidency and get his way. We might see The USA playing Afghanistan in the World Cup finals.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Rodrigo Beilfuss. Rodrigo Beilfuss said: RT @SREcom: Raves and Rants with Curmudgeon Corner. Remember to watch the Fox Soccer Report tonight. […]

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    The training with TOT proposal is even stranger than Beckham playing for them.

    Why train with a “sexy” EPL team when you are on vacation and your own training/season starts soon??????????????

    To show the media how “committed” and “professional” he is in maintaining his fitness in order to angle for a place in the Euros and WC squad.


    GO AWAY!!!!!!


    do you find it ironic two players from the same team one trying everything to take another bite of the apple past his prime.the other one in his prime with a chance to play in the EPL and he says he is to tired so he needs some time off.

  5. Derek Taylor says:

    Not sure if I agree that Beckham’s pove is “pure” self-promotion. Since AEG and Tottenham are bed-fellows over the 2012 Olympic stadium, I’m sure that is playing a substantial part in this.

  6. Derek Taylor says:

    ….Just caught story denying the Olympic stadium link. Tee hee.

    Anyway…as in Ian Plenderleith’s piece that you’ve linked, I’ve found myself wanting to say “doesn’t Beckham owe the Galaxy more?” The thing is, none of these deals would have happened without the Galaxy’s blessing. So I think I lean more to the thought that LA is getting exactly what it deserves for the money it has paid him. And they must be getting significant value from each deal.

    After Becks tore his Achilles with Milan, why would they ever loan him out again?

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    Derek – How exactly does Beckham training at Tottenham benefit or relate to the AEG/TOT/2012 Olympic Stadium? Are you saying that AEG will “assist” TOT with the new stadium if TOT allow Beckham to train in England? I don’t see the point of the guy training at a high profile EPL club before Galaxy preseason begins, except to stay under the English media spotlight.

    Help me out here.

  8. GFYR – Two players from same team?

  9. Soccerlogical says:

    I’d love to see Beckham in the WC.

    I can imagine a scenario where England are drawing in the semis (with the likes of Argentina) and Lennon goes down. Since Adam Johnson wasn’t called up because of the “Beckham Card”, Capello subs in Beckham, who then either gets skinned by Di Maria or once again shows his on field cowardliness and stupidity by fouling the likes of Pastore and either getting sent off or giving up a free kick which leads to England losing in the semis by a goal.


  10. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    Beckham and Donovan!

  11. GFYR – sorry stunned moment. Not really when you consider that Beckham is at the stage where he will soon have a lot of time to rest. You always try and pack as much in as the end approaches.

  12. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    i guess my point was why would Landon pass up a chance to be on the highest level of soccer.he will have 30+ years to rest when his career is over.then you have David working his butt off to get back.maybe if i was an professional athlete i would understand Landon’s choice.

  13. You can say that about any athlete but you cannot bust your butt and expect that you’re body will hold up indefinitely. Donovan has put a lot more mileage on than Beckham has over the last three seasons and he is not at the stage of his career where a coach will use him sparingly.

    Just go back a few years and remember what happened to Beckham when he started to burn the candle at both ends. Flights, games, no break – body broke down.

  14. Derek Taylor says:

    Soccerlogical – Everyone in England (by which I mean the papers, bid committees and other tall foreheads) seems to think Beckham can help sway opinion in their favor. Him being the one to hand Blatter the England bid is the latest indication of that. AEG can lend Tottenham a halo for a month or so, and they have chosen to do so. Tottenham and AEG are already in bed where the Olympic Stadium is concerned. And having Becks in the spotlight certainly won’t hurt their cause…more attention for the club, more goodwill that he will spread, more hearts that will melt in Beckham’s warm glow.

    In the end I have a tough time believing the move is all about football, for all the reasons that have been mentioned about this move not making much sense from a football perspective.

  15. Gus Keri says:

    Is Donovan considering appearing on “Dancing with the stars”? This might be the reason why he stayed here instead of going to England.
    He didn’t do it last fall, probably because LA Galaxy was in the play-off race. But this winter, he should be fine with MLS in the preseason and early stages.

  16. Bobby,
    Newcastle tried to move an FA Cup fixture away from a small club’s ground in 1998. 13 years later, that club, while not having any players from that 1998 squad still playing, still do play at that same small ground. NUFC insulted Stevenage (Borough) 13 years ago by trying to contravene over a centuries-worth of procedure in a competition. So why wouldn’t current Stevenage players have more incentive to beat such a club? Maybe the word ‘revenge’ isn’t the best description, but I am pretty sure that the Stevenage players knew about how Dalglish and NUFC considered Broadhall Way, and by extension, Stevenage, as sub-par. You can’t call what NUFC tried to do 13 years ago as anything other than an insult to Stevenage, especially when one considers that two years before that, in 1996, Stevenage were prevented from rightfully joining the Football League, after they finished first in the Conference, because certain improvements to Broadhall Way weren’t completed ‘in time’. But Stevenage Borough did get the required improvements done before the start of the next season, but they were not allowed to join the League. It took Stevenage 14 seasons to finally get into the League.

    In 1998, 2 years after Stevenage were shafted, NUFC were exploiting that stigma that Stevenage had a sub-par ground, and tried to get an unfair advantage by having the fixture moved for ‘safety’. How can that not be relevant to players playing on Stevenage today?

  17. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    All I can think about when looking at that graph of Liverpool’s spending is buying Robbie Keane for 21 million pounds and then selling him back to Tottenham 6 months later for something like 12-14 million. What made it worse was that Rafa did that without a backup option and played the rest of the season thin up front.

    In regards to Mr. Beckham, why would anyone be surprised by this Tottenham publicity saga? I think the last time he was aquired for purely football reasons was his loan deal to Preston North End. He has a remarkable ability to find mutually beneficial agreements with clubs that want to use him for his fame, which in return allows him to stay relevant in the football world.

  18. BillT – I can’t remember the commentator describing anything to do with moving the previous fixture. He was prattling on about gaining revenge for losing 13 years before. The point I was trying to make is that no matter what Stevenage did the result was still in the books.

  19. Gus Keri says:

    Rossoneri Red Devil

    I am sorry. I should have clarified my point better.

    I wasn’t talking about that graph.

    I was referring to the FIFA payments to clubs for their players’ participation in the world cup.
    Liverpool got more money than Real Madird, Man Utd, Arsenal and Inter.
    It’s not completely accurate comparison and shouldn’t been considered solely, but it is an indicator.

  20. TomL says:

    Bobby – Bill T’s description of the Stevenage/Newcastle history sounds just like the discussion that took place between the match commentators during the game. They did cover it quite thoroughly. As Bill T said, there’s a lot more to the ill will than the fact that they lost. And I find it very understandable that a small club like Stevenage would feel highly insulted by Newcastle’s behavior.

  21. shmish says:

    A couple of years ago I purchased two dvd’s from 1970’s dutch games. I can’t remember exactly what they are, I think an Ajax European game and a Holland WC game. This reminds me – I need to watch them again. Anyways, they’re great to watch and I’ve tried to read up a bit on the idea of total football. Bobby, I’m wondering if you have some good ideas on materials to read to really catch the idea of what total football was about? My small understanding of it is the fluidity in which players moved around the field, where a defender could be in a strikers position, a winger on the left would cross to the right, etc.


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