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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 – Dalai Lama to Move to Emirates and Amputation = Penalty Kick in Serie A

Written by on March 7, 2011 | 14 Comments »
Posted in General

The Daily Telegraph thinks that the final destination for the Premier League this season will be decided by these ten games.

After this weekend they were 1-1 – personally I think there are other tricks in the tail and the Telegraph is being over simplistic in discounting the other matches out of hand. It is difficult to reconcile a view that this season “anything can happen” with such a narrow perspective.

FIFA warns of e mail scans. No offence meant but the geographic location of the first comment is ironic is it not?

Ian Plenderleith chimes in on the current David Beckham conundrum – should he stay or should he go. To the Royal Wedding that is. And if he goes – what will he wear. Decisions, decisions.

The A-League now has a top ten – unfortunately it used to be eleven.

Eoin O’Callaghan was on Beyond the Pitch.

Wenger and Ferguson’s transfer moves are analyzed…..and a bit more.

Gabriele Marcotti considers the latest edition of Porto and the manager sure to be considered the next Mourinho.

Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond was not happy after the Celtic – Rangers midweek Scottish Cup replay and it had nothing to do with the result.

John Nicholson thinks an improved diet might reduce levels of aggression. “Jimmy, why don’t you just put the knife down and we will find a restaurant that serves up a nice steak and has a salad bar.” Mmm.

Can we assume that Walter Smith takes better care of himself then?

I wonder what Alexander Netherton, who penned this article, would think of Matthew Doyle’s giddy excitement of Opta stats coming to MLS.

The latest in my “if you only read only article this year make it this one,” series. Jonathan Wilson this time with a piece that illuminates and challenges those who believe there is only one way to play the game.

Jeff Blair in Friday’s Globe and Mail asks if soccer in Canada is at the tipping point.

A bleak financial picture for Juventus.

A Soccer America interview with Tab Ramos. Nice stuff.


“Arsenal, will never be the team we think they can be until there is a world-class goalkeeper, center-back and experienced spiritual leader in their midst.”

Is Nick Webster suggesting that Arsenal needs to make an aggressive pitch and go after the Dalai Lama? Rumour has it he could be available on a Bosman this summer as the Chinese have been trying to move him for a while. There again, where would Wenger fit him in?

“I was not trying to hurt the owl. I did it to see if it would fly.”

Luis Moreno of Deportivo Pereira kicked the owl about 10 feet after it landed on the field during an away match with Atletico Junior. The owl later died from shock. Anyone else think that Moreno should get a good kicking as well – just to see if he can fly of course.


“Dalglish cranks ups tension ahead of Anfield clash with claim United boss tries to influence refs.”

Mail Online Sunday March 6. What’s next “World Is Round”


Sorry but it is another instalment of pick on Steve McManaman – he really does offer up so many great opportunities.

During the match against West Brom McManaman made the point that Birmingham had done well last season (true) but their problems this season compared to last have been down to a lack of goals (untrue).

Given that McManaman has a history of involvement with Birmingham City you would think he would have a better grasp of the facts.

Last season 27 games – Points 40, Goals Scored 26, Goals Allowed 28

This season 27 games – Points 30, Goals Scored 26, Goals Allowed 38

I did not catch who the commentator was, but during the Juventus v Milan match on Saturday a shot deflected off of Thiago Silva in the penalty box and spiralled away to safety.

There were the usual appeals but as the replayed rolled we were told by the commentator that it wasn’t a penalty because Silva’s arm remained attached to his body.

I guess in Italy amputation makes it a dead-cert spot kick – tough standard but certainly unequivocal.


Last week we asked the question “Which of the current top five teams in the Premier League will miss out on a Champions League spot for next season?”

Here is how you voted. According to Soccer Report readers Manchester United and Arsenal are both save as they attracted no votes. The others polled (numbers rounded):

Tottenham Hotspur 65%

Manchester City 22%

Chelsea 13%

This week’s question is which three teams will be relegated from the Premier League at the end of this season. Mark the polling question with three teams.

You can get updates through RSS (top of the page), follow at Twitter BobbySoccerRep, or on Facebook

14 responses to “Raves and Rants – Dalai Lama to Move to Emirates and Amputation = Penalty Kick in Serie A”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Nick Webster…. the “Mr. Clean” pitchman of Fox Soccer.

    During the World Cup Report on FOX, he reported that several games were boring because the score was 1-0. Andy Gray mocked Webster’s asinine comments and then questioned whether Nick actually understood the offside rule.

  2. redfan says:

    Alan Curbishley got my sons and I going on Sunday and I ended up using the mute button to shut the so an so up. He would not let go of how bad the Carragher tackle was and how wrong Kenny Dalglish was in not commenting on it, but diverting attention to the game as a whole.
    For an ex manager of some dubious repute, Curbishley is beginning to sound too negative in his anal-ysis. Well, I suppose now that we do not have to listen to Andy Gray, Curbishley has found a niche to fill.

  3. redfan says:

    Oh and Wigan, West Brom and Wolves to drop was my vote. It will be close and probably get decided on the last day of the season.

  4. Soccerlogical says:

    RED – Can’t see Wolves dropping now that they got O’Hara to compliment the likes of Hunt, Jarvis, Kightly, Milijas and Doyle. I think Blackpool, WBA and Wigan go way of the Dodo.

  5. Gbenga says:


    You are right about Nick Webster. He comes across as this uppity, arrogant fella who thinks he knows it all. His analysis during the World Cup was at best very average. I remember some of the things he said about South Africa before the World Cup. His views are to extreme.

  6. Gbenga says:


    What is your take on some of the whining that has come from Chuck Blazer regarding the WC slots for 2014 in Brazil? FIFA kept everything the same way during the FIFA meeting last week but Chuck Blazer went on this rant about why should Africa deserve more places than CONCACAF?

    He is trying to make a false argument about Africa’s showing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, but forgets Africa has been doing very well at the World Cup since Argentine’78 when Tunisia was the first African country to win a World Cup match. The problem with guys like Chuck Blazer is they forget the facts and come up with some lame excuses about this and that…

  7. Gbenga – I have some statistics that I need to dig out that tracks performance by Federation since 1986. I will try and get something up by the end of the week.

  8. Al Harris says:

    Well said, Bobby. Looking forward to those stats. Twice, even! 🙂

  9. Al Harris says:

    Rats, Bobby beat me to it and removed the double posting. Ah, well. Just as an aside re: confederation slots for the world cup, let’s remember its all politics and represents FIFA’s attempt to balance their desire to have the best teams in the world balanced by being as inclusive as possible. Id rather debate the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin than that. I’m not a Eurofan but, in truth, it’s UEFA that gets shortchanged by any reasonable analysis of the top 32 teams in the world at almost any point in a WC cycle. My beloved (?) CONCACAF in actuality deserves 2 spots, maybe 3. And don’t get me started on Asia getting way more than deserved. I think the only real solution is Bobby McMahon for Secretary-General. He’ll sort it all out!

  10. Al – Sorry!

    I have a piece almost finished but I will hold off until after Champions League Tuesday/Wednesday. Should be posted on Thursday.

  11. Gbenga says:

    Thank you Bobby… Looking forward to it… Nothing against the CONCACAF countries but I feel Chuck Blazer goes overboard with his rants about petty little things…

  12. Gus Keri says:


    Soccerwise, CONCACAF deserved more places.

    The reason why FIFA would not increase them is economy. FIFA only sees two countries in this region, the USA and Mexico. The rest don’t register on their radar. For FIFA, 1.5 places for the rest is more than enough.

    This situation will only change when CANADA becomes a soccer power in the region and join the USA and Mexico as regular qualifiers.

  13. Gus Keri says:

    Chuck Blazer is so upset that he is not going to send a representative to the 2015 Copa America.

    He said: “Don’t put any bet on it happening the next time”

    He is referring to Mexico’s going this time.

  14. Gbenga says:


    No doubt CONCACAF should get more places and I am all for equal opportunity across the board. The problem I have is when guys like Chuck Blazer and others especially in the US media, who are very clueless about the game, start saying nonsense about how poor other countries are, then we all have to look at the facts to see where things stands. This was the same type of sentimental talk Chuck Blazer was going on about last year when the World Cup bidding process was taking place. He is one of the longest FIFA Ex-Co members dating back to the mid 90’s and is it just now he realizes that CONCACAF needs more places? He knows better than that but are willing to point fingers at other confederations.

    I am surprised Blazer didn’t say anything after WC’98 and 2006 when the US did very poorly. Why call for number of slots in one WC when both the US team and Mexico only made it to the second round and Honduras didn’t even do well in their group. For FIFA, performances over a period of time matters and apart from Mexico who have made it past of the group stages in WC since they hosted it in 1986, others have been inconsistent ever since.

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