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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 – Dalglish Turns 60 and Ian Holloway Strikes Again (As Does DJ)

Written by on February 28, 2011 | 38 Comments »
Posted in General

Before we get started I would just like to extend a welcome to the new readers who have discovered Soccer Report Extra since the New Year. The number of visitors has grown substantially each week and visitations have doubled in the last two months. Any feedback on how to make the website better is welcomed.

Best Stuff

A great headline “Take off or plane crash?” and a good article from James Horncastle on the appointment of Vincenzo Montella to replace Claudio Ranieri as the Roma Coach.

Jim Campbell offers his thoughts on the future of football on TV.

A bit of self-promotion backfires.

What the UK government offered up to FIFA regarding the 2018 World Cup Finals bid.

Louise Taylor looks at how so many managers talk up the need for playmakers but so often they fail to use them.

“Can soccer dethrone hockey as Canada’s sport,” asks the Globe & Mail. This is a simple – no. Not in my lifetime or even my grandson’s lifetime.

This attempt to con the referee came via WSC’s Weekly Howler.

Nick Govier deals with some of the media myths around Arsenal and the Carling Cup.

Gabriele Marcotti on Radio Sounders at the end of last week.

The Guardian’s “The Secret Footballer” gives his opinion of Blatter, IAFB and FIFA etc.

An analysis of the Manchester United second quarter financial results released on Friday – this from The AndersRedBlog.

Kenny Dalglish will be 60 on Friday – Tom English sits down with the Celtic and Liverpool legend.

It is fair to say that Dundee have never gone through a season quite like this. How many teams have signed a Sky pundit and he turned round and scored on his return to professional football? And it didn’t stop there.

Twenty-one years ago Milan and Napoli were scrapping for the Serie A title. Dave Taylor looks for the parallels with tonight’s game.


“That was a stinking day at the office.”

So said Blackpool manager Ian Holloway after his team’s 4-0 loss to Wolves.


“Harangue the DJ: Ian Holloway slated DJ Campbell’s red-card folly as Blackpool lost 4-0 at Wolves”

A very clever Smiths reference from Sports Index


Last week we asked if Ronaldo deserved to be considered as one of the top ten all-time great players. According to Soccer Report Extra readers the answer is yes with 66.1% agreeing and 33.9% believing he was not good enough.

If anyone has an idea for a poll question this week go ahead and post the idea and I will insert it into Raves and Rants.


A couple of weeks ago Ian Darke claimed that players and managers did not understand the offside rule and therefore something had to be done about.

On Sunday during half time of the West Ham v Liverpool match we again heard why Darke’s logic is dreadfully flawed – in terms of an ex-manager anyway.

Mark Noble had gone over the take a corner kick and kicked the ball a very small distance but enough that it clearly moved out of the arc. He then touched the ball and replaced it and referee Mark Halsey allowed him to continue and to retake the corner – an obvious mistake.

But former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley did not get it right either. Curbishley stated that as the ball had travelled its circumference the ball was in play. The reference in the Laws of the Game to a ball being in play once it had travelled its circumference was changed many years ago.

Under Law 17 that addresses a corner kick a “ball is in play when it is kicked and moves forward.”

Weekend Upsets

Birmingham were 4/1 to beat Arsenal in the Carling Cup Final while the surprise in the Premier was Fulham drawing with Manchester City – a 3/1 chance. In Serie A Bologna were massive underdogs at 6/1 to beat Juventus in Turin but they did.

If you had placed money on Deportivo La Coruna holding Real Madrid to a draw you would have got odds of 15/4. A win by strugglers Nice at St. Etienne proved to be the biggest surprise in Ligue 1 with odds on such an outcome running at 7/2.

Finally, Borussia Dortmund travelled to Munich as league leaders but the odds did not reflect that. The possibility of a Borussia win attracted odds of 10/3.

Heads Up

This Thursday FIFA will announce the host of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup. The choice is between Canada and Zimbabwe.

Memory Lane

Arsenal have a history of slipping on cup final banana skins. One of the biggest was in 1969 when they lost 3-1 in extra time to Third Division Swindon Town in the League Cup Final.  A terrible result at the time but two years later Arsenal did the double. The “psychological damage” of a cup final loss – even one that is a massive upset – is massively overplayed and I dare say that there are more examples of teams using such results as motivators to go onto to bigger and better things.

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

38 responses to “Raves and Rants – Dalglish Turns 60 and Ian Holloway Strikes Again (As Does DJ)”

  1. CDNGooner14 says:

    Hi Bobby,
    I’m a long time reader of your blog from the Fox Soccer days. I just found this site about a month ago and I was very pleased. I never posted anything in the previous blogs, but always enjoyed the banter from the regulars. Anyway, my question or debate is: How has Rosicky not played his way out of Arsenal yet? He’s been just aweful all season. Every time the substitution board went up I prayed to see the number 7. Had Arshavin and stayed and Bendtner replaced Rosicky, I’m pretty sure AFC would have won. Thoughts?

  2. CdnGooner 14 – First of all thanks for joining us at Soccer Report Extra. We discussed who might replace Fabregas in the CCF on the FSR on Friday and I said I would be surprised if Rosicky got the nod.

    He has been in terrible form this season and his confidence has been destroyed. Wenger has a plug and play model – one player out plug another player in to the same position. Rosicky is his Fabregas deputy but it just has not worked.

  3. Ted Reiner says:

    Bobby, I came across your web site by accident. It’s great to be lucky that way. It’s a delight to see read you collumns again. May you shadow never deminish.

  4. Gus Keri says:

    FIFA also will decide the allocation of places, for each confederation, for the 2014 WC, this week.

    South America is trying to get one extra place (the one that went to South Africa in 2010) as a host confederation.

    I had a feeling that South America will get 5 places (including Brazil) and North America will get 4 places.
    For the last WC, SA had 4.5 and NA had 3.5.

    Africa will get 5 instead of 6
    Europe and Asia/Oceana will be the same like before (13 and 5)

  5. Soccerlogical says:

    Let’s see how many fellow managers will have Sparky (Mark Hughes) on their sh#! list by season’s end.

    1)Fergie (burned bridge a while back during playing career).

    2)Wenger (held on to ball during play so Sparky just swiped the ball outta his hands).

    3)Tony Pullis (refused to shake hands with Hughes after a draw and Sparky cursed him out).



  6. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Pato=world class.

    What a finish on goal #3, waiting for the central defenders to be distracted by Ibra’s run, then splitting them with a beautiful curler.

  7. Gus Keri says:

    It puzzeles me why Allegri doesn’t use Pato as a starter more often.

  8. Soccerlogical says:

    It baffles me when some say Serie A is a boring league with the likes of Ibra, Pato, Lavezzi, Sanchez, Di Natale etc. Regardless of a coach’s tactics, a world class player cannot restrain his talent and flair on the pitch.

  9. Gus Keri says:

    Oh my God

    I just switched to watch the Stoke/West Brom and first thing I see is Hodgson rubbing his face. I felt sorry for him.

    After I finished writing the above sentence, West Brom scored and here he is smiling and jumping up and down.

    What a roller coaster ride for him this season.

  10. and Vela again. Could be the second point he has grabbed for WBA

  11. Game over 1-1 and I wonder what Vela’s goals to time played ratio is like for West Brom? A fox in the box?

  12. redfan says:

    Well Sunday is now history and Kenny will be 59 and holding after Thurs. Hope he gets a three to five year contract asap as he has at least unified the whole club and is the leading manager in Liverpool’s history in terms of wins per games played.

    As for polls and questions: While Kenny might not be gafffer next year I wonder if two other managers will still be in their respective offices next. I refer of course to Jose Mourhino and Carlo Ancelotti. What are the odds of both moving come summer? If they do move, to where might both be going?

    Good weekend (West who) with Brum winning, England beat France at Twickers and Luke Donald did what most England teams only dream of.
    Next up is the game with Utd on Sunday.

  13. Gus Keri says:

    Arsenal could’ve used Vela yesterday

  14. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    I’ve never understood Wenger’s preference for Bendtner over Vela. It seems to me the Dane should have been the one loaned out. What do you think he sees in Bendtner that Vela cannot offer? In my own analysis, maybe Bendtner’s a slightly better passer. He’s a big lad, but he doesn’t play like a traditional #9.

    puzzling is the perfect word. Allegri’s selection of Seedorf over Pato in leg 1 of the Champions League tie with Tottenham may have cost his side a spot in the final 8. If you look at Pato’s performances in the fixtures surrounding that game it seems his lack of inclusion was not a part of a rotation of the 4 star forwards. Rather, it showed that Allegri was simply leaving out Pato as a coach’s decision. His brilliant performance against Napoli happened after he forced his way back into the starting 11.

    2/6 Serie A @Genoa: Starts & scores teams only goal
    2/12 Serie A v. Parma: sub 68th-ineffective
    2/15 UEFA v. Tottenham: sub – halftime
    2/20 Serie A @Chievo: sub 65th – game winning goal
    2/28 v. Napoli: Starts &is Man of the match: 1 goal, 1 assist, & a shot in the 57th that forced a good save from De Sanctis

  15. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    You got the EPL game today? They didn’t show that match in my part of the Great White North either. I got frozen out. A sports package to the hilt and not one footy match today 🙁

  16. TVN – No TV here either. Followed in on minute by minute on BBC

  17. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    I fully second your WC reallocation model of 5 for South America (deserving, even without Brasil being the host nation) and four to North America. Maybe this way Kanada would make the WC Finals? Then again … maybe we wouldn’t since we always make a hash of qualifying.

  18. Soccerlogical says:

    Bobbo- Whatever happened to all the the money Carson Yeung promised McLeish? Surely now that they are in the EL, the fur coat wearing fat cat will splash the cash no?

    Is Yeung spending his entire fortune on buying you new Cassini suits for FSR or what?

  19. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    Wow TVN,
    Yet another day I’m proud to be a citizen of the USA. Football coverage down south has gotten so much better over the last few years. Not too long ago Fox Soccer only had the license for relegation teams in Italy. I was only able to watch AC Milan when they played Catania, Torino, etc. FSC now has their pick of the lot for EPL or Serie A games, and as of last year, HD! ESPN now shows English and Spanish games, our GolTV has Spanish and German, Brazilian and Columbian leagues. My cable company doesn’t offer Fox Soccer Plus, but that would make French league and English Championship available. The biggest advance was ESPN creating a website to stream games online. First titled, and later, this service now lets me watch Dutch, Portuguese, German, Italian, Spanish, English league games, and International games in high quality streaming video. The tough part is that ESPN negotiates with local internet providers to be able to use this service. My friend lives a mile from me and can’t access it, because he has a different cable company. Hopefully the popularity of the sport grows on both sides of the border, forcing the television networks to respond to the demand.

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m jealous that Fox Sports World Canada shows French League and Copa Libertadores matches.

  20. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    hope you are over the CC debacle.will this create a hangover for league and CL?how about Shrek getting away with a flagrant elbow.Napoli sort of forgot to show up.sorry no footy in the GWN.

  21. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    tough loss could be tough to get up to 4th.when Keegan went to HFC was there the uproar that followed the Torres deal?i know he left the island no internet no 24hr news/ are you going to handle next Sunday for 2 hrs you and TVN will be one rooting for LFC.i think the FA should have given a 3 match to Rooney for the elbow.what did you think?missed you this weekend must have been busy.

  22. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    I’m afraid the northerners are always behind the times even though we won’t admit it. I’m one Kanadian that, from day one, openly admits to wishing having been born south of the border. And the only flag I have is an American one and I display it proudly in my abode. But that’s a long story and I digress.

    We usually get most of the matches that matter. Setanta gives a full EPL, UCL, SPL (tape delayed … days delayed) package. TSN gives us the ESPN EPL matches with Macca (I still love that hilarious Scouser), UCL matches (when they are not pre-empted with curling. Curling!?!?!? WTF! Scott Tournament of Hearts always broke my heart during this time of the UCL year. But now we have TSN2 … thank God!). Sportsnet and SN1 cover the rest of the EPL. GolTV in Kanada has all of what the USA’s has and they show all of Barça’s matches which the USA one does not (I think ESPN picks those up though). Serie A is covered by TLN, The Score (English blokes and a Portuguese … alright, but half their matches are tape delayed or day delayed and today they opt to cover the NHL trade deadline???? Are you kidding me??? Second rate. Stop doing the Serie A and give the rights to a professional organization please), Eurosport, and Fox Sportsworld Canada. The Serie A is a mixed bag in Kanada.

    It is a rare day that we don’t get a big footy match here. Today’s non coverage was an exception. I did not care for today’s EPL match nor today’s La Liga match. But the Serie A match was worthy today.

    It is better than the days when I couldn’t see a Barça UCL match because the Kanuckleheads thought an EPL team in the competition or that dreaded curling tourny was more ‘important’.

    Rant over.

  23. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    WOW would love to know the background on the Kanada/USA deal.I am a proud Yank.come on down we would love to have you.

  24. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    Is that right? I’m away from home today. Say it ain’t so! Shrek got away with that egregious elbow? That’s no surprise. Old Red Nose has the EPL officials in his pocket. Us Gooners always say so anyway. How that elbow is not worthy of a straight red card first, a ban (be it one or three games) after the fact second … I’ll never know. Maybe Shrek did it by accident. I think I need another Guinness.

    I’m not over yesterday. That’s why I’m in a watering hole now. Drowning my belated sorrows. That and celebrating my belated BDay. How’s that? A Gooner who’s BDay yesterday could not be celebrated with lifting the Unnecessary Mickey Mouse Trophy? Being a Gooner is forever a rollercoaster ride.

    Hopefully, the Krelimnites will do us a favour tomorrow. How about that? Two Evil Empires collide tomorrow and I have to side with one. I can see the league as a possibility. The FA Cup, with a likely second string/weakened team in The Old Toilet, less likely (unless we can get a replay in our house after getting bounced by Barça and fielding a full strength team … then Old Red Nose and his substandard motley crew will be found out). The Gooners who think getting by FCB, though up 2-1, going into Camp Nou, with less than a 100% team, and not capable of employing a Mourinho Inter bus parking, have got to put down the crack pipe.

    I know, as Bobby has pointed out, historically such defeats shouldn’t be taken as evil omens. BUT today’s footy is a different model. And Wenger, God bless him, does not tend to keep ayers around for the long haul. So that paradigm does not apply here. That loss yesterday is massive for the club. Absolutely massive. AW fields his best available side at a neutral ground against a relegation threat. How do they think they will get a result at Camp Nou? Or retain Cesc? Dark cloud over The Grove.

  25. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    happy belated BDAY.i like the honesty about the Gunners outlook.Your boy Vela saves Woy’s bacon once safe have a great time.

  26. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    Some might say that the Serie Zzzzz has regressed a great deal from its heyday when they were dependent on high priced foreign quality creative product. Now what do they have? The league leaders have Ibra (reject), Robinho (reject), Cassano (domestic reject and no big club outside Italy worth its salt will have him). Just how much domestic creative product have Italy got? Pirlo? He’s Italy’s Scholes. Past it. Yesterday’s newspaper. Giggs too.

    Italy invented anti-footy. Inter caltenaccio. Their 2006 WC win was not far from a Greek 2004 Euro. The day I see Italy win ‘the right way’, I’m afraid, is the day Bobby’s great-great-great grandson may spawn offspring. However, that being said, I do like Napoli. Always have. Maybe because of Don Diego.

    And a manager’s tactics have always been anchors to many a footballer. Just look at what that Italian wants to do with Jack the Lad.

    Time for another pint of the black stuff.

  27. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Thanks GFYR. You’re not such a bad fella considering you drink Diet Mountain Dew and support a Segunda Division side. I hope you and Leeds somehow make it back to the top flight. Besides all the ribbin’, I truly do.

  28. Soccerlogical says:

    TVN – What does “reject” have to do with the skill a player displays on the pitch? Last I checked the likes of Anelka, Carew and Adebayor have done their rounds.

    If you can’t appreciate the fantasy of a Cassano or Del Piero or athleticism of a Nesta or Maldini then I really can’t help you.

    Ever hear of:
    Jovetic, Ljajic, Giovinco, D’agostino, Mutu, Sculi, Zarate, Hernanez, Pastore, Menez, Sneijder, Krasic… and the list goes on.

  29. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:


    One word for you, “modernity”. Those names don’t register for UCL glory. Serie A is a dinosaur. God bless. And full stop. Good riddance to bad rubbish as the saying goes. Try as you might to win a trophy ‘the right way’. Hasn’t happened in my lifetime. Probably won’t happen in yours. You, no doubt, have the keys to the bus. Innovate the beautiful game. Don’t destroy it. That’s Italy. Look at the history. Anti-footy from day one. Full stop.
    And thank God or Allah or whatever higher power you believe in. I love FCB & AFC for a reason. They believe in real footy. You I-talian lot could not spell it. Never have. Thank you. Another pint of the black stuff, if you please barkeep.

  30. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Coefficients are going down. Worldwide viewership too, no doubt. I love the real game first and foremost. Italy does not supply the breastmilk of real footy. Sorry. That’s why I choose to turn off. Show me ‘the real beautiful game’ and I’ll watch more.

  31. CDNGooner14 says:

    I definitely agree with the boring-ness of Serie A. To me, it’s unwatchable and judging from the attendance that I can make out-it’s unwatchable to most Italians, too. I try to watch the big games and find myself tuning out and doing the dishes instead. Sunderland vs Stoke makes a better spectacle than Inter v Juventus, IMO.

  32. Soccerlogical says:

    Sorry to say, but anyone who thinks Serie A is plain ol’ boring and only likes free flowing Tika-taka soccer should learn to appreciate tactics and other subtle aspects of the game.

    There’s a reason why Italian tacticians/coaches are desired worldwide. Milan under Kaka embarrassed Manyoo under Ronaldo in the CL a few years ago and last I checked Inter are CL champs outscoring Barca in the knockout round.

    Praising La Liga and exciting football while belittling Serie A tactical play doesn’t make one a “student of the game”…. just Cherry-picking.

  33. redfan says:

    TVN _ would that be the Porters you were drinking there?
    Woy will always look woeful and he is probably doing what he is able best to do right now: manage a lower Prem team that knows how to scrap and plays only one way.

    I wonder what Ashey Cole was really doing and who was the intended target or if it were just wishful thinking and a daydream that backfired?

  34. Gus Keri says:


    Are you trying to open cans of worms?

    I never judge or label a club or its fans based on the actions of few of them.
    Next Sunday, it won’t be the first time, I and the Arsenal fans will be on the same side.
    This past Sunday, I and them were on the same side, too.

    I wanted Arsenal win for two reasons.
    A selfish reason because Liverpool would have a better chance in playing in Europe next year and the other reason is because I like Arsenal and the professor and I want them to secceed (except when playing Liverpool, of course)

    And if you are asking for the Gus LFC chatroom, it has been shut down. But you are welcomed to join one of the many other chatrooms that run across this website every day.

  35. Rossoneri Red Devil says:

    You really are a victim of constantly hearing the stereotype of Italian football. Conservative coaching is spread across the world, not just in Italy. I’ve watched Bilbao park the bus at home against the likes of Real and Barca. Watching Megson’s Bolton teams was dreadful. As Bobby tried to point out the other day, there are teams like Udinese and Napoli that play interesting, adventurous football in Italy. As SL pointed out, Inter scores more goals than Barca head to head, yet Barca is somehow superior on style points???? THE GAME IS SIMPLE: THE TEAM THAT SCORES MORE GOALS, WINS. The path to this outcome is the choice of the manager and his players, NOT THEIR ETHNICITY!

  36. Rossoneri Red Devil says:


    I am obviously a huge fan of Serie A football, but I actually agree that watching a Premier League broadcast with 2 teams from the bottom half of the table is more exciting than a top Serie A broadcast.

    To me the difference is that the television production work by Premier League Productions is so superior than the work that does. (They are the company that adds English announcing and graphics to the SkyItalia footage). often uses a single broadcaster, which never engages me as much as the banter between a play-by-play announcer and a color commentator. The sound levels of crowd noise are not as properly calibrated, which makes it seem like a crowd at Molineux is louder than 70,000 at the San Siro. Often the sound on these Serie A games is a second or two behind the video. I think it just comes down to money. I don’t know how well the EPL comes across in other languages, I just know that’s English broadcasts are subpar.

  37. Bryan says:

    Thanks for posting the video Bobby.
    I did misremember some of it though.And it was Rogers sideburns not tache.
    They don’t make pitches like that anymore.Perhaps they should let the horses runaround at Wembley nowadays.
    A little bit of mud never used to hurt ,especially at the Baseball Ground. Makes me laugh when anyone complains about pitches today.

  38. Bryan says:

    I remember watching Swindon winning the Anglo-Italian cup the next year.Seem to remember Grandstand showing the second half of those games live during the summer.
    Might be misremembering some of that too though!

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