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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 – Fixing, Academies, Science and Tony Adams

Written by on July 31, 2011 | 7 Comments »
Posted in General

Raves and Rants was going to run Thursday evening but as news of Bob Bradley’s dismissal and Jurgen Klinsmann’s appointment emerged + Barcelona arriving in North America + the start of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Finals + the draw on Saturday for the qualification stage of the 2014 World Cup Finals it got bumped. Hopefully it will return to a normal slot this coming week.

It was just another reminder of how nothing stops in the global game and it is pointless thinking that there is going to a break in action, news or controversies.

I have been lax over the last few months and have not acknowledged and thanked all the contributors to Soccer Report Without your efforts there would not be the material to focus our thought and hone our opinions.

The contributions are all from the heart and simply reflect each contributors love of the best sport in the world and their willingness to often put their neck on the line in order to express their views.

And to the readers – thank you for visiting the site so often, reading the articles and commenting from time. And also thank you for being so civil to each other (most of the time!!) and understanding that if we all thought the same then the world would truly be a screwed up place.

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

A look at some of the more relevant Seattle Sounders stats courtesy of Opta.

The English media find some oddities in the colonies.

Game fixing in Turkey from Raphael Honigstein. When he says “threatens to impact on the whole of European soccer” it is idle no exaggeration.

The FIFA under 20s World Cup gets underway today and you can find the squad lists here.

This is a very interesting piece on “best practices” found in European Youth Academies authored by Chris Sulley.

I would suggest that one of the most critical observations is that the top clubs in Germany and Holland have a built-in advantage in their ability to attract/recruit from lower tier clubs – not something that is necessarily the case in other countries.

There is also a comment about the “10,000 hour-rule” that is now so commonly quoted when referencing talent development.

Dr. Marco Cardinale has some interesting comments to make about the state of Sport Science. I just caught this article although it was published about six weeks ago.

The Guardian had a good interview with former Arsenal centre back Tony Adams who is now managing a club in Azerbaijan.

Terry Carroll looks back at some match-fixing episodes from years past and sets out a case why it can happen anyplace.

talk Sport looks back at the pre-season results from 2010 and wonders if they were a glimpse of what was in store during the regular season. You can guess what they found out.

“A Cultured Left Foot” takes the calculator out and tries to figure out whether Arsenal has over or under achieved.

Pro zone tackles the issue of home advantage – or should it be away disadvantage – and looks at some of the factors that might lead to greater success away from home.

Oliver Holt of the Daily Mirror stops off in the Pacific North-West to test the soccer waters.

The Toronto FC coaching staff believes in their system. I will not editorialize on this one but have a look back at the article on Youth Academies and see what Chris Sulley has to say about Ajax.

Soccer by Numbers” has a look at which Premier League teams benefit the most from fast counter attacks.

No free lunches and apparently no free trials either it seems.

A report commissioned by BMO and developed by Queen’s University “More than a Game – The Power of Soccer for Youth Development.” I hope BMO did not pay too much to get this rather hollow report.

A video tribute to the US women’s team from some fans.

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7 responses to “Raves and Rants – Fixing, Academies, Science and Tony Adams”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Many people will measure Klinsman’s success based on how far the US will progress in 2014. I think with 2nd tier teams like US, Mexico, Ghana etc it is not helpful to gauge their WC success by reaching quarters or semis. Let’s say the US finish second in their group then defeat the likes of Poland in Rd of 16 and defeat the likes of Slovakia in the quarters and lose to the likes of Chile in the semis. Is that really a better overall performance than finishing first in a group with Portugal and defeating England in the Round of 16 yet losing to Spain in AET in the quarters?

    The more I watch James Rodríguez (Columbia/Porto) in the WC U20s and Toulon Tournie, the more I am impressed and expect him to be the next Iniesta who can have a Barca-esque team built around him, This kid is the real deal and his passes are DELICIOUS.

  2. Erik says:

    The article on EPL Pre-Season 2010 results told me one big thing – someone is BADLY in need of an Education.

    The headline read: The premier league big boy’s 2010 pre-season results: did they mean anything?

    Unless they are talking about ONE person it should read: the premier league big BOYS’ 2010 pre-season results: did they mean anything

    They are referring to a PLURAL unit “BOYS” and not a SINGULAR unit “BOY”

    So it should be: Boys’ and NOT Boy’s

    That is what I learned the most from this piece – Headline writers need a better education

  3. Erik says:

    Bobby – if you have yet to do the Podcast for this week and see this before you do can you comment on

    The DISGRACE that happened Sunday @ The Emirates

    The last 5 minutes of the game BOTH sides AGREED to let Thierry Henry “switch” jerseys and play for Arsenal. The ref wouldn’t allow it saying basically “one side per game”.


    I can see it if it was a “real” game but it was an EXHIBITION game. This didn’t count towards the regular season standings. BOTH sides agreed to it – let it happen. I officiate games and I know NO ONE paid to come see me work. In exhibition games – and that is what this was – you let things happen that you wouldn’t in “real” games. Where is the Harm in letting Henry switch jerseys for the last 5-ish minutes. The fans – and even players – would have gone crazy and LOVED IT! I promise you NOT ONE NYRB player/coach/front office person would have objected and all I believe would have loved seeing it. For the ref not to allow this to happen is disagraceful

    I wonder what this Ref would have done on Oct 1, 1977 when Pele played his last ever game. Giants’ Stadium was oversold – beyond capacity. Pele played 1h for the Cosmos and SWITCHEED JERSEYS AT HALFTIME and played 2h for his Brazilian side, Santos. Imagine if the Ref didn’t allow Pele to swtich at halftime like what happened Sunday. Odds are the ref would have joined Jimmy Hoffa in being buried in the New Jersey Meadowlands

    No clue who the Ref Sunday was but whoever he is he needs to be publicly ridiculed for putting HIMSELF above the players. The 60,000 at The Emirates paid to see Henry play – not to see the Ref – ref

    I hope you can discuss this in the Podcast or even the FSR

  4. Tim says:

    BOBBY:Thank you for the thank you
    ERIK: they let Chicharito play one half with Gaude and one half with Man U….but the arsenal redbull thing is because a trophy was on the line

  5. Gus Keri says:


    “I promise you NOT ONE NYRB player/coach/front office person would have objected”

    Totally wrong.

    I for one would have objected.

    I wanted NYRB to get at least a draw against Arsenal to win the trophy, regardless of the importance of this trophy.

    Actually, I was surprised to hear that it was Henry’s request. He should’ve known better.
    This is not a testimonial match like Pele’s game you mentioned. It is for a trophy.

    Henry had a significant contribution to the goal that tied the game at the 85th minute. If he was to be changing jersey in the last 5 minutes, NYRB would not have drawn the game and won the trophy.

    Moreover, imagine if Henry switched in the last 5 minutes and scored the winning goal for Arsenal and prevented his team NYRB from winning the trophy. It would have looked very bad for him. Not only biting the hand that feed him but chewing on it, too.

    As opposite to what Henry thought of the rule (he called it stupid), it was stupid of him to even think about it.

  6. Roberto Manita says:


    But this wasn’t a real trophy. To me it was just a glorified exhibition match with a contrived trophy. Either it’s real silverware or it’s not real silverware. Arsenal has won this competition for the previous four years prior to this season. But we keep hearing that AFC hasn’t won silverware for six seasons. Therefore, it’s not real silverware. And Tim mentioned Hernandez played a half each for both ManU and Chivas. To me, it’s either a real competitive match or it’s an exhibition/friendly.

    I thought Henry should have been allowed to play for both sides despite the rules here. I thought the referee was being an over-officious jerk here. He was being petty.

    I’d be more concerned about LFC’s preseason results against supposedly inferior opposition and the fact that Stevie can’t play against AFC due to a groin infection (ouch, that sounds rather painful and unsightly) if I were you 😆

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    DVRed the Liverpool friendly and I am sorry to say that should they sell R Meireles Liverpool will once again be the same team depending on Gerrard and Torres/Suarez. I know it’s a friendly but form what I have seen this summer, C Adam (out of his depth), Henderson/Johnson (will become average players at best) were a waste of money.

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