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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 – Future of World Cup, Cheerleaders, Seven Year-Olds and Don’t Throw Games

Written by on August 12, 2011 | 9 Comments »
Posted in General

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

Keir Radnedge foresees the demise of the World Cup as we know it.

PSG looking to be the French equivalent of Manchester City – my words not those of author Tom Williams.

With the start of the new Premier League season just hours away here is an interview with Norwich manager Paul Lambert. Lambert brings the total of west of Scotland managers in the Premier League to seven.

Simon Kuper writes about the shift from clubs looking purely at ex-players as managers to giving greater consideration to those who have studied the art of soccer management. The article contains this stinger – “It seems that ex-players really don’t know more about football than we do; they just played it better.”

About half-way through the article John Duncan is mentioned. Spurs and Dundee fans will (should) know who Duncan is as will Chesterfield and Ipswich fans.

What the research does not show is that as well as being an ex-player John Duncan was also a school-teacher. In fact he was my phys-ed teacher. He would train in the morning with Dundee and then teach in the afternoon.

Trinidad and Tobago’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup have hit an impediment. Apparently the government has decided that cutting a cheque and handing it to the federation might not be such a good idea.

Some things you would think are self-evident but apparently in Malaysia players have to be reminded that fixing matches they play in is something to be avoided.

David Pleat picks his dream team to beat Barcelona – sorry but IMHO David needs to try again.

Gabriele Marcotti asks some questions of Manchester United’s new goalkeeper David De Gea.

This is what you get when you hand a computer keyboard and access to the internet to all and sundry.

Ross Dunbar with the first of a four-part article on Rangers’ North American tour in 1930.

Diary of a Travel Team Soccer Coach, aged 39 and a half – Hell hath no fury like a cheerleader insulted.

A Forbes article about Real Madrid signing an Argentine seven-year-old called Leonel Angel Coira. The Real PR department must be rolling around laughing at how many members of the media have taken the bait on this one.

No more so than in North America were open line radio hosts and the likes of this writer have waded into the fray. It was such a softball – don’t know much if anything about the game but they do know players get transferred for vast amounts of money.

Put two and two together and you come up with the notion that signing a seven-year-old secures a talent and saves them money in transfer fees. Unfortunately there is a large gap in their simple logic. The obvious one is the very slim chance that the seven-year-old will turn out to be worth signing.

The second is that under Spanish labour law a player cannot sign a professional contract until the age of 18 which allows other countries with lower age limits the opportunity to nab any prospect from under the nose of Real Madrid or any other Spanish club.

A timely reminder of how the future isn’t always what it used to be …if you get my meaning. This from the BBC archives.


“Cesc Fabregas is on the brink of finally quitting Arsenal after Barcelona delivered their latest offer. The Spanish giants, who have been chasing Fabregas for several years, have bid £25.5million, plus £5m in add-ons.  Fabregas will then contribute another £4.5m to the deal by giving up around £900,000 per year in wages from his new deal.”

Daily Mail August 10, 2011-08-10

Apart from the fact that other outlets have been talking about the same bid for weeks the grasp of the economics of the supposed deal is to say the least, inadequate.

What Fabregas gives or gets in wages from Arsenal or Barcelona is of no relevance to the transfer fee unless it is upped to $30m which the Daily Mail article fails to clarify.


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9 responses to “Raves and Rants – Future of World Cup, Cheerleaders, Seven Year-Olds and Don’t Throw Games”

  1. RDM says:

    The BBC article is fantastic.

  2. RDM – It just shows you how deceptive the present and recent happening can be + all the things that can go wrong.

  3. Gillian says:

    If the Fabregas thing ends soon, I may – MAY – be able to tolerate seeing him on a football pitch in, say, 2 years. Right now, I’m just sick of the whole annoying saga.

  4. Isnt ManCity, PSG, and MAlaga all of the same mold, in their own ways.
    PSG has the opportunity to be the biggest as they have paris to themselves and PAris is far bigger than manchester or malaga.

    I think De Gea showed he will not be the game saver Van Der Saar was last year. Now, ManU won the community shield, but De Gea showed signs that he is just not of the quality and experience is key for goalies in my opinion.
    Luckily for him, ManU are quicker in the midfield and more modulating in attack this season, and geared to start early. The question is simple, can ManU score enough to offset the goals De Gea will let in. When you consider how many goals Van der sar stopped last year that would have stopped ManU from getting any points or only getting one point, it is obvious that De Gea will not be that sort of force this season.
    It shall be interesting. Will Chelsea stay healthy, unlike last years collapse? Will De Gea not cost ManU too many goals? Will Arsenal defensively shore up and not be reduced so much without Nasri and Cesc? Will ManC’s players gel on the pitch?

  5. Who knew that Neil Mellor has such a great career ahead of him?

    A salutory lesson for anybody making predictions.

  6. Roberto Manita says:

    CH – De Gea let’s in one goal that he should have saved and you pronounce him a bust after just one match? How astute. I think he’ll do just fine. He’s young but has two full years at Atletico Madrid behind him, won the UEFA U23s this summer, and was selected as one of the top three GKs in La Liga last season (along with Casillas and Valdez).

    He’s obviously going to be a bust 🙄

    I hope he proves to be but I wouldn’t place a wager on it 😉

  7. napier says:

    That Cheerleader piece was hilarious!

  8. napier says:

    But not as funny as that BBC piece! Typical English hype. I recall there was a similar article in the Times about a year to 18 months before the 2010 World Cup in which other teams were dismissed, and only Spain was seen as a potential rival. I tried finding it, but no luck so far.

  9. LA says:

    The demise of the World Cup argument is pretty flimsy. The popularity of the game is growing world wide. The chance many people around the world get to see their favorite players from their country is for national games. There is an interesting argument to an integrating Europe being post-nationalist, while a developing world is very nationalist. FIFA was smart enough to throw the World Cup around the World, including the draw, because their support for it probably does come outside of Europe. The era where the best players go to Europe will erode over time as the global economy changes. The World Cup will again be an important contest and test for many football followers around the world relative to club soccer as club soccer devolves internationally. Case in point, the MLS will bite into the demand for European soccer on TV as it develops.

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