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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 – MLS and The Laws of the Game

Written by on May 2, 2011 | 12 Comments »
Posted in General

A compilation of some of the best articles and blog postings from the last week.

Peter Knowles was regarded as one of the best English midfielders in the 1960s. Knowles shocked the football world when he retired prematurely and took to spreading the gospel.

Kevin McCarra looks past individual performances to the collective on which Manchester United’s success this season has been based.

This is the 25th anniversary of the first issue of “When Saturday Comes” and Barney Ronay believes the magazine remains relevant today.

An interesting look back to the TV ratings history of the old NASL.

This youtube video highlights “diving” and some of soccer’s better known practitioners. Eoin O’Callaghan passed this one on.  Any that you would suggest adding to this?

With United’s demotion both Sheffield teams will toil in League One next season.

The Swiss Ramble wanders down to the NPower Championship for a look at Norwich City.

Eddie Turnbull was a great player, a great manager and a great character. He died on Saturday aged 88. Part of his autobiography published a year or so ago covered the time he spent in North America when Aberdeen played as the Washington Whips in 1967.  Many will recognize Bobby Clark’s name as part of the roster. Bobby eventually moved to the US and became a very successful college coach.

The Whips would lose 6-5 on overtime to the LA Wolves (Wolverhampton Wanderers) in the 1967 final. The match would include four goals in four minutes in the second half and the deciding goal in overtime was an own goal. Peter Knowles (see first article) played for Wolves in the summer league.

IMScouting takes a look at Simeon Jackson Norwich City’s Canadian striker.

Curmudgeon Corner

This article is headlined “MLS ramps up crackdown on reckless challenges.” In the heart of the article there is a link to the Brian Mullan tackle that broke Steve Zakuani’s leg. It is labelled “Mullan’s reckless tackle on Zakuani.”

Mullan was suspended for ten games and a good part of the article is taken up by the rationale for the suspension.

But here is the problem. A quick look at the Laws of the Game will tell us that “reckless means that the player has acted with complete disregard to the danger to, or consequences for, the opponent.” It continues, “a player who plays in a reckless manner must be cautioned”

So what we have is an article on the official MLS site that purports to provide insight as to why Mullan has received a ten game suspension and it cannot accurately describe the offence. By the same token neither can the MLS disciplinary committee that handed down the sentence.

For the offense to be worthy of a red card it needed to fall under the definition of “using excessive force.”

“Using excessive force” means “that the player has far exceeded the necessary use of force and is in danger of injuring his opponent” and that in such a circumstance “a player who uses excessive force must be sent off.”


“Michael Carrick, who seemingly has two states — ultra-composed and shell-shocked — was never pressured and had a gentle game mopping up the odd loose ball in front of the back four, allowing Ryan Giggs to focus on getting forward.”

Jonathan Wilson writing on the Schalke vs Manchester United Champions League match for Sports Illustrated.


“The Official Draw for the FIFA U-20 World Cup Columbia 2011 took place in Cartegena. has the results”

It seems the tournament has been moved from Colombia.


“Rugby pops up on tv screen. 4 year old: “ooooh. A fat footballer.” Incredibly astute piece of analysis”


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12 responses to “Raves and Rants – MLS and The Laws of the Game”

  1. redfan says:

    Since this is rants and raves and with regard to what was said on the FSR last night I thought I would add the following table, which speaks for itself.

    Pos Team || P | W | D | L | F | A | GD | Pts

    1. Chelsea | 14 | 11 | 2 | 1 | 30 | 9 | 21 | 35
    2. Liverpool| 15 | 9 | 3 | 3 | 30 | 12 | 18 | 30
    3. Man Utd | 15 | 9 | 2 | 4 | 28 | 14 | 13 | 29
    4. Arsenal. | 14 | 7 | 6 | 1 | 26 | 14 | 12 | 27

    Had the team/squad performed from day one things might have been different and there is no doubt that Suarez has had an impact.
    Whether it is the Kenny factor or not, he sold Rush in 88 and brought in Aldo, Barnes, Beardo et al and built a team which played like Barca is playing now. I wonder if he is planning such a move again and if he is given the chance then the next few seasons could be very interesting. A very good performance, imho, from a man who has been out of the game for a decade or more.

  2. Soccerlogical says:

    Maybe The United Soccer Association would have stood a chance if N. American commentators like the one for the Whips vs Wolves match didn’t sound like they were watching a baseball game… PLAY BALL?


  3. Gus Keri says:


    I had the same thought, yesterday, on watching the FSR. I think Kenny Dalglish surpassed all expectations, even the supporting fans like myself didn’t see this happenning so soon.

    I keep thinking, like many I believe, what if he was hired at the begining of the season.

    Let’s hope he gets the job full time next season and continues building the team for the future.

  4. redfan says:

    Gus, I hope so because he looks happy, looks fit, knows how to deal with the press and his mind is sharp as a razor when you listen to his pressers. It makes me laugh near as much as special 1 tv.

    I reckon Kenny will go until he feels he does not want to get out of bed for the job and when that happens he will step aside. For now he is loving it and I hope he gets the knighthood to go with the great track record he has got and is still building.

    If Roy Hodgson had managed to get more out of this squad then we might actually be right in there with a shout but there is no use crying over the spilt milk. Next season all is to play for and if we continue with the present standards and performances we should be well within a shout of top spot a year from now.

    Well one can hope eh?

  5. Gus Keri says:

    Over the 4 classicos, Jose Mourinho got what he wanted, except the red card for Pepe.

    1-1 to limit Barcelona’s damage from the 5-0 loss and restore RM self-belief.
    1-0 to win the cup
    (0-2 instead of 0-0 which he played for) Pepe’s red card allowed Messi to score those two goals
    1-1 Which would qualify his team on away goal.

    As if he knew this (Pepe’s red card) will cause damage, therefore, before the third game, he tried to sway referees’ decisions by compaining about the red cards to his team.

  6. Really was very little to the game today. If that had not been Barcelona – Real Madrid it would have just been a minor footnote.

    Gus your comment re 0-0 is spot on in my opinion. It was a very different approach than he took last season in the Giuseppe Meazza.

    I think we forget how aggressive Inter were in the first leg.

  7. redfan says:

    SAF could have beaten Madrid but I do not think he has any hope against this Barcelona side. Always assuming that Schalke do not upset the apple cart tomorrow. Barcelona’s Cup imho and has been for a while really.

  8. Gus Keri says:

    Another thing I noticed from these classicos.

    Real Madrid’s physicality beat Barcelona’s artistery, but Barcelona’s acting got the better of RM’s physicality.

    At the end, every one got what they deserved.

  9. Gus Keri says:

    On the goals of the week today, Messi’s second goal against RM was placed fourth.
    I don’t think it was right.

    Although the top three are beautiful volley kicks but none of them are more beautiful and worthy winner than Messi’s run through the whole RM defence and scoring.

    We keep forgetting that the essence of soccer since its creation is dribbling, not shooting.

  10. Al Harris says:

    Well said, Gus. I had exactly the same reaction. All 3 were fine goals and I could have accepted any of them as the top goal with Messi’s 2nd even though I thought his was the outstanding one of the week, but for all 3 to be rated above his tends to make me think the person that picks the list is partial to the “hope to God it goes in” strike of the ball rather than artistry of the dribble through half the opposition. Ah well, different strokes for different folks I guess.

  11. Derek Taylor says:

    To be fair our man who picks the goals, Messi’s goal is not nearly as good as it has been made out to be. He picked up the ball and ran away from three guys. Describing it as the whole team is exaggerating. He’s scored at least a half-dozen goals better than that one.

  12. Gus Keri says:


    “Describing it as the whole team is exaggerating”

    Exaggeration is what makes soccer reporting interesting, isn’t it?

    “He’s scored at least a half-dozen goals better than that one”

    So what? Have you noticed that the top three volleys are similar, too?

    “He picked up the ball and ran away from three guys”

    Did you mean to say he “ran away” to the corner flag? Because I thought he ran toward the goal. Avoiding defenders and their tackles is an art by itself.

    I know that choosing goals of the week is usually based on personal opinion. Your guy apparently favors the long-range strikes. Have you noticed the last Million “goals of the week” choices?
    (By the way, it’s exaggeration)

    I suggest changing the format to two separate top five “goals of the week”. “Top five strikes” and “top five dribbling and passing” goals of the week.

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