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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 – Stats,Trends, Tribalism and the “Ali G” Machine

Written by on December 28, 2011 | 4 Comments »
Posted in General

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

Jonathan Wilson on the tactical trends of the year that is about to conclude.

WSC ask’s should clubs have their own football creditors’ rule that allows them to prioritize paying other clubs over the taxman?

Given that Neil Warnock has had trouble dealing with Adel Taarabt it is interesting that The Independent included the QPR manager on a panel and asked each how difficult it had become handling elite players. 

Iain McMullen writing for “” on the life and death of a Barcelona President. 

The Real Madrid Football Blog” considers the team’s youth system. 

An interesting piece on the SFL website on the “Alter G” machine and how it improves players’ recovery from injury. 

5 Added Minutes” looks at how predictable is the Premier League.

Jon Carter takes us back over five decades when a Bill Shankly managed side lost a five goal lead and eventually lost.

Brian Reade’s view of how Liverpool have approached the Luis Suarez situation.

The Economist” tells us why China fails at football.

The votes are in and Les Rosbifs Coach of the Year 2011 is world traveler Stephen Constantine. Those who have followed Constantine’s career over the years know that he embodies the closed shop attitude in UK towards coaches who “never played.”

Some light New Year reading – FIFA Rankings Explained – Robbie Butler

Philip Cornwall this times questions the Tribalism that has made intelligent debate of the Suarez and Terry accusations close to impossible.

Tim Vickery looks at the possible ramifications for Brazilian football of Santos’ heavy defeat in the FIFA Club World Cup Final to Barcelona.

If anyone gets anything insightful from this article then you have done better than me.

A Christmas stats comparison of Van Persie, Ba, Rooney and Aguero.

Football insolvency expert Brendan Guilfoyle takes us through an executive summary version of Plymouth Argyle’s money troubles and lessons learned.

Russell Berrisford found this guide to British and Eire (Republic of Ireland) teams that was given away as part of Soccer Monthly. I can’t find a date on it but I am estimating circa 1978.  

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4 responses to “Raves and Rants – Stats,Trends, Tribalism and the “Ali G” Machine”

  1. J Rob says:

    Thanks for the links. Making a stretch but I think there is a tangential connection between the article featuring Neil Warnock and the ones related to the Suarez/Evra incident and Liverpool’s handling of it. That is in the era of multi-millionaire footballers one of the few tools managers still have is their ability to foster and support team spirit. I, like many, have not been too impressed with how Liverpool have handled the aftermath of the FA verdict. But I would hazard a guess that team spirit and unity are very high at Anfield with the siege-like mentality employed by Kenny Dalglish.

    Of course there is no better purveyor of this than Sir Alex Ferguson. The incredible resilience that Man Utd show speaks eloquently to their indomitable team spirit.

  2. John Bladen says:

    J Rob;

    In principle, I agree. However, if managers make every setback (especially the self imposed ones) a cause celebre, the tactic can quickly backfire.

    I’m not sure Dalgish’s staunch defense of Suarez (who has for the most part been guilty as charged) builds “team spirit”. Whether it will do so depends very much on how the remainder of the team feels about it. Do they agree that LS has been “hard done by”, or just wish he’d quit crying and play the game the way he can?

    I honestly don’t know which it is, but there does come a time when even teammates begin to resent a player’s improper behaviour.

  3. John Bladen says:

    Bobby, I think c1978 is a good guess in regard to the team guide. Hereford Utd (yes, I know, it’s a flaw…) were relegated from the third division at the end of the 1977-78 season, after having been relegated from the second division the year before…(anyone else sense a pattern?)

    If I read Russell’s ground guide correctly, it indicates that HUFC’s last position was 23rd in D3, which would suggest the guide was prepared sometime after the end of the 1977/78 season.

  4. Gary johnson says:

    After the Holiday games the certainty of outcomes in EPL is called into question. This is the statistician’s curse that new data makes conclusions based on past data, aren’t always predictive.

    Look forward to seeing you on Fox Soccer Report tonight. Hope you had a happy holidays. As a Man United fan, I was disappointed, but still saw some great games.

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