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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 – TFC Just Need Two More DPs; US World Cup Rights; Don’t Mess With The Taxman

Written by on October 26, 2011 | 5 Comments »
Posted in General

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

Crewe Alexandra are using sport science to help their players became more accurate and powerful shooters.

This article from the Caribbean nation of Antigua & Barbuda might indicate that they are not only getting ahead of the action but perhaps over estimating what playing in the next round of World Cup qualifying might deliver in terms of benefits.

Tom Williams thinks that Marseille may have to revert to the counter-attack to solve their current problems.

Last week the BBC broadcast and investigative piece that called into question Rangers’ owner Craig Whyte’s past business dealings. Scotzine takes a look the legal implications and options for Whyte. It looks like this one has a ways to run.

And a fine article by Tom English on the Rangers/Craig Whyte situation and it includes a bit about the sword of Damocles, or as it is more commonly known, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

World Cup rights in the US TV market – those that point out that the World Cup is 7 years are forgetting that the next Women’s World Cup is less than four years hence.  And it is Canada.

How Sepp Blatter retains his grip on power – from Keir Radnedge. An excellent piece.

Some “Olympic spirit” drivel from Paul Hayward. If you would like to read more informed opinion then read the comments after the article.

A poignant article from fantasy football for those of us who may have given up on some players in our Fantasy Football pool only to have it rebound on Saturday…or even worse, have it rebound on us twice!

Ian Graham puts forward his case on the uselessness of draws.

The Emergence of the Ball Playing Centre Back” – emergence, really? A sense of football history missing here perhaps. If it had talked in terms of many, many decades ago it might have some relevance. Otherwise it is tantamount to writing a piece on popular music and starting with the Beatles.

Dion Fanning is a man who does have his history sorted out. Writing in the Irish Independent he draws some interesting historical parallels between foreign owners and a previous group of usurpers.

Jens Sejer Andersen can see right through Sepp Blatter’s transparency plan.

Business Week lifts up the hood and takes a look at the inner workings of “brand Manchester United”.

Paul Gardner says he will miss Steve Nicol although not his team’s playing style.


“In a full-page ad in Saturday’s Toronto Star, Toronto FC manager Aron Winter thanked the fans for their patience as the club continues in its efforts to build a contender.
“The future is bright,” Winter says in the ad.
And based on the team’s fight and determination in coming from behind for a 2-2 draw against New England on Saturday afternoon in the season finale, that assessment could be spot on.”


Is a comeback draw at home against the team that finishes bottom of the Eastern Conference really a legitimate benchmark to predict a bright future?

You can read the full article here.

The article has a similar tone to the analysis on TSN during the final game against New England Revolution.

It went something like this.

Toronto has made great strides since the acquisition of Torsten Frings and Danny Koevermans and they just need to sign another couple of players like that to make a go of it next season.

So for all the talk of the improvement made by Toronto and how the squad that Aron Winter inherited was so bad but now it is better, what it comes down to is Toronto “improvement” is because they signed two more designated players to go with another, Julian de Guzman.

And the recipe for further improvement? Find a way to change MLS rules and allow TFC to increase their designated number to 5.

Does anyone thought that given Frings and Koevermans will be 35 and 33 respectively next season there might be more downside than upside coming next season?

After all how many players get better at that sort of age especially when playing in a physically taxing and fatigue-inducing (on account of travel) like MLS?

Here is Cathal Kelly’s assessment of Toronto FC at the end of year 5 – a much more sober assessment and in my opinion a more realistic one as well.

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5 responses to “Raves and Rants – TFC Just Need Two More DPs; US World Cup Rights; Don’t Mess With The Taxman”

  1. […] help but chuckle when I read this article in Businessweek (hat tip to the always excellent Soccer Report Extra for the link) entitled, “Inside the Man United Machine” which purports to tell the […]

  2. Ed Gomes says:

    Did you guys see the comments made by Platini?
    It’s from a Portuguese paper. Google translator is slghtly different than what I read.

    “Beckham in Paris would certainly be good for commercial centers. I love him as a player but is no longer the player he was. If he comes to Paris he will do something other than football.”

    I happen to agree.
    Translator had it a good for “commercialism”, but in the true translation he meant good for shopping/economy.

    Bobby, how is attendance in Toronto. It’s such a cosmopolitan city, where a winner in the MLS should draw very well.
    Let me add that Portuguese talent might just help in drawing people.
    Since I don’t follow the MLS, what is the limit you can sign a foreign player for, in order for them not to be considered a designated player?

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    Jorge Zuazola of Spanish leadership who is a very bright guy plans to write a book on how the MLS and US NT will only improve if “better” coaches take over the teams and instill their ideologies. He suggests that MLS sign as many Spanish managers (i.e. Ramos, Bentez) as possible and in 5-10 years the MLS could well be in the same tier as Ligue 1, Russian Prem, Liga Sagres or Eredevisie.

  4. Ed Gomes says:

    Not a crazy idea and one that should work.
    The only problem I see with it is how motivated will those coaches/managers will be?
    Is the MLS where they feel they could make their mark?

    I also feel that some if not all of the problem begins in the youth programs which are very rigid. Punt and run.
    There’s also a lot of so-called “experts” brought over from overseas, that collect a nice check, but really don’t accomplish much. To be honest they should be teaching the coaches and not the kids.

    Like myself (LOL), a lot of people think that they know what they’re doing. And frankly they just might know the game, but teaching it is a whole different animal.

  5. Carmelo Gabriele says:

    Thanks Bobby for the article about the Rangers financial plight…. Amazing, I pray Celtic has been smarter with they’re finances…. I think it makes Walter Smith’s accomplishments all the more remarkable.

    I still wonder if its at all possible that Rangers & Celtic join the Football Division, what if they ask for the sake of they’re financial survival and the betterment of Scottish football to be allowed to enter say League 2, and work they’re way up if they so choose? Swansea City is not in England but they’re in the Premier League? I defer on this matter because I was born and raised in Italy (17 years) and have in the USA for the last 10 years so I’m not at all familiar with socio-political landscape and the regional attitudes.

    The article about ball playing center back is passed its expiration date, I read a better article in the magazine Champions, the article is by Jonathan Wilson, Issue 37 November 2009…. I just read it again in fact. He talks about the new offside rules, more and more teams playing with one striker and the rise of attacking fullbacks.

    Pep Guardiola is also slowly switching Barca to a 3-4-3 with Pique basically playing as a sweeper. Pep sometimes employs this formation and many other time doesn’t, the amazin thing is the tactical flexibility on display at the Camp Nou. I cannot imagine English pundits weekly dealing with the variety of formations and little wrinkles Pep throws at the opposition…. it would be hilarious! just think Warren Barton, the man only as room in his head for 4-4-2…. if a side is losing the match say 1-0 or whatever is only explanation is well if only they switch to 4-4-2 they’ll be fine….yikes no wonder England has won 1 world cup….

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