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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 – The Death of Socrates, Football Boots & Did ESPN Fire the Wrong Person?

Written by on December 8, 2011 | 11 Comments »
Posted in General

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

There is a little bit of catch up on my part this week.

I missed this one the first time around by Soccer America’s resident curmudgeon Paul Gardiner thinks that ESPN fired the wrong person when they axed John Harkes.

With el classico this weekend Jimmy Burns gives Jose Mourinho the edge.

I just got around to this Freakonomics podcast that looks at booing at sporting events and some reasons as to why we don’t at other attractions we pay to watch.

Rafa Benitez suggests how England can develop better young players.

The always interesting and insightful Tom Williams looks at how Barcelona have changed how we look at the game and how they have destroyed some cherished beliefs along the way.

Last Friday’s game between Genoa and Milan was interrupted after tear gas fired by police blew into the stadium. Here Brian Seal explains the background to the incident.

Greg Lea wrote this excellent piece on the axe that continually hangs over managers of football teams. 

This is a follow-up to the study that links heading a ball to brain damage. I go back to the maxim of Dr. Gregory House – “patients lie.” It seems to me that there is a significant difference in terms of what constitutes a header. 1,000 to 1,500 high impact headers in a year seem to me to be extraordinarily high number for amateur players.  

Euro 2012 ball unveiled – and I thought the Jabulani was pronounced as the truest ball ever! On the basis of the study mentioned above how long before we name a ball “Brain-damage 3,00o”?

Continuing the theme of bodily damage  Hugh McDonald gets asked to vote on the “football boot of the year” but it only leads him to thinking of how things have changed.

Phil Lines takes a more considered approach to the issue of dividing up overseas Premier League revenues.

David Brown looks at the legacy of South Africa 2010 and the stark reality left after the FIFA circus has moved on to the next big show.

Ben Lyttleton writes about how Robin van Persie has finally emerged as a top class talent after years of injury ravaged seasons.

A couple of pieces on Socrates. Remembering Brazil’s Soccer Philosopher King from Gabriele Marcotti and Aleks Klosok considers the life and times of the iconic Brazilian midfielder.

There are very few articles I have come across as bad as this one. Title “FIFA probes failed World Cup bids” – introduction “USA’s failed 2022 World Cup bid” – picture David Beckham and Prince William which has nothing to do with the USA bid but references it again in the caption – paragraph linking alleged bribery payments to Chuck Blazer (which no one has linked to the bidding process for the World Cups except this article) – and so it goes on.
The only explanation is that some chimps finally came though.

With the appointment of Martin O’Neill the Rocker Report looks back at Sunderland’s other Northern Ireland’s connections.

John Doyle at the Globe and Mail has generated a lot of blushes at the Fox Soccer Report.


“Rapids goalkeeper Chris Sharpe, who had spells with Southampton and Chesterfield, says Larentowicz can fit easily in any quality midfield, telling “Jeff reminds me of a young Makelele. Hard nosed, hard-working, breaks things down very quickly in defense, very strong in a challenge. Simple on the ball, keeps the ball moving, strikes a ball up their (sic) with the best of them when he gets a hold of it!” December 7, 2011

The fact that Larentowicz reminds Chris Sharpe of Makelele is a concern to start with. But likening him to a young Makelele really brings into question what he actually remembers given that a young Makelele was a right back before moving later to midfield.  



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11 responses to “Raves and Rants – The Death of Socrates, Football Boots & Did ESPN Fire the Wrong Person?”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    In his defense, Taylor Twellman demonstrates impressive insight and astute analysis during commentary. For me, a refreshing change.

    Now all USA soccer needs is for Kasey Keller to replace either idiot Wynalda or Lalas.

  2. J says:

    I’ve taken to putting on some music and muting the commentary for some matches, particularly ESPN and GOL TV (mandatory).

    My biggest beef with ESPN – when they broadcast a 10am EST game – is that they feel it necessary to disclose the scores of other contests (which I’m recording and don’t want spoiled). I find something else to do while Lalas, et al, are doing their sideshow.

    I’m sure there’s a strategy over at ESPN, but not sure what it is. I give them credit for expanding coverage, but they’d do better by giving their viewers a little more credit. I’m not up at 4am on the west coast to listen to any drivel I assume is supposed to draw new viewers…

  3. brklynstrr says:

    1st …i hate when ESPN ruins a recorded match… FSC rarely announces the score of another match…doesn’t ESPN know it’s 2011 and DVR’s are a must for sport heads. 2nd …FFF Fox Football Fone-In is what hooked me. Wynalda’s willingness to be brutally honest and Bobby’s knowledge. Bring this show back PLEASE.
    3rd …Twellman has more charisma than the Dry Harks.
    4th …i thought Versus channel was playing a part in future soccer coverage. Who gets that job?

  4. 4th – Arlo White will be the play by play guy

  5. J Rob says:

    Big news of the day was from Brussels where leaders of Italy and Greece were seen consulting with Sir Alex Ferguson on how to make a rapid Euro exit.

    In Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish spent his day watching re-runs of classic British kids show Basil Brush (United Out) – boom,boom!

    Sorry the latter gag will only mean something to Brits of a certain age.

  6. The great Basil Brush – only in Britain. Was the guy that used to be on with BB not the same person that went on to star in Yes Minister?

  7. J Rob says:

    Spot on Bobby. Great memory.

    Sorry for continued twitter diatribe on Man City, Mancini and Champion’s League. Man Utd’s unexpected exit has shielded them from well-deserved flak.

    Also, in amongst all the hand-wringing about Man Utd, Dalglish’s pretty extraordinary assault on the FA and refereeing standards has also been shielded.

    Bringing a DVD to a press-conference, whether wise or not, reminds us that soccer is a 21st century mega-business officiated with 19th century technology. Have a feeling that he won’t be the last person to do something like this.

  8. Kenny turns all Rafa on us.

  9. J Rob says:

    Think he was rather calm (unlike Rafa). Like a QC making the case for Suarez and then better refereeing standards. Either way, it seems it’s part of a campaign by him and LFC to sway the FA and refs.

    Maybe we’ll get a powerpoint in the next press conference.

    Dalglish and SAF cut from the same cloth. Perfectly balanced people – a chip on both shoulders 🙂

    And I say that as a massive fan of both.

  10. John Bladen says:

    Refs are human. If Dalglish or Suarez want to get the benefit of the doubt, LS needs to stop the childish diving.

    And frankly, while I like Dalglish too, he should know better than to whine about officiating. His prima donnas are no less pretentious than other managers’.

  11. J Rob says:

    John – Suarez the great diver has been booked how many times for simulation?

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