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Soccer Report Extra Podcast: Episode 15 – “It’s like a kind of torture…”

Written by on May 16, 2011 | 21 Comments »
Posted in General, Soccer Report Extra Podcast

(click here for ‘relegation’ theme song)

Waldorf (Gold): Why do we always come here?
Statler (Sullivan): I guess we’ll never know.
Waldorf (Gold): It’s like a kind of torture… (both) to have to watch this show!

This week on the podcast Eoin and Bobby spend time reviewing the FA Cup Final. They discuss the job Tony Pulis has done with Stoke and wonder if there is any manager who has done more with less.  Now that Pulis has his side in mid-table, and they’ve been to an FA Cup final, where do they go from here? Also, what’s in store for Manchester City, and was Mario Balotelli really that good on Saturday?

The relegation battle gets some attention as well.  West Ham get relegated and fire Avram Grant – is there any way back for either?  And what is in store this coming Sunday as the curtain comes down on the 2010/11 Premier League season.

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21 responses to “Soccer Report Extra Podcast: Episode 15 – “It’s like a kind of torture…””

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Haven’t listened to the pod yet but ready to fight for Karen Brady’s honor as she can look way sexy when she wants to and is no “porker”. We demand a retraction and public apology kind sirs!



  2. Erik says:

    A few comments on the show:

    Tony Pulis has done an amazing job so far but 2011-12 will have to be his best job ever. I say that because now that Stoke is in the Europa League it means more games and Stoke isn’t a side that has a deep enough roster to be involved in 3 different competitions at once: Premier, FA and Europa. To me the more success they have in Europa means the less success they will have in the EPL. The Europa League play starts at the end of June meaning Stoke’s season starts up again around 1 month after this one ends. If Stoke advances far in Europa I think they stand a decent chance of being Relegated in the EPL because of it. They don’t have a roster that can play 2 games per week for most of the season without it affecting their EPL play. Sometimes “Be Careful of What You Wish For – You Just Might get It” really is true.

    You guys talked about West Ham playing Championship League football on Premier League wages and how they can’t do that. Birmingham might have the same problem – even worse. If they get relegated – and I think they will – not only do they have to play Championship Football on Championship wages – they will have to play Europa League Football on Championship Wages. Good luck there. It’s hard enough for them to do well in the EPL on EPL wages – imagine going up against sides in their Country’s top league and top league wages while B’ham is paying their guys 2nd Tier wages. How ugly would it be if B’ham had to face someone like Man City or Arsenal in the Europa League if one of those 2 gets KOd from the CL and gets sent to the Europa League – and has to face a Premier League side for 2 games while B’ham is paying its players LC wages. I think B’ham is going down because if B’Pool or Wigan get just one point they will pass B’ham if Alex McLeish’s boys lose and if B’ham loses by 1 more goal than B’Pool odds are they could go down as well if Wigan gets any points.

    Watching Monday’s FSR – it’s good to see Derek Taylor reads these comments. I made the comment about 44 points between Top and Bottom being the closest since 2001-02 and then he said the same thing – adding it was the closest since 1999. So – Hello Derek – good to see you over the cold you had last week that made you sound like Barry White 🙂

    As for Karen Brady…………….She is in no danger of being “Relegated” – she has First Team – Top League “Talent”

  3. Boris says:

    I finally listened to a pod cast. You guys did a good job.
    It is going to be a very exciting weekend. It is a shame it must end so soon.

  4. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – I believe the Muppet Show picture depicting Miss Piggy (Karen Brady) is rather appropriate and a brilliant choice. As the saying goes, “You can put lipstick on a pig but a xxx is still a xxx”. Considering her present girth, I believe she is well on her way, a trajectory, to making a fine Russian babushka living in jolly ole England one day. She has potential.

    Bobby – Why is Neil Lennon so hated by so many from your homeland? I don’t think I can remember anyone hated so much in the history of the SPL. I know he is a nutter and there is a great deal of sectarian emotions involved here. But still, I cannot wrap my head around the reasons as to the level of animous directed towards this one individual. Can you?

  5. Soccerlogical says:

    Roberto – Careful what you say about Karen Brady and “girth”…Eoin and Boris have a thing for a BBW. 🙂

    * Why are so many pundits claiming this Manyoo squad is one of the weaker teams in their history due to away record, etc?

    A world class GK, solid CBs and LB, excellent wingers like Nani & Valencia, excellent hard working mids like Park & Fletch, the wisdom of Giggs, a versatile Rooney on form, an on fire young poacher in Hernandez AND league leading scorer Berba on the bench!

    How exactly is this Manyoo squad weaker than many of previous seasons?

  6. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – A quick answer to your ManU Q: poor away record, poor points total for an EPL champion, and a weak midfield. I admit, I do rate Nani most highly among their midfielders. I see him as their only truly world class midfielder. A poor man’s CR7. The trouble is, I don’t think Fergie will start him in the UCL Final as he prefers Valencia’s defensive and crossing qualities on the right hand side. Fergie will likely go with Carrick and Giggs in the center with Park on the left and Rooney dropping to help the central midfielder and linking with Hernandez. Rooney also is world class, no doubt. But can you compare ManU’s midfield with Barça’s? Not unless you’ve had an overdose of black pints. Carrick, I don’t rate him and he is liable to have a give away like he had in the FA Cup SF against the noisy neighbours which lead to the game’s sole goal … especially against Barça’s pressing style. Park, a fine work horse with a third lung but he’s nothing special even at EPL standards and he can’t compare with any of Barça’s midfielders. Even Keita, a sub, has more class. Giggs, he’s had a brilliant and long career but it’s 2011 and don’t expect miracles from him any more. Giggs won’t trouble FCB one iota. Valencia, is strong, has pace, good positional sense and a solid defender. However, he is very predictable and won’t trouble FCB at all. He’s there to do a defensive job and cross the ball. The only mid, other than Rooney, that could cause worry is Nani. But Fergie has already shown us his preferred XI in big games and since Valencia has come back into the team he has been preferred to Nani. This ManU vintage has a substandard midfield. It is a weakness which wasn’t exposed during the EPL season. It will be on the 28th. You can take that to the bank or put a bobble on it.

    The fact that they won the EPL title this year is a testament to Old Red Nose’s greatness. Fergie 2011 is vintage. His team, not so much.

    Two years ago FCB took care of ManU in the UCL Final in Rome. And that ManU had two players that Barça feared (CR7 and Tevez). Without those two, I can’t see ManU troubling FCB. I really can’t. Sure, Rooney, Hernandez, and Nani (won’t start) are dangerous. But, outside of a set piece or a questionable PK (which ManU often tend to get), I honestly can’t see this ManU vintage doing much on the 28th. I’ll have my feet up comfortably that day.

    Carlito!!! Expect this to be the last EPL title for ManU for a little while also. The city is destined to go blue and it will be beautiful.

  7. Soccerlogical says:

    Roberto – I wasn’t comparing Manyoo to Barca, I was comparing them to previous Manyoo sides. And in the likes of Valencia, Nani , Vidic, Rooney, Chicharito, Berba, VdS, etc I do not see a reason to state that this Manyoo side has less “quality” than other Manyoo sides that won honors in the past.

    PS Don’t underestimate this Manyoo side’s quality against Barca either…. especially as the match is at Wembley.

    PPS Antonio Valencia is a winger but sometimes plays a more central creative role for Ecuador, so lots of options for Fergie in midfield. If it were up to me I wouldn’t even have Carrick on the bench and would start Valencia, Park, Giggs, Anderson and Rooney supporting Chicharito in a 4 – 4 – 1-1 with Nani and Berba ready to come on at moment’s notice even in the first half, pending the circumstances of first 20 mins.

  8. Roberto Manita says:

    Stoke City will be playing in Europe next year? Hide the women and children from that leg breaking, rubgy playing, motley bunch. The continent won’t know what hit them 🙁

    Ah crap. ManC 2-0 Stoke. Arsene has got to go through the UCL qualifiers.

    SL – Fergie only plays Valencia as a right sided midfielder no matter what he does for his NT. The ‘home field’ advantage of Wembley is over rated by English types. Both sides are allocated 25,000 seats. Of the rest, I do expect more ManU fans than FCB fans because it is in England but it won’t be like some huge home field advantage. The referee will be from a neutral country (of course). I’m so confident of this FCB team disciplining this ManU team that I’d have the match at the Old Toilet with an English referee. Remember, ManU is facing FCB, not Arsenal.

    Expected XI:
    ManU 4-4-1-1 VdS, Fabio, Rio, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs (would be Fletcher if fully match fit), Park (I’d play Nani instead), Rooney, Hernandez
    FCB 4-3-3 VV, Alves, Puyol, Pique, Abidal, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Villa

    Tevez!!! Tied with Berba now. How about that little Carlito?? He doesn’t want to stay. How about Tevez in a Barça jersey next year? Carlito would fit in perfectly. Head case yes. But he can play with Masche and Messi. I’d rather spend the off season transfer money on Tevez than Cesc. But the Catalans will opt for one of their own in Cesc I think. Both would be brilliant but unlikely. One can always hope though. Either way, it sounds like Tevez is tired of Mancini. I am too.

    SL – So why is Neil Lennon so hated??

  9. Soccerlogical says:

    Roberto – I’m American not Scottish so I have no idea. All I know is that both Lennon and McCoist seem like angry little men with no charm who wouldn’t get the time of day from Karen Brady!

    PS As much as I admire Barca and Pep and adore Messi (who I spotted at the under 20 WC tournie a while ago), in this Manyoo side there is a very strong defensive core and lots of guile in attack so for me it’s a 50/50.

    PPS Can’t see Fletcher participating as he hasen’t played in the last 2 league matches but if he plays it’s a definite plus for Manyoo. This will be the second CL final the poor Scot misses (the other by suspension and now by injury)… both against Barca.

  10. Roberto Manita says:


    Karen Brady wouldn’t even give Tom Brady the time of day. That’s her problem. She thinks she is a Ferrari but she’s more like a wide bodied pick-up truck.

    Fergie would play Fletcher if he was match fit. But Fletcher playing would make no difference. Is Fletcher world class? I don’t think so. Who was the last truly world class Scot (no offence Bobby)? I think he presently manages at Liverpool. Fletcher missed the 2009 Rome Final but remember that FCB did not have their two starting fullbacks that game (both Alves and Abidal were out), played YaYa as a CB and Puyol as a RB, Iniesta was not 100%, and they still beat a stronger than current ManU side comfortably.

    Too bad I don’t live in NYC. I’d give you 2:1 and give you ManU. The odds certainly are not 50/50. The last I checked, FCB is -200 to win outright. And for good reason too. True, this is a one off Cup game at a neutral ground and anyone can win on the day and the best team doesn’t always win and all that jazz. And that is all true. I’ll give you that. BUT this is probably the best Barça ever and this is far from the best ManU ever. And this time FCB will have their full team available against a team they already beat two years ago 2-0 which was stronger then than it is now. The writing is on the wall. I’d like to see a right proper spanking but a win will do. Thank you.

  11. Boris says:

    Shame. I was hoping Cardiff would qualify….

  12. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – I must admit that is a rather fattering, er flattering, picture of Miss Piggy. Notwithstanding those thunderous thighs … Piggizilla.

  13. soccerlogical says:

    Roberto – Many would say that you need a real team effort to beat this Barca side and the fact that Cronaldo isn’t at Manyoo will benefit Fergie’s tactics.

    *I wouldn’t even take Manyoo OR Barca to win at 5 to 1 as I only bet where I see a clear or logical advantage for either team. And in this CL final I only see a coin toss which can fall on either side.

  14. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – So a ManU side without CR7 (& Tevez & Scholes) stands a better chance of beating a stronger FCB side than that which beat a ManU side with CR7 (& Tevez & Scholes)? I would call your logic quintessentially counterintuitive 🙄

  15. Soccerlogical says:

    RM- I’m saying that to beat Barca you need a “team effort” and in that final Ronaldo tried to beat Barca on his own… and failed.

    Additionally both Scholes (who has been past his prime for a few years now) and Tevez were subs in that game. And the likes of an in form Valencia and spark like Nani and Chicharito can make all the difference.

    There is a reason why Berba is on the bench… this Manyoo side are a team all playing at the same tempo unlike any team which includes a glory hound (yet very gifted) Cronaldo.

    *Add to this equation the fact that both Pedro and Villa are currently out of form and home country advantage means something, even if it’s a slight advantage in ambiance, familiar faces speaking the same language, hotels, the stadium and media.

  16. Roberto Manita says:


    The point is, that the ManU lineup in Rome will be very similar to the one that will be rolled out in Wembley. The differences in the lineups I forsee are just three changes (Fabio for O’Shea, Valencia for Anderson, and Hernandez for CRonaldo). Of those three, the only big difference is Hernandez for CR7. God bless Hernandez, I like him, but he is no CR7. It is simply a downgrade no matter how you try to rationalize it and paint CR7 to have been overly selfish that day. Despite this, CR7 can change a game in an instant unlike anyone ManU currently have.

    True, Scholes was only a sub in Rome. But he could always unlock a defence with his passing. Now, he may not even dress for this game. Tevez too was only a sub and came on only after ManU was behind. But both were game changers who aren’t available (effectively, in the case of Scholes) this time around. I can see Fergie doing the same thing this year wrt Nani (not use him until ManU are behind) with the objective of fielding his strongest defensively minded midfield from the outset. It didn’t work last time. And he has the same usual suspects in the midfield this time around but with a weakened arsenal upfront (without CR7 & Tevez).

    I wouldn’t say that both Villa and Pedro are not on form. A little dry, yes. But nothing like the nine months Rooney didn’t score a goal from open play earlier this year. Was Rooney pregnant? Villa did score in a league match recently and Pedro had a big goal in the 2nd leg v RM.

    The big question will be, can ManU’s midfield be able to cope with FCB’s pressing game? A high pressure full court pressing game that FCB did not have in 2009. I don’t think so. Especially a mistake waiting to happen named Carrick.

    I wish you were a guy across the street, or in the same town, to place a gentleman’s wager with. And I’d give you the 2:1 SL.

  17. Soccerlogical says:

    RM – If I wouldn’t take 5:1 on either Manyoo or Barca to win then why would I take 2:1?

    In my eyes the match is just too close to call and I don’t just spin the wheel. Manyoo have a deeper bench with Berba, Scholes and Nani as options and the team is playing as a more cohesive unit than they did with CR7, which is a key element in containing Barca’s style of play.

    I wouldn’t bet a penny on either team…. extremely balanced match in my eyes.

  18. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – OK fair enough. “More cohesive unit” is a very subjective measure. A 2011 ManU with far less league points and a weaker squad than the 2009 ManU is an objective measure. Just sayin’.

    And don’t let that French IMF fella jump a flight back to France without a trial. Keep an eye on that dubious socialist please.

  19. Roberto Manita says:

    But a betting man that thinks a game is 50/50 would jump at the value of getting ManU at 2:1 (+200) which is a little better than the market value of @ +160. That’s only logical no?

  20. Soccerlogical says:

    RM –

    +275 for Manyoo at bet365.

    Odds have nothing to do with it, I don’t like the bet and that’s all. I would never wager large sums purely based on luck. And I am not even slightly confident or have any intuition that Manyoo or Barca have an edge. A few bucks sure, but what fun is that? 🙂

    As for DSK, a European head of IMF who is of Jewish ancestry has “intercourse” with a West African Muslim chamber maid in a NYC hotel. I would cast Danny DeVito as Strauss-Kahn and Halle Berry as the chamber maid and watch the box office numbers skyrocket.

    At least we know that Sarkozy isn’t planning a “Bin Laden type raid” to free DSK from the pokey.

    Talk about “Too Big to Fail”!

  21. Roberto Manita says:


    The odds I posted were in relation to win outright. I believe the odds you cited were over 90 minutes only. Hence the discrepancy.

    I like your casting. Have lunch with Speilberg and hash it all out.

    Another “Too Big to Fail” flick you can work on could be called “Arnold and his Nanny”.

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