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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.


Sunday Open Thread – I Smell Goals In the Spring Air

Written by on April 9, 2011 | 15 Comments »
Posted in General

Premier League

Blackpool v Arsenal

Blackpool have found themselves caught in a whirlpool over the last numbers of weeks as they get sucked closer and closer to the bottom three. So far Ian Holloway has stuck by his attacking principles and Arsenal will be hoping that he continues to do so.

Stacked defences frustrate Arsenal when an early goal does not come their way so an open game would be right up their street. Blackpool does not have a very impressive home record although they do have more home games remaining than any other side. On the other hand Arsenal has the most away points in the Barclay’s Premier League and in fewer games played than most.

Aston Villa v Newcastle

Newcastle are on the cusp of being safe which is a tremendous achievement given their status as a newly promoted club. It looks as if the gamble of cashing in on Andy Carroll has not backfired and now the question will be – can that money be spent in the next transfer window?

Aston Villa’s leaky defence – only two teams had conceded more going into this weekend – continues to haunt them as does a propensity to toss away more leads than a careless detective. Twenty three points  from winning positions so far.

Maybe one specific thing to watch for in this game is Newcastle often play a highish back line that presses up looking to catch players offside. Darren Bent thrives on space behind the back four.

Newcastle have caught the opposition offside more than any other side in the PL – interesting to see if they play an aggressive offside trap against Bent who thrives on ball being played in behind the back four.
Villa away to West Ham next week; Newcastle home to Manchester United


By far the biggest game in Italy on Sunday is Milan at a much-improved Fiorentina. Fiorentina is unbeaten in their last six matches and have only lost once at home (to Inter) since the start of October.

The other matches scheduled are;

Juventus v Genoa,

Bari v Catania,

Bologna v Napoli,

Cagliari v Brescia,

Lazio v Parma,

Palermo v Cesena,

Sampdoria v Lecce.


With Real Madrid and Barcelona having played on Saturday the game that will likely garner te most attention is third place Valencia at home to Villarreal who are one place behind. The other matches scheduled for Sunday are;

Hercules v Espanyol,

Malaga v Deportivo La Coruna,

Racing Santander v Levante,

Sporting Gijon v Osasuna,

Atletico Madrid v Real Sociedad.


Houston Dynamo v Vancouver Whitecaps

The only Sunday match in MLS has the Houston Dynamo looking for their first win against the Vancouver Whitecaps who have started quite well with five points from four games.

Whitecap’s French striker Eric Hassli had just served his one-game suspension against Sporting KC and came on as a half time substitute against NER. He then picked up a yellow, scored a penalty, throw one of the two jerseys he was wearing into the crowd and got sent off for a second yellow card.


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15 responses to “Sunday Open Thread – I Smell Goals In the Spring Air”

  1. Gus Keri says:

    DeRo is starting for NYRB in place of Ballouchi. He is playing just behind Henry and Agudelo

    Otherwise, it’s the same line-up as usual.

    Go New York!

  2. Boris says:

    Tottenham vs. Stoke:

    What a game.

    A lot of good goals.

    Bobby, what do you think of Crouch’s second goal via header? Can you believe that? Good call by Harry to stick with the player.

    Of the two PFA Tottenham nominees, Bale was the better player. He had a good game though he was to blame for the cheap giveaway that led to Jones’ fantastic goal. What a cracker. VDV on the other hand was not too much of a factor. He was not effective on the right as Modric continued to drift there especially in the second half. VDV had no shot on goal and his form fails to impress again as it has been the case most of the second half of the season. He did have a few nice tricks and a good tackle but that was about it.

    Slightly better rotation by Harry. Good to see Huddlestone back in the lineup though he was clearly rusty. He could not prevent Etherington from scoring that fantastic goal.

    Luka Modric. What can I say? A world class goal by a world class player.

    Player of the Match: Luka Modric. He was absolutely brilliant all game long as he has been all season long..fantastic runs, great passing and vision not to mention his slalom run to finish off with a goal in between the goalie’s legs.

    I am sorry but the Premier League got it all wrong. Modric should have been shortlisted for the Premier League player of the year award. At least among others have recognized his class by adding him to one of their favorite players of the season.

    Oh well. C’est la vie.

  3. Gus Keri says:

    It was a total domination by NY in the first half but no goals. 0-0

    NY seems to be missing the final pass, close to the opponent’s goal.

    Unbelievable miss by Agudelo.
    In the first 30 minutes, he hit the woodwork twice.

  4. Soccerlogical says:

    Forget Modric, not shortlisting the league’s top scorer and world class talent and only starting him when Rooney is banned is a spit in Berba’s face by both Fergie and the PFA.

    PS Mutu is suspended against Milan while Ibra returns… probably not as exciting a match as expected.

  5. Gus Keri says:

    A huge mistake by Mr reliable Tim Ream gave Philly the go ahead goal against the run of play.
    Torres scored on his first touch after coming on.

    New York paid the price for the lack of sharpness at the attacking end. They didn’t deserve to win the game, neither did Philly. Philly was lucky.

    final result 1-0 for Philly.

  6. Boris says:


    None of it makes any sense. The selections were appalling but this shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
    I generally don’t have any faith in the voting process in the world of sports.

  7. Bryan says:

    Congratulations to Crawley Town ,and Tottenham.

    Crawley Town ,remember them? ,clinched the Conference title ,and a place in the Football League for the first time ,with five games to spare after a 3-0 win at Forrest Green.

    With their 3-2 win over Stoke ,Tottenham secured their place in the PL for next season.

    And in perhaps a sign of things to come ,Fergie’s horse failed to go the distance in the National.

  8. Roberto Manita says:

    Boris the Croatian,

    I can’t believe I keep agreeing with SL. But there it is. I do. Berbatov is the league’s leading scorer and he is not on the list. Nani was ManU’s best player this year and he is not on the list. You keep crying about Modric this and Modric that … he is not on the list. And the two Spuds that are on the list (and happen to not be Croatian) are better than your boy Modric. Get over it. Next thing you know you will start telling everyone that Modric is better than Xavi (maybe because he is Croatian and the Catalan is not).

    And when a Serbian wins this year’s award, I ask you, how will that feel Boris the Croatian?

  9. Roberto Manita says:


    Despite Berbatov’s EPL leading tally of goals, I believe the Bulgarian is rightfully ManU’s third striker at the moment. I would play both Rooney and Hernandez ahead of him in every major game this year (i.e. Europe) because of Berba’s lack of mobility and versatility. When Mr. Bobby announced, on the air, that he thought Berbatov would start ahead of Hernandez in a meaningful match, I fell off the couch (and it was not over one of his PoW picks 🙂 ).

    The days when Berbatov is selected ahead of Hernandez are over. The Mexican has served his apprenticeship.

  10. Roberto Manita says:

    And Boris – You can only use ‘C’est la vie’ if you are French … or an Arsenal fan. And even if you are a French Spuds fan, which you are not, it is still not allowed 🙂

  11. Boris says:

    I am fluent in French, German, Croatian, and English. I would say that would qualify me to write in those languages. Don’t you think?
    You say, “And the two Spuds that are on the list (and happen to not be Croatian) are better than your boy Modric” – How do you know this? How many Tottenham games have you watched this season?
    Vidic is a fantastic player wherever he comes from. The same goes for Djokovic. I enjoy watching him play. I have no problem if they are Serbian or Italian…You get the picture. Not everybody is racist you know. It would almost seem like you are trying to insult my heritage. Next you will be writing how half of Croatia belongs to Italy like half your politicians claim whenever they run for office. Please stopt with your “Croatian” comments. There is no place for racism in soccer or any other aspect of life. I am going to stop right here because I refuse to lower myself to your level.
    I am just going to ignore you and I will continue to write about quality players like Modric, Cry about it to anyone you would like to. I don’t care but please stop make comments about Croatians.

  12. Boris says:

    One more thing, why can’t you people understand that I root for Modric because I think he is a fantastic player and not because he’s Croatian? I happen to have watched Tottenham a lot in the recent years and regardless where Modric came from, he would be my favorite player. Sorry that it bothers people that he’s Croatian but that won’t stop me from writing about him.

  13. Soccerlogical says:

    Roberto – Not taking anything away from 2 very gifted forwards like Rooney and Hernandz but mobile strikers are a dime a dozen. However, a forward like Berba who can unlock any defense and is superb in tight spaces is a rare commodity which wins you titles. There is no need to have 2 mobile strikers at the same time when both have the same skill sets and neither is even half as good as Berba in tight spaces. Berba scores when on the pitch and at crucial moments of the game.

    Fergie knew what he was getting in Berba and to bench a striker for whom you have paid 35M Euros and is a proven goalscorer who is the only one who creates chances in tight spaces is asinine.

    I can’t wait till Rooney pulls another low life stunt or Hernandez goes cold only to see Berba give Fergie the “two-finger salute” and intentionally lose Fergie the EPL title or CL qualifier while at the same time winning the EPL top goalscorer award!

  14. NE Red Devil says:

    I agree with SoccerLogical. Berbatov is absolutely unique among united’s strikers. His ability to create from nothing and produce those moments of magic could be essential versus Chelsea. United need to hold the ball and neither Rooney or Chicharito come close to the Bulgarian in this aspect. I love Javier and what he’s done this season. However just painful to watch him attempt to win a header vs Chelsea’s center backs.

    I would start with Berbatov and then bring on Javier for the “Solsjaer effect.” His lethal pace against tired legs.

  15. Gillian says:

    Best match I watched today was PSV vs. Heerenveen. It had a little of everything in the 2nd half: a red card, a comeback from each team and an injury right at the start of injury time. Good times.

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