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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.


The Top Stories of 2011 – 21 to 30

Written by on January 2, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Posted in General

On the December 27 and January 3 podcasts Eoin and I offer up out biggest twenty soccer stories of 2011. Over the last few days the blog brought you another eighty stories that just failed to make into the top twenty. 

21.    Eric Abidal’s return after a spring cancer fight to help Barcelona win the UEFA Champions League is without a doubt the feel good story of 2011.

22.    Luis Suarez suspension for eight games after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra of Manchester United set off a furor of debate much of it bringing little credit to the protagonists. Scratch the surface and the average football fan has the moral compass of the Sons of Anarchy when it comes to “their” team.  

23.    The Spanish Super Cup brought another el clasico or to be more accurate, two.  Barcelona won 5-4 on aggregate (2-2 and 3-2) but the “festivities” really got going when Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho poked Barcelona assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye during a melee at the end of the second leg.  Mourinho was subsequently handed a two-match ban and were fined €600. Vilanova was banned for a game and fined the same amount for attacking Mourinho’s hand with his eye.

24.    Carlo Ancelotti returns to the game as manager of PSG replacing the unfortunate Antoine Kombouaré a long-time club servant.

25.    Thierry Henry returned to Emirates Stadium to see a statute of his likeness unveiled. He even hangs around long enough to sign a short term loan deal with Arsenal. 

26.     In Rio de Janeiro the World Cup 2014 qualifying draw takes place with much fanfare and fannying around.

27.    Juventus open their new stadium in Turin.

28.     In November LA Galaxy wins MLS Cup for third time this time beating Houston Dynamo who were also going for a hat trick of wins.

29.     The post-season in MLS brings the departure of long-serving New England Revolution Coach Steve Nicol and Colorado Rapids Gary Smith.

30.    Real Salt Lake’s run to final of the CONCACAF Champions League captures US fans imagination during the spring but success eluded them. After a draw in Monterrey Real Salt Lake lose to a Humberto Suazo goal just on the stroke of half time.

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One response to “The Top Stories of 2011 – 21 to 30”

  1. Ed Gomes says:

    Abidal has to be one of the few “feel good” stories of the year. Wish him only continued success.

    The Suarez saga has already been well posted in previous post, but let me add something.
    Why is it ok for Barca’s Pep to come out and say his goal and dream is to start a match with only Cantalonians on the field. By any means not a new dream or concept, since it dates back to Van Gaal. But isn’t that a segregated, hence racist, thought. Or is me being opposed to it racist.
    We all know the Civil Rights movement in the US, and for all the flack it still takes for not doing enough, it has come much further along than other nations. I’m not saying that racism doesn’t exist, because it does, but too many times people have used it for their own self interests in throwing around the word. It’s real and we should never forget it. But to me there’s no difference in a Serb wanting a Croat dead, and vice versa, ora Cantalonian or even Basque and Spaniard hating each other. It goes beyond football. For me Pep is doing his country, Spain, a disservice. If you are of the belief that Cantalonia should be its own country because it once was where do you draw the line in history to determine thoses. Should the Brits own the US’s Northeast and the French should get back the Louisiana Purchase.
    Sorry for maybe going way off track, but just wanted to point out that there’s many forms of Racism that goes unnoticed due to the peoples commiting or receiving it.

    The new stadium in Turin is the best thong for “the old lady”. I just wonder if attendance has gone up. The crazies keep plenty away. I’ll have to check.

    Wenger blames refs once again. Yes it should have been a soft penalty. But the fact remains that with so little time left Arsenal should have held. Maybe a lot of tough love is what is missing at Arsenal. By the way, the much praised goalie had a few Almunia moments in this one. I still say that in the long run he and Almunia will prove to be much the same. People forgot that Almunia look great in the begining as well.
    Oh and regards to Henry, its another smoke screen.

    Mourinho is “the special one”, brilliant, and an A** H***.

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