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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; 91 to 100

Written by on December 29, 2011 | 13 Comments »
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 next few days the blog will bring you another eighty stories that just failed to make it into the top twenty. 

91.    Real Madrid centre back Ricardo Carvalho calls time on his international career as he walks out on Portugal just before the final stages of qualifying for the 2012 European Championships.

92.    Manchester City Chief Executive Officer Garry Cook resigns after being outed over an offensive e-mail and a truly pathetic attempt to cover up his involvement. 

93.    The European Court of Justice rules on the legality of an English pub operator Mrs Murphy side-stepping the domestic rights holder of Premier League matches and instead buying from another European Union supplier.

94.    Former Argentina and Chile coach Marcello Bielsa becomes available and finally decides to take over at Athletic Bilbao

95.    Two teams break long runs without a league championship when Dortmund wins the Bundesliga, Lille wins Ligue Un – unfortunately for both clubs they could not make it out of the Champions League group stage.

96.    The 2011/12 season in England starts off with a series of bizarre scorelines – Spurs 1-5 Manchester City; Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal; Spurs 4-0 Liverpool; Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City; Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal.

97.    In a repeat of the 2009 Champions League Final Barcelona again lift Europe’s premier club trophy beating Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley at the end of May

98.    Birmingham won the Carling Cup with a last-minute goal from Obafemi Martins against Arsenal at Wembley in February – it was their first trophy for 48 years. Then three months later they were relegated. 

99.    Napoli sign a lion – in the summer Gokhan Inler arrived from Udinese but attended the press conference in disguise wearing a lion mask before being outed.

100.    Ajax and their board room troubles played out in the media and in the court room.

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13 responses to “The Top Stories of 2011; 91 to 100”

  1. Soccerlogical says:

    Bobby – What is your take on Ebenezer Wenger’s loan move for Terry Henry?

    He buys Chamakh who proved he can score goals when given a proper run of games as he did at the start of last season when RVP was injured. And then Wenger ultimately deploys one CF in Van Persie and relegates 2 very good CFs in Park Chu-Young and Chamakh to Carling Cup matches where they have totally lost confidence and get hardly any playing time. And now he decides to bring in Henry who has lost all pace and just finished the MLS season?

  2. Gillian says:

    I still don’t understand why Inler showed up at that press conference wearing a lion’s head. I’m sure some PR person thought it was brilliant but I found it kind of creepy.

    @SoccerLogical – re: Chamakh, I’m still puzzled about what happened w/him. He did play well when he first came to Arsenal, but I’d assumed that since he was benched when Van Persie came back from injury that’s why he hasn’t played well since. Is that an incorrect assumption? I ask becaues when people talk about him now, they make it sound like he just started playing badly apropos of nothing.

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    Gillian – I am with ya on Chamakh. Wenger prefers one CF so it’s obviously gonna be RVP (when fit) so then there is the over reliance on RVP and no back up plan as the other 2 CFs lose confidence from warming the bench and getting 5 minutes here and there.

    I get amused by people like Bladen claiming that Arsenal’s youth and overall team has gelled more and are deeper than Manyoo who have the likes of last season’s EPL joint top scorer on the bench and haven’t missed a step with a decimated defense, midfield and even Rooney rested. Can you imagine if RVP or Vermaellen were out… just look at our start to the season.

  4. Ed Gomes says:

    Sinse it’s been brought up, I truely feel that Wenger has and will be catering to RVP as much as possible. First and foremost, Arsenal can not afford to lose him, but if they do, it will be for a ton.
    The best thing that’s happened to Arsenal is his scoring run. It’s hiding a lot of the teams deficiencies, and rasing his value. If, a highly probable if, Arsenal does not qualify for the Champions League, their big money will have to come from RVP’s sale, or say hello to debt.
    Debt would be a must, since RVP would most likely ask to leave if he does not see any improvement to a squad that has just failed to qualify for the CL.
    Chamakh’s “demotion” has a lot to do with RVP’s ego and catering too.
    Henry is another one of Wenger’s parlor tricks, in order to distract from the deficiencies. Look here, a ‘hero” is back!!! Let’s celebrate!!! Just make sure not to look over there and see the mess.

    Napoli for me is an interesting case. They upgraded in the offseason, which was a shock. They are having a great run in the CL, but yet only sit 7th in Serie A. It’s almost as if a sell-off is guaranteed come summer 2012. The Inler thing has no explanation.

    The Carvalho incident was major news in Portugal. What I found interesting was that there were almost as many people killing Carvalho as there were killing Bento.

    For me, Birmingham’s improbable run and eventual win says a lot more about Arsenal’s frailties than anything else.
    That win must have also gotten McLeish his current job, where he can once again take another team into a relegation battle.
    You just have to wonder what owners/presidents are thinking when certain decisions are made. Maybe drug testing should be mandatory for the board room as well.

  5. Alberta Gooner says:

    I see Chicken Little is chirping his song of woe again. Didn’t Fergie have some success a few years back taking Henrik Larsson on loan in January? Now Larsson was all of 36 or so at the time and playing in Sweden so I suppose it isn’t exactly the same. And I’m sure SL got very strong opinions on the level of play in Sweden versus MLS, though, and will tell us why it’s a rotten move and not at all analogous with his usual exhaustive suck-and-blow.

    While I don’t think bringing back Henry is the right move for the club, it’s easy to explain why Wenger is thinking about it. And it also makes sense to bring back a graybeard who has actually won things — they can make a difference in other ways. I’m quite certain it would be part of the education of the Ox and other kids who grew up idolizing TH14.

    As far as Chamakh goes, it’s obvious why RvP is getting the majority of the matches for the club. It’s up to Chamakh to take advantage of his limited opportunities, as much as Berbatov and Drogba have come off the bench and produced during cameos for their clubs. Chamakh hasn’t done that, which is probably why he’s being shopped around France right now. He represents a miss in the market for Wenger but he was signed on a free as opposed to a 35m fee and he’ll have some residual value. If Arsenal continue to be linked with bids for Gotzke and Hazard, I wonder if Wenger’s plan is to try to shift Walcott to the middle. If that’s the case, having Henry around to counsel Walcott on how he made that shift also makes sense.

  6. Soccerlogical says:

    AG – I’m curious, is it ignorance or is it stubbornness when people such as yourself constantly compare Fergie’s “questionable purchases” to those of Wenger’s? Last I checked Manyoo has had quite a successful past few years and are joint leaders (despite all the injuries). All the while, Arsenal are in a fight for a CL spot while you keep drinking Wenger juice and parroting “future, Oxlade, time to gel, maturity.. blah, blah, blah”.

    Honestly, you are Stalin’s and Chairman Mao’s ideal citizen! LOL

  7. Alberta Gooner says:

    I was actually explaining why Wenger might make a loan deal for Henry. There is a difference between understanding why he might do it and actually agreeing with the idea but I’m not surprised you’ve failed to grasp that distinction.

  8. Wonder how many Arsenal fans who want Henry to return have actually watched him perform in last year or so?

  9. Alberta Gooner says:


    I’ve heard no great clamour from Arsenal supporters for Henry’s return and I suspect expectations for the majority are muted about his impact on the pitch.

  10. Ed Gomes says:

    The answer to that question Bobby, is none.

  11. Rob says:

    Better question is why have there been no articles or blogs or any written material about the horribleness that is Charlie Adam?

    Terrible in the pass, position, vision, pace and tackle. Yet he starts every match because he can deliver in a good corner. And people wonder why Liverpool struggle to score.

    I’m always left scratching my head. Hopefully Stevie stays healthy because we need him more than ever.

  12. Rob – sounds like a column that you are ready to write.

  13. Ed Gomes says:

    Dalglish will be Liverpools downfall.
    Don’t get me wrong, he was exactly what Liverpool needed after “The Owners” mess. But once they started to get their feet under themselves, they started to think and act as if they were viable candidates to win the league.
    If you analyze their signings they have missed the mark more than they’ve hit it. Carroll, who in my opinion was as much as a “merchandising” buy as anything else, for all accounts hasn’t even been that. The fee they paid for him was ridiculous. I also feel that Dalglish has made a point of obtaining Brits. Kind of funny since it has been the foreigner that has excelled. Somehow, Maxi has also been left out too often. Granted I always thought of him as someone who is exposed if counted upon as a full time player.
    As for Adams, he’s no Meireles. Who I still believe was moved due to Gerard. I know that Stevie G was banged up, but Meireles looked much better last season playing Stevie Gs position.
    Yes I dislike Liverpool and I’m bias, but I feel that I’m not that far off with comments.

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