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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.


Tuesday – Champions League and Premier League; Open Thread

Written by on February 22, 2011 | 36 Comments »
Posted in General

Copenhagen at home to Chelsea, Real Madrid in Lyon both in the first leg of the Champions League round of sixteen.

Spurs away to Blackpool in a make-up Premier League match.

Kevin McCarra offers up his opinion of what ails Chelsea at present in today’s Guardian.  We ran out of time last night to discuss Ancelotti more fully but I had included a thought in my pre-show notes that the manager seems to be very indecisive lately.

Changing things up when it is not going well is one thing but the frequent changes of formation and emphasis made by Ancelotti during the game call into question whether he has any confidence in the team and tactics he sends out at the start of the match.

36 responses to “Tuesday – Champions League and Premier League; Open Thread”

  1. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Thanks for the open thread Bobby.

    You made a good point last night that Jose may go with Benzema in this game since it’s against his former club. That could be. However, I’m of the opinion that he’s lost faith in Benzema. Jose also rested some players against Levante on the weekend (Adebayor, Ozil, Alonso, and Pepe if he’s not injured). I think he prefers Adebayor (as do I) who offers more pace and a better aerial threat.

    Anyway, that is the game I’ll be watching live. I’ll catch the Chelsea game later on PVR. Gotta love the PVR, eh Bobby? You can really go back and pick apart a match for analysis so much better than only watching it live.


  2. Benzema not starting so that might be the final kick in the groin from Mourinho.

    Starting line ups
    Olympique Lyon: 1-Hugo Lloris; 13-Anthony Reveillere, 3-Cris, 5-Dejan Lovren, 20-Aly Cissokho; 6-Kim Kallstrom, 28-Jeremy Toulalan, 29-Yoann Gourcuff; 11-Michel Bastos, 18-Bafetimbi Gomis, 19-Cesar Delgado
    Real Madrid: 1-Iker Casillas; 17-Alvaro Arbeloa, 2-Ricardo Carvalho, 3-Pepe, 4-Sergio Ramos; 14-Xabi Alonso, 24-Sami Khedira; 7-Cristiano Ronaldo, 23-Mesut Ozil, 22-Angel Di Maria; 28-Emmanuel Adebayor

    Real Madrid – Lyon top choice for me as well.

  3. Soccerlogical says:

    re: Lyon vs RM
    Talk about a midfield battle!

  4. Gus Keri says:


    Is this thread only for UCL and EPL or for all today activities?

    There are few other matches of significance today.

    First, CSKA Moscow became the first team to qualify to the round of 16 in the Europa league.
    You would think that the frigid weather of Russia will favor the Russian teams. After Rubin Kazan lost at home to Twente (2-0) last week, CSKA couldn’t do better than a draw (1-1) today after they beat PAOK away last week.
    CSKA lost their keeper to an injury early in the second half.

    Second, Panama registered a big surprise when they qualified to the U-17 WC by eliminating the favorite Costa Rica. They beat them 1-0. It’s their first appearance in the finals.
    The USA play El-Salvador later today to qualify.

    But if the thread is only for UCL and EPL, I appologize for what I wrote.

  5. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Thanks for the update. I know I could have checked it on the web but thanks all the same. I’m not surprised at his decision at all after watching how he set up his team on Saturday. The only surprise for me is the exclusion of Marcelo (injured or suspended?).

  6. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    I’m sure it’s okay Gus. Thanks for the info. I only caught the score of the UEL match.

  7. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Has Bastos been playing RM all year? I thought he was a LB. Jose goes with a more defensive LB in Arbeloa over Marcelo. Jose with the snood? TSO must think he’s a player and not a manager. The big chance was Lyon’s after an uncharacteristic Iker spill.

  8. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    The Spuds are down 0-2 @ HT. Beauty.

  9. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Eczema scores making Jose happy but a late equalizer leaves the Special One scratching his head …

  10. Gus Keri says:

    The USA qualified to the U-17 WC after beating El-Salvador 3-2. They needed extra time to win after they drew 1-1 in full time.

    The USA maintained their perfect record in qualifying to every U-17 WC. They are the only country to do so.

    Guido played some very skillful soccer and he scored one goal and had an assist. Look for him in the WC and in the future.

    The second US goal was a result of beautiful team work. They had few flashes of brilliance. I am fan of what Cabrera is doing.


    Canada vs T&T
    Jamaica vs Honduras

    Winners qualify to the WC

    Note: I truely hope that CONCACAF follows what CONMEBOL does in underage and women qualifications to WCs. Using a single game elimination is not fair system. They should use a round robin groups to decide the qualifiers.

  11. Gus Keri says:

    In stead of having quarterfinals and semifinals stages, CONCACAF can form two groups of 4 teams and the top two of each group qualify to the WC.
    Teams also will be playing more games. more experience.

  12. Gus – AS always you are free to post what you like. You always have interesting stuff.

    TVNA – Brazil used him as a left back at the World Cup (if my memory serves me correctly he started out as a defender) but he made his reputation as a wide midfield player. Certainly that has been his position with Lyon since he arrived in the summer of 2009.

  13. Anyone read anything on expanding the 2015 Copa America to all the Americas?

    Interesting but it is just a repackaged story from a Brazilian website so I am not so sure as to how credible the source is.

  14. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Thanks Gus. Glad to see the USA qualify. Hopefully, CAN can do the same tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

  15. Boris says:

    I don’t have Fox Soccer Plus so won’t be able to see the Blackpool vs. Spurs game.
    One of those games for Tottenham I guess. They’ll bounce back.

    Has anyone watched the game who would like to comment?

    Bobby any thoughts?


  16. Boris – I wasn’t able to watch it but it is on in Canada later and I will tape it. I watched the two Champions League games – first half Lyon, then opted to full Copenhagen game than back to second half of Lyon – PVRs are magical machines.

  17. Boris says:

    Thanks Bobby.

    I recorded the Lyon – Madrid game and will watch it later. I live in the US and I don’t think they will show the Blackpool game.

    DVR’s are awesome for sure.

    I am looking forward to your evaluation.

  18. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    thanks for your answer on the poll question good points i will stick to my opinion not right or wrong.thanks for not questioning my opinion.

    another dark day for Forest fans draw at home to Preston lost 5 points to the 2 worst teams very disappointed.

    Real held but with the away goal i believe they will move on.was it much of a game? out all day

  19. Gus Keri says:


    I remember I read, few months back, in one news release that a big name in CONCACAF, I don’t rmember who he was, was talking about expanding the tournament to 16.
    I will try to find it and post it for you.

    The issue is in a “under investigation” phase

  20. Gus Keri says:


    I was saying my opinion also. I respect your opinion too.

    Voltaire said once: “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it”

  21. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    AMEN that is all i was asking .that is the best part of this blog for the most part we can all give our opinions and hopefully not be attacked for our views.Bobby’s #1 player is Maradona i said take him off the top ten he never attacked my opinion and this is his blog and i thank him for letting me give my opinion right or wrong.

  22. Gus Keri says:


    I am like you. I don’t like bullying in the chat rooms.

  23. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Gus – this is not a revolution but with quotes like that they could use you in the Middle East right now.

    GFYR – typical Jose 1st leg away match. Played it tight to the vest. Got a one goal lead in the 2nd (from Eczema right after he came in for Adie). They hit the post twice (a bit unlucky) also in the 2nd. Lyon had the best chance in the 1st (a half where not much happened). No wonder Bobby switched games. After the goal, Jose tried to shut it down (Lass in for Kheidira, Marcelo for Ozil). It was going to script for Jose until Lyon got a goal off a free kick. That’s pretty much it. Not a classic. Lyon will be hopeful but Real get the away goal and should go through as Jose does not lose at home much.

    Too bad about Forest. Why not see the light and become a Gooner? You’d still be a red and if you do it before Sunday you can say that you were there before the silverware.

  24. Gus Keri says:


    I know it is not a revolution. It looks so trivial in comparison.

    But have you noticed that almost all Liverpool fans have stopped contributing to this chat room?

    I thought about it myself but then I wouldn’t do it to Bobby. He doesn’t deserve it.

    People don’t want to waste any time with such triviality. It’s not worth it.

    People are dying to have the freedom that we take for granted and that we love to abuse.

  25. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    thanks for if i switched i would lose all honor at this special site.i might have to switch my name to Vichy.

    what is the scoop on the 16 yr old AFC took from Barca?

    do you think if AFC can derail the Orient Express will they play a A squad?

  26. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Gus & GFYR,

    Calling out questionable reasoning with a cogent and logical argument (often supported by facts) is not bullying. I would hope the same is done when someone points out an error in my reasoning also.

    At other times there is good natured banter that should not be taken to heart. This is not grade school. Some people should have thicker skins and sip camomile tea if they feel unsettled. After all, there’s no crying in blogging and despite what preconceived notions you have, I do respect your opinions.

  27. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Gus – I believe that there is less LFC chatter on this blog now because the transfer period is over as are the changes in ownership and manager. If I contributed to decreased LFC participation here then I do not take that to be an insult but rather as a badge of honour. This site was disproportionately represented by LFC fans some of whom weren’t exactly the most diplomatic. We should have more balance on a general footy blog but I will attribute the diferential to those points I mentioned above. And with your own ‘Gus’ LFC Chatroom’ during every LFC match I’m sure you will still have a loyal following. So don’t despair.

    GFYR – the 16 yr old has an English mother and it looks like Barça don’t value him highly enough to keep him at the moment. They can’t keep everyone produced by La Masia. It was business and received €350K for him I believe. Cesc went there as did Miquel and Fran. This is nothing new. I like FCB’s relationship with AFC but a lot of Gooners don’t.

    AFC will play largely the same B squad in the replay as the Gunners are drowning in fixture congestion at the moment. They should advance but you never know.

  28. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    for the most part i enjoy he back and forth with assumed yesterday that i must be English because i brought up the hand of God goal.then another poster said i was a hypocrite and biased because of the Best/Maradona problems.if Best had been suspended for illegal drug use and i dismissed it but hammered Maradona then i would be a hypocrite.

    enough with yesterday it is gone.what is your take on tomorrow’s games.Man Utd 2/Mars1 Inter 2/Bayern1.

  29. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    i meant when they go to Man Utd.sorry for incomplete question

  30. Theo van Nasarshavregas says:

    Tomorrow has got to be better than today. I hope Marseille can beat ManU and don’t let them score. I have no idea what will happen in the other game. That’s the one to watch.

  31. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    what is your take on tomorrow’s games?

  32. Gus Keri says:


    I see Inter winning and Man Utd drawing.

    I might not be able to watch any one live tomorrow.

  33. GO FOREST YOU REDS says:

    i’m in the same boat no live games will watch Man Utd replay.have a great day GUS you to TVN.

  34. Bryan says:

    Gus – Keep it up.
    You mention stuff I would otherwise never hear about .TA!

    Boris – Check out I highly recommend it.

  35. Bryan says:

    I thought N’doye put in a very theatrical performance ,although compared to the master thespian Drogba it was amateur dramatic society stuff.
    And then on came the great man himself.
    It was like watching Matt Le Blanc and Sir Laurence Olivier treading the boards together.

    But in all seriousness ,they have to be one of the poorest teams to appear in the last sixteen.
    And as for Copenhagen…

    I’ll get me coat.

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