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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.


Open Thread – Weekend’s Action In Bits & Bullets

Written by on December 3, 2011 | 12 Comments »
Posted in General

Barclay’s Premier League
Newcastle v Chelsea

  • Both team’s had men sent off last weekend but only Jonas Gutierrez will miss the game
  • It will be the first league match that Gutierrez will not start this season
  • John Terry served his time against Liverpool in the midweek Carling Cup loss
  • Newcastle have started same goalkeeper and back 4 in all 13 games – Cabaye also an ever-present
  • Interesting to see how Chelsea have done in the last 15 minutes of PL matches this season
  • They have scored 6 and conceded 6 – record over the past 7 seasons
    • 2010/11 – 20/7
    • 2009/10 – 26/5
    • 2008/09 – 10/7
    • 2007/08 – 10/7
    • 2006/07 – 12/5
    • 2005/06 – 9/2
    • 2004/05 – 19/1
  • Premier League era Newcastle has been a tough trip for Chelsea 5 wins, 7 losses, 5 draws

Tottenham v Bolton

  • Spurs on a great run at the moment and manager Harry Redknapp happy to project that into ongoing success
  • They have won last 4 games at home in the PL and after losing their first two games they are unbeaten
  • Spurs have won 6 of last 7 visits by Bolton
  • Adebayor (7 on season in PL) with 2 goals and an assist last week away to West Brom
  • Nearly half (12 of 26) of Spurs goals have come in the final 30 minutes – outscored opposition 12 to 6
  • What a difference a year makes – Bolton this season to last
  • This season P13, Pts 9 F 19 against 31
  • Last season P13, Pts 19 F 21 against 19
  • Bolton have only led in 3 games this season from 13 – won these three 4-0, 3-1, 5-0 (two away from home)
  • Since beating Stoke 5-0 at home earlier in November (only home win) – two defeats in a row
  • Nigel Reo-Coker only Bolton player to start all 13 games
  • Bolton only side without a draw – Spurs only one

Aston Villa v Manchester United

  • Villa lacked finish against Swansea last week in 0-0 draw
  • Villa with only 2 goals from set plays this season – not so long ago this was a part of the game they excelled in
  • Villa have won just  2 of 19 visits to Villa Park by Manchester United in Premier League
  • McLeish has never beaten Ferguson in 7 matches
  • 18 of United’s 30 goals came in their first four games; 13 of 30 goals came in two games against Arsenal and Bolton
  • Wayne Rooney has not scored in PL goal since Chelsea September 18 – 7 games ago
  • United have conceded just one goal in the 5 PL matches Nemanja Vidic has started in this season

Serie A
Inter Milan v Udinese

  • One team 15th and one team 3rd – but not the order you would expect
  • The San Siro has seen fewer goals than we might have a right to expect when Inter has been at home this season – only 10 goals in total (4 for and 6 against)
  • Diego Milito is Inter’s top scorer with 3 goals  
  • Udinese are 2 points behind Juventus and have recorded 8 clean sheets in 12 games – they have only conceded 6 goals
  • Antonio Di Natale has 9 goals but is one behind German Denis (Atalanta) who was with Udinese last season and who has been loaned to Atalanta


Borussia Monchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund

  • Top of the table clash in Germany with Dortmund ahead of Monchengladbach by a better goal differential 
  • Monchengladbach are unbeaten at home this season and have won 5 and drawn 2
  • Dortmund have won 7 of their last eight league matches
  • Marco Reus of Monchengladbach  is enjoying a terrific season and has 10 goals from midfield so far and his name frequently pops up in transfer rumours
  • Reus is 22 and will be battling against Dortmund’s 19-year-old Mario Goetze

Bayern Munich v Werder Bremen

  • A game of 3 vs. 4
  • Two straight losses and Bayern has slipped to 3rd with Dortmund and Mönchengladbach both a point ahead
  • Bayern missing midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger who is injured but Mario Gomez keeps popping in goals – 13 already
  • Bayern have allowed 2 goals at home and they have been beaten 1-0 both times
  • Werder Bremen are two points behind Bayern but may or may not have  leading scorer Claudio Pizzaro (11 goals) to knee ligament injury – conflicting stories as to his status
  • As is normal Werder Bremen having trouble defensively – 21 goals against. Teams just above Werder Bremen have conceded 8, 9, and 9
  • Only 8 of Bremen’s 26 points have come away from home  


Barclay’s Premier League

Wolverhampton v Sunderland

  • This was a game that was lining up as two embattled managers fighting for their futures
  • The midweek firing of Steve Bruce by Sunderland left only Mick McCarthy embattled 
  • Managerial careers in Premier League – McCarthy average 1 pt per game; Bruce 1.15 pts per game (Bruce’s replacement? O’Neill 1.45)
  • Wolves have specialized in digging holes this season – nearly 2/3 of the goals they have allowed have been in first half 
  • Under Steve Bruce Sunderland recorded only 3 home wins in calendar year and only 8 league games overall – average of less than a win per month
  • Sunderland 5 draws and 6 losses by one goal
  • Sunderland have scored 15 while allowing the same – difficult to point the finger of blame at the defense with that sort of record

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12 responses to “Open Thread – Weekend’s Action In Bits & Bullets”

  1. J Rob says:

    Luiz gets a yellow and Cahill gets a red for the same offence. Only difference is Luiz commits it just outside the box and Cahill is 45-50 yards out. The very definition of inconsistent.

  2. Haven’t had a chance to see the Cahill red card yet. Distance isn’t definitive.

  3. RobN says:

    Hi Bobby. Just wondering if you have a comment or are intending to do a stat-pack on Dider Drogba’s performance this weekend. Despite the goal (and disregarding the screaming near own goal) I thought it was a poor performance. He seemed to regularly dribble at defenders and lose the ball and had more incomplete passes than I could count. I’m just wondering if my impression is backed up by stats or if others felt he performed poorly as well. Additionally, the announcer mentioned at least twice in challneges with John Terry that Terry ‘out muscled’ him. If that’s the case, he has really fallen off … go back 14 months and no one could push him off the ball. Thanks.

  4. Just need to clarify – John Terry (Chelsea) out-muscled Didier Drogba (Chelsea)?

  5. RobN says:

    Oops … that was a brain fart. I was overlapping two of the commentator’s comments there (good thing I read what I typed).

  6. Brain farts excused!!!

  7. Gus Keri says:

    I don’t know what is worse, the death of a legend of the beautiful game, Socrates, or the death of the beautiful game itself.

    Corinthians and Palmeras played one of the worst game I have ever seen.

    Eventually, Corinthians won the title. Lucky for Socrates, he wasn’t there to witness it.

  8. fabr04 says:

    RIP Socrates. I never saw him play live, but I once saw a documentary on who was the best player of all time. All the Argentinians said Maradona, all the Brazilians said Pele…except Socrates, who said, “what a stupid question! They’re completely different players, in completely different eras. They’re not comparable. Hey, here’s a question: who was better, Pele or Einstein? Pele or Mozart?” I always admire people who question questioners.

  9. FABR04 – welcome to my world where I am constantly asked who is the best …fill in the blank.

  10. fabr04 says:

    And much to your credit, Bobby, you’re willing to make a comparison when one is meaningful (say, Rooney vs. Heskey) and unwilling to make a comparison when it’s not meaningful (say, Maradona vs. Messi).

  11. Gus Keri says:

    In the eighties, there were many soccer players who made their marks on the game; Maradona, Platini and Zico among others. But I always regarded Socrates as a special breed of soccer stars.

    I am not sure why.

    Maybe because he was an educated person. he was still studying Medicine when he was playing at the highest level.

    Or maybe because his name was associated with one of the great Greek philosopher and Socrates the player wasn’t off by much with the way he talks and express his opinion.

    Or his appearance and style of play that were so different from all other stars. He exuded a great sense of self confidance that transcended every player on his team.

    Or that excellent goal against the Soviet Union in the 1982 world cup:

    RIP Socrates. Your memory will be eternal.

  12. Roberto Manita says:

    Truly saddened to have heard of Socrates’ early passing. He was one of the greatest Brasilian footballers ever. A midfield maestro that commanded respect. That Brasilian team of 1982 was probably the best team not to have won the WC (along with Hungary 1954 and Holland 1974).

    He was one of my first favourite players. He will be missed and was always a tremendous interview.

    RIP Socrates.

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