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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 Forbes.com and Soccerly.com and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


TANGENTS

2011 Champions League Final – Barcelona v Manchester United

Written by on May 28, 2011 | 86 Comments »
Posted in Barcelona, Manchester United, UEFA Champions League

The articles have been written and read, the pundits have had their say and in a matter of minutes the players and the coaches will proof almost all of us wrong.

I remain fascinated by the dynamic of build-up and reality. So much time is spent in the former but it is the ninety (or one-hundred and twenty) minutes of action that gives us the narrative that we will live with, remember and debate in years to come.

Here’s hoping that the narrative is a good one.

My prediction – Barcelona 1-0 Manchester United with Pedro scoring .

As soon as the line-ups are announced they will be posted.

What is your prediction?

Line ups

Manchester United – Van der Sar, Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Park, Rooney, Hernandez.

Subs: Kuszczak, Owen, Anderson, Smalling, Nani, Scholes, Fletcher.

Barcelona – Valdes, Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Abidal, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Villa.

Subs: Oier, Puyol, Keita, Adriano, Thiago, Afellay, Bojan


86 responses to “2011 Champions League Final – Barcelona v Manchester United”

  1. Gus Keri says:

    BOBBY:

    I guess Eoin’s line-up predictions were spot on.

    I predict Man Utd’s win with 2-1

  2. Roberto Manita says:

    Prediction? Pain … for ManU. And give them a second helping please!

  3. Eoin didn’t have Puyol playing?

  4. Gus Keri says:

    Sorry Bobby.

    I am confused.

    The line up on Fox Channel showed Puyol playing.

    This is a very bad broadcasting

  5. And Abidal is starting at left back

  6. Bishopville Red says:

    United will exploit Mascherano. He will lose his head. Fergie’s boys to win.

  7. Dave A says:

    2-1 Barca on a late goal. Villa to score early. 1-0 at halftime. Hernandez and Messi score in the second half

  8. bliss_street says:

    I think United are going to have a player sent off and Barcelona will win 2-1.

  9. Brett Kenneson says:

    Barcelona 2 – 0, repeat of 2009

    Iniesta MOTM – big game player

  10. Brett Schneider says:

    Ferguson goes for his strongest team… Proactive not reactive… No Puyol… Should definitely be a game with goals.

    Difference will be the matchup of Iniesta Xavi Busquets against Carrick Giggs with Rooney’s effectiveness on Business being the question.

    Looks like a classic.

    Bobby, any thoughts on Barcelona without Puyol… Looks a big difference from here.

  11. Gillian says:

    Hmph! After all this hype, this had better be a good game!

  12. Soccerlogical says:

    Gotta love USA’s FOX main channel Broadcasting, straight to commercial for the opening ceremony… MORONS! At least Freidel was there to compensate for the other American buffoonery like Wynalda and that American Football sportscaster.

    Thank god for FOX Deportes.

    Prediction: Either team wins by a goal or PKs in ET.

  13. Roberto Manita says:

    Pep goes with speed at the back (using both Abidal and Masch) by leaving Puyol (the captain) out, surprisingly. Puyol is either more injured than what was let on or Pep is outfoxing the old Scot yet again (like he did in 2009 by using Messi as a false 9).

    Fergie goes with the expected starting XI but does not select either O’Shea or Berbatov on the bench. Choosing Owen over Berba, not having a natural FB on the bench, and only have one real goal scoring threat on the bench (Nani) is perplexing. If ManU don’t score first, they are screwed.

    MQUC

  14. Michael Sebold says:

    ManU was actually looking rather Barca-esc in the first 5 minutes, but they now look like most every other team that invariably goes down to defeat to Barcelona. ManU has absolutely no time on the ball, and they’re starting to feel it. Of course, no sooner typed than ManU get the equalizer — hint of off-side though . . .

  15. Gus Keri says:

    All those who predicted 1-0 score are out.

    Now, we have to wait to see who scores next. Is it Messi to tie the two records or Owen who kept talking about a “big goal in him” this season?

  16. Pique is so vital to that Barca back four – he hols it all together. I think United will be extremely happy to be 1-1 at this stage.

    Barcelona not being clinical in front of the United net and it will cost them if they don’t start executing.

    You get the feeling that there is a critical mistake waiting to tilt this game.

  17. Roberto Manita says:

    Giggs was marginally offside on Rooney’s goal. Valencia (who is playing rather poorly might I add) is very fortunate not to be on a yellow. Kassai has his whistle in his pocket or did not bring one today which must be to ManU’s liking. Overall, I’m not too proud of how my fellow countrymen have officiated the first half (low marks so far).

    Funny how the English commentators make no mention of the offside (except for a quick mention by the Scot Burley). What a surprise. Had it been the other way around then that would be the main talking point at HT.

    Good call Bobby on Pedro.

  18. Oh well – here goes the second 45 minutes – the first flew past.

    Most annoying feature in Canada is that Sportsnet audio and video feeds are not synchronized – it has been a problem all season.

  19. Michael Sebold says:

    Bobby, SNW seems to have the audio in the best alignment.

  20. Soccerlogical says:

    MU 1 – 2 BARCA

    Carrick is WORTHLESS!!!!!!!

    What exactly is his role??????

    Time to bring on Fletch, Nani and Scholes…3 subs… balls to wall.

  21. Roberto Manita says:

    Messi!!! Give him space that deep and as the Italians say, “Forget about it”. Are ManU going to be “sleeping with the fishes?”

    Valencia still hasn’t been booked.

    Time to change your players and tactics Old Gum Chewer.

  22. Roberto Manita says:

    Good old fashioned ass kicking. I like 🙂

  23. Roberto Manita says:

    Villa!!! Don’t take the foot off the gas pedal. Kick the crap out of these Manc bastards. If only for the love of football.

    “Men against boys”. So true Craig Burley.

  24. Roberto Manita says:

    And no Berba available. Bring on Owen to score. Please. Fergie got this wrong … again.

  25. Soccerlogical says:

    RM – Nothing to do with Fergie getting tactics wrong. The talent, style of play and team spirit within this Barca side is virtually UNBEATABLE.

  26. Roberto Manita says:

    Valencia finally gets a yellow. What a surprise. Finally.

    Giggs. Class act whining for a miracle gift penalty to be called. Typical ManU.. But British players don’t do those kinds of things … oh no.

  27. Gus Keri says:

    A great game and congrats to Barca, officially, the new European dinesty.

  28. Brett Schneider says:

    Congrats to Barca… Brilliant… No width except at the top where diagonals are deadly. I thouht United’s speed might stretch them, but not a bit.

  29. Roberto Manita says:

    Déjà vu Fergie. Déjà vu. And there is nothing in this world quite as fine as watching ManU and Fergie, that lout, getting ABSOLUTELY SCHOOLED by a class act like Barça and Pep. Poetic justice served and football is the winner.

  30. Roberto Manita says:

    Cutting the net down like in BBall. Sweet.

  31. Roberto Manita says:

    And the sprinkler treatment gets served on Barça. I could understand if this game was at the San Siro but not today. Not quite classy from those at Wembley and the English now isn’t it? Shameful really.

  32. Barcelona was too strong for manchester

  33. Amazing team… barcelona is too strong

  34. Now and again you get a moment or a game that you will remember forever and others will to. This was such a game.

  35. Russell Berrisford says:

    Great game. This wasn’t United “parking the bus”. This was just Barcelona outplaying them.

    Finally a final that lived up to the billing.

  36. On the Fox Soccer Report tonight with Derek Taylor – thoughts on an outstanding Barcelona display.

  37. I am surprised that nobody has pointed to the one team that came closest to knocking Barcelona out of the Champions League this season. Barcelona was one ” close your eyes and shoot moment” away from going out in the last 16.

    Discuss?

  38. Gus Keri says:

    Bobby:

    You can argue also that Barcelona rode their luck with two controversial red cards against the strongest challenges (Arsenal and Real Madrid)

  39. Roberto Manita says:

    Bobby,

    That would be Arsenal. And that was Bendtner being Bendtner. However, credit must be given to one Argentinian NT captain (sMasch) for making the interception.

    But remember Bobby, had it not been for Busquets’ own goal Arsenal would not have scored that game as they did not produce even one shot on goal (on or off target, I believe). The fact that AFC were in that tie, that late in the second leg, just goes to prove that footy can be an odd game at times.

    On a side note, what a pathetic display by TFC today (losing at home to Philly 2-6). Whoever at MLSE decided to pit the match literally head to head v the UCL Final today should be taken behind the woodshed and summarily shot (and is a big yo-yo to boot).

    Today two sides, on the opposite side of the pond, devoutly believing in 4-3-3, total football, triangles, etc. had rather diverging results. To say the least.

  40. Roberto Manita says:

    Gus – controversial red cards? Por que? Por que??

  41. Seattle_Loon says:

    Tactically, Fergie got it wrong again. Could anyone could beat Barcelona with a starting 4-4-2 (albeit with Rooney and Valencia playing very deep)? In the first ten minutes, Man Utd looked like they might exploit Mascherano’s lack of height with long balls but the tactic paid no dividends. Their only real chance and goal came from some lovely intricate play. You might give SAF credit for not parking the bus but the 18-3 shot ratio and 6-0 corner stat tells how commanding Barcelona were.

    I know Barcelona are one of the best teams ever but surely the only way you have a chance is parking the bus a la Switzerland vs Spain in the World Cup Final?

    Fortunately, for Man Utd and their fans, Barcelona took their foot of the gas for the last twenty minutes and saved them an embarrassment similar to the one Madrid suffered last November.

    What the last final that was so one-sided?

  42. Roberto Manita says:

    Gus – Van Persie’s second yellow never should have been awarded by Busacca (the fella that did the 2009 Final btw). I’ll give you that. But if a team doesn’t have a shot on goal they do not deserve to advance. Period.

    Pepe’s red was clear. He came in high, studs up, late, and it was very dangerous. A Paul Scholes’ type of challenge. The only people who would think this red card was controversial are either Real Madrid fans or have the last name Mourinho.

    Watching today’s match again, I’m not sure Kassai is familiar with giving out yellow cards for persistent fouling wrt Valencia.

  43. Soccerlogical says:

    Seattle Loon – Are you seriously comparing a first group stage match to a cup final… seriously?

    The statement is as absurd as today’s fat American Football host on FOX claiming Macherano (Argentina’s capt.) is the “scrub” player of Barcelona’s starting 11 who is just happy to get a medal and “Barca are the most expensive team assembled”.

    Barca have a great team and awesome system… simple as that.

    RM – Congrats on Barca’s success but the indignant remarks toward Fergie and English teams are a bit too much pal. Take the high road…. Pep would!

  44. Derek Taylor says:

    SL

    I didn’t hear what Curt Menefee said but…if you were a team captain choosing sides with a pool of Barcelona’s starting 11 today, wouldn’t Mascherano be your last choice?

  45. Seattle_Loon says:

    Soccerlogical. Maybe a better reference would have been Inter Milan’s two-legged defeat of Barcelona last year or indeed Man Utd’s two-legged defeat of Barcelona three or four years ago. Regardless, your best chance is an eight-man defence to restrict their chances with the hope you’ll nick a goal (just what Switzerland did in being the only team that beat Spain in the World Cup). You’d also need to close down Messi better than Man Utd did today. Utd were very poor after the first ten minutes and if it wasn’t for a wonderful goal, some Catalan carelessness in front of goal and some compassion in the last twenty minutes this would have been a rout.

    One of the most beguiling features of Barcelona is they don’t play with a true striker. Villa and Pedro play wide and move into the box as attacks develop.

    Could someone smarter than me name another team who have done the same thing?

  46. Rookie says:

    I am a football neophyte, but a couple of things struck me today:
    1. Either Barcelona’s defense is even better than its attacking offense, or Ferguson made the same mistake of playing safe as happened in ’09. In either game, Man U had no offense–except today for those brilliant few seconds of the Rooney goal. Otherwise, it seemed to be “hit the long ball and hope for the best.” When trying to string together some passing, Man U seemed completely overmatched by the Barcelona defense–I had even more a sense of that today than in watching the ’09 match. Is Barcelona that good, or did Ferguson get played–again?
    2. Kind of related to #1: Berbatov out? He’s a tall, physical goal-scorer who produces…and he’s out? Especially if you’re going to go long-ball…you eliminate the one guy suited to muscling a ball in the air against smaller defenders? Can someone with football knowledge explain the logic there?
    And as for Fox and Curt Menefee–embarrassing. He actually said, “Barcelona…The best team money can buy…” as if this were the Miami Heat or the New York Yankees. Dude was cluelessly out of his element and didn’t seem to care. Having the Fox NFL master of ceremonies as the Champions League host was demeaning and insulting to the occasion.

  47. Soccerlogical says:

    DT – When considering my defensive options, no. Macherono starts on any other team that needs a DMC who destroys and can make a decent pass. Yes, Busquets is just as good and is from the youth system.

    Menefee’s comments made the capt of Argentina seem like a Wes Brown or player who has never contributed to any team and is just happy to be along for the ride. These type of incorrect comments and others such as “Barca are the most expensive team assembled” distort the truth and misguide those attempting to comprehend the ins and outs of top flight soccer…. you should know that.

  48. Gus Keri says:

    The term “controversial” means that there are some people agree with something while others disagree with it.

    Bobby, in one of his podcast made fun of those who use the phrase “I have seen it given”.
    So, I am going to use it here. I have seen both offenses being called both ways.

    Many people considered the yellow card for Van Persie excessive.

    In regard to Pepe’s red card, replay showed clearly that he didn’t touch Alves and Alves fooled every one, even the TV audiences, and wasn’t known until after the game.
    But the offense looked so bad that many believed it to be correct decision.
    How many time we have seen players escape a tackle so they won’t get injured? I have never seen a foul being called, let alone a card being given.

    I just don’t understand how Alves’ mastertful acting went unpunished.

    Saying all that, I believe the best team in the world had won, at the end. And overall, they deserved it.

    I only hope that Santos will go on to win the Libertadores and set a Club World Cup final against Barca. it is a mouth watering encounter between Neymar and Messi. It could be their second of the year if they meet also in the Copa America final.

  49. Gus Keri says:

    In regard Man Utd parking the bus, I don’t know if this Man Utd has what it takes to park the bus.

    Inter Milan did it perfectly because they had the players who can perform it and the manager who can promote it.

    SAF is not that kind of manager and his players are not that kind of players. I believe with the players he has, SAF did his best.

    Only the die-hard Man Utd fans believe that this Man Utd team is as good as any of the previous MUFC teams that won the EC/UCL.

  50. Tomorrow the soccer world’s attention switches to Switzerland.

  51. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – the indignant remarks are a long time coming and are unspoken thoughts of all cules, Pep included (especially towards an arrogant English anglocentric myopic media … including you, with all due respect, 50/50??? Pleeeeeeeeeease mofo 🙂 ).

    Play this game at the Old Toilet with English blind to leg breaking tackling refs and FCB would still come out on top. Full stop. Or need I paint a picture for you?

  52. Gus Keri says:

    Watch Bin Hammam and Jack Warner going down and taking Blatter and the rest of the gang with them.

    I hope that Platini steps in and be elected for the FIFA presidency.

  53. Soccerlogical says:

    Perhaps Derek Taylor and Terry Leigh can run in a similar McCain-Palin campaign .. as long as neither speaks and makes any of their “brilliant” comments or observations on the game.

    LOL

  54. Gus Keri says:

    When I read Derek’s question on his twitter, I thought he was kidding.
    But when I watched him asking the same question on TV with all seriousness, I was totally shoked.

  55. Roberto Manita says:

    Gus,

    I did concede to you that van Persie should not have got the second yellow.

    As for the Pepe incident you are way off base. Even with all the replays I still can’t be sure that Pepe “didn’t touch” Alves. True, Alves embellished the situation after the fact but he did not perform any “acting” wrt the actual incident. Alves “fooled” nobody except maybe you. Even if the challenge was ball on ball (likely), Pepe came in late, high, studs up, and dangerously. Ergo, red card. Ask Bobby as he’s on record for basically agreeing with that. And if you can explain to me, being the obvious master of physics that you sound to be, how Alves can run towards a ball, at speed, and then somehow turn his entire body 360 degrees in the opposite direction, without an external force being applied to his previous momentum, then you are a better man than me and have the knowledge of ‘the force’ much like Yoda. Maybe we should address you as Yoda Keri henceforth 🙂

    As for Neymar v Messi in a Santos uniform, don’t hold your breath. You should know better than anyone that Neymar will likely not be playing for Santos come December.

    I really don’t understand your controversial red cards comment. Sounds like you’re trying to rain on Messi’s parade (against ManU) and when it comes from a Liverpool fan it does seem quite odd. Rather, rejoice in the Mancs failure. Macca, Gerrard, and Carragher would (at least privately).

  56. Roberto Manita says:

    DT – I don’t quite understand you sounding to side with this Curt Menefee wanker regarding Masch. I would say to you that Masch is a better footballer than at least half of the starters on ManU today. The captain of the Arg NT, in his prime of about 26 yrs old (and not an over the hill type of captain), is certainly not a scrub nor someone who should be dismissed as some ugly wart of a last pick in a pick-up game.

    How exactly did you get hired at your current post? Shocking (or extremely biased ManU) footy analysis. Deplorable.

  57. Derek Taylor says:

    @ Gus

    “…asking the same question on TV with all seriousness”

    Is that expect for the part that was prefaced with “Okay Bobby, this is a stupid question”?

  58. Derek Taylor says:

    @ Roberto

    As I said, I didn’t hear Menefee’s question. I’ll ask you…draft Barca’s starting 11 from today’s Champions League final as if you were choosing among them for a pickup game. Or for a team you’re starting from scratch.

    If you don’t want to rank them all, tell me where Mascherano would land and who would be behind him. I’m not concerned where you think he would be vs. MU players…that wasn’t my question to Soccerlogical. SL said that Mascherano would not be his last choice. End of story.

    Not sure why you’re inflating it to be some big deal. Trying to stir up chatter on Bobby’s blog is hardly me giving analysis.

  59. Gus Keri says:

    Derek:

    I know you didn’t mean bad from your question.

    But I thought the whole issue should not be brought up.

    MLS has lost 4 very skillful players for the season because of thuggish tackles.

  60. Derek Taylor says:

    Gus:

    Totally understandable. I should have found another way to phrase it.

  61. Roberto Manita says:

    DT – don’t confuse my comment towards you with you attempting to provide insightful analysis. I would never do that based on the body of evidence.

    However, when both you and live English television commentators today start to question the validity of sMasch’s selection we all know said biases (you being an unrepented ManU fan, gag) and lack of footy acumen. The mere thought of this crowd that sMasch is a weak link is ridiculous (and Abidal too for that matter, a French international who was recently called up after his surgery and was always going to have Valencia in his pocket; Nani, however, would have been another story — Old Red Nose’s lack of continental savvy I say). You were the one that questioned sMasch’s selection, not me, so don’t spin this around. Having the captain of Arg on the pitch should not be pooh poohed like you and many other myopic English happy crowd have today.

    Answer me this. Fergie has won 2 UCLs in 25 years. Pep has won 2 in 3. England has won one major international trophy (Euro or WC) in their history while inventing the game. Why must we listen to the tripe emanating from English broadcasters or from broadcasters, like you, who only see through an English lens. DT, by posing your question regarding Maschanero, you have discredited yourself (unfortunately). Even raising the question is head scratching to say the least. Why is it that we don’t question Fergie’s tactics and player selections today instead? I’ll get to that later.

    And Masch was not bothered today one iota. Thank you.

  62. Soccerlogical says:

    RM – I don’t understand what exactly I have to do with an “English anglocentric myopic media …” (especially as I am of Eastern European descent and live in New York). Every British pundit and English based journo from Marcotti, McMahon, Jonathan Wilson and the the rest went with Barca to win. I called it as 50/50.

    The only criticism the English media and journos have with La Liga is the disparity between RM/Barca and the rest of the league.. I agree.

    If I was influenced by the English media I would have predicted Barca to win… you seem confused on this FACT.

    http://tinyurl.com/3jpc5z4

    PS Sensing lots of derision towards England.. did the British Empire take a piss in your Goulash or just mad that Hungary picked the wrong side in WWII?

    PPS Please understand that I have trained myself to analyze every match from a betting perspective. And the way I analyze matches (Home/Away, Number of Creative Players, etc) indicated that the match was too close to call and I would not wager in any aspect (Goals, Corners, Win, etc).

  63. Erik says:

    SL – I would ONLY vote for a DT/TL ticket if TERI was the Prez and Derek was the VP. I don’t want to see a DT Presser – I really wanna see a Teri Presser.

    This was one of the biggest 3-1 “routs” ever

    As for Barca/Arsenal – if RvP doesn’t get that ridiculous 2nd Yellow and then tossed – Arsenal probably ends up eliminating Barca and sending them home without the Title.

  64. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – I have Magyar heritage but was born on this side of the pond and whilst being a Kanuckelhead, I wish I was born a Yank. May distain towards English footy pundits has nothing to do with the war … only honesty.

    And I am very astonished, considering your usual footy acumen notwithstanding your black helicoptor conspiracy theories and the like, that you could call an absolute ass kicking as 50/50 apriori when I told you otherwise.

    You owe me a drink mate.

    MQUC One! Two!! Three!!! Four!!!!

  65. Soccerlogical says:

    Huh?

    I am aware Barca toyed with Manyoo in this match. What does that have to do with my thoughts on the game BEFORE the match was played?

    Now that I have provided proof against your “English Anglo centric media predictions against Barca” (http://tinyurl.com/3jpc5z4), are you actually saying that my usual pre-match analysis should have been influenced by you?

    LOL

  66. Roberto Manita says:

    Not by me Mr. SL. Only by the facts. Only by the facts before this match before your very eyes which you have somehow overlooked. I need not say more. Perhaps you were smokin’ somethin’ or were on an all week bender with some Irish mates. Either way, you were way off and I told you so before the fact. Before the Rafa phaaaaaaaaaaaact perhaps.

    This game today proved how poor the EPL was this year v the last five years. Look at ManU’s points total, their away record, and how many times they had to pull themselves out of the fire late this year. ‘Nuff said.

    And I, for one, am very surprised that you could not see the writing on the wall. And you make your living on picking footy games? And you could not see the disparity of this one before the fact? I question your crystal ball … and your dysfunctional octopus perhaps????

    MQUC

    And people that pooh-pooh this year’s Barça’s accomplishments (*cough, Gus, cough*) should be ashamed of themselves. Start, middle, and end of story. Totally reprehensible. And shame on those people I say.

  67. Soccerlogical says:

    You question my ability to pick footy games because I wouldn’t bet on Barca to win a one off Cup Final basically in an away match to an EPL side… OK, I guess.

    Should I have bet my house and entire savings account on Barca to beat newly promoted Hercules at home in La Liga this season as well?

  68. rahul says:

    a game that put everthing in context.

    yep, old pink boots bendtner coulda woulda…

  69. Roberto Manita says:

    Please SL. You are better than that. This was not an early season match against a relegated Hercules side.

    You could not make cabbage on this match whilst I could? Pee-shaw I say. And I told you so before the Rafa phaaaaaact. You owe me a pint the next time I’m in the Bronx. Cheers.

  70. Roberto Manita says:

    And this was not an away match. Some 25,000 cules would surely concur.

  71. soccerlogical says:

    RM – You need to realize that to be a successful punter (over a long period of time) requires just as much art as it does science.

    – “Lady luck doesn’t give, she only lends.”
    Swedish Proverb

  72. Roberto Manita says:

    SL – a team that dominated another team just two years before needs not a prophet to describe its future outcome — some famous Chinese prophet some 3000 some years ago. Thank you.

  73. Roberto Manita says:

    And the fact that you could not cash in on it, before the fact, shows your anglocentric myopia. Influenced or otherwise. Thank you the likes of Eoin, DT, Sky, and other English friendly apologists. To pick this sub-standard ManU squad against this historic FCB squad (which basically won the WC last year and spanked this same MU squad just two years ago) is totally LAUGHABLE.

    And as Mr. T said, “I pity the phooooooooool”.

  74. soccerlogical says:

    RM –

    Are you that thick, most of the English media picked Barca… can you read? You are beginning to sound like they are tightening your straitjacket!

    You make it sound like bookies were giving some huge odds for Barca to win. ANYONE who bet a decent amount of money on Barca to win at those odds is just a lucky FOOL.. and that’s also a fact!

    Did Barca reach the finals last year, which underdog team knocked out a superb Valencia and last years champs in the semis this season? Like it or not this final could have easily been Manyoo vs ARS/RM.

  75. Derek Taylor says:

    RM-

    I always find it interesting when people think I care who wins.

    If you can find where I “question the validity of sMasch’s (sp) selection”, I’d be interested to see it.

    “Why is it that we don’t question Fergie’s tactics and player selections today instead?”

    –Umm…clearly you did not see Saturday’s show.

  76. fab4 says:

    @Derek Taylor – “draft Barca’s starting 11 from today’s Champions League final as if you were choosing among them for a pickup game”

    Speaking only for myself:

    11. Valdes
    10. Abidal
    9. Alves
    8. Mascherano
    7. Busquets
    6. Pedro
    5. Villa
    4. Iniesta
    3. Pique
    2. Xavi
    1. Messi

    Note that Mascherano is not a “scrub.”

    I agree with the original poster – Curt Menefee was very, very poor. It’s one thing to say the referee was from “Hungaria” – that’s a silly error that doesn’t impact my enjoyment of the match. But Menefee simply didn’t know anything about the sport or the teams, and that made me feel like Fox was insulting my intelligence. Also: Michael Strahan?

    ESPN did a great job with WC 2010 and Euro 2008. As much as I like you & Bobby, I hope the rest of Fox will learn from ESPN’s good choices and their own poor ones.

  77. Roberto Manita – You are mistaking Derek supposed Man Utd bias for Jeremy who is no longer on the show.

    SL – “Every British pundit and English based journo from Marcotti, McMahon, Jonathan Wilson and the the rest went with Barca to win. ” How do I fit as a British pundit or English based journo having been in Canada for over three decades …..and paying high Canadian taxes.

  78. Gus Keri says:

    RM, TVA, TVN or whatever name you choose in the future:

    A long time ago, I made a consciuos decision not to respond to you. But when you thanked me earlier for my article, I felt obligated to reply. I should have stopped there and not openned a new dialogue with you. It wasn’t long before I found out the mistake I made.

    You seem to lack any courtesy toward any person who disagree with you.

    Here are some of what I said on this thread only:

    “A great game and congrats to Barca, officially, the new European dinesty”
    “I believe the best team in the world had won, at the end. And overall, they deserved it.”

    I know clearly how I see this great Bracelona club and I don’t give it a thought what you think.

    Every great team in history of soccer has its own controversy.

    Argentina 1986 had the hand of God.
    France 1998 had the Ronaldo mysteroius sickness.
    Italy 2006 had the famous headbutt incidence.

    All are examples of contraversies that will always be brought up whenever rival fans come together.

    This Barcelona team is no exception.

    But for you to deny this fact and go on personal attack against whoever disagree with you, doesn’t look good on your resume.

    I promise you I won’t make this mistake again.

  79. platini says:

    Fox commentators did not mention about the offsite goal of the manu. Funny how the English commentators make no mention of the offside Had it been the other way around then that would be the main talking point at the show. They were so bias. Just like the Referee.He tolerated manu player name valencia. And who is the retearded commentator accused barca players as a flopping type.Morons just because you say it it is not gonna make it real. I am glad barca played like a toy . Manu was lucky came to play @ the final . They could have been eliminated way before, if they were to play against Real Madrid or even shakhtar donetsk. Bottom line Fox sport not much different than parent Fox news.Very one sided point of view

  80. Derek Taylor says:

    Fab4 — Thanks for actually doing that. I was curious to see how others rate Mascherano.

  81. Soccerlogical says:

    Bobby – I don’t know… dual citizenship? Just be happy I included you on the list!

    🙂

    FAB4 – Why the heck would I EVER choose between a Messi and Macherano? Your statement seems like you are choosing players for a “pick up” game! Any team needs at least one def mid and Busquets and Keita are the only ones who fit that position. Was Makelele or Vieira “a fringe player just happy to be collecting a medal” when their teams won silverware.. cause that is what that buffoon Menefee implied.

    PS Could Xavi, Messi or Iniesta have slotted in CB and had a decent CL Final like Macherano while contributing as a DMC throughout the season?

    IMO, the likes of Menefee and even Wynalda and a few others on TV (hint hint) who speak before they think hinder people’s attempt to learn the game.

  82. Gus Keri says:

    The most important game today is Monaco vs. Lyon.
    Unfortunately, neither FOX channel picked it up.

    I guess I have to watch it on my computer and probably sneek a look or two on the Italian cup final on TV.

    Palermo is looking to join a long list of domestic cup winners which have never won it or have won it a long time ago.

    Monaco is trying to avoid the fate of Sampdoria (unexpected collapses to say the least)

  83. fab4 says:

    @Soccerlogical – “Why the heck would I EVER choose between a Messi and Macherano”

    I was answering a question posed by Derek.

    If you don’t like the formulation of the question, perhaps you should think of it this way: if two players (say, Mascherano and Messi) were on different teams and you owned one, would you swap for the other? If I owned Mascherano and was offered Messi, for example, I would swap (all else equal, of course).

  84. Gus Keri says:

    The FIFA ethics committee cleared the way for Blatter to be elected again. They suspended Bin Hammam and Jack Warner until the completion of the investigation.

  85. Soccerlogical says:

    Gus – Great call on Moncao Lyon game, in a way I want Monaco relegated so Park Young moves on (hopefully to Arsenal). His vision, guile and technique is world class.

    FAB4 – We all know the answer to that. Regardless, soccer is a team sport and a DMC and NT captain like Macherano who imposes himself on the game (and can fill in at CB) is as important as ANY of Barca’s other defensive minded players… at a minimum. To ask who you would pick on your side between a DMC and FC is disingenuous.

  86. Roberto Manita says:

    Gus,

    You shouldn’t confuse disagreement with discourtesy. If I disagree with someone on the blog then I will call it out. I certainly wasn’t getting personal with you and trying to demean you, DT, or SL. Once again, I believe you have shown a very thin skin and are a very sensitive lad and act childish when someone disagrees with your comments. Much like the boy in the neighbourhood who owns the hockey net in a road hockey game, gets offended for some reason, first sulks, and then plays his trump card by taking the net home with him. You’ve played the ‘net card’ on me yet again. And brilliant detective work wrt the usernames. You are a footy Sherlock without peer.

    DT & SL – no personal offence was ever intended. Only passionate and opinionated debate, of which I have in spades.

    Funny how I didn’t respond to anything Bobby has said. That would come down to me agreeing with pretty much everything he’s said regarding this match. But I’ve disagreed with him many times in the past and have told him so (and usually quite passionately). The one thing he said last night which I greatly disagree with was when he said that Alves was FCB’s worst passer on the park. I’d say both Abidal and sMasch (that’s a nickname btw DT and not a spelling error) are not as highly rated when it comes to passing the ball. Anyone that is Messi’s moving one man wall cannot be considered the team’s worst passer.

    See. That was civil. And as the famous Rodney King once said, “Can’t we just all get along?” Please don’t take your hockey nets home with you 🙁

    Bobby, Eoin, DT, Michelle, and the rest of the FSR crew – thanks for all the work leading up to the UCL Final. Good stuff. And if I haven’t mentioned it before above, sorry DT for confusing you with Jeremy (the ManU fan) and thank you Bobby for pointing it out. However, I always pegged DT for being a ManU fan too.

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