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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.


2012 Champions League Final Preview

Written by on May 18, 2012 | 27 Comments »
Posted in UEFA Champions League

Rather than writing a preview of the Champions League Final I thought it might be good to offer up a selection of some of the better articles I have come across in the last few days.

Simon Kuper looks at Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben.

How Chelsea reached the UEFA Champions League Final.

How Bayern Munich reached the UEFA Champions League Final.

Opta Facts – UEFA Champions League Final

Will Bayern Munich enjoy the full impact of being the home team on Saturday?

This is from a couple of weeks ago – Rafa Benitez’s thoughts on how Bayern got past Real Madrid….and he also analyses Chelsea’s match against Barcelona.

Some statistics on Mario Gomez and other top Champions League goalscorers.

Jonathan Wilson offers his opinion and thoughts on Saturday’s final. I was hoping to find a player by player, tactical breakdown by Tom Arnold – after all that is what the American public is looking for and their reason for tuning in on Saturday isn’t it ? Sorry folks but second rate Jonathan Wilson (how many movies has he been in anyway) will have to do instead.

The man in the middle is Portuguese official Pedro Proenca.

Bayern Munich – a microcosm of German economics?

Stefan Szymanski considers the odds on offer for the 2012 Champions League Final.

Finally a special piece at by me on how the values of matches such as the Champions League Final are being vastly exaggerated by some.

And don’t forget that England’s fourth entry for the 2013 Champions League will be decided by this match as well. At the moment Tottenham Hotspur are in position to be the team but should Chelsea win then it is to the Europa League Spurs will go. At stake is at least a trillion dollars.

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27 responses to “2012 Champions League Final Preview”

  1. Voldemort – so you think that Gomez will be in the back pockets of Luiz and Cahill – one of whom will have to play on their unnatural side. We will find out I guess.

  2. John Bladen says:

    It’s disappointing that so many first team players will be missing, but it’s their own fault for being stupid…

    Have to take Bayern in this one. It’s the easy pick, I suppose, but I believe they are too strong for Chelsea. The Londoners played very well to get here, but I think even their most ardent supporters would admit they had more than their share of luck in the process.

    BM 2 Chelsea 1

  3. Astronomer says:

    If Bayern Munich win tomorrow, Jupp Heynckes will join the history books as only the FOURTH coach ever to win the European Cup / Champions League with TWO different teams. Heynckes already has one CL title with Real Madrid in 1998.

    The other three members of this august group of coaches are:

    Ernst Happel:
    Feyenoord (1970) and Hamburg (1983).

    Ottmar Hitzfeld:
    Borussia Dortmund (1997) and Bayern Munich (2001).

    And, of course ( ! ),

    Jose Mourinho:
    Porto (2004) and Inter (2010).


  4. jtm371 says:

    Bayern over Chelsea 4/1 Luiz will be the goat with no Terry to cover for him.Robben will score and get some revenge and Roman will have his reason not to hire Di Matteo.

    As far as the Fox fiasco with T Arnold i will tune in when the players walk out on the pitch and at halftime go for a 15 minute walk.Why do they insist on playing American soccer fans for fools.their pre and post match shows are unwatchable rob (pebble) stone does not know the EPL and what about the fiasco that is Peers Smorgan how did that work out.I hope for a good match but i think it will be over before halftime hope i am wrong.

  5. John Bladen says:


    Well, Blackpool or West Ham?
    At least we can almost calculate the financial impact on this one…

  6. John Bladen says:

    … and a point of clarification, please:

    I did understand that when relegated clubs are promoted back to the PL, their parachute payments are eliminated (and quite fairly, given that the reason PP’s exist is to ease the pain of relegation). In your article you mention that they lose those payments… do you mean they lose all of them? Or just the right to payments not yet received?

    I can understand why a club that is relegated from the PL twice in a short period should not be allowed to “double dip” on parachute payments, but it would seem a bit unfair if their parachute payment for the one season they were actually in the championship were somehow clawed back.

    RE: Blackpool, yes they did hold the line on spending. I seem to remember a talking head saying they’d spent around $5m on improvements to the ground and training facilities, but not a great deal on players & staff… possibly no more than $15m total, and that includes automatically triggered promotion wage increases for many (perhaps all) players, of course.

    At the other end of the spectrum, my local club have just been relegated straight out of the football league (for the second time in 15 years…). I talked to a couple of friends involved (marginally) with the club last week and they suggested that the roughly $850,000 that the club received from TV rights while in L2 would be cut to around $350,000 (maybe less) from the conference in 2012/13. If you work on an average of somewhere in the 1200-1800 paying fans for each game that a top Conf or lower L2 club might attract, that makes balancing the budget of even a small squad very difficult.

  7. Rights to future payments – the money as I understand it goes into a pool and is split amongst other championship sides.

  8. It sounds as if Essien and Malouda are not fit and Ryan Bertrand to play in front of Ashley Cole.

  9. J says:

    Who’s clear-headed enough to hit the target?

  10. So – explanations please?

  11. John Bladen says:

    Very poor offensive showing by Munich… they created so many chances and yet gave most away with poor passing and bad ball control.

    Good thing I wasn’t managing… I’d have taken Muller off at least five minutes before he scored… four or five times he had the ball in the chelsea area and bungled the opportunity. Some of that is just good defending, but not all. Don’t know what the talking heads were on about re: Van Buyten in for Muller. It’s not like it was their last change, and it made sense to do it. The only fly in the ointment was the five defenders losing track of Drogba in the final two minutes… fantastic header… but from so far out I thought Neuer might have kept it out. A tough save, but IMO it could have been made.

    Who else was horrified to see Neuer step up to take the 3rd Munich PK? If your GK is the third best penalty taker you’ve got, you’ve got problems…

    Well done to the champions (and tuff luck Spurs), but this might be remembered as the CL no-one seemed to want to win…

  12. jtm371 says:

    congrats to Chelsea the team with the biggest heart won.yes i was wrong on my prediction.Robben was awful no shooting touch today.what a end to a crazy season of football,i know we still have the Euros but that is an animal all to it self.thanks for the blog Bobby.

  13. Eaglesoar says:

    Wow!- what an incredible match- Bayern dominated in every department but finishing….and defending for that matter…
    looks like fortune smiles on the Blues yet again, although you have to be good to be lucky as they say, and what a monster performance by Cole and Drogba not to mention Cech, so…….. well deserved Chelsa.
    What flies under the radar here too is the performance of the referee and linsemen, got all they key decisions spot on I’d say.

  14. I will have some graphic analysis (not really analysis just some stuff that you might find interesting) up either late Sunday or early Monday.

  15. J Rob says:

    Chelsea proved in the Champion’s League this season that it’s better to be lucky than good.

    For Liverpool fans like myself it was obvious that Munich had studied tapes of Liverpool’s finishing prior to the final. Robben did a perfect imitation of Stewart Downing today. He could have played until next Saturday and still wouldn’t have scored.

    Kudos to Drogba. Ironically with better penalty taking he might have been the reason that Chelsea didn’t make the final or were beaten in extra-time today. Was it Boateng who allowed Drogba an unchallenged header from Chelsea’s only corner.

    Anybody else notice John Terry at the end of the game? That’s the fastest he’s got into his kit since Wayne Bridge came home early one day 🙂

  16. All over the world people woke up this morning and checking that it really happened and wasn’t a dream – or in the case of Bayern Munich and Spurs fans an epic nightmare.

  17. CDNGooner14 says:

    I’m glad someone else brought up the officiating. I thought it was excellent. I sometimes have a hard time watching the Champion’s League because the refs are pretty bad and ruin many games. Not in this case. As a neutral, I thoroughly enjoyed this game.

  18. Erik says:

    Brad Friedel was part of the broadcast for the game and he did a solid job of not coming out and cheering for Bayern as hard as he could knowing the implications of Chelsea won. I would have loved to put a microphone inside his head and get his TRUE thoughts on stuff as it happened – might have been priceless

  19. I think there are some significant long term implications for Spurs from that result yesterday. In years to come we may look back on it as a pivotal moment.

  20. J Rob says:


    Agreed. The are in exactly the same spot as Liverpool. With little prospect of a new stadium finances get a little tougher each year relative to City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal making the potential revenues of Champion’s League football even more important.

    Of Bale, Modric and Assou-Ekotto – either all of them or 2 out of 3 will probably be gone. Will be interesting to see if they can keep Adebayor on loan too. Their ability to buy good players at lower wages and lower prices will undoubtedly be put to the test again over the next three months.

  21. I think it will take a financial miracle to get Adebayor. His wage demands will be outrageous if history is anything to go by.

  22. Ed Gomes says:

    Incredible win by Chelsea. I never thought they had a shot, even if they parked the bus a 1-0 loss was most likely. Incredible.
    I really felt horrible for Drogba when he committed the penalty. If there’s anyone that shouldn’t have been the “goat”, it was him. Fantastic player that seems too get overlooked much too often.
    The missed penalty by Robben couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Always disliked him, and it was sweet to see.
    Heads will roll at Bayern. A season that could of been. I believe that Robben as signed a new deal after putting it off for a while. If so Bayern is already regretting it.
    As for Chelsea, it will be interesting. I think that Abram will have to sign DiMateo, although he probably doesn’t want to. Low money deal, for sure. Squad moves will also be interesting.
    Terry is a tool for putting on his kit. His idiotic red card put his squad at a huge disadvantage verse Barca and Bayern. Then again many will say him leaving the pitch was key to them winning. I thrilled they won without him.

    I’m glad to hear the thoughts on the refs. The most surprised people about the refs were Portuguese themselves. The SuperLiga refs get killed by fans and pundits all season. Happy for them.

    This CL result will kill the Spurs. Ade will want to stay, but he won’t drop his wage demands and will rather sit on the bench and not play and collect instead of lowering them. Malaga might be willing to pay those wages as well.
    Spurs can kiss Modric goodby as well, and will be hard pressed to keep Bale. I could see Bale stay another season, but he’ll be gone after the next one, if so.
    I also think that Spurs losing out on CL money will help Liverpool. The Spurs have lost out on much necessary money which will hurt heir progress.

    Not sure if anyone else saw this. Barca, by not winning the league or CL title saved themselves 10 mil. If they were to win either, they had payments attached to the Sanchez and Cesc deals. Udinese were to receive and additional 6 mil euros and Arsenal 4 mil euros.

  23. J Rob says:


    Wouldn’t the extra money paid for the Sanchez and Cesc deals have been offset by extra money for winning or being a finalist? Not to mention potential extra commercial revenue.

    Think Spurs losing out for 4th place has no impact on Liverpool. Long- term LFC hampered by lack of stadium. Short-term being without a manager or someone in charge of contracts/transfers 10 weeks away from start of next season surely a handicap.

  24. everwonthetreble says:

    “Not sure if anyone else saw this. Barca, by not winning the league or CL title saved themselves 10 mil. If they were to win either, they had payments attached to the Sanchez and Cesc deals. Udinese were to receive and additional 6 mil euros and Arsenal 4 mil euros.”

    Your point?

    “I also think that Spurs losing out on CL money will help Liverpool. The Spurs have lost out on much necessary money which will hurt heir progress.”

    Liverpool have lost out on the CL for three years. Shouldn’t they be in a worse position?

    I’m genuinely shocked that Chelsea won. I thought the match would be tight but that Ribery and Robben would be too much for Chelsea to withstand for 90 minutes. Instead it was Muller who was most effective and gave Chelsea fits. Occasionally, however, in these one off matches you need a bit of luck and solid play in order to win and Chelsea got both. Though they were outplayed tactically they are deserved winners.

  25. Ed Gomes says:

    Yes, winnings of the league or CL would more than offset any added cost. I was trying to point out Udi and Arsenal missed out on some extra cash.
    The 6 mil euros would of gone far at Udi.

    Yes, Liverpool has missed out on the CL, but they are on the long road back. People may hate or love the new players, but they at least have a core in place.
    The Spurs missing out on the CL could lead to the dismantle of their core.
    Road for Liverpool getting back might have gotten easier. Might.

  26. everwonthetreble says:


    Interesting point if you’re of the opinion that it means anything in the grand scheme of things to any of those three clubs. Udinese will be just fine with or without the 6 mil.

    How are Liverpool on the long way back? And that core that you mentioned was in place for most of the season and were at best very average. They’re a long way from being anywhere near “back.” Also, I’m not fully convinced that FSG will want to continue to pay CL wages whilst being in mid table.

    Spurs will indeed have an interesting summer. They could very well be in a rebuilding mode for sometime as you alluded to. I don’t think that correlates to Liverpool having an easier time in the league, however.

  27. As I pointed out in the Forbes article the difference in prize money between winning and finishing as runners up is only around $4m. But Barca did miss out on around another $7m by now getting to the final match.

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