In A Conversation With Bobby McMahon from Fox Soccer Report and Forbes.com we break the game down to its core and talk tactics. From Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle, Bobby shares his brilliant football brain with you.
We also chat about the managerial changes and who Bobby thinks will be in trouble. Plus don’t miss Bobby’s Top 4 predictions as you might be surprised who he has missing from his list. He also shares who he thinks will sink to the Championship at the end of the season.
Don’t miss Bobby McMahon broadcasting his las show on Fox Soccer Report on Thursday 16th August.
A Conversation With Derek Rae is pure football poetry. One of football’s finest voices, Derek always paints a beautiful picture through his commentary. Do you know anyone who can marry the famous poet Robert Burns with football?
From Team GB and the Olympics to all things Premier League including Luis Suarez, John Terry, Robin van Persie, Andre Villas Boas, Brendan Rodgers, Manchester City, mid-level clubs and beyond, Derek discusses it all with an honest perspective. There’s even time to talk a wee bit of Rangers!
Football, soccer, call it what you want, it’s just like being down the pub with your mates.
Just a few months ago, Harry Redknapp was the soup de jour in English football. Fast forward a few months and not only did he lose out to Roy Hodgson for the England job, but he was also replaced by Andre Villas Boas as manager of Tottenham. This hasn’t been the only major change of manager in the Premier League. Aston Villa, West Brom, Liverpool and Norwich City have also chosen to move forward with a new coach. Kristan Heneage from ESPN and FourFourTwo joins us for “A Conversation With” where we dig a little deeper and dissect the managerial changes. First up, Andre Villas Boas and Spurs. Will it be another disastrous season for AVB in the Premier League, or will he deliver glory down White Hart Lane? Kick back and enjoy the conversation.
At the time, the entire crew answered with a resounding “no.” But after tonight’s performance by Chelsea against Barcelona, should the World Football Daily crew re-think the listener’s question?
Was it a miracle? Or was it just a monumental defensive display with a counter attacking twist?
It was a fascinating evening of European football. Everything was going according to plan for the West London club. Thirty minutes gone in the first half, no goals conceded and defensively, they picked up exactly where they left off at Stamford Bridge last week.
But after a tornado of attacks from Barcelona, the Chelsea defense finally succumbed. They failed to pick up Sergio Busquets in the box and in turn, he easily slotted home the first goal of the night. Eight minutes later, Iniesta hit a sweet strike to make it 2-0. Advantage Barcelona and at this point, everybody expected the flood gates to open. Instead…a moment of madness!
John Terry decided to knee Alexis Sanchez from behind, right between the legs and the linesman informs the referee who then shows the former England captain a straight red card. An idiotic and unnecessary act from Chelsea’s leader and with each step he shamelessly took towards the dressing room, it felt like a stamp in the heart for Chelsea fans. Surely Barcelona’s dominance would payoff with lots of goals now. Surely Terry’s stupidity would be punished. Or would it?
Just before half-time and moments after Terry’s sending off, Frank Lampard delivered a delicious signature pass that split Barcelona’s phantom defense and Ramires capped it off with a delightful chip Xavi, Iniesta or Messi would be proud of. It was exquisite and deserving of the run Ramires made to get into that position. The goal stunned the Camp Nou. Stunned the players. And stunned Guardiola. How many Barcelona fans said a little prayer before the second half? How many fans believed Lionel Messi would bail them out of trouble?
It was a night however where the world’s best player lost his magical touch. Messi has scored more than 60 goals this season but he couldn’t find the back of the net against Chelsea. And the most glaring of all misses was his penalty effort that hit the woodwork. Barcelona needed another hero to step forward but nobody had that killer finish. As the minutes painfully passed and with every kick of the ball, you felt more and more like the script was never going to veer in the direction of Barcelona. Not on this night. Not against this Chelsea team.
This is the same team that capitulated under Andre Villas Boas on a weekly basis. This is the same set of players who lacked confidence and any type of spirit for the majority of the Premier League season. I’ve said the same thing repeatedly since Andre Villas Boas was fired. This team will win to spite him. They now believe in themselves. It’s evident throughout the entire club. They had an obvious swagger even when they were losing 2-0. And after they made it 2-1, you felt like there was still another headline waiting to be written.
The final say came from the one player who suffered under Andre Villas Boas dictatorship the most. Fernando Torres returned to Spain with Chelsea as a 50 million pound flop and left Spain with Chelsea a 50 million pound hero. He ran his heart out and dodged the challenge of Victor Valdes to bury the goal that could deliver Roman Abramovich the Holy Grail!
But it’s not just a win against Barcelona that is driving Chelsea towards unexpected glory. Roberto Di Matteo and Eddie Newton have added a certain magic to this once woeful team. Call it belief. Call it confidence. Call it men leading men. Something is swinging down the Kings Road again and this time it’s not Lionel Messi’s shorts.
Al Michaels, a famous U.S. sports announcer once asked if we believed in miracles. In modern day football, against this particular Barcelona team and with only 10-men at the Camp Nou on a Champions League semi-final night, I would say a smidgen of me believes a miracle did happen tonight…
Wayne Rooney has added to the scandalous behaviour of some of England’s finest footballers. Earlier this year Ashley Cole and John Terry made the headlines for their cheating. Cole saw his marriage crumble while Terry was able to worm his way out of trouble. Step forward Wayne Rooney.
Rooney’s name is dominating the front and back pages. It seems the Manchester United star likes prostitutes. Apparently while Coleen Rooney was pregnant with their first child, her lovely husband was busy spending much of his time and money on prostitutes. And we know this isn’t the first time! We all have skeletons. Don’t we?
You don’t want to judge people as we never know what goes on behind-closed-doors. However, this kind of behaviour makes it difficult to not form some type of opinion. At the end of the day, these so-called professional footballers are role models to millions of kids whether they like it or not. So when they behave badly, it’s easy to get vexed.
Everyone is absolutely entitled to their privacy but when you are a public figure and you enjoy fame and fortune it comes with a small price. That price is privacy. I’m not saying it’s right. It’s just a fact. Another solid fact is that it’s these kids and millions of other fans that put footballers in a fortunate position. They pay lots of money to see them play. They pay lots of money to buy their shirt. These players represent more than themselves.
Sleeping with prostitutes is never a good thing, particularly if you are Wayne Rooney. Not only is he a husband and father, he is also center forward for Manchester United, one of the world’s most revered sports franchises. He is also an England international, representing his country at the world’s finest football tournaments. He earns hundreds of thousands of pounds a month from his club and his endorsement deals. It’s time to show a bit more class.
This isn’t the first and it won’t be the last we’ve heard of the scandalous soccer stars…
Following a crazy tabloid infused season which included naked photographs of Ashley Cole’s private parts and John Terry’s affair with a teammate’s girlfriend, Chelsea were able to grind through their scandalous mess and still win the title in the toughest league in the world. How did they do it? In a word…Ancelotti.
It’s tough to work through any problem in life. It’s especially tough when the world watches as you battle through your problems. Despite the scandals they faced, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti kept his team together. He saved the ship when it was sinking at a rapid rate and he even steadied its course to bring it home safely. He never gave up and always believed his team could win. He made no excuses. He handled it like a world-class manager.
A world-class manager also needs world-class players to perform for him and Chelsea have them in abundance. Didier Drogba has certainly been a star again this season, but it’s the unsung hero Frank Lampard who deserves to be their player of the year. For so long his leadership qualities have walked in the shadow of John Terry. But this season, he showed what makes him such a quality world-class player. He stood behind Terry throughout his scandal and other players followed. He led on the pitch with goals galore and play making any coach would be proud of. Frank Lampard…if only they would make you captain of England!
Chelsea’s achievement this season is impressive. The media told them they were nothing but an aging team who probably didn’t have championship legs. Looks like Lampard & Co. could have run for another 90 minutes on Sunday. They were also told they had a manager who wasn’t tested in the Premier League, despite his success in Italy. Ancelotti went on to win in his first season as manager and could potentially do the double if they win the F.A. Cup.
Most importantly for Chelsea – they finally won “the big one” without “the Special One.” Is it possible they can finally lay the ghost of Mourinho to rest? It is possible when you are living under the reign of King Carlo…
Our crystal ball spoke to us clearly and concisely when the excitement and anticipation of the 2009/10 season kicked-off. We made our predictions. We chose the chosen ones and it was off to the races.
As the best of the best galloped into the eyes of victory and defeat, we raved, we ranted, we posted and we polled about the beautiful game. And as the race to be crowned champion nears its end, we can’t help but wonder, who will cross the finish line first?
For so long Chelsea have been the favourites to scoop the Premier League title. If I remember correctly, we warned the Stamford Bridge outfit not to celebrate too soon. At Christmas, the Chelsea players and faithful believed they had it in the bag. There was an evident cockiness to them which has become synonymous with Chelsea. But a loss to Everton and a whipping by Manchester City in their own park soon made the Blues players and fans realize the fight to the finish will not be so easy. Did they under estimate their opponents? Did the John Terry scandal hurt them? What would they do without Drogba? Will the iron Chelski curtain find its strength again as they head towards the finish?
With Wayne Rooney turning on the style and making a case to be European Footballer of the Year, Manchester United are once again finding their strength and form at the right time. Determined to create history and make it four Premier League titles in a row, the Red Devils are as hungry as ever for silver ware. They’ve already bagged the Carling Cup, they have one eye on a Champions League quarter final spot and they are two points clear at the Premier League summit. Granted they haven’t been as exciting to watch as a team this term, but Rooney has given us every reason to be up for watching Manchester United play. Do you think they’d be flying if Ferdinand and Vidic were fit all season? Do you think Rooney deserves to be Player of the Year? Has Valencia been a success? Will Berbatov be the man United fans want him to be?
And what of Arsenal? After losses to Manchester United and Chelsea, everyone had written off their title chances for good. How could the Gunners win the league if they couldn’t beat the two best teams in the country? Somehow, some way, Arsenal have hung in there. Even though they lost to the big two, they picked up some good results in games we’ve easily seen them lose over the last few seasons. Beating the likes of Stoke and Hull has helped. Losing Ramsey to such a horrific injury has not. But unlike the Eduardo injury experience which saw Arsenal implode that season, it appears this time around the team are galvanized to win it for Ramsey. They seem to have a purpose we may not have seen in recent times. Can Arsenal finish strong without Fabregas? Would they be clear of United and Chelsea on points at this stage if Van Persie hadn’t been injured? Was Vermaelen the best buy of the season? How good could Arsenal actually be if they bought three more world class players?
The rest of the league are fighting for a fourth Champions League spot, a Europa League place or just plain old fashioned survival. How do your predictions match up to what you thought at the beginning of the season? Who do you see wining it all? Chelsea? Manchester United? Or Arsenal? Can Tottenham really steal a Champions League birth? Will Manchester City or Aston Villa ruin their coming out party? Will we see another famous old club like West Ham go down? Has Hull City’s luck finally run out? When Portsmouth go down, how much further will they sink over the next few years? Remember Leeds?
There is still much to play for. It’s sad that the season is almost ending but fear not fellow footie fans! The silver lining is that we are in a World Cup year so the wait for some quality football won’t feel like eternity. Could this be the year Wayne Rooney shines on the world stage? Is it his time to be crowned a world football superstar? The race to the finish line is almost over. The only question is, who will win?
John Terry has the world at his feet but continues to screw up. His rap sheet over the years is nothing short of grotesque. It’s a crying shame the captain of England and Chelsea behaves badly and actually gets away with it. If he were the bloke down the street, we’d be yelling out “scum bag.”
Today’s revelations about his affair with former teammate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend – model Vanessa Perroncel – and his attempt to cover it up has angered many. Vanessa Perroncel who has a child with Bridge is supposedly one of Toni Poole’s best friends. Toni Poole is Terry’s childhood sweetheart. They have three-year old twins together. The man has a family. He is captain of England and Chelsea. What do his actions say about his character? There is a disturbing trend to John Terry’s behaviour.
Does a man who urinates in a beer glass at a night club bar warrant to be England captain? Does a man who secretly arranges behind-the-scenes tours of Stamford Bridge and receives 10k a pop for doing it deserve to be England captain? Does a man who’s mother and mother-in-law shoplift deserve to be England captain? Does a man whose father sells drugs deserve to be England captain? Does a man who has an affair with his ex-teammate’s girlfriend deserve to be England captain? I think not.
To be honest, it’s shocking that John Terry is still captain of England and Chelsea. After he was exposed by the News of the World selling “tours” of Stamford Bridge, I was convinced he would be stripped of the skipper’s armband for both club and country. How can you respect John Terry after seeing him on video telling an undercover reporter to keep things “hush, hush” because it would reflect badly on him if he were to be discovered. Were Chelsea Football Club not offended by that? Is this the type of man Fabio Capello wants to lead his men into battle against the rest of the world at the World Cup? Unbelievable!
John Terry isn’t the only player in the modern game who has “classless spoiled brat” written all over him. So many young professionals these days are given way too much, way too soon and they abuse the power they have without remorse. Gone are the days where they had to clean boots, toilets and scrub floors. Gone are the days where they were made to do things so they would understand and appreciate the value of being a professional footballer. John Terry did work hard as an apprentice, but he has obviously forgotten where he came from. He has become so arrogant, he thinks playing in the Premier League or any league for that matter is a right. You are wrong John Terry. It’s a privilege.
If I were a budding footballer, I would look to the likes of Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Paolo Maldini for my inspiration. John Terry is watched by kids week in, week out. They admire him and look up to him like a hero. To think this man could lift the World Cup for England is quite sickening to be honest. When Sir Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup for England people watched with pride. A gentlemen of English football was representing his country and the nation couldn’t have admired him and the team more. How can we sit in front of our flat screen TV’s or watch from the stands and think the same of John Terry?
I understand that everyone has a right to their privacy. What goes on behind closed doors is not really our business. But when we pay good money to watch the likes of John Terry play football and when he puts on that armband for club and country, he represents more than himself. His behaviour is beyond shameful and no different to a football hooligan. He has publicly disgraced himself numerous times. I think fans deserve a little better than that from their captain. More than that, so does his wife and childhood sweetheart Toni. So do his three-year-old twins. And so did his teammate Wayne Bridge. How can any of his fellow professionals trust him?
Don’t shed a tear for John Terry. He doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself…
John Terry was very quick to goad his rivals following a famous victory for Chelsea over Manchester United at the weekend. The England captain was feeling pretty confident after the Blues win and so he sent a cocky “catch us if you can” taunt to his favourite Premier League foes.
Don’t you think it’s a bit early to be riling up the likes of Arsenal and even Manchester United, despite the fact you did just beat the latter? Let’s not forget how well Aston Villa are doing too and how Manchester City and Tottenham are still sniffing around like they want to steal something. I mean you are only 5 points clear at the top, Arsenal do have a game in hand and it’s only November! Settle down now Mr.Chelsea.
The fact people get so excited about the league being won in November is laughable. There is so much more football to be played and anything can happen. Just ask Liverpool if they thought their season would end up like it has over the last few weeks. Teams can suffer major injury setbacks and as we’ve already seen this season, unpredictable results are more than possible.
I admire the purpose behind John Terry’s message. I hear the spirit and gamesmanship in his voice. But as players, managers, chief executives and fans have learned over the years, don’t get ahead of the next game. Don’t start disrespecting your opponents too much. And don’t think about the victory parade when there is still everything to play for. There’s no doubt Chelsea are the team to beat. But we have a long and arduous season still ahead.
Ancelotti certainly has Chelsea moving in the right direction and with their transfer ban being lifted just last week, they now have the ability to strengthen their team in January, which a few weeks and months ago was looking highly unlikely. A potentially stronger Chelsea after the painful Christmas fixture list is definitely a scary prospect for the rest of the league. But let’s rewind very quickly to just a few weeks ago when Chelsea had lost 3-1 to Wigan and everyone was asking “what’s wrong with Chelsea?” It’s a funny old game is football, so don’t go popping the champagne cork just yet…
Liverpool beat their arch enemy Manchester United 2-0 at the weekend and this result is without doubt one of the sweetest for the scouse house in years. Nobody gave them a chance. The media ripped them to pieces. Benitez was ready for the chop. And even John Terry labeled them a two-man team. My how things can change so quickly in football. The magicians of Merseyside pulled the rabbit out of the hat big time with this victory and I believe they surprised us all!
With four losses in a row resulting in one of the worst runs of form in the club’s history, Liverpool appeared as though they were heading into some serious turmoil. As the owners continue to be at each others throats and key players suffer from injuries, the hopes of bringing the title home after so many years was slowly fading fast once again. The walls at Anfield were caving in and the claws were coming out thick and fast from all angles.
Even the Liverpool fans turned on manager Rafa Benitez. The fans have always been Rafa’s security blanket. They feel a sense of loyalty for the Champions League success he has brought to the club. The fans fell in love with Rafa when he secured the Champions League trophy. And then when he took them to another Champions League final, they fell in love with him all over again. And last year when Rafa couldn’t quite finish off United in the title race, the fans showed their support once again. But finally that loyalty was tested after a recent run of bad results, including a dismal loss to Sunderland last week.
Going into the United game, Liverpool football club was under an intense amount of pressure. Rafa Benitez was probably under the microscope more than ever before. Some say that a loss to United could have cost him his job, despite the recent vote of confidence from the board. The entire city needed to get behind the team. The manager needed to pull it together. And the players had to go out, perform heroics and get a result that nobody believed they could. Well somehow it all came together and Liverpool won one of the most important games in their recent history. A loss would have meant their Premier League hopes were all but over. And it could have spelled the end for Rafa. Instead he and his red army get to live and fight another day.
This is what makes the Premier League so exciting. Just when you think a team is down and out, they fight back and show their will to win the biggest prize in domestic football. Credit to Rafa and his team for the togetherness they showed and the team spirit they displayed to win the game over their most hated of rivals. Let’s not sugar coat this in any way. These two teams despise each other and Liverpool’s victory will leave a bitter taste in Manchester United’s mouth. The reigning champions were beaten fair and square. There is no referee to blame it on this time. Perhaps it’s Fergie and his Red Devils that face the pressure now.
How do you think Liverpool will do from here? Can they still win the title? How do you think United will bounce back from this loss? Do United have enough quality in their team to crowned champions again? Does anyone else agree it’s time for John Terry to shut-up?