Soccer Football Archive

Football/Soccer 14 November 2017

“Well it all comes down to this!”

Big Jim takes a look the Socceroos chances of booking their spot in Russis…read more

I thought the Aussies put in one of their better performances (for a long time) over in Honduras. The Aussies won’t be ecstatic but they will certainly be happier with the result than the Hondurans.

I think the Socceroos will progress because they have some distinct advantages.

  • They have great depth. Well not great but more than the Honduras.
  • It’s a massive advantage to play the second leg at home.
  • The Aussies have gotten every luxury when it comes to travel and traveling conditions.
  • The Aussies are used to traveling and Hondurans aren’t.

If we get through then the whole “missing out from our group stage in Asia” will be forgotten. To be truthful the extra 4 competitive games can only be a plus. If, however, we lose, the round ball game in Australia takes a massive hit in the guts. Then again this isn’t rocket science is it!

Ladbrokes has the Aussies at $1.62 to win the game in normal time. I think this is the right price but I am going to have a crack at the Aussies to win 2:0 at $6.50. The Aussies will be DESPERATE to get that second goal as 1:1 is an obvious disaster. Go Aussies.

Soccer/Football 12 October 2017

“A good DARK day for the Socceroos”

Big Jim takes a look at the Socceroos performance against Syria…read more

What a performance from the Socceroos against the world football powerhouse Syria. I hope you can read the sarcasm in my voice. If what we served up over these two games is our best then we don’t deserve to go to Russia next year.

The performance in Malaysia was OK but the performance on home soil was nothing short of pathetic. If Cahill didn’t find the back of the net for his second goal late in extra time we were going to penalties. Our entire 4 year campaign to make it to the World Cup would have come down to a coin flip. Here are a few of my concerns or questions and remember I am far from a football/soccer expert this is merely an observation of a sports fan.

  • Why has Cahill been left out of this team for the majority of this World Cup campaign? I know he is 38 and past his best, but I don’t care if he is in a wheelchair. He knows how to get the ball in the back of the net!
  • Why do we keep picking players that are based in Europe but aren’t getting game time? Wouldn’t it be better to pick players who are match fit. It should be made clear to players that if they want to play for the National team then they might have to take less money and play in squads where they are automatic starters.
  • What has happened to the European training squads? The team looks like they never play together. Maybe because they don’t.
  • Would a squad of mainly A league players with a few of our European based BEST have made a better charge at this World Cup? If we don’t make the World Cup then we should look at this for next time around. It would be a massive shot in the arm for the A League and to be truthful I can’t imagine (at this point in time) that they would do any worse than the current mob.

I understand that we don’t have the quality of players we have had in the past. Having said that we have a very good path to World Cups now. Outside of Japan there is NO reason why we shouldn’t clearly be the second best team in Asia.

Well, we better improve quickly as Panama or Honduras will have its way with the Socceroos unless we find our MOJO. If we make the World Cup then we should back off, let Ange do his thing and then assess after Russia. If we don’t get a ticket to Russia then the whole Socceroo system should be stripped bare and we should start again.

“Another dark day in Socceroo history” 6 September 2017

Big Jim takes a look at the demise once again of the round ball game in Australia….read more

Deary deary me!!! What a balls up this World Cup campaign has been. There was a time when it was nearly impossible for the Socceroos to make the World Cup. I remember the days when we had to progress through the likes of Argentina and Uruguay; Back then we had cause to complain!!! Those days are long gone and no one could argue that we aren’t offered a saloon passage to the World Cup through Asia. We have stuffed up the easy qualification path for 2018 and now the road is long and rocky. To be truthful we are lucky to even have a second chance.

Yes we were dominant against Thailand but 2:1 just didn’t cut the mustard. We had to beat Thailand by 4 goals and we should have. Anything less than that just wasn’t good enough from a team and a coach that should be judged on World Cup qualification and performances in that competition. Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater unleashed a tirade on coach Ange Postecoglue long before the dust had had a chance to settle. This is at least the only positive thing to come out of the whole messy and down right pathetic situation.

I don’t know who is right or wrong here. I just don’t follow the game closely enough to pretend that I am even close to an expert. The positive is that there has now been open debate and the media and the coach have both come out and really told us what they think. If we make it to Russia then Postecoglue will get a reprieve and if we miss out his head will roll and that’s how it should be. Anytime the media takes the gloves off and takes a good old fashioned swing I think it is positive. The media has a job to do and so do coaches and administrators of high profile teams. Professionals from both sides of the fence get well paid and should be held to account.

The Socceroos have always struggled to play consistently entertaining or dominant football. Outside of one really positive World Cup campaign the whole performances of our national team in the “world game” is about as positive as the body count in the Great War. If football fans don’t get to see Australia take its place with the other 31 teams in Russia next year then the sport here will suffer another setback.

Australian Football and Rugby League are our national winter sports and long may they live in the spot light. So I won’t be shedding any tears if we miss out. But there are millions of Aussies that do care about the game we refer to as soccer and they have a right to be pissed off!!!

Football/Soccer 17 August 2017

Time to look to the FUTURE”

Big Jim takes a look around the future markets for the football competitions that matter in Europe this season…read more

Seeing I am going on holiday I thought it was a great time to have a look at some football futures. This way I have something to look forward to when I get back from a few weeks of NOT thinking sport, sport and only sport. I am going to get my old mate Sean “Kenny” Callander on board from www.theinsidewordonline.com this year for all of his weekly tips for the EPL and the Champions League games so we are PRIMED for a bumper year of football betting.

Lets have a look at my best bets for the English Premier League and the Champions League.

EPL

BEST BET: Manchester United (Ladbrokes price $3.75)

Just loved what I saw from the Red Devils in the opening round. This team is going to be twice the force they were last year.

DANGER: Manchester City (Ladbrokes price $2.40)

Hate the price but this side is just so packed with talent its hard NOT to see them be a serious threat this year

BEST LONG SHOT: Tottenham (Ladbrokes price $7.50)

Again not fussed on the value but this might be the best London team in the competition this year.

Sean “Kenny” Callander says: Well done Big Jim….amazingly I agree. I think Chelsea and Liverpool might struggle and Arsenal ($10 to win at Ladbrokes) might be the best of the ones you have left out. City has said they are done spending money but the 2 billion worth of cattle they have there already should be enough to give it a good old fashioned crack!!!

Champions League

BEST BET: Real Madrid (Ladbrokes Price $6.00)

Just so good. Yeh they won it last year but so what!!! They can win it again. Cristiano Ronaldo is at the height of his powers and as long as he doesn’t punch out a ref or get caught at a male sauna he can lead them to back to back titles.

DANGER: Manchester United (Ladbrokes price $15.00)

Big changes at Old Trafford this year and they have the right coach and the right blend of experience and youth to give this a shake. Very sexy price as well!!!

BEST LONG SHOT: Tottenham (Ladbrokes price $26.00)

The Spurs appear to be starting to believe that they deserve to be respected in both England and on the world stage. Capable at bolters odds but not as good value as United from where I sit.

Sean “Kenny” Callander says: Again pretty good job Big Jim. I have Real Madrid on top JUST from Paris St Germain (PSG) ($9.00 to win at Ladbrokes). Neymar is special and he might be the tonic the French Giants need to really challenge this year so I have the Parisians a clear stand-out second pick and think they offer great value. Agree United are also an excellent bet at Ladbrokes at $15.00. Big changes at Bayern Munich so the $6.50 on offer there doesn’t appeal at all.

Football/Soccer 14 August 2017

Jose kicks off the season with a Bang as Ronaldo’s brain explodes!!!”

Big Jim admits that Jose Mournio is not the sort of man that deals with being second best….read more

Some people are winners. Jose Mourinho is a winner. He has the Latin type flair that doesn’t sit well with British, American or Australian mentality. We think of hard-arses being the strong silent type. Don’t be fooled as when it comes to steely resolve the one that has been described as the “Chosen One” is a man just as steely as the likes of Sir Alex.

The Red Devils were simply brilliant against the Hammers in their first game of the Premier League season. United continued to flood forward with a crew of attackers that were big, fast, imposing and most importantly talented. Manchester United have certainly up-graded from a slow, old and tired Rooney up front with a new breed that is set to turn Old Trafford on its head. This was a performance that should have the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham shaking in London.

The other big story was Cristiano Ronaldo’s brain explosion in Real Madrid’s showdown against Barcelona. In a game that tended to be a little on the spiteful side it was Ronaldo’s greatness that proved the difference. The goal the Portuguese Legend slotted into the right hand corner of the net from outside the box was nothing short of brilliant. He then took off his shirt and there is NO DOUBT that he is in peak physical condition. Women all over the world hearts were racing as he displaying a set of muscles that Big Arnie would have been happy with in his hay day.

The problem was that Cristiano had to ruin it by firstly diving and then when he was showing a red card he decided to show his frustration by pushing the ref. Not only will this see him cooling his heels on the sidelines it is also a horrible look. Football doesn’t need its poster boy showing such disregard to the game. How many kids will push a ref is junior football around the world this week? Ronaldo doesn’t need to stoop to such low levels and I hope the Spanish League makes a statement and gives him a nice long break on the sidelines. The bar must be set high and the biggest names in the game should be as accountable as any (if not more so) for protecting the sport that has given them everything.

Football/Soccer  30 June  2017

“Pure German Manufacturing!”

Big Jim takes a look at the German football team…read more

When we think about football powerhouses many of us traditionally think of Brazil, Argentina, Spain and Italy. You might even throw in the likes of France, Portugal, Holland and England. To be blunt (outside of maybe Brazil) they would all trade their records with Germany. The Germans are quite simply awesome at International football. They don’t win every Cup but they are consistently as good or better than everyone thinks they will be.

This Confederation Cup the Germans decided to take a young “B” team to Russia in preparations for the real deal come next year. Who would have thought that the B Team would make it to the A Grade Final. Come what may against Chile its been an awesome performance. The way in which the Germans crushed the Mexicans was nothing short of clinical.

The Germans never rely on marquee players. They have one world class club team in Bayern Munich but for the most part lag far behind the Italian, Spanish and English Premiership Leagues. It just seems that the Germans have a dogmatic approach to nearly everything and that sees them over achieve again and again at everything they set their minds to. The South American and Mediterranean European Countries can have all the flair they want but when it comes to decade after decade of solid performances no one comes close to the Germans. They are clearly the best “pound for pound” punchers in World Football.

Football/Soccer 26 June 2017

“Vlad…Could he run Russia and FIFA at the same time?”

Big Jim looks at the international soccer coming out of Russia….read more

I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by the recent spectacle in Russia. I was expecting the Russian team would be led into the arena by a shirtless Vlad Putin riding a Cossack pony. AK47 in one hand, proudly waving the hammer and sickle in the other. Lets bring a bit of theater back into international sporting events. If Vlad ever grows sick of his dictatorship in Russia, FIFA would be a perfect retirement position to fall into. Plenty of room for corruption, lots of overseas travel, perks, hand shaking and no accountability. Better than dealing with break away states and the disgruntled Russian Mafia billionaires, surely.

What does this tournament actually mean? I can see it has a tenuous purpose as a Russia 2018 test run but does the football actually have any significance? Sorry silly question, no it has zero purpose what so ever! I shouldn’t ask questions that I already know the answer to. Sport for the sake of sports sake is tiresome. If there is no POINT to a professional sporting event then why have it! Not suggesting football is a perennial pest in this regard, far from it, most round ball action is legitimate. This tournament (and I use that term loosely) is simply a “nothing” event. The Kiwis got an invite which on its own suggests that the whole thing was a shambolic waste of time.

On the local front…..aren’t the Aussies going well at the moment? They will probably make it to the real deal next year in Russia but I wouldn’t go expecting any great heroics. The Socceroos performance against Brazil in Australia was pathetic and they were truly blessed to only lose to the Germans 3:2. The Aussies look to be fairly average in every facet of the game.

The likes of Viduka, Kewell, Cahill, Bosnich and even Muscat “the butcher” at least gave us some sort of entertainment value. This new group of kids wearing the yellow strip are a pack of boring, faceless, overpaid Europeans who mostly play in 2nd division teams or at best crap teams in crap leagues. Coach Ange, showed some early promise as a leader but he has grown tiresome as well. Its not as if he does much except travel around the world on Soccer Australia’s coin watching football and complaining to the press that he and his team are sick of all the negative feedback. Easy way to stop that mate…..

Lets bring back Gus to run the team; At least we could get behind him in a comic sort of way. Or who knows, maybe give Allen Jones a go from left field if Australian Rugby doesn’t snap him up after the All Blacks crush the Wallabies by 100 points later this year. Anything to bring a little bit of color back into Australian football prior to the upcoming “doomed to failure” 2018 invasion of Russia would be greatly received by all.

Football/Soccer 5 June 2017

A Goal of the Ages!”

Big Jim takes a look at one of the most amazing goals you will ever see.

I don’t make any apologies about not being the worlds greatest fan of the round ball game. I think it is a great game to play, great for kids and that the skill set of the players is amazing. The theatrics of some of the players and boring 0:0 draws are a few of the things that tarnish the game as a viewing spectacle to me personally.

This years Champions League competition was great sport in anyone’s book. The trophy was handed to Real Madrid after an incredible 4:1 demolition job of the usually frugal Italian Giants Juventus. Christiano Ronaldo scores twice and deserves the mantle as one of the games very greatest ever.

One of the other highlights of the game was when Mario Mandzukic equalised with one of the most amazing goals you will ever see. If you haven’t seen this goal you need to find it on the web and you need to do it now. This is one of the most amazing team and individual efforts I have ever seen.

It was a great final and a fitting end to a competition that nearly always shows the very best of a game that sometimes suffers from below average entertainment.

Football/Soccer  15 May 2017

Powerhouse Final for an important piece of Silverware!”

Big Jim has a look at the Champions League final…

I have to say that I really enjoyed the second leg of the battle of Madrid. It was game on when Athletico chalked up a 2:0 lead but it was the professional Real outfit that took stock of the situation and made it through to their second Champions League final in the last 3 years.

Hard to argue that Real Madrid and Juventus don’t deserve their places in the big dance. I think Juventus had the easier draw against Monaco in the semi finals but Real Madrid will be a far sterner test for the Italian giants at both ends of the field.

I went to my old pod cast buddy and penalty shoot out guru Sean “Kenny” Callander from www.theinsidewordonline.com for his view on the final as he is a far better judge on the round ball game. All Kenny could say was “Its a flip of a coin job, Big Jim!”. I told him that wasn’t acceptable so when pushed he said he leans towards the Spanish Giants and their Portuguese Champion to find a way.

Ladbrokes currently has Real Madrid at $1.73 and Juventus at $2.00 in the two way “lift the trophy” market. I am a bit of an old school punter in some ways and prefer the two way market. I hate doing my dough when its a draw after 90 minutes. I hope you took my advice and backed one of these two teams prior to the semi finals but if you didn’t, take your pick and pray. I will be tuning into this game as it has “blockbuster” written all over it and cheering on Real Madrid.

Congrats also to my old mate Vic Jeffrey and his boys from Chelsea. Your shout Vic!!!

Football/Soccer  4 May 

Flares be a burning!”

Big Jim gets some help with the A League Grand Final…read more

This is the marquee match-up of the A League with the two powerhouses of the competition going head to head. These two teams have a rich history of really not liking each other so expect a massive crowd and plenty of banter between fans and players. Lets just hope they don’t burn down the Stadium or start brawling in the streets which seems to be a popular pass time for soccer fans when the game gets so boring they need something else to amuse their small peanut sized brains.

For those of you who know Big Jim well, they will know that he isn’t exactly the biggest wrap on the round ball game. When you start talking A League especially, I have about as much interest as watching a dog eat its own vomit. So I decided that I would consult my Pod Cast side kick Kenny Callander from www.theinsidewordonline.com (the former international striker) about his opinion on the A League final.

The A League is different to nearly every Soccer League in the world by having finals followed by a Grand Final. The norm is that the Champion is crowned for having accumulates the most points during the the regular season. In Australia the A League uses a model that “Aussie fans” are more accustomed to by having “finals”. This is not a good or a bad thing but its definitely a different way of looking at things. This provides the prospect that “not the best team” in the competition may win the comp.

Sydney FC has been the best team in the A League all year by quite a long way. Their regular season record was fantastic but they face a team in the Melbourne Victory who is more than capable on any given day and will be ready to rock ‘n’ roll in this one.

Ladbrokes has the Sydneysiders (in the three way 90 minute market) at a very short $1.75. Melbourne are at a whopping $4.50. This for me doesn’t represent the gap between the two teams so Melbourne looks very tasty. I’m not suggesting that they are going to win but they represent excellent value at this quote. The other market worth considering is the Double Chance where you can get Melbourne or the draw after 90 minutes which is paying $2.00.

Melbourne will look to attack right from the outset so the Total Goals-Over/Under 2.5 looks like a good play. OVER at $1.73 might be the best bet of the game especially if there is an early goal and one team is forced into playing open football early in the first half.

Enjoy the game my football loving friends and then you can concentrate on the AFL and NRL. The biggest upside will be that we all won’t have to listen to Mark Bosnich embarrass himself on national television every second night.

 

 

Football (Soccer) – March 15

Bye Bye Barca as Ronaldo reigns supreme

Big Jim takes a look at the Champions League semi finals and what represents early value in the betting…read more

Cristiano Ronaldo once again stomped his authority in a game that really mattered. He is like the polar opposite of David Warner. Ronaldo scored an amazing 6 goals against Bayern Munich over two games and is now the first player ever to score 100 Champion League goals. What a simply breathtaking performance for the Portuguese Champion. Real Madrid are going to be hard to beat from here and a deserved favourites now that the field is down to only four.

The dream of the two Spanish giants battling it out for the title ended with an amazing defensive effort by Italian powerhouse Juventus. Monaco cruised through against Dortmund and Athletico Madrid just had two much polish in the end for Leicester. It might be another 50 years before the Foxes get another chance at this particular piece of Silverware.

The betting has come out as I expected with Real Madrid at around $2.50 with Juventus clear second picks at around $3.00. Athletico Madrid seems short at around $4.50 and Monaco realistically should be closer to $10.00 than its current quote of $7.50. It probably comes down to if that stodgy Italian defence can keep the Spanish flair at bay. They did it against Barcelona so they can do it against Real Madrid. I would work around the top two in betting and have a slight leaning towards Juventus simply due to value.

In other football news Mark Bosnich has proven that half of his brain might have leaked out of his skull at some stage in the past. Bosnich came out and said that the A League should scrap the salary cap. Well that would be an awesome way to destroy the A League overnight. On second thoughts maybe that isn’t such a bad idea. Mark, you stick to commentating and let David Gallop (the only thing that football in this country has got going for it) run the competition. Gallop is the best sports administrator in Australia and is doing a great job without your imbecilic comments. I usually get annoyed by former sports stars sitting on the fence but when they say things this stupid it really is hard not to criticise.

 

 

Soccer/football – March 15

Barcelona….Its football for brilliance!!!

Big Jim is still in shock over Barcelona’s amazing demolition job on Paris St Germein. Read more….

My good mate Sean “Kenny” Callander from the insidewordonline.com knows that soccer isn’t my proffered poison when it comes to sport. I would have to be in a coma to watch an A-League game but a good EPL, World Cup or Champions League game is something to behold. Well my old mate suggested that I get up and watch Barcelona’s Round 16 tie with Paris Saint Germein (PSG). I nearly laughed as I knew Barcelona had already lost the first leg 4:0. He obviously knew that, but said that Barcelona wasn’t worried as they intended to score 6 goals and progress regardless. So reluctantly (with much reservation)…..up I got!!!!

Well all I can say is a big thank you to my fellow podcast host Kenny!!! What a game and it has come as no surprise that many experts are saying this may be the greatest Champions League game of all time. That is a big call especially with what Liverpool did a few years ago coming from all those goals behind to lift the trophy in the final. If this game wasn’t the greatest it certainly deserves consideration as it was a remarkable display of football brilliance. It was pulsating viewing as the game was so important and the task at hand for Barcelona seemed nearly insurmountable.

Soccer for me is a little like Rugby Union. At its best there is nothing better. The skill of the players is nothing short of breathtaking. The only problem is that you have to wade through 100 crap games to find that nugget of gold. The Champions League is really starting to heat up now and it would be a brave man to bet against Barcelona in the mindset they are going to take into the next round. Ladbrokes have the boys in the red and blue stripes at $3.75 to lift the trophy which puts them as equal favourites with Bayern Munich with Real Madrid and Jeventus the only other two sides still in single figure odds. So what better time than now to sign up with Ladbrokes here at bigjimwins.com and score yourself a juicy bonus bet and your chance at some big money betting on the Champions League Futures market.

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