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Week 21: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Fernando Torres, Roberto Mancini, Bolton Wanderers and the African Cup of Nations all feature in this week’s review of the football world in the good, the bad and the ugly section of the podcast. Vocabulary support can be found for the words in bold at the foot of the post.

The Good


What a breath of fresh air. Although the sacking of Mark Hughes was a shambles isn’t it great to hear new-boss Roberto Mancini saying his side, Manchester City, can win the title this year! Hubris of the newcomer? Who cares. Two wins, home and away, no goals conceded – all is well at Eastlands. His relaxed demeanor in the dugout and in interviews seems to have instilled his players with a will to win. It will all go horribly wrong – there are echoes of when Sven started at Man City here – but isn’t it great to see a team playing without fear. I love the scarf too.


Indeed, now I am going to focus on Liverpool for my good and in particular Fernando Torres the team’s number 9 who in scoring the winning goal against Aston Villa on Tuesday became the fastest ever striker to score 50 goals for the club. He did so in only 72 games which is very impressive when you think he beat former Reds’ heroes such as Kenny Dalglish, John Aldridge, Kevin Keegan and Ian Rush in reaching that number. So, well done to Fernando Torres.



Premier League side Bolton Wanderers have sacked manager Gary Megson after only 26 months in charge of the Premier League club. Megson was never really accepted by the home fans despite the fact that he saved them from relegation in his first year and then kept the club up again last year. The team were on a four-game unbeaten run but the club decided they needed a change. Another example of short-termism in football. What about Damon’s bad for the week?


Nearly time for the African Cup of Nations and the bi-annual moan from Premier League managers that they’re going to have to play for up to a month without their key African players. That whingeing is bad enough, and while there should be no complaint that African players play in their continent’s premier competition, it is a shame that they are going to miss the FA Cup third round – the classic cup competition. While they might not miss a trip to Non-League club Barrow, or League Two side Torquay for example, I’m sure fans of those clubs would have loved to see these world class players against their teams – Essien, Yobo, Toure, Kanu, Eboue, Drogba, Song, Kalou. A shame, but here’s hoping the managers, UEFA and FIFA representatives stop moaning, and all the African players that ply their trade in Europe and elsewhere have a great competition in Angola!



Yes, we’ll be featuring that tournament in a future show, of course the African Cup of Nations taking place in Angola. Now for my ugly I am returning to Premier League side Portsmouth. The team from the south coast of England lost two matches over the Christmas period to leave them rooted to the foot of the table but its their financial woes that are causing more controversy. First of all, the players have not been paid this month and are still unclear about when they will receive their salary. The club have also received a winding up petition from the inland revenue which means that they have not paid their tax bill and they could go out of business. This of course would be ugly for the club but also for the Premier League.


a shambles: A mess, no organisation

Hubris:Excessive pride

no goals conceded:Not allowed any goals in

Eastlands:The home stadium of Manchester City

dugout:Where the managers sit during the game

Sven:Sven Goran Eriksson the former Manchester City manager

kept the club up:Saved the team, prevented them from going down a division

short-termism:No long-term plan, only worried on the short term

bi-annual:Every two years


Non-League club:A team not in the top 4 divisions in England (probably semi-professional)

ply their trade:To work (to play football)

rooted to the foot of the table:Stuck to the bottom of the league

financial woes:Money problems

a winding up petition:A document warning a business that it may have to stop trading

the inland revenue:The UK Tax Office

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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly