World Cup Tonight – final episode. Spain are world champions & plus recap montage

We probably didn’t know it at the time but this show will likely be the one more people talk to us than any other show. It consumed our lives for over 30 days straight. Led by the brilliant producer Thomas Dobby, we, as a group, were fortunate to be the team that delivered this show to Canada every night of World Cup 2010. It was an absolute pleasure to work with the great professionals I was fortunate to be alongside and deliver a mixture of entertainment and analysis to a large educated audience. For the final time World Cup Tonight aired on Sunday July 11th, 2010. Here is the full episode. Enjoy.

Part One – full sound up highlights and analysis from the final Part two – more analysis on the final and the tournament plus the start of the World Cup 2010 montage Part three – the climax of the montage

World Cup Tonight Day 12 & 13 – Formation Geek destroys France.

On the evening of Monday June 21st, 2010 the guys broke down Chile vs Switzerland, Portugal vs North Korea and Spain vs Honduras before formation geek backed up the bus all over the disgraceful French.

On day 13 Landon Donovan scored for the USA and Jermain Defoe scored for England on dramatic day in South Africa. Here is the first half of the show from that day:


An invite to my 6th annual charity soccer tournament

Hello footy fans

As many of you know my columns on the game are now available to read on which is why very little has been posted on this site. However, this site gave me a platform to write when I didn’t have one and I thank you all for reading it.

I am using this site today to give you an opportunity to be play in my 6th annual charity soccer tournament.

Over five years ago while running on a treadmill it hit me. I always wanted to do more for people who are not as fortunate as us and this was how to do it.

Combining the great sport of soccer with friendship and work camaraderie, for the past five years I have run a soccer tournament to help raise money for certain charities that are close to my heart.
Year one started with 30 of us kicking a ball around for a few hours and last year over 100 people played and some had to be turned away as my squads were maxed out.
During that time I was a proud employee of the Score Television Network and the day itself became one of the highlights of the year for many staff members. Not only was it a way of getting people together out of the work environment, but it also improved relationships, raised morale, created great memories and brought many smiles to people’s faces.
Although I am no longer with theScore, I am proud to be close to many who work there, including Sally, John and Benjie, who have again offered this year to help me with this endeavour once again.
It didn’t take long for this event to get to the public and over the last few years I have opened it up to a select member of people who do not work in the sports media industry.
I am delighted to once again have my friends on board from Umbro Canada who supply us with jerseys so we all at least look like a player, even if most of us don’t play like one!
Please do not be put off if you have never played the game. This is a fun day out, where you will be placed on a team to play a few games, knowing you are making a difference in people’s lives.
All you need to do at the moment is confirm whether or not you will be able to play.
The event takes place between 1015am and 230pm on Friday December 20th at Lamport Stadium in Toronto. Cost is $50 and in return for that you will receive a shirt, a spot on a team and one golden raffle ticket to win some outstanding prizes.
This is not a tournament that accepts local teams, just individuals who are placed on teams that feature people from the media industry.
If you want a spot in this tournament follow these instructions:
1) Please email [email protected] as soon as you can. Spots are currently open but running out quickly.
2) You must indicate your jersey size preference (I will do my best to get this)
3) If you have never played with me in an event before please let me know if you have any experience, preference of position, etc. This will be used when setting up the teams.
The event is also looking for volunteers to referee games or monitor scores so please get in touch if you want to be involved that way.
Later this month an email will be sent out to the players selected with the schedule, teams, information on how to pay and details of the charities we will be supporting this year.
Many thanks for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon

Farewell to the Footy Show

On Tuesday the CRTC officially confirmed Rogers Media’s acquisition of  Score Media. Beginning immediately new programming will make its way on to The Score Television Network, which will soon be renamed, as the integration process begins. This means the Footy Show is now finished. Hosts James and Kristian were unable to announce this on Monday’s final show so wanted to share some thoughts with you following today’s announcement.

Footy Show 4

From James Sharman:

I have to say I had reservations when we decided that Sportsworld needed to evolve into the Footy Show back in 2007.  Rugby and Cricket were very close to my heart after all, but with the arrival of the Premier League to theScore, plus the birth of TFC, we decided that jumping on the soccer wave was the smartest thing we could do.  Boy, am I glad we did.  The Footy Show evolved, grew and blossomed into a 360 brand, a term itself that was new to the media landscape.  A TV component, a blog, a podcast, a bunch of footy idiots swashbuckling through twitter… but above all it was fun! I’ve often used the analogy of a ‘conversation’ when explaining what the Footy Show vision was, and truly it was that, we wanted the viewer/user to feel as if they were chatting with us.  That was paramount because you know what, we liked our viewers/users (well, most of them) because I really think they were like us! And what about us? The Footy Show allowed you to meet Nobbers, Punners, Willy… and of course KJ, a likely bunch of lads who truthfully enjoy each other as much off camera and away from the mic as we do on it.
It’s an end of an era, but we’ve always landed on our feet when change arrives, the future is exciting as hell, and I for one can’t wait to get at it what ever that entails.  Cheers for watching.

From Kristian Jack:

The debut of the Footy Show, alongside the rights to the Premier League games gave me a chance, as a producer, to make sure we covered the sport the way it should be, with a real emphasis on entertainment and insight. I never dreamed small on-camera cameos on those early shows would lead me to become the show’s analyst/co-host later on. For that I owe a tremendous amount to our wonderful viewers. From 2007-2013 the television landscape changed, we changed as people, but the biggest change of all was the IQ of soccer viewers in Canada. They demanded smart, funny, insightful shows and I feel we delivered with those across all the platforms James mentioned. Soccer fans can spot fakers a mile away – and although James and I have been accused of sometimes having fake accents, I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say you got the real us every time;  two normal blokes, blessed to work in this business, working extensively to cover a great sport. It was an absolute pleasure doing the show, the pregame and postgame shows around the Premier League and Serie A matches, the podcast and the blog. To think that so many people cared what we had to say is very humbling and something I will never take for granted. The show allowed me to make great friends, thank you to the many great people who worked on it and to everyone who went out of their way to tell us how much they enjoyed it. It meant so much to hear that every time. Thanks to past producers Thomas Dobby and Dom Gentile  and the current one, Will Farquharson, (pictured above with us) for their brilliant visions. Today is a rare day for me to look back. The future is close and will be addressed shortly, but in the meantime thanks for letting me to talk to you all so much. It truly was an absolute pleasure.

Real Madrid 1-1 Manchester United – An improved United shape gives them a slight edge heading back to Manchester.

Starting XI’s

Jose Mourinho sprung no real surprises in his selection although Raphael Varane for Pepe, who hadn’t started a game for six weeks, was his biggest decision to make.

football formations

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson picked a surprising, attack-minded eleven asking Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck to play on the flanks with Shinji Kagawa centrally behind Robin Van Persie. Nemanja Vidic missed the match through injury.

football formations


  • This will be a night remembered for Ferguson’s brave team selection, a gamble that paid off.
  • Asking Rooney and Welbeck to play wide served two purposes for the Scot. First of all he had scorers on the field who could make a difference when a given a chance and secondly they were asked to pin Real’s full backs deep.
  • The first task was successful early as Welbeck rose to head home Rooney’s corner after 20 minutes. The corner itself looked like a goal kick but once it was awarded, Real fell asleep with neither Varane, Sergio Ramos, or Diego Lopez, coming for the ball in a commanding fashion.
  • Rooney on the right was an interesting thing to watch. Real do a lot of their damage down their left flank so it looked from the outset a very big gamble from Ferguson. Rooney actually played very deep early in the game using his long-range passing ability to a tee, sending long balls through to Van Persie who did a good job holding the ball up.
  • The great teams often have the ability to make tactical adjustments during the game and the vulnerable Rafael was Real’s target as Fabio Coentrao and Mesut Ozil joined Ronaldo in targeting that area.
  • In fact, Ozil led all players with 41 touches in the first half and would go on to lead all players with a remarkable 104 over the 90 minutes. The next highest was Sami Khedira, Alvaro Arbeloa and Xabi Alonso each with 69.
  • Ozil would play a key role in Real’s goal, coming 10 minutes after Welbeck’s, interchanging brilliantly with Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria. At this point it was Di Maria on the left who crossed for Ronaldo to head home the equaliser. It was a fine cross and no surprise that it came from United’s weak side where Rafael and Rooney were stationed.
  • If the cross was good then the goal was sensational. Ronaldo jumped to a great height and then headed the ball with a wonderful force past David De Gea, who jumped for the ball when it was already in the back of the net.
  • That was certainly no slight on De Gea who had a night to remember making a number of key saves, particularly one on Fabio Coentrao after just five minutes. It was no exaggeration to suggest it was his finest showing in a United shirt.
  • He was not the only hero on the night for United, who got deeper and deeper as the game wore on as Real ran out of ideas. Michael Carrick and Phil Jones kept their discipline as holders while Van Persie’s movement out wide allowed Welbeck, and occasionally, Kagawa to take up the central role.
  • Although Real dominated possession, United actually had the better of the chances late as Van Persie hit the bar and then miscued a shot that looked destined for the back of the net, allowing Xabi Alonso to clear the ball off the line.
  • United’s changes reinforced their need for their defensive shape to remain in tact while Real’s showed a lack of ideas aside from Gonzalo Higuain for Karim Benzema which probably came 59 minutes too late. It happened one minute before the hour mark.
  • All-in-all the draw was a fair result. Both sides had decisions go against them (Jones looked to have fouled Di Maria in the box & Varane tripped Evra as the last man) and could have scored more goals but 1-1 sets up a fascinating second leg in three weeks time.
  • It is hard to imagine neither team scoring at Old Trafford but Real will need to be better in the final third of the field than they were in this game.
  • United overwhelmingly reliant on attacking talent this season will be buoyed by this excellent defensive performance as a unit. At home (where you are asked to come out of your shell a little more) that will be tested  more than in this leg.
  • Job done for United so far but they are only half way there because they know this away goal isn’t as valuable as it would be against a lesser powerhouse than Real Madrid.

Stats courtesy of Infostrada

  • Real remain unbeaten in home matches against Manchester United, winning two and drawing three.
  • Real are now unbeaten in their last 10 Champions League home matches since losing to FC Barcelona in the 2010/2011 semifinals (0-2).
  • Real Madrid have scored at least one goal in each of their last 20 Champions League matches. Only FC Barcelona (twice, 20 and 29), Arsenal (21), Liverpool (21) and Bayern Munchen (22) scored in 20 or more consecutive Champions League matches before.
  • Manchester United conceded their 300th goal in all European competitions. Only one other British team has conceded 300 goals or more in all European competitions: Celtic (also 300).
  • Manchester United are now unbeaten in their last 15 matches (all competitions), since losing to CFR 1907 Cluj last December in the Champions League group stage (0-1).
  • Cristiano Ronaldo became only the third player in Champions League history to score goals both for and against Manchester United, along with Dimitar Berbatov and Robin van Persie.
  • Ronaldo needs one more goal to equal Filippo Inzaghi on sixth place on the all-time Champions League top scorers list
  • Ronaldo became only the second player after Karin Benzema to ever score against both Manchester United and Manchester City in the Champions League.
  • Ryan Giggs made his 150th appearance in all European competitions. Only Paolo Maldini, Clarence Seedorf, Raúl and Javier Zanetti have reached this total.