Your Feedback on Some Monday Bullets

TSG has a few columns coming up this week:  a follow-up on our nickname piece, an update on the Honduras TV situation, a retrospective on the June 6th USA-Honduras qualifier game and more….but I have so many random comments for today that I’d love for our fans to weigh in on.

Why a Duke has served on this exchange for 35 years!

Why a Duke has served on this exchange for 35 years!

– Does anyone else think the recent transfer ban actions are a means of slowing down spending in soccer overseas? Just today FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that further scrutiny would occur on 15 recent transfer actions. Far be it from TSG or me to question whether there are transfer irregularities, but the news is somewhat “coincidental” when Real Madrid comes out today and says they are $327M in debt.

– Did anyone else actually enjoy the trash talking, both in the run-up and denouement, of the Manchester Derby? From the antagonizing billboards, to Sir Alex Ferguson’s diatribe against Manchester City just this past Friday, to Mark Hughes’s dressing down of Gary Neville over his injury time goal celebration on Sunday, this has the makings of an even better rivalry. Would you ever hear Yanks skipper Joe Girardi launch into putdown of the Red Sox heading into a series like Ferguson did? No way.

Need more? How about a study here about “the 12th man” on the field for United in stoppage time.

And then Carlos Tevez says Manchester United miss Cristiano Ronaldo. I’ve got news for Tevez though. Ferguson’s teams always start slow with or without Ronaldo. This year, beyond a loss to Burnely, they’re off to a flying start by their measures.

Simmer down, has been....

Simmer down, has been....

For my part, I thought the trash talk was entertaining and I s0mewhat agree with Hughes over Neville. Neville was once a great player because of his can do attitude and ridiculous work rate, but his skills and fitness have diminished and he needs to act accordingly.

– Where have you gone Michael Carrick? Conspicuously absent on Sunday until the 90th minute, the England international has been relegated to lower table duty by Ferguson since his penalty miss helped along a Burnley win last month. That’s some serious doghouse time. Manchester United really need to drop the Owen Hargreaves waiting period–has a player so injured ever been counted on to come back so highly?

– I can’t help but look at Everton and suggest that what that team needs is a Stu Holden-type flying down the right wing. They’ve got Cahill and Rodwell coming on in the middle. They’ve got a decent striker grouping of Jo (who should really see more pitch time), Saha (finally coming on), Fellaini (soon to be recovered from a nasty virus) and Yakubu (back after an injury spell). Steven Pienaar has not shown me he’s multi dimensional enough to warrant a full 90 minutes and would be better served in the Shaun Wright Phillips and Aaron Lennon roles of  yesteryear, coming on when the flanks are tired. Might we make it four Americans on the Bluenosers.

Phil Brown's got more time at Hull

Phil Brown's got more time at Hull

– Some pundits have questioned that Hull City skipper Phil Brown’s job is at stake.  With a 3-year contract in place in just August of this year, a lack of talent until recently and his fight to keep the team in the Premiership with that talent, I don’t think you’re going to see Brown go anywhere just yet–so Jozy’s development this year should be safe. You don’t get the greenlight to pursue and complete as many transfers as he has without getting sufficient latitude. Plus, a team like Hull is not going to want to drop money on Brown’s dismissal when they still need to pay for more talent.

–  Speaking of Everton and Hull City, the two face off in the Carling Cup on Wednesday. Nice to see more Americans going head to head. Hull City is tanking while Everton are on the ups. Look for Brown to quiet detractors if he pulls off the win at home.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Don’t know about the single transfer ban so far being a way to slow down spending at top clubs. The article cites “15 suspicious transfers involving English clubs”. FIFA don’t really seem to care what the major continental clubs are doing (and they’re doing the exact same) so I see it as an attempt to shift footballing power back towards the continent after a few years of having 4 English teams in the last 8 of the Champions League. It was the same story with Spanish teams a few years back, and Italian teams before that. I say this as someone who is not generally a conspiracy theorist, but this seems like a rule being applied quite selectively. Funny thing is that exchange rates and UK tax rates are already making it tougher for English clubs to compete in the transfer market without any help from the footballing authorities.

    Everton have a great left-sided wing player who is out with a groin strain at the moment: Bilyaletdinov. He debuted in the Europa league v AEK. He’s a great passer who delivers a very good final ball and I expect Everton to knock in some goals with him in the side. You-tube highlights here:

    Despite their slow start, Everton are in the group of teams that could break into the top 4 along with Aston Villa & Man City. Liverpool and Arsenal are just conceding too many goals to look likely to stay in the Champion’s League spots. Despite their great start, Tottenham concede too many goal so they’re on the outside looking in.

    Do you guys do fantasy.premierleague? Is there a shinguardian league?


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/09/22 at 8:14 AM

    I must confess, I forgot about Bilyaletdinov. Give him another year though–always takes Eastern Europeans at least a year to get acclimated to the EPL.

    As an Everton fan, I can’t really see them breaking into the top 4 again because of their start. They have these challenging starts to the campaigns, but always come on after that. Having said that, they might get in on the weakness of Arsenal and Liverpool. If I had to pick one of the two, I would suggest their city brethren Liverpool. Arsene always finds a way to eek into the four whereas Liverpool are much less consistent and seem one Torres or Gerrard, or even Reina, injury spell away from some serious trouble.

    Man City I see as more of a parallel threat this year more than Villa. I think you’ll see Villa be somewhat challenged at times this year in the absence of Barry–he was always such a calming force. I don’t think Sidwell despite his pedigree is the answer there.

    And then you have Tottenham who look absolutely USMNT like in the midfield without Modric right now.

    My comments on “transfer watching” were tongue and cheek. That being said, I agree, I can’t remember the last time an initiative to review transfers didn’t seem motivated by something else rather than taken upon it’s own initiative.

    My brother and I decided to wait on the fantasy league for shinguardian this year as we want to focus on our goal of being catalyst for discussion, but with a few folks asking for it, be prepared to see “Feilhaber’s Army” challenging you for the top spot last year.

    Always appreciate the commentary.


  3. […] reports of Brown’s demise–as we commented a few weeks back (final paragraph)–are greatly exaggerated with a vote of confidence from none other than Paul Duffen, Hull […]


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