• On a Jozy Altidore weekend, it’s worth revisiting a comment that TSG made earlier last week. Beyond the valuable game experience. Beyond learning firsthand opponent a group stage opponent. Beyond playing in the best league in the world…..one of the most important things that Altidore and fellow Americans up the pitch can do overseas is make a name for themselves–some star luster–in the eyes of international referees.
Here’s what we said on Wednesday:
Don’t think stature and “brand equity” make a difference? Maybe ask the Ireland national team, or England after Ronaldo complained in 2006, or Diego “Come hug me, or the referee isn’t going to allow it” Maradona.
A big step in that direction for Big Jeezy this weekend. Check out all of our Altidore coverage below….
On and another big winner Saturday? Villareal…what to do…what to do with Jozy if he keeps this growth spurt up? Back to La Liga? Sold to an EPL team that can afford him up top and slot him in perfectly….maybe, gulp, Liverpool?
Hull’s chances of keeping him another year on loan, since they likely can’t afford him? Straight 50/50, no better. Much better odds that we get, oh, a Daily Mirror report in the next day or so with some Big Jeezy rumor.
• On Dirk Kuyt’s goal and Tim Howard’s role in it….
A lot of discussion on whether Tim Howard or how much Tim Howard was at fault on the Dirk Kuyt’s derby goal. Some suggesting that Howard will receive scrutiny over letting in a soft one.
Was Tim Howard fully to blame for the goal? No. However, he could have played it better? Yes.
What happened? If you watch the replay of the game, Howard and Neville are jawing with the referee on Kuyt’s position. But they are getting no love from the zebra.
Those that play soccer know it is 100% the defender’s job to mix it up with Kuyt and get the offender they are responsible for out of their goalie’s face. The worse than can happen–as the ref is not paying attention or ill-inclined too–is a tweet of that ref’s whistle and a reset….maybe warning.
The goalie is focused on the organization in front of him and watching and playing the corner ball; the goalie should not be focused on moving the player in front of him, that is again, absolutely the defenders’ job.
Howard let in a weak one…yes. Bulk of the blame? Squarely on Phil Neville’s shoulders.
• Speaking of keepers….Big Bird on Fire: Brad Friedel looked positively spry in shutting out all the attacking options of Tottenham. Is it a stretch to suggest that Friedel is one of the keepers of the past decade in the EPL? Up there with Cech, Lehmann and James?
• Wow, got that Arsenal game completely wrong this weekend. C’mon Emirates, show some pride. Terrible answer to last week’s loss at home against Manchester United.
On a side note, that Nasri kid looks like the dude that used to be in that Party of Five show…
• With Carlos Bocanegra starting for Rennes for the more than 60% of the games in 2010, TSG is going to gain some more observations on the form of Captain Carlos before writing the follow-up to our Elephant piece.. A review this weekend–yes we are soccer nerds over at TSG–of the Spain and Brazil games gave us a hint of US strategy if the ex-Fulham man is on the pitch at the whistle come World Cup 2010 (which looks likely right now).
We’ll share shortly.
• With Theo Walcott’s “stunning performance” this weekend for Arsenal can we consider him the Conor Casey of the Three Lions (Honduras)….or is it too early for the youngster?
• A solid debate can occur around the question posed by Tuesday after Drogba wrecked the Wengers yesterday, “How can you consider Drogba better than Torres?”
My answer: “Because Torres brings it no matter the game situation or game.” Weigh in…
• The positive for England from John Terry shenanigans? The guy is playing inspired football…on the offenseive end. Now two header plays made (one goal, one assist) since the scandal. We might need to revise our Beat England schematic…yuck.
• ….and finally the scientific proof for the poor foul call on Gooch against Ghana in 2006.
Have a good Monday.