Monday Bullets: DeMerit, Moyes, More

Some quick Monday bullets for you. We’ve got some more killer content coming up as the week gets going by the way.

Will Carrick get a start Saturday?

• Gareth Barry has been told he’s a “no-go” for the June 12th clash with the Yanks. Will Capello go offensive with either Lampard or Milner in the hole? Or will he play it safe with the knowledgeable, but limited Michael Carrick?

Currently, I see England starting with 4-4-2 with Peter Crouch and Rooney up top, which relegates Joe Cole to the bench. If Rooney goes it alone up top for the Queen, then Cole maintains his position wide left with a 5-man midfield of Lennon, Gerrard, Lampard, Cole with Carrick holding.

• A fantastic and high-praising article authored by none-other-than Everton skipper Davie Moyes on Landon Donovan and his World Cup teammates today in the Times of London. Moyes mentions Donovan’s name in concert with Rooney and Messi. Wow.

• Word from the English press is that Jamie Carragher has handled the bulk of practice snaps in central defense with John Terry, but most expect Ledley King to start. Matthew Upson’s been troubled with a fever and virus.

• Noted pressman-across-the-pond Oliver Kay tweeted the following about England’s lackluster tune-up today against the Platinum Stars, South Africa’s strongest domestic team:

FT Platinum Stars 0 England 3. Spain, Brazil, USA etc won’t be quaking in their boots

Reuters columnist Simon Evans on Jay DeMerit.

31 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/07 at 2:13 PM

    DeMerit says “this is the culmination of a lot of hard work and a long journey but I wouldn’t have it any other way”.

    So Jay, if any big club in Europe offered you a 100 grand-a-week contract (GBP), you would have said ‘nah, I don’t want financial security for the rest of my life, or play in the best competitions in the world, I’ll join Watford – I love the Happy Eater at the South Mimms Services”

    George thinks somebody is telling porky pies.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/07 at 2:15 PM

      George — easy on the flaming today. You’re talking about a player who didn’t have options after school–so that contract wasn’t there.

      Try to make your commentary more analytical. Thanks.


    • Posted by Dylan on 2010/06/07 at 6:26 PM

      You are misinterpreting what he is saying. I say similar things all the time. I lived a very troubled childhood and it was anything but innocent and joyful. But it made me who I am today and I couldn’t be prouder of myself and what I went through to get here. Demerit is stating the same point. His journey was hard and therefore very rewarding to have accomplished a dream. Don’t be shallow, the paths our lives lead us down is about a hell of a lot more than money, I’d even venture to say that that is one of the least accurate ways to measure personal accomplishment and happiness.


  2. Posted by s44 on 2010/06/07 at 2:14 PM

    I may be wrong, but the press seems to be expecting the dreaded (by England fans) return of Gerrard-Lampard in the middle of a 4-man midfield. That would suggest that Capello is taking the US rather more lightly than I’d expected…


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/07 at 2:18 PM

      I’m not sure who Capello can plan in the middle. Milner is great, but that’s not his role…plus he’s left foot dominant and tends to move that way.

      I don’t think Capello is taking the Yanks lightly. His choices are limited.

      Ultimately, I think you’ll see Carrick in that role. I just can’t see Capello risking Gerrard or Lampard out of position.
      The question is will Capello go with another forward then and relegate an in-form Joe Cole to the bench or will he go 5-man in the middle and leave Rooney up top by himself.

      I’m 50/50 right now…no idea. Another solid option?

      Cole, Lampard, Lennon


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/07 at 3:05 PM

        The problem with having Lampard and Gerrard side-by-side, is they are too similar. If you’re going to have one as a traditional DM, you’re really subtracting from their obvious playing strength. What Capello did was to tweak the traditional 4-4-2 and play a 4-2-3-1 with Gerrard cutting in from the left. This does two things – gets them both in the team without curbing their offensive instincts too much, and they’re not occupying the same space or making the same runs; leaving the back four exposed.

        I think it will be a like-for-like substitution. Carrick is his direct deputy, but quite honestly, the thought of Carrick giving the ball away or getting dispossessed makes me shudder. But then again, Milner wasn’t much better when they paired together against Japan.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/07 at 3:11 PM

          I know Carrick has been in poor form — but he’s capable of World Class play–he just hasn’t shown it recently.

          Carrick’s been in and out of Sir Alex’s doghouse and line-up more than any other player not named Forlan.

          I think he’s in him. If you were asking me to pick the holding midfielder for England to improve the Yanks’ chances, I would pick Carrick last of the lot.

          I think England will be fine if Carrick is in there….and if he suffers my guess is we’ll be talking about that a great game Donovan or Bradley had.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/07 at 3:13 PM

          This is of course if this whole story is true. There is something really cloak-and-dagger about this. Maybe I am just a cynical old fool.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/07 at 3:25 PM

          I think the problem is that Carrick went missing in so many of United’s games that Sir Alex benched him. He does seem to be low on confidence, as you just don’t lose ability like that over night.

          Like I said, he was drafted into the squad as Barry’s replacement, so he should get the nod. He is good enough to play against the USA without being the obvious weak link, but it does give the US another chink in the armour to aim at.


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/06/07 at 2:22 PM

      s44 – I think that having those two play together is Capello taking the US very seriously. He’s the only manager that has done a decent job of combining the two. The others (sven and steve) had one as the holding the other on top of the diamond but Capello has Gerrard on the left and lets him roam or has him right behind Rooney if Rooney is up top on his own. This is why Barry (or whomever plays the holding role) becomes so valuable as he needs to stay back when Lampard and Gerrard go forward.

      It is/was dreaded because they are both very good players and one would hope that both of them would be lethal together but for the most part it has been disappointing. Basically by including both of them Capello is telling me that this is a very important game and that he needs both of them in order to get the result.


      • Posted by s44 on 2010/06/07 at 2:35 PM

        Right, the proper use is *not* as dual holding mids but with one out wide/front with a true holding mid behind the other. But the press is saying Gerrard-Lampard in the center with Cole and Lennon on the wings (well, Cole pinched in a bit for the other Cole), which is the bad old system.

        Either Gerrard in the hole or Gerrard out left would make sense against us, but Gerrard-Lampard paired up doesn’t.


  3. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/07 at 2:47 PM

    The interesting thing here is the continuum of how Bob Bradley deploys Landon Donovan who more than Deuce (since Donovan can get going on the counterattack quickly against an advanced and Barry-less England.)

    This is why I have to believe that Capello either goes 5 midfielders or at least plays the closest thing to a holding midfielder in Carrick.

    Donovan with an outlet on a break with a potential option of Altidore (or whomever) in front of him an Clint to lay off too can’t be something that England want to allow dictated to themselves here.

    Not only that, but you don’t have Rio Ferdinand who presses up the pitch more than any other central defender. You have Ledley King–strong inside the box, but not strong in pursuit–and John Terry.

    More to come tomorrow, but the US speed here is certainly one of its few advantages it would seem.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/07 at 3:09 PM

      Matthew, you haven’t seen enough of King if you’re saying he’s not a quick player. He’s quicker than Ferdinand and Terry for sure. Lack of pace is definitely not his weakness.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/07 at 3:15 PM

        Really George — I’ve watched Ledley a lot — pre-injury I would bet Rio smokes him. I think he’s quicker than Terry, but Ferdinand used to be a decorated striker before he was a defender.

        Maybe pace isn’t the right word. King–I’ve seen it–can be run at. That is at least what I have observed.

        Any impartial Spurs fans?


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/07 at 3:23 PM

          I should add that Ledley King will look positively Usain Bolt-like next to Onyewu right now….the horror.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/07 at 3:33 PM

          The point I wanted to make is that King isn’t slow. And that would be an interesting race between King and Ferdinand – I still think King has speed but maybe it’s in a straight line. And it’s a given that Terry isn’t quick…


        • i think King is a step slow, he makes up for it in postioning and pose. also once he gets a full head of steam he be quick.


        • Posted by John on 2010/06/07 at 3:53 PM

          Yarrrrrr HE BE QUICK! AVAST! Ledley King shall board ye forward sloop and avail himself of loose through balls!

          (sorry Ryan I just thought it was funny)


        • Posted by Len on 2010/06/07 at 5:02 PM

          As a not so impartial spurs fan I have worshipped many times at the altar of “Cap’n” Ledley King. However, I will concede that sometimes the agility is not there. Perhaps that’s the word you’re looking for Matthew? I agree with Ryan that he is fast, but often not laterally.


  4. i think King is a step slow, he makes up for it in positioning and poise. also once he gets a full head of steam he can be quick.

    editted :)


  5. The best way to get Lampard and Gerrard into the side is to drop the second striker = either Heskey or Crouch. If I were Capello I’d have Roo lead the line with Gerrard behind him and Lampard paired with Carrick in the center of the park, Joey Cole left and Lennon right in the wide positions with freedom to switch flanks. System remains basically the same with natural width on the right and Ashley Cole getting forward down the left for width.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/08 at 5:01 AM

      Personally, I would be pretty excited to play Gerrard in his best position, centrally – just behind the main striker. And I am also a big fan of J.Cole. I just wish Capello experimented with this prior to such an important game. I am not sure that he would start with this, but would not be surprised if this happened as a Plan B.


  6. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/07 at 10:53 PM

    Matt just to give you a pr: for some reason my email is down, and has been for the past week and a half so anything you sent me i didn’t get.

    Started doing some research on how and why(probably the same question) some teams can afford players like CR9, Cesc, Messi, etc.

    I started off pretty basic with naming the richest teams(both income and revenue-wise) and breaking down what components of their income/revenue are from advertising/ticket sales/tv rights/european competitions, etc.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/08 at 5:10 AM

      For Real Madrid, look into their stadium. I could be wrong, but I swear that that the City of Madrid bought the stadium, and rent it back to the team for next to nothing. I sort of remember a big kerfuffle about this a number of years ago, grumbling from the whole European football community about it being an unfair government subsidiy etc.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/08 at 6:16 AM

      Hmm that’s pretty interesting. I’ll see if I can find anything on that topic today, thanks George! I can also use that in my Opposing Opinions section, but I’m going to need your full name :>.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/08 at 6:56 AM

        No problem. Looking at different teams’ “business models” is quite an interesting subject. Some clubs are beyond the curve and are streets ahead with their youth policy, where others just want instant success and buy proven players. (On a side note, Mourinho is a brilliant manager, but he is a chequebook champion. He doesn’t stay around long enough to bring players through the youth system).

        Did you know that Barcelona have had Messi since he was a kid and paid for his medical treatment because his family couldn’t afford it? Arsenal’s model is more about trying to unearth gems with obvious talent and then try to mould them – basically trying to avoid price competition by ‘going backwards on the supply chain’. I think that they just signed an alliance with a South American team. Or they poach players from other teams’ youth academy, like they did with Fabregas.

        There is a section in Soccerenomics about how Lyon operate. Worth a read.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/08 at 10:20 AM

        Also, David Conn writes a lot of articles in The Guardian regarding football finance, and you might want to check out Deloitte’s Annual Report (although it is EPL heavy).


      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/08 at 12:46 PM

        Is that Deloitte’s Money Football League you’re referring too? If so that’s quality.

        Thanks for all the help/insight, I just wish an Englishman will be of this much help to an American on Saturday in SA. Come on Robert! or David!


      • His name is Cross, George Cross. His friends just call him Saint.


  7. The story on JDM was fantastic. He’s slowly climbing up there in my list of favs. He’s my McBride of this team; he’s got the grit, pain tolerance, and tendency to get hit in the face.

    I hope we can get these in-depth looks at my beloved Nats after the World Cup…


  8. Oh, and Lamps + Gerrard @ CM = traffic jam. Me likes…


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