A fun weekend of soccer as we start to rev up the EPL season and head for the home stretch of the MLS one.
The next Wayne?
• Get ready for a Rooney-like bombardment by the Brit tabloids…
…of stories about Andy Carroll.
TSG would like to take this opportunity to apologize to you for suggesting you shouldn’t put Carroll in your fantasy team for at least the first seven games of the season.
Had you listened, you’d be sitting near the bottom of the fantasy table…just like us.
Carroll looked impressive in notching a hat-trick as Newcastle rebounded off their season opening loss to the Red Devils with a 6-0 shellacking of Villa. Admittedly, Villa was playing their 2nd game in three days and were missing some key players…still.
Carroll with an extraordinary game and if the youngster doesn’t get a call-up to F.C. England Senior shortly then fans across the pond have every right to get upset.
Talking...to the BBC...
• As we mentioned yesterday, Bob Bradley went on BBC live to comment on his interest in the Aston Villa job.
We’ll keep the conversation on Villa and Bradley in yesterday’s piece, but a very shrewd move by Bradley’s agent Ron Waxman.
First, even without any expressed interest from Villa, you get a major media outlet–the most major media outlet–in England putting the words “Bob Bradley” in the same story multiple times with “Aston Villa.”
This drives up Bob Bradley’s brand equity, in the same country that he has aspirations to coach in.
Let’s says Bradley’s name were to come up for, I don’t know, the opening at Sheffield United, now you would have folks saying, “Oh yeah, I know Bob Bradley–he coached the US team and was going to be the coach at Villa,” even though Villa has never expressed that Bradley is, in fact, a candidate.
Further, by telling his story overseas, it dampens any negative blowback that might occur if Bradley made the statement Stateside.
It might have been construed as, “He’s the coach of the U.S. National Team and he wants to coach in England?” by the lay soccer fan.
As an American soccer writer, I don’t like that the tight-lipped Bradley–arguably the most visible non-player associated with US soccer–commented to a foreign outlet, but I understand the calculation of the move.
• Well, if Villa isn’t in the offing for Coach Sweats, then Wigan could be.
Roberto Martinez might have been electrifyingly good in his commentary during the World Cup, but the preparation and pride of his Wigan side is the diametric opposite in the early going of the Premiership.
Wigan should have never been crushed at home by Blackpool in the opener; against Chelsea on Saturday is a little bit more understandable.
However, if you take a look at the end of the game and the final goal by new Chelsea signing Yossi Benayoun, you see a defense that was horribly out of position, lacks discipline, and worse, looks like it gave up.
Can you really quit on a team and coach two games into the season?
If Wigan don’t bounce back next week, there may be new rumors linking Bob Bradley with the gig…or Curt Onalfo (kidding).
• On Friday, we contributed our thoughts on Roy Hodgson potentially ticketing Alberto Aquilani out of Merseyside; now word today on Aquilani’s midfield mate Javier Mascherano being Barca’s new Cesc. Terms yet to be agreed on.
I don't know Eddie...I think you've gotten plenty of chances overseas...
• Eddie Johnson commented that Americans don’t get respect in the EPL.
I could understand if Clint Dempsey were making those accusations, but Johnson is the same player that couldn’t push 31-year-old molasses-maker Eric Nevland out of a role last season.
It’s not a conspiracy EJ.
Eddie I wonder what you have to say about…
Making his mark...
• Thanks to our community for posting this to us:
Owen Coyle on Stu Holden:
“He brings an unbelievable energy and desire. I mean this is a lad that we managed to get for free last year from Houston and hadn’t played in the Premier League – and probably had a bit of rejection early in his career. I think he’d been over at Sunderland for a little bit. The thing I love about that is that he’s got a real desire to try and be a Premier League professional. As you say, there’s an energy about him and with him and Muamba in there they certainly cover every blade of grass.”
Coyle doesn’t have a conspiracy against Americans and I’m wondering how much dinero MLS missed out on by the management of Holden in 2009. Could MLS have structured something to make some change from this? Not sure.
• Asked new MLS Designated Player signing Geovanni on Saturday how he felt playing up top instead of out wide as he did quite often for Hull City last season. His response? Diplomatic:
I like playing forward, the main thing is I like that the team won today. I like more more that we won. The crowd was very good to me and gave me a good reception when I came in.
I’d like to thank the club and the fans and everyone for welcoming me.
Geovanni said the weather was hot and he’s going to ready to give more next week.
(Thank you kindly for the translation provided by Jay Mettee of San Jose’s front office.)
• A quick note on a good read on soccer journalism by Brent Lathan–he of the multitude of years doing a good job covering the game.
Lathan laments the use of “anonymous sources” in “breaking” a story. Couldn’t agree more. Also agree, in the much shorter time that we’ve interacted with USSF, that they are notoriously quiet on newsworthy issues…either that or our publication is way too young to have curried favor or developed a deep-rooted rapport.
What is perhaps worse than Latham’s frustration at anonymous sources, is those that cite stories using them as a source in their own pieces.
Pieces with a headline like, “Bradley reportedly favorite for Aston Villa job.” Read a few lines in and you learn that the source is…The Daily Mirror. C’mon.
• Question: “So let’s say they marched off about 50 yards between you and Jozy Altidore and had you both run at one another, who’s hitting the ground?”
Answer: “Oh. Jozy’s a big boy; he and I weigh about the same. He also has to run with the ball and keep defenders off’em. But I played football. So, he’s hitting the ground. I think I’ve got him.”
Our interview with DC United goalkeeper and USMNT prospect Bill Hamid, who shut out the Union this past weekend, coming up this week…