• The Blues Defend the Bridge against Wenger’s Arsenal
I know, I know Drogba 12 goals in 12 games against the Emirates.
Still, two other key players in this one ahead of Drogba with Fat Frank nursing a boo-boo.
Florent Malouda is perhaps, despite his league-leading 6 goals, still underrated. At the very least, his genius is not appreciated enough. In short, the lefty Frenchman is to Chelsea what Samuel E’to is or was to Inter under Mourinho: A jack of all trades who is devastating on offense, but willing to pitch in wherever is needed.
The other player is TSG fave Michael Essien who Carlo Ancelotti is using up the pitch this year (prospective fantasy owners pay heed) with John Obi Mikel holding (and frankly not having a lot to worry about).
Essien is the inverse of Malouda a defender first who nevertheless brings a breadth of skills offensively.
As we always mention, these are the games that Arsenal get up for, especially on the road.
For the visitors, no Thomas Vermaelen’s a problem however expect Cesc to play. Nothing more than mind games on Wenger’s part in our minds.
With Arsenal’s midfield in disarray and the need to cover over the centerbacks, this game squarely rides on three men’s shoulders: Alexander Song–quietly making himself one of the best in the EPL. Emmanuel Eboue, who has the penchant to thrill or severely disappoint (see Manchester United, on the road, oops-header from last year) and Jack Wilshere, who may be called upon to perform well beyond his years of service.
• Who’s got the bigger ‘Pool: The Reds or the Tangerines?
In an interview this week, Brian McBride called Jamie Carragher the best defender he’s ever faced.
Despite obvious holes in defense, it’s more the Hodgson scheme which is trying to plug roles with parts that were built for a radically (Rafa) different cause.
Merseyside should find relief through pesky, but sometimes too aggressive Blackpool at home Sunday.
• The SuperClassico? Hardly. This is Alan Gordon’s Lament.
Goat stew in this one. Ain’t no avoiding it.
Despite the extra oom-pa-pa that comes with the Battle of HDC, you have a Los Angeles Galaxy team that surely got lit up in the locker room by Bruce Arena following last week’s home loss to the Red Bulls (despite it being primarily Coach Arena’s failed strategy and unwillingness to change.)
I disagree with those that suggest that David Beckham and Juninho can’t play together. Give me a break. Beckham went his first 90 last week and the Galaxy midfield went up against one of the stronger ones that was on form.
Look for Beckham to continue in his rightback role, but drift to find space and linking. The interplay with Juninho will begin to happen.
The bigger problem for the Galaxy heading down the stretch is that they are playing 34-year-old Jovan Kirovski as a supporting striker for Edson Buddle and he’s giving them squat. Kirovski’s a legend. He’s also a legend that publicly stated that if the Galaxy didn’t offer him a contract this year, he would have retired.
As much as I like Cazumba, the Galaxy have to be hoping that Mike Stephens can capture his rookie year mojo and that Mike Magee will find his best game here in Q4 as well.
An in-depth interview with TSG is supposed to guarantee you a cap. Not so for Chivas USA man Justin Braun…we owe you one TSG readers.
Enjoy the games.
Perfection from Pirlo: Milan is up 1-0 currently:
A little bit slammed with daughter duty. Well worth it….
One thought heading into your Saturday though…
With the turn of the USMNT October friendlies roster, did we–perhaps, or perhaps not–see the unceremonious end of this man’s national team career below?
Enjoy the docket of games today.
I found this while “babysitting” last night. Don’t click this link. Seriously.