Got a few things we’re working on for this week, so a backseat today for a true feature:
• Buddle Bavarian bound
Edson Buddle has signed and been officially unveiled by FC Ingolstadt 04. Still awaiting anything on terms.
And it gets worse…or better..depending how you see it.
Word from German reporter Dan Bu is that Freddy Adu has been extended a contract pending working into fitness in the reserves. Wow.
He has not signed on yet. (I’d ask for a pen quickly if I was Adu.)
• World’s best
Messi takes the Ballon D’or–the TSG pick…thankfully. Jose Mourinho takes best manager. Easy.
We’ve got to get back to our stats effort here at TSG.
Last week I saw this tweet here.
Xavi “managing 156 completed passes to 112 for Levante in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Levante.”
Thankfully I told you the score. I actually watched the game as well and despite Barcelona dominating possession Levante were steely in the back and most of those passes went backwards.
And finally, who cares how many passes Xavi completed. Is that a sign of success for a Barcelona team that runs an offense that looks like Plinko on the Prices Right?
The answer is it’s not. To me, the “completed passes” statistic is highly relative obviously to the type of game being played, the type of offense of each team has and the game plan that a team, or player, is asked to execute.
Why should Xavi’s pass count be anything more than a number when the backline finds him in a hole and he looks up, doesn’t see anything, and then dumps the ball back? Barcelona has a highly effective offense because Xavi knows when to take chances with passes and when not to.
Similarly, Michael Bradley was often cheered for the mileage he put in at the World Cup. Through the group stage, he was third in distance covered among all players at the World Cup.
However, to me, that’s not a stat necessarily to be proud of. Soccer, many times, is about the economy of motion. Keeping shape and conserving energy until it’s needed. Just–kidding–ask Dimitar Berbatov….who errs on the side of lots of economy of motion.
Okay, stat rant done till next time. If anyone wants to give us a hand cataloging the stats here, let us know.
• Odds on Feilhaber?
Lyle Yorks, agent for many, including Benny Feilhaber on Twitter Sunday:
“Off to Mexico on a deal..back on Wed on time for Thurs MLS draft..then straight off to Europe for the rest of the transfer window. Big Jan.”
3 to 1 odds that Feilhaber gets inked by Cruz Azul by Wednesday? Takers?
• Specs on mark
Jonathan Spector scoring for West Ham, from his midfield role, again in a 2-0 win over Barnsley in the tournament that used to mean someth…I mean the FA Cup. Can we just settle it that Spector is cut out for someplace other than rightback? Too early?
• On Manchester United
Had a chance to watch most of the Manchester United game yesterday. Funny seeing a gap in between the strikers and the midfield for United.
With Wayne Rooney on the pitch, he drops too deep. Without Rooney, United played some through Giggs, but had Berbatov and Chicharito up top who stayed almost too disciplined in not coming back to receive the ball.
I specifically watched Chicharito who has good off-the-ball runs, but needs to be more active on service up top and bulk up to win that service.
• Just like old times…
Thierry Henry training with Arsenal for the offseason. Better move here than Beckham’s especially if Henry is doing a good job of marketing the MLS product.