Some Wednesday bullets. Go:
Cameron, played in the back--or where he belongs--by Backe tonight?
• As if Houston’s current plight wasn’t sickening enough to it’s fanbase…you know at some point, media folks beyond TSG are going to have to give him stick for continuing to play Geoff Cameron in the midfield….
…anywho, point was that Houston could really use a Dominic Oduro-type right now. TSG, runs….hides….
• Tonight’s All-Star affair is missing Chad Marshall and that’s a travesty. While Marshall has yet to show the hunger and instinct to take his game beyond MLS or back to the national team where he was once a top prospect, he’s a consistent MLS performer, surefooted in distribution and nasty in the air.
If you’re asking who I drop? Not Omar Gonzalez, but perhaps Tim Ream on MLS performance alone? (Don’t get all crazy on TSG on this. Speaking strictly first half performance output here.)
• A big mystery as to who Hans Backe starts in tonight’s All-Star game against Manchester United. The buzz has been that Backe will go for speed–at that makes sense given that United aren’t close to top form and it’s speed that typically bothers it’s backline, Vidic and Ferdinand in particular.
Backe’s got a roster of 8 defenders, 6 midfielders and 6 forwards. To me, that easily says 4-3-3 with perfect redundancy.
That said I think you’ll see protection in the middle of the pitch and Backe use his wingbacks (Sean Franklin, Bobby Convey, Corey Ashe and I think either Cameron or Pearce) to get up the pitch in a hurry.
Here’s a gander at a possible starting line-up that takes into account the conjecture that Backe’s team will be speedy and unorthodox.
Backe's boys this evening?
• I might be slowly coming around to the idea that I’d like to take just a little look–nay, a peek–at Heath Pearce in the left centerback role for the US. Costa Rica at HDC would be just fine to prove that notion way off for me.
• The fact that Kenny Miller choose Cardiff–or better known as where Craig Bellamy goes to hide–says all you need to know about the state of the SPL right now. Pundits will argue that exposure in the SPL gets you into the EPL or perhaps a jump across the channel, but I can’t remember the last marquee signing of an SPL player by a major European club.
Kenny Miller had a deal to now-relegated Birmingham fall through. Anthony Stokes is stuck at Celtic. Conor Sammon went to the powerhouse known as Wigan. Aiden McGeady, perhaps the league’s top talent in 2009-2010 had to go all the way to Russia to play with Spartak Moscow.
Beware Alejandro Bedoya. Beware.
• This could be the most intrigued I am in almost three years to see where Freddy Adu lands this season. Remaining at Benfica with the history would be mistake.
• Sergio Aguero rumored to be penning a deal with Manchester City today. Ah, the Tevez Mancini never had.
At one point, many more of these were thought to be in the future for Krkic at the Camp Nou...
• Fantastic read by @Zonal_Marking‘s Michael Cox for ESPN on forgotten Barca man Bojan Krkic move to Roma.
Here was an exchange between Eric Giardini, our Serie A expert around here and TSG in the commentary on the unique financial nature of the deal–and possibly some creative accounting to counter forthcoming financial fair play restrictions.
Eric: You guys are smart, help me figure this transfer out: Bojan Krkic to Roma for 12m with Barca having to purchase him back next season at 13m UNLESS Roma forks over another 28m to keep him. The only logic I could think of was if Roma fails to qualify for Champions League then Bojan experiment didn’t “go as planned” and he is expendable/Roma won’t be able to afford him with the money gained from CL play. Other than that, I’m still trying to process it. I find it odd that Barca value Bojan the same/a little more than Fabregas.
TSG: That certainly looks like the straight business practice of roundtripping.
Because of the need to balance books, that’s additive revenue to both teams.
Instead of a one year loan for free essentially, Barca “makes” 12M in revenue this year and possibly 28M next year to offset losses. (Similarly for Roma who, possibly, make 13M next year if they don’t like him.)
This looks more Barca controlled or motivated than Roma.