The Weekend: Live Commentary

Tim goes for the Toffees today..

Sometimes work calls and you can’t add fresh content on a Friday.

Sometimes Mother Nature calls and prevents the New York Red Bulls from avoiding possible embarrassment at home to the Los Angeles Galaxy…..and prevents Jorge #PERLAZA from making DC Disunited.

And the Barclays is live right now with Wolverhampton at present top of the table.

 

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99 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/08/27 at 8:31 AM

    Whitbread off in the 30th. Injured again?

    Reply

  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/27 at 8:49 AM

    Looks like Chelsea have got away with Henrique Hilário’s gaffe. I wonder how many points he will cost them before Petr Cech returns?

    Reply

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/27 at 9:08 AM

      Howard had a classic game today. A couple nice saves and survived two penalties.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/08/29 at 6:56 AM

        Timmy was out of his mind today. The redirected hand save was outstanding. I noticed that he seems to yell alot though;< )

        Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/08/29 at 6:54 AM

      Hilario is a fantastically accurate surname, no?

      Reply

  3. Posted by dth on 2011/08/27 at 9:59 AM

    I hate to say this but…Neven Subotic is playing pretty darn well against Leverkusen.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/27 at 11:23 AM

      My fantasy day has not had very good luck. David Hoilett misses a penalty–I’ve had two missed penalties this season, and am 0 for 2!–and now Bolton gets the garbage time goal to lose the clean sheet for Reina and Enrique. Gahhhh.

      Reply

  4. Posted by dth on 2011/08/27 at 1:47 PM

    Apparently Qatar offered Bob Bradley $4.5 million to coach their national team; Bradley turned it down. Smart decision from him.

    I still want him to coach Egypt. Hope that happens.

    Reply

  5. Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 6:45 AM

    George John to Blackburn off, apparently. Since Heath Pearce is injured, seems like an opportune time to call him up.

    Reply

  6. Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 7:28 AM

    It looks like Man City is starting to get a return on their investment. 4 goals for Dzeko. Harry better hope that England job opens up soon.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 7:58 AM

      Benefits of a pre-season? Were Spurs that poor?

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:20 AM

        City that good, plus no holder for Spurs.

        Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/08/29 at 7:01 AM

        No drive at all through the MF. And they all seem to be playing like they know their not good enough. Even VDV is missing Modric. Little pressure and late to 2nd balls.It’s not a great day when your bright spot is Younes Kaboul.
        BTW- I think City is still in the hype factory zone. Still not convinced that they are for real top 2 matl.

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/29 at 7:57 AM

          Not too sure about City’s staying power, but you cannot write them off with the quality they have. But let’s be honest here – there are 35 games to go and 105 points to play for. Still very early days for hyperbole.

          Reply

  7. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:02 AM

    The Arsenal team today looks like they’re in for a long afternoon. Back four has 2 FBs lacking experience and 2 CBs lacking quality, and a DM that has a questionmark…

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:04 AM

      And then there is the Arsenal bench…

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:21 AM

        As I’ve said…the feelings that Arsenal are having a crisis aren’t exactly misplaced. Who’s supposed to scare me in Arsenal’s lineup, again?

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:38 AM

          They have an obscene injury list. If he were to buy 5 players, what would he do with them when all fit?

          Reply

          • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 8:39 AM

            Maybe he should look into buying a better medical staff or avoid players that are made of glass. This happens every year to Arsenal it seems.

            Reply

          • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/28 at 8:57 AM

            Not much but he would avoid being so many points behind 4th that its out of the picture. This year Man City, Man U look unstopable (although Chelsea did at the beginning of last year). Liverpool looks strong. Chelsea has spent a ton. 4th is far from a sure thing. Best thing for Arsenal has been Spurs looking horrible.

            Reply

            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 9:05 AM

              Chelsea looked unstoppable last season against teams that turned out poor/relegated.

              United’s faced West Brom/Tottenham/Arsenal. City’s faced Swansea/Bolton/Tottenham. Liverpool’s faced Sunderland/Arsenal/Bolton. Only two teams that seem likely to be relegation-type teams in there. I think the fast start is (mostly) real, though aided by suspensions (Arsenal) and chaos (Tottenham/Modric).

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/28 at 11:35 AM

              I don’t disagree about Chelsea last year. That said, its too early to decide who will be good and who won’t. The transfer window hasn’t closed and some teams are unclear.

              That said, Arsenal is 8 points back and have a horrible goal differential. They have already dug a huge hole. Yes when everyone gets healthy they may have excess but without moves they risk falling 11 back next week thanks to another red card today. At some point that hole will be impossible to get out of with the current squad.

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/08/29 at 7:05 AM

      They aren’t even generating chances like Arsenal of the last few yrs. That defense which was prone to goal producing gaffes last yr looks even more comedy prone. And 3 red in 3 games?….ewww..
      Nasri sure looked good for City though huh?

      Reply

  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:06 AM

    Keeping fingers crossed that nobody picks up a knock. Two important ECQ coming up…

    Reply

  9. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:07 AM

    Rooney’s barnet is looking a little thicker!

    Reply

  10. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:11 AM

    United’s passing and moving is looking pretty slick in the early stages. Final ball is a little off – over hit / played slightly behind. Arsenal playing with fire with this high defensive line.

    Reply

  11. Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:23 AM

    What a goal by Welbeck. The mutterings that Welbeck might leave Chicharito on the bench aren’t so crazy now, hm?

    I can’t believe I once compared Agudelo to Welbeck….

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 8:37 AM

      Gotta feel for Welbeck. Pulling a hammy like that is never good.

      I think the difference between the growth of Agudelo and Welbeck is an example of the benefits of regular playing time. Welbeck played a lot at Sunderland last year while Backe hasn’t played Agudelo regularly.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:52 AM

        In 2010-11, Welbeck got roughly 1000 league minutes, plus some minor additions for England duty.

        Agudelo has gotten 1164 league minutes, plus 400+ in USMNT minutes. I imagine he’ll end the season with 1700+ senior minutes, as a conservative estimate.

        The difference is elsewhere; Agudelo’s gotten more than enough time.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:52 AM

          Excuse me, mistype. Welbeck got 1700 league minutes for Sunderland.

          Reply

          • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 8:57 AM

            Welbeck got them in the Prem. That’s the difference and NY are screwed up. Lot of changes taken place with that squad.

            Reply

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 9:06 AM

              And Welbeck has enjoyed time in United’s academy…

            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 9:10 AM

              Well, sure, that’s reasonable.

              But that means the problem isn’t the minutes; it’s the “something else”–the coaching and competition of the Premier League.

              Personally I suspect New York’s general incompetence is the most important factor.

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:54 AM

        Welbeck made of glass?

        Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:48 AM

      Apart from a 45 mins here and 45 mins there, I don’t know what the fuss about JA is all about TBH. I was excited one year ago, but he has failed to lift off as much as I thought he would. But, I guess he’s only 18 and only played a few games… am I being harsh?

      And I’m talking about seeing him live at RBA, not TV.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 8:51 AM

        Not really. I think he’s in a bad situation for him though. The team is struggling and built around Henry. Agudelo’s not the best fit with Henry.

        I think he’s a very streaky player. He played better against Mexico in the second half than he’s played in a while.

        Reply

        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/28 at 9:02 AM

          Some of it is situation but I expected him to develop more. He really disappointed at the GC after Jozy got hurt.

          Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:54 AM

        He seems to look much better for the international team than he does for New York. He plays much more freely and confidently. I’ll decline to speculate why; maybe it’s the general effed-upness of New York’s dealings.

        Reply

        • Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 1:42 PM

          I think Agudelo and Ream both need to get out of the cesspool that is the Pink Cows or I mean Red Bulls. I don’t say that as a Philly Union fan either, I say it as a deeply concerned MNT fan.

          How exactly again was the coach who is underachieving the most this year in MLS given the privilege of coaching the All Star Team?

          Reply

  12. Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:24 AM

    Still think Smalling is a centerback, but he’s had a nice run of games at RB.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 8:29 AM

      He is but United are so short at the back right now that he’s their best option out wide. He and Jones will be the partnership for the next decade.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 11:28 AM

        Perhaps even for club and country!
        We’ve got some very good talent coming through.

        Reply

  13. Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 8:28 AM

    Evans is the weak link for United. How Ferguson decided to keep him over Pique is crazy.

    De Gea showing that he can handle the pressure? Big penalty save.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 8:31 AM

      Kind of crazy that back in the day, United’s reserve team partnership was Spector/Pique. Spector, I believe, won reserve player of the year for United at one point. Then for some reason Ferguson gave Spector a run-out at RB and everyone concluded that that’s what he should be.

      Reply

  14. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:35 AM

    Arsenal had a life line with the penalty. Didn’t take it.

    Sublime finish by Young, but bad defensive head in the first place and was allowed to make a yard of space to get the shot off far too easily.

    Reply

  15. Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 8:43 AM

    And that’s gonna do it for Arsenal today. Have a safe trip back to London and enjoy the Europa League next season.

    Reply

  16. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 8:51 AM

    De Gea is still suspect IMO. If I am AW, I would have Risicky, Arshavin and Van Persie shoot on sight from 15m. He’s going to spill some…

    Reply

    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/28 at 9:05 AM

      Is DeGea at the point where they need to consider buying someone else before the window closes? Yes it was a good penalty save but I have watched him in 3 games so far and he has allowed a highly questionable goal in each game.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 9:10 AM

        No. They have a solid backup in Lindegaard. You don’t give up on a keeper you just bought after 3 games.

        Reply

        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/28 at 9:38 AM

          I wasn’t suggesting they give up. If De Gea is the keeper if the future maybe they need a bridge. De Gea is young ans still can be great but IMO he currently the weak link on a team that could challenge for a CL treble.

          Reply

        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/28 at 9:46 AM

          I feel like they gave up on Howard for less. Howard was the Man U goalie of the future at one point. Howard was named to the PFA 11 and then had a comparable number of bad games and lost the job forever to an older more experienced keeper (albeit Howard was a much cheaper purchase). At least Howard had done it in goal for United before.

          Reply

          • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 9:57 AM

            Well, Howard’s blunder got them knocked out of the Champions League. De Gea has made a few mistakes that haven’t hurt them.

            Reply

            • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/28 at 10:13 AM

              I guess I would say that is the argument for a bridge. If DeGea keeps up this way its only a matter of time before he makes a mistake that knocks them out of the CL (probably not until the knockout stage because the team is very good). If he makes that kind of mistake you probably lose him for good,

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/28 at 10:59 AM

              Right but the reason why you wait on the bridge is because if he can steady himself during games that aren’t knockouts then he will hopefully gain the confidence he needs. That’s the thought at least. If you pull him now it will really damage his confidence which is more important to a young goalkeeper than anything else.

          • Posted by Martin on 2011/08/28 at 8:00 PM

            “Howard…..lost the job forever to an older more experienced keeper ”

            You damm Edwin van Der Sar with faint praise.

            If you think there is any comparison at all between Howard and Van der Sar, I’m afraid you haven’t been watching those guys play.

            Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 9:17 AM

        Yes it was a good save, but not a particularly good penalty. Cannot see them buying another GK…

        Reply

  17. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 9:24 AM

    Walcott as an inverted winger?

    Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/08/29 at 7:11 AM

      Walcott as a glorified Shaun Wright-Phillips? Lots of empty kilometres on those treads…running on empty.

      Reply

  18. Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 11:07 AM

    Two questions:

    How little leverage do Arsenal have right now in the transfer window? If Wenger thought he had to overspend earlier, who knows what he’ll think now… And just how interested will people be to join Arsenal? Like, if you’re Yann M’Vila, isn’t the natural reaction “Nah” if you’re approached by Arsenal?

    Also: is this the happiest Liverpool’s been over a Manchester win? Their rivals for fourth are in chaos…

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 11:47 AM

      Yes, things are not good, 1 point from a possible 9 is obviously not good enough. But we are only three games into the season. United, CIty and Liverpool will all drop points.

      Let’s see who Wenger brings in before we start writing them off. I do see Wenger bringing in an experienced CB and a DM. I have said this before, but personally, I would like Arsenal to get an English core back into the team.

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 1:37 PM

        I forgot you were an Arsenal fan. That explains the strong opinions you have on who would benefit the team. Isn’t there a smaller London team (not in EPL) that you follow as well?

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 2:36 PM

          I am a Palace fan first and foremost**, but grew up with an Arsenal fan and a Chelsea fan in South London – I almost went to Highbury and Stamford as much as I went to Selhurst Park during the 80s and 90s.

          **A little hard to follow the Championship these days, although FS+ makes things a little easier.

          Reply

          • Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 3:33 PM

            That’s right. Best of luck to Crystal Palace this year. I don’t really have a rooting interest in the Championship this year. I used to cheer for Norwich (first European soccer game I attended; closest to AFB my Dad used to be stationed at before I was born) but they are of course in the EPL this year.

            Reply

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 3:42 PM

            Well, Palace and England fan…

            Reply

            • Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 4:03 PM

              And I hope England does well in Europe. The only time I root against England is when they are playing the USA of course.

          • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/08/28 at 4:24 PM

            well, at least you cover all your bases.

            Reply

  19. Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 11:11 AM

    Gatt goal for Molde, btw.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 11:13 AM

      And here’s Molde’s communications guy’s description, as rendered by Google Translate:

      Magne Hoseth get the ball early and hits the opposite to the GATT, which goes by 2 men and put the ball through the goalkeeper and into the total death angle! Question mark at the keeper work there!

      Total death angle.

      Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/08/28 at 11:37 AM

        The GATT.

        I love it. I will only refer to the GATT as “the GATT” from now on.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 12:04 PM

          When the GATT shoots at you, it’s always into the TOTAL DEATH ANGLE.

          Reply

          • Posted by Bob on 2011/08/28 at 12:33 PM

            I know they play different positions, but maybe Klinsi can replace Pearce with Gatt … just saying!

            Reply

            • Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 1:35 PM

              I can’t wait to see him! I’ve been on the bandwagon since I heard Ole Gunnar Solskjær “raving” about him several months ago. I remember posting a comment here immediately after reading the article on Yanks Abroad. Boy, imagine the MNT having talented wingbacks and true “wingers”. What a difference that will make!

  20. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 12:21 PM

    Ashley Young was born and raised not too far from Arsenal. Were Arsenal’s scouts too busy looking for the next best thing in Ghana or Japan that they missed him? Even at Watford, you could tell he was one for the future.

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 1:29 PM

      Good point- or could they just have ponied up the money this offseason. Obviously, some defensive help should be priority #1. I love how TSG is always ahead of the game. Just days before this embarrassment (Man U) there is an article describing Arsenal’s declining status.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 2:51 PM

        They are never going to pay for somebody at the peak form / prices. Plus they cannot compete head-on with United, City or Chelsea [& Liverpool] in the transfer market financially.

        Please. People have been talking about Arsenal’s decline in every off-season since the 2006 CL final loss. It’s just reached fever pitch this year becasue City and Liverpool have spent heavily, and Arsenal are ‘not guaranteed’ a Top 4 finish. The talk about Wenger changing his transfer policy is nothing new. But with the serious prospect of no CL football in 2012/13, then he might had experienced PL players this time.

        Reply

  21. Posted by Soccernst on 2011/08/28 at 12:51 PM

    Blood in the water in north london.

    Reply

  22. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 1:25 PM

    What do you think the odds are that Wenger buys Cahill or Jagielka and Baines?

    Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 1:30 PM

      Heck, Tim Ream, with his poor form right now, could probably help this D out. LOL. I won’t stand by THAT comment BTW, though! ha ha

      Reply

  23. Posted by Crow on 2011/08/28 at 1:50 PM

    MLS note- How bad is the east? Columbus got destroyed by Seattle. Very nervous times for the Union as well. TSG called for a 2nd half fade-out and because of Irene the Union weren’t able to get the medicine they needed (Revolution at PPL Park).

    Reply

  24. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 2:59 PM

    Some sort of assymetric 4-4-2 / 4-2-3-1

    1. Hart
    2. Richards
    3. Cole
    4. Parker
    5. Cahill
    6. Terry
    7. Walcott
    8. Lampard
    9. Bent or Carroll
    10. Rooney
    11. Young

    Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/28 at 3:57 PM

      You’d start Walcott over downing/Milner/Johnson? I see him as a super sub. Plus with bent or caroll you need that service from both wings

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/28 at 5:40 PM

        I did ponder Downing, because he’s done well so far. Johnson hasn’t featured enough to start – he’s the impact sub. Milner can play right-mid, but he is not a winger. The other thing is Young on the right, Downing on the left. But Walcott’s form has probably been the best so far. I know he’s going to play more centrally for Arsenal at some point, just a matter when…

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2011/08/28 at 6:24 PM

          I like the formation/style England used against Wales–I’d try the same thing. So substitute Cleverley for Walcott, go 4-3-3.

          Reply

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/29 at 6:48 AM

            Considering Cleverly generally plays centrally (and that’s his best position) and we have natural wide men available, I don’t see him starting there, especially for an important ECQ.

            Reply

            • Posted by dth on 2011/08/29 at 8:20 AM

              No–thinking Parker/Lampard/Cleverley centrally with Rooney/Bent/Young as the forwards.

  25. Posted by dth on 2011/08/29 at 8:36 AM

    Bradley to Chievo Verona?: http://www.noshortcorners.com/2011/08/when-donkeys-are-flying.html

    Chievo finished 11th in Serie A last year, so it seems it represents a move upwards (though I suspect ‘gladbach is a more traditionally good team.)

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/29 at 9:30 AM

      I think it’s a step down myself. Gladbach are playing much better under Farve and are currently in 5th. Not to mention that the Bundesliga is on the up in terms of Euro competitions while Italy are falling. But as long as he plays and doesn’t bail on the team in the middle of a relegation fight he should do ok.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/29 at 11:17 AM

        Well, last year ‘gladbach were doing well this early in the season after beating Leverkusen 6-3. They got terrifically unlucky in the meantime, but we know how that turned out. It’s probably too early to judge.

        Reply

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