Some observations for today and from the weekend:
• Silly season:
» Will Deuce Fly the Coop? Sky Sports says La Liga’s Sevilla is interested in US national Clint Dempsey.
» Having his cake and eating it too?
Multiple reports (MLSSoocer.com and Italian dailies) have Michael Bradley headed to Chievo Verona, a mid-table side in Serie A.
(Oh and Chievo is owned by the Paluani cake company…hence the entitled bullet above.)
(See commentary below on Bradley’s agent(s).)
» Would Eddie Go? (Surfing analogy there) Former almost-MLS man Eddie Johnson rumored to Aberdeen of the SPL. Sounds about right. SPL has trouble attracting talent, but still has more dollars than MLS.
• EPL: Just in time for Bolton?
Stu Holden will get off his arse finally and throw down a match; the first since being splintered by Man United’s Johnny Evans last campaign. Holden will play with the Bolton reserves tomorrow. Oh my how the senior side needs him back.
• EPL: There’s silver in those blowouts
More impressive this weekend? Manchester City’s 5-1 thrashing of Tottenham Hotspur rather than their brethren’s 8-2 annihilation of Arsenal. On the defeated:
»In terms of Arsenal, disorganization because of largely not-Premership-talent backline and extremely poor free kick management–among other things–led to their downfall.
The bad for Emirates fans? Wojciech Szczęsny showing he’s not quite the class necessary at Arsenal. Cue keeper jokes.
The silver lining? Three things. First, Robin Van Persie continuing to play hard despite the lopsided scoreline. Seems the captain’s armband is at least wearing off on him.
Second? Theo Walcott showing the best feel for the game in awhile. He had smart runs and took smart chances.
Third? Tomas Rosicky seeming to slot in very nicely–again–in Fabregas’s old quarterback role.
»For Spurs, Luka Modric looked everything Chelsea expected him to be.
• Tevez & The City:
Of course, there was this shocking and revealing article on Carlos Tevez last week.
What’s interesting about Manchester City is that for as much as club’s look to them to drive up the price or pay a premium on transferred-in talent, the inverse happens when players are transferred or want to be transferred out of City.
With Manchester City, they don’t need the cash–let’s see Financial Fair Play actually materialize–because they have boatloads of it. Thus they can negotiate a premium or at least fair value themselves for a player transferring out because if they don’t like the offer (Roque Santa Cruz) they can just park the player on the bench.
• Klinsmann’s Campers
A lot of questions as to why a few players weren’t brought into the US national team fold. Namely: Josh Gatt, Herculez Gomez, Omar Gonzalez and Brad Davis.
Here’s our best guesses on why:
» Josh Gatt: He’s not a flight risk and doing very well at the club level. He’s young. He’ll get a shot and is on the radar,
» Herculez Gomez: Not the pivot (see Teal Bunbury) striker that Jurgen Klinsmann wants. As evidenced by Edson Buddle’s work against Mexico, it sure looks like the new manager is looking for a true post-up player.
» Omar Gonzalez: Good question and no idea. Heath Pearce pulled up lame this past weekend. Might Gonzalez get a call? The one thing about Gonzalez, and George John and Chad Marshall is they all play “the big guy” in the back. A slot that Clarence Goodson inhabits and where Michael Orozco made some noise a few weeks ago.
» Brad Davis: Has to be his age at this point.
• MLS: Brad Davis is having an MVP campaign
(stats prior to this weekend)
If you caught up with TSG on Twitter yesterday, you read our rant on Davis. Thirteen assists for Davis. He’s played with a rotating cast of forwards. He’s responsible for Brian Ching scoring from the run of play with his feet!
And he’s got the Houston Dynamo five points out of first place in the East without an attacking midfielder taking any pressure off him. His service is solid. He’s calm on the ball and he’s consistent.
Here’s what TSG had to say about him in the beginning of the year:
But for me, a consumate professional, a tireless worker, wheels and great service is just part of the package of Brad Davis. Underrated, year-in and year-out. This is a lifetime achievement award for the Jude Law look-a-like.
And get this final stat from OptaJack: Brad Davis has created 84 scoring opportunities thus far, 33 more than the next closest player in MLS.
His candidacy is right up there with Thierry Henry’s and Brek Shea’s in the MVP race. MLS media heads, pay your respects.
• MLS: Run of play or not, Galaxy firing
(Again stats prior to this weekend)