The Weekend: Your Live Analysis Here

Nothing much to play for in MLS.

Meanwhile, the EPL is starting to rev up.

Along with the Wayne Rooney Bowl, the Manchester City Derby complete with Tevezgate, this year’s absence of Paul Scholes, Man City atop the table, something guaranteed to go with Mario Balotelli in the limelight and likely David Silva cementing his spot in the EPL Season’s Best XI for a time to come. Sunday.

Everything's about even--except at manager...

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115 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ufficio on 2011/10/22 at 6:11 AM

    Terrence Boyd in the 18 for Dortmund today.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 6:18 AM

      Fire up the hype machine.

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 9:23 AM

        I am. After TSG retweeted he might be in the 18, I was on cloud nine the rest of the day. I’ve shoveling coal like crazy into the hype machine- just took a break to type this comment.

        Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 8:53 AM

      Are you honestly happythat you have Germans representing the USA? Seriously, it’s ridiculous.

      Reply

      • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 8:57 AM

        They are American citizens without any special moves by US Soccer to get them citizenship.

        Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/22 at 9:18 AM

        C’mon GeorgeCross — there was a legit petition last year to get Mikel Arteta citizenship.

        Owen Hargreaves–Canadian and perhaps the most beloved player on the England team.

        And of course, let’s not forget England’s own German: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/england/6491917/England-lose-tug-of-war-with-Germany-for-Aaron-Hunt.html

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 9:48 AM

          There was never a legit petition for Arteta – that was The Sun talking pants, and it snowballed from there

          As for Hargreaves, I personally think it’s wrong. His parents might be English, and he may still have family in England, but that doesn’t mean he’s English – I don’t care what his citizenship or pasport says. You should know how I feel about this from a sporting perspective.

          Plus, Matt, what type of argument is that? Still doesn’t make it right does it?!

          I would like to see a rule introduced that says you must have had at least 5 years education in the country that you want to switch to. That would end a lot of this nonsense…

          Reply

          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/22 at 10:04 AM

            Fair enough. I know you were just riling up.

            Do I prefer it? No.

            Within the rules though? Yes.

            I have the belief that having a better US team–given the sad state of the US Youth development at this time–will push younger players into the system and raise the profile.

            That’s my personal justification, weak or not.

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            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 10:27 AM

              When Jamie Carraghercame out and said his piece, I was jumping up and down, saying “yes, yes, this is exactly what I have been saying for ages!”

              And, rest assured, in the unlikely event that there are any GeorgeCross Jrs in the future, that are good enough to play internationally, they will be American and represent Team USA.

              [Getting off my soap box now]. Carry on gents.

            • Posted by kaya on 2011/10/24 at 9:45 AM

              It’s a justification I use, as well. I think everyone agrees the “free agency” allowance in changing/choosing national sides doesn’t feel right, but I’m counting on the ends justifying the means. Not taking advantage of a rule that others use would be foolish.

          • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 10:08 AM

            I don’t like the rule either. Sunil Gulati doesn’t like it. But the rule has seemed to hurt the United States National Team more than it has helped it, so until the rule is changed, I’ll take anyone who truly wants to play for the team, and not feel bad about it.

            Reply

          • Posted by CJ on 2011/10/22 at 4:40 PM

            Thank you, GeorgeCross. I stated something concurrent, albeit maybe not as diplomatically, about a week ago in a different post. I wish all National Teams worldwide, all sports, be products of citizens who have actually played the sport within the confines of the country they’re representing.

            A US passport doesn’t justify the person playing for the USMNT. I would much prefer candidates who have some ties to the country we share citizenship in by more ways than paper or their parent’s coattails.

            Eat a cheeseburger here, buy a slice of pizza in NYC, play a pick game in the schoolyard, know the star spangled banner, or something like that, something genuinely American. Be a true citizen of the culture you represent. America’s diversity allows for a wide variety of statements like the one I just made, just be able to tie yourself to a community somewhere in the US as having lived your life here. Is that such a ludicrous expectation simply because current rules are far more lenient?

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            • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/25 at 4:09 PM

              CJ,

              “Eat a cheeseburger here, buy a slice of pizza in NYC, play a pick game in the schoolyard, know the star spangled banner, or something like that, something genuinely American. Be a true citizen of the culture you represent. America’s diversity allows for a wide variety of statements like the one I just made, just be able to tie yourself to a community somewhere in the US as having lived your life here. ”

              “Is that such a ludicrous expectation simply because current rules are far more lenient?”

              The short answer is yes it is ludicrous.

              “ genuinely American”???

              If the experiences you listed are your definition of what means to be an American then I’m afraid I now know quite a few non- American’s who can now qualify.

              The players who qualify to play for a given country do so because of FIFA. Your argument is with them, not the INS or the US government.

              And for the record, most of the players in question are half black and for all their advances Germany is still apparently quite a racist society. Jermaine Jones said as much when he first came over and he was quite clear about feeling much more culturally comfortable with the USMNT than with Die Mannschaft. How accurate that is I have no idea but, leaving the official rules out of it, nothing is more American than welcoming those who are outcasts elsewhere for any number of reasons.

              Since it seems you are not versed in the immigrant experience I don’t expect you will ever understand, which is okay. The tolerance of your intolerance is what makes America great.

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 9:20 AM

        How about your boy who chose Ghana?

        Rossi had the right to choose Italy even though he wasn’t born there and never really lived there except going to soccer academy, so I’ll take any German-American who wants to play for the USA over Germany whether he was born in Germany or the States.

        Personally, I think the rule is stupid- I just think its important to have people who want to commit to the team. I don’t like players who act like mercenaries looking for the best deal or players like Jermaine Jones who just pick a country because the other one doesn’t want them.

        So Omar Gonzalez, you are not good enough for Mexico, but you are not wanted here either.

        Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 9:57 AM

          Frimpong? His case is a bit different as he moved to England as a child. A bit like Holden’s situation. At least he lived in the country and can speak the bleeding national language**. I was gutted because he’s been on my radar for a while, and has been widely tipped as ‘one to watch for the future’. He played in a lot of the England “U-teams”, but he made his choice and we move on.

          **if any of these German-Americans had to go for a “Green Card interview”, it would be clear that the marriage between them and the USA is a sham!!

          Reply

          • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 10:05 AM

            I didn’t realize Frimpong moved to England as a child. My mistake.

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          • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/22 at 10:39 AM

            Hey you guys need to realize yes that opportunity to play is a strong factor in theri allegiance but I remember reading that Daniel Williams stated that he felt more at home and accept when visiting the US, in Gerrmany he felt like a foreigner, I’m sure this true for some of them. although I do think the rule lends itself to winning at any cost mentality. I read a piece about some player playing in Peru who was born in NYC thus able to represent the US even though he oly spent a brief time here as infant. Things like this sort of trivialize the right to wear the shirt. I think the major factor is can we connect with the player. But its a loaded topic because it touiches on some many issues like multiculturalism, biases, establishing boundaries, etc… What abiut David Regis? he was married to an American, is it better to lose within the spirit of the rules or by what is legally permissible? Do short term gains by including & starting player like fabian Johnson for example harm the development of US based players? or do thet lift it up by exposing US players to a highger standard & creative processes?

            Reply

          • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 10:43 AM

            Except they don’t need green cards because they are American citizens. Williams can actually speak English pretty well as his father stayed in Germany with the family after the service. Not sure about Johnson though.

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            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 10:55 AM

              It was a joke… thought tat was clear!

            • Posted by mbw on 2011/10/22 at 11:23 AM

              I also wish the rules were less riven with openings for opportunism and the hiring of mercenaries, etc. But that doesn’t seem to me to be a good description of what’s going on with the current group of German Americans. We should accept that in the modern world people become Americans in more than one way. The United States offers liberty, opportunity, and asylum; it also creates American citizens in other countries through the actions it takes as a nation. Chandler, Johnson, Williams, Brooks, Boyd, et al. were born where they were partly because of acts of the U.S. government. They are American citizens because of decisions made by our democratically elected representatives. They ARE Americans – just not of the type we’re used to talking about. They have chosen to represent the United States and they have displayed evident pride in doing so. I am more impressed with their commitment to making lives as Americans than I am bothered by the fact that they were incentivized to do so.

            • Posted by joe on 2011/10/23 at 11:28 AM

              Any German American whose parent was in the U.S. military is not a “fake” american. They had a parent that was willing to die for this country and thats more than can be said about myself and probably most people on here. If their parent never joined the U.S. military then Chandler, Johnson, Williams, Brooks, Boyd, etc wouldn’t have been born. Go to a military base and tell someone that if they have a kid while stationed overseas you wouldn’t consider the kid american. just let me know what kind of response you get. In the case that any of these German Americans don’t have a parent in the U.S. military then yea I see your point.

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/10/22 at 5:31 PM

        Are you honestly happythat you have Germans representing the USA? Seriously, it’s ridiculous.

        You mean German-Americans? Yes, I am quite happy about it.

        Reply

        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/22 at 9:21 PM

          And George seems to be overlooking the last two decades of UB40’s that have contributed to the English side.But they were colonies…

          Reply

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:26 AM

            You can call them “German-Americans” if it makes you feel better.

            Not sure which players you are referring to as UB40s…

            I am sorry if you don’t agree with me. I am not trying to antagonize. Just something I feel strongly about [in a sporting sense], and feel that it is a loophole that needs to closed. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a Le Pen type rant – I want to make that perfectly clear.

            Reply

            • Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 6:37 AM

              How is it a loophole? They have citizenship and are choosing to represent a country for which they have citizenship. This is just the rule functioning. Any standard other than “do you have citizenship?” for eligibility runs into all sorts of difficulties; the citizenship eligibility test is the best option available, even if it offends some sensibilities sometimes.

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 6:52 AM

              I would say that Jones playing for the US was ridiculous considering he had already played for Germany in friendlies. That rule is stupid. Any time a player suits up for the full national team should tie him to that country.

              The other guys in Chandler, Williams, Johnson, etc are not a loophole. They are American citizens and have been since birth.

            • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/10/23 at 6:57 AM

              I can call them German-Americans because they are German-Americans. It has nothing to do with making myself feel better, because I have absolutely no problem with these guys suiting up for the US.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 7:08 AM

              I was talking about the 18.1a rule in general, rather than specific players.

              Yeah, they are eligible, and have been from birth. But when Cherundolo has to translate for Chandler because Chandler has spent his entire life in Germany, it raises questions, no?. If Chandler was good enough to play for Germany, I wonder if he would choose to exercise this right?

            • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 7:12 AM

              It doesn’t raise any questions for me. Chandler is an American from birth. Doesn’t matter that he doesn’t speak English because there is no official language of the US.

              I would have no problem if he had chosen Germany first as he’s also a citizen of Germany.

            • Posted by joe on 2011/10/23 at 11:44 AM

              There is a growing minority of Americans that don’t speak english do you not consider them American?
              Maybe Jones as a child of divorced parents feels more connected to his dad when he plays for the U.S. Then again maybe he doesn’t, but thats why it is the players choice.

            • Posted by kaya on 2011/10/24 at 10:04 AM

              In the Le Pen vein, I find it interesting that (to my knowledge), all the Germans(-Americans) that are being (or potentially) capped for the US are of African-American descent. At least the ones I know of.
              I know it’s just hearsay, but what someone mentioned about Danny Williams was something that Germaine Jones claimed, too. The Germans I’ve known are totally open-minded, but they’re over here, so I wouldn’t be so quick to discredit their (as in the German-born players being capped) dual nationality. Obviously the mannschaft is pretty diverse these days, but it hasn’t been that long.

          • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/23 at 8:07 AM

            Red Red WHINE C’mon back to me, Red Red Whine……

            Reply

            • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/23 at 8:23 AM

              I think we have to look at certain things regarding eligiility, yes the citizenship makes them eligible, but does that make the selection of them certain? I have no problems with Jones, Chandler, Williams, Johnson being selected to play ofr the US except at what cost is it to the development of home grown talent. Yes they have a superior skill set in many ways and they can 1) help US win now 2) increase US support via US success 3) Increase the skill set of US born talent by exposing to new techniques/tatics etc…
              The down side 1) will hard working US talent grow disillusioned by their immediate inclusion and thus 2) more uneducated American fans fail to identify with & bond with Team players 3)which can possibly translate into less USMT *& soccer support nationally.
              Its a definitely quandry, immediate gains vs long term, it must be a juggling act that garners enough public support (OMG its sounds like a politician aiming for the middle ground). I think its easier for people to accept when people look similar or act similiarly like mainstream US culture, so the above mentioned will find it easier than say someone who are from cultures that are not well known to Americans or disimilar. I’m not saying this right or fair and it certainly goes against are ideals as a nation but these items must be looked at and better yet discussed! like we do here! Now lets pat ourselves on the back for being progressive minded intellectuals!!! or people who have taken too many headers.

  2. Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 6:21 AM

    Anybody else watching Swansea play Wolves today? Swansea are showing that it’s possible to play out of the back even if you don’t have the most skillful players at the back. I know it’s only Wolves but it’s nice to see a lower table team playing that way.

    Maybe Jurgen and the boys can watch some tape of Swansea.

    Reply

    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/22 at 12:44 PM

      didnt swansea give up a two goal lead today jared?

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      • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 4:16 PM

        They did but not until after I posted. I didn’t say they defended well just that they passed well out of the back.

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  3. Posted by mbw on 2011/10/22 at 6:29 AM

    Johnson and Williams both starting for Hoffenheim.

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    • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 9:22 AM

      What positions are they playing?

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    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/22 at 9:32 AM

      Had an email exchange with Greg Seltzer — Fabian Johnson is a winger through and through. Hard to think he’d play centrally was Seltzer’s comments.

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 9:38 AM

        So Fabian Johsnon would be more of a substitute for Donovan or Shea, like Gatt potentially, not more of a CAM? I’ve heard so many things about him- his Wiki even says he is “primarily a defender”. Never have seen him play.

        What position is Williams’ best? CAM, or the Edu or Beckerman “role”?

        Reply

        • Posted by mbw on 2011/10/22 at 9:57 AM

          Johnson played as a wing pushed pretty high up the pitch and drifting inside, such that he was occupying the position of a second striker at points — kind of like Robben in the last World Cup. Williams played more as a #6 today (vs. his debut against Bayern Munich, when he played as an #8) and put in a monster shift. I’m really excited about both of them.

          Reply

  4. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 8:51 AM

    We’re [Palace] winning one nil at the moment, and if we can hang on, we’ll be in 3rd place!

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  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/22 at 10:09 AM

    Steven Gerrard non-existent today against Norwich City in a deep-lying hub-linking role.

    The Suarez show today–as dangerous as he is controversial.

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  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 10:58 AM

    Some good pressing by Norwich.

    Should have scored with that chance…

    Reply

  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/10/22 at 11:32 AM

    Liverpool should have pushed Kuyt up top with Suarez. They had Bellamy who never ventures in the middle and a useless Stuart Downing today.

    Suarez was distributing dimes like Chris Paul and no one was cutting for them. ‘Pool doesn’t really have a player the toes the line/poaches like a Javier Hernandez, Kuyt would have been the next best option.

    Really missed an opportunity there. Not sure why Jordan Henderson wasn’t brought in either.

    Really terrible managing in my opinion.

    Reply

    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/22 at 12:47 PM

      if there is one team that plays to its competition, it is certainly liverpool.

      Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/10/22 at 3:11 PM

      As I’ve said a few times before, other than Luis Suarez, Liverpool are the ultimate midtable team.

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      • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/22 at 3:49 PM

        come off it dth, this is a team that has won more english titles than all the mid table teams plus arsenal and chelsea combined. what, steve gerrard, two years younger than frank lampard….. ahh, whatever

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        • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 4:18 PM

          Just because they’ve won a lot of titles (with the last coming 20+ years ago) doesn’t mean that they aren’t a midtable team without Suarez. They just don’t have the talent they did back when they won titles. Midtable only refers to where they would be this year not in terms of English history.

          Reply

          • Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 5:40 AM

            Well, I mean “ultimate midtable team” not as a descriptor of how good they are–they’ll be a Champions League team–but a descriptor of how they play. They just seem to play like a midtable team, somehow.

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            • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 5:45 AM

              I’m not convinced they’ll qualify for the Champions League. Spurs are right there with them with games in hand. If Liverpool do make it to the Champions League then it will be by default in that none of the other teams around them could pull it off. Liverpool will probably finish at least 15 points if not more off the top.

            • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/23 at 7:20 AM

              yeah dth, i hear what you are saying, but really liverpool seem to play with the northern influence that they have always played with. dont you think teams from london play with a more eloquent style than the northern monkeys( sorry, thats just a guy ritchie reference, nothing personal.)

              wow man united, maybe mancini IS a better manager than people think.

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:31 AM

      Re. bad management, sort of agree – it’s not like Liverpool didn’t create the chances, especially in the first. But second half, something needed to be changed and it didn’t happen, so I agree there. IMO, game shold have been over by HT, and the second half shouldhave been a closing out exercise…

      Reply

  8. Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 1:03 PM

    Solskjaer is reportedly on his way to Portsmouth. Does Gatt follow him?

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    • Posted by dth on 2011/10/22 at 1:37 PM

      No way Gatt gets a work permit.

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      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/22 at 2:47 PM

        What is the requirement in Norway?

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        • Posted by dth on 2011/10/22 at 3:09 PM

          None. Scandinavian countries are completely free of visa/work permit requirements. That’s why so many Americans show up there–better pay than MLS, culturally not too bad an adjustment, and if you end up in Denmark, probably better play too.

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  9. Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/22 at 4:36 PM

    Herculez with 2 More!! Let’ the naysayers start their whine again, :he’s a poacher, not a true…., can’t fit in the US system….. blah blah, All he does is score goals, isn’t that what a stiker is supposed to do? Right now forget about “potential”,”age” etc,
    So “what have you done for me lately!” Bring back Savarase he heard the same arguements.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/22 at 4:57 PM

      Herc has been screwed by US Soccer for the past few years. He’s the only guy scoring goals consistently and yet never gets a fair shake. He should have played a lot more in the World Cup too.

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  10. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 7:48 PM

    George Cross- hypothetical situation- if Mario Barotelli played in the EPL long enough, and lived in England, and gained English citizenship… would you be okay with him playing for England if he so desired? ;)

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    • Posted by EFG on 2011/10/23 at 6:19 AM

      If he can keep his head straight leading up to Euros next summer, I’d expect some fireworks in Poland/Ukraine.

      Too soon?

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:37 AM

      No. Absolutely not. If you allow this to happen, then we might as well scrap international football as we know it. [but this would not be allowed under 18.1a].

      However, if he moved here as a 10-year-old, for example, lived here and went to school here,and chose England over Italy, then I’d be OK with that.

      Nice firework joke…

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/23 at 10:51 AM

        ha ha- that popped into my mind and I thought I had to post it. I was trying to think of the most ridiculous potential national team switch.

        And Balotelli certainly has redefined what “causing fireworks” can mean!

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  11. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 7:53 PM

    Really glad to see Norwich City doing so well. Back in 2004 when I traveled to Europe for the first time as a teenager to visit some friends of my family from when my Dad had been stationed in the Air Force, Norwich was on their way to winning the Championship and getting back in the EPL. I was supposed to go to a game in person but unfortunately we were not able to get tickets- but watching that game and some of the other FA cup games going on rekindled my interest in soccer and it has bloomed into a full passion ever since then.

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  12. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/22 at 9:06 PM

    I think alot of teams are probably happy that the Chicago Fire are not in the playoffs. They really got hot at the end of the year.

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  13. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/23 at 4:46 AM

    benny feilhaber really needs to be on the us mens team for these next set of games. if not, it will be a harbanger of things to come.

    Reply

  14. Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 5:51 AM

    For two mega-millions teams, shouldn’t we not have to be subjected to Milner and Fletcher? Just asking.

    After Fletcher just overhit that pass–I wouldn’t want to see Fletcher make an omelet, put it that way–the Spanish-speaking announcer said “Oh…Platini. Platini” with a tone of wonderful frustration.

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    • Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 5:56 AM

      Oh, yeah, and someone needs to abduct Gareth Barry.

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      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:55 AM

        I am not the biggest Barry fan, merely because he lacks pace. But he does a good job sitting and mopping up. Just worry when he’s the wrong side of the ball.

        Not sure why you hate Milner. Yeah, he doesn’t possess twinkle toes, but he does a lot of the water-carrying.

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        • Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 7:00 AM

          I just think it’s kind of annoying that the mega-millions have left us with Milner, Barry, and Fletcher on the field. Milner probably has some role to play, certainly, but Barry and Fletcher aren’t of the same snuff as the rest of the teams they play for.

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          • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/23 at 7:23 AM

            now aston villa, there is the ultimate mid table team.

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          • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/23 at 9:52 PM

            milner is shaun wright phillips with a brain. As frustrating as he can be he gives fantastic effort and tracks back to defend like a beast

            Fletcher is a whining diving little beeeeeyotch,

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  15. Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 5:53 AM

    What a quality finish by Balotelli. Didn’t try to smash it just placed it in the corner. Why can’t the US get a guy who can finish like that. Most of our guys would have tried about 5 touches then had a shot blocked.

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    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:40 AM

      It was a great finish. But you have to ask why he was afforded so much time and space in the box to be able to pick his place like that.

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      • Posted by EFG on 2011/10/23 at 6:49 AM

        Since when has lifting your shirt over your head been a straight yellow? I say let them show some humor. There was nothing offensive about Super Mario’s message and I got a nice laugh out of it (and I imagine I’m not the only one).

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      • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 6:54 AM

        Because Evans is playing. He’s awful.

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        • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/23 at 7:46 AM

          If you rewatch the sequence leading up to the 1st goal, Evans gave away the possession in City’s half with a lazy pass, then city makes the break which leads to the goal,in which Evans doesn’t mark Balotelli until its too late ( double eff up). Then the later pull down, ugh. what a game for him. Definitely made Utd’s day a lot harder.

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        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/23 at 9:48 PM

          Something deliciously wonderful about watching Jonny Evans getting spun in circles and looking like a novice in central defense. And then getting tossed for an awful dumb foul. Muahahhahahahaha,

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          • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/10/24 at 5:33 AM

            Don’t forget his wiffle ball swing on a makeable goal in front of the net, hit him on his plant foot while his other foot swung about like a lumberjack’s axe trying to chop down a tree.

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  16. Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 6:02 AM

    According to the formation graphic for Chievo, MB90 is the 1 in the 4-3-1-2 they’re playing today.

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    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 6:04 AM

      Not where he’s playing from the start though. Looks to be in the middle of the 3. Please convince Klinsi that you can play there so we don’t need to see Beckerman again.

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    • Posted by Jared on 2011/10/23 at 6:36 AM

      MB90 got beat for the Inter goal. Didn’t jump or jostle Motta as he rose to head in off a corner.

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    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/23 at 9:44 PM

      Mike did get beat for the goal but I really like the way he’s playing for Chievo from the games I’ve seen. He looks like he understands his role and isn’t trying to do everything. Very composed and only had a few poor passes today, Turned out of pressure and distributed well and played pretty solid defensively. I think they were looking for a bit more advanced support today but he didn’t seem to want to get forward.

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  17. Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 6:13 AM

    But how can the Greatest Striker from the Greatest Golden Generation Ever be on the bench?

    (more directed at overhyping media than Chicharito as such. He seems like a fine human being.)

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    • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/23 at 6:45 AM

      i dont think sir alec thinks about who is starting and who he has on the bench as much as he thinks about how he can manufacture points, with three points being the goal everytime. chicharito came on as a sub last week anyway.

      Reply

    • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/23 at 10:48 AM

      This is hilarious. I am so sick of hearing about JAVIER HERNANDEZ BALCAZAR- I will not call him anything else including a spanish name meaning “little pea”. At the same time, the guy isn’t the villian Rafa Marquez is. Marquez will always be the villian- the LeBron James of the Mexican team; Javier Hernandez Balcazar is more of a tool like Dwayne Wade.

      People accuse Herculez Gomez of being a poacher. If that is the case then Javier Hernandez is just a slightly more talented and younger Herculez Gomez.

      Reply

      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/23 at 9:34 PM

        Crow
        you’re off your meds again apparently. Not a untd fan at all but that kid is special in front of goal. Plays incredibly hard with max effort and finishes like an Asian masseuse. Fletcher, Evans-absolutely despisable but Chicharito doesn’t play dirty and doesn’t tend to dive. I don’t get the tool reference and the completely irrelevant Lebron reference.

        Reply

  18. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:42 AM

    Did you just hear “USA USA USA” chants?

    Reply

    • Posted by EFG on 2011/10/23 at 6:45 AM

      I did, but I wasn’t sure that’s what I heard. Thanks for the confirmation that I’m not going crazy.

      Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 6:49 AM

      Wait–at the Manchester derby? Why? (I’m listening with sound off).

      Reply

      • Posted by EFG on 2011/10/23 at 6:50 AM

        City supporters mocking United’s American ownership? United supporters mocking their own ownership?

        Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:51 AM

        Yes. I have no clue… maybe it the City fans mocking the Glazers?

        Reply

  19. Posted by dth on 2011/10/23 at 6:49 AM

    Love David Silva. What a genius.

    Reply

  20. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 6:49 AM

    I know United are down to 10-men, but when was the last time an opponent virtually walked the ball into the net?

    Reply

  21. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 7:14 AM

    I know [Canadian] Hargreaves is not on the bench, but I think it would be hiarious if he made a symbolic minute appearance… That would be taking the piss, especially at Old Trafford.

    Reply

  22. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 7:18 AM

    Seeing a glum Alex Ferguson is brilliant.

    I wonder if he ever regrets making that ‘noisy neighbour’ comment.

    Reply

    • Posted by EFG on 2011/10/23 at 7:25 AM

      As an impartial watcher who had no rooting interest in this besides Super Mario, I loved, loved, loved the statement Mancini and City made against United.

      Reply

  23. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 7:38 AM

    If this was being shown on the BBC, and Alan Hansen was doing the analysis, his summary woud be “shocking tracking back”.

    Reply

  24. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 7:42 AM

    It would have been *hilarious* if City fans started to sing “Money’s Too Tight To Mention”

    [Mick Hucknall, SImply Red's Mancunian lead singer is a very very vocal United fan].

    Reply

  25. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 8:12 AM

    Talk about “earning your side a penalty”. Very soft / harsh.

    Reply

  26. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/23 at 11:00 AM

    I just can’t get into the EPL this year. I can’t stand any of the big clubs. Every one of these ManU-Man City, etc. games I just hope they draw because I don’t want either of the teams to win. Not only do I not like any of the clubs, but I don’t really like any of the players on the big clubs. Sigh. There aren’t really any good underdog stories other than Norwich and I’m wondering how long that will last. Everton keeps declining.

    I guess its all Bundesliga for me this year. Wish I still had Gol TV.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/23 at 11:17 AM

      Newcastle United are enjoying a great start to the season. Admittedly, the only ‘big’ teams they have faced so far are Tottenham and Arsenal at home, but they still remain unbeaten and in 4th place [one point behind 2nd placed Man Utd].

      You could pick a team in the Championship [cough London SE25 cough] and watch their progress as they battle for promotion!

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2011/10/23 at 4:49 PM

        Maybe I’ll have to pull for Crystal Palace. I enjoyed watching Norwich gain promotion last year.

        I’ve heard Newcastle compared to the Chicago Cubs so maybe they would be a good team for me. LOL. I still pull for Fulham and Everton but they are just getting so boring and predictable to watch.

        Check that- there is ONE player I like from all of the “big clubs”- Ashley Young. I actually thought he was the only player from United who showed anything today.

        Reply

  27. Posted by Crow on 2011/10/23 at 4:47 PM

    Wow, ‘Dolo helps end Bayern Munich’s record 771 minute shutout run by drawing a penalty from Phillip Lahm. Despite Bayern’s great start, Dortmund is knocking on the door!

    And I thought Jozy was “benched”? He played nearly the full 90 today.

    Reply

    • Posted by Martin on 2011/10/24 at 5:41 PM

      Don’t worry the next time there is the slightest hint of a problem with either Jozy or Dolo someone will be waiting to flush them down the toilet.

      Reply

  28. Posted by Kevin on 2011/10/23 at 5:24 PM

    Can I ask why ricketts is so highly rated? More than anyone else in the league I think he benefits from the backline in front of him.

    Reply

  29. Posted by John on 2011/10/24 at 7:26 AM

    Well, I had a fun weekend. Is it first kick yet?

    Reply

  30. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/24 at 8:02 AM

    Goals 4, 5 and 6 come on or after 90 minutes. This is probably the one time where United didn’t want Fergie Time!

    Reply

  31. Posted by SamT on 2011/10/24 at 10:50 AM

    I’d just like to say how much I despise Ashley Cole. He regularly looks for opportunities to get in cheap shots. In the dying seconds against QPR, he came in hard, studs up, to whack Joey Barton on the ankle as he cleared the ball while the whistle blew on full time. Guy is a punk. And remarkably, Joey of all people ignored the contact… he got up, looked to the fans, and gave a fist pump. Scoreboard, Ashley. Scoreboard.

    Reply

    • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/10/24 at 1:57 PM

      I’d love you example and agree heartily if it wasn’t for th Joey Barton part. That should be a halftime event at every QPR match. EPL old timers come out to center circle, get a 15 yd run up and studs up into Joey Barton’s shins. Awful human being….
      But cole is a douche…

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/10/24 at 5:27 PM

      Barton may be able to point to the scoreboard, but Cole can point to the medals in his cabinet, and the 90+ international caps amassed over 10 years, including going to World Cup Finals and European Championships.

      Cole can be a prat, but Barton is a thug.

      Reply

      • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/10/24 at 10:23 PM

        i remeber cole coming in studs up against donovan and coming away with the short end of the stick and a broken foot.

        Reply

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