Archive for January, 2012

Video: The USMNT U-23 Tune-Up

Got to build the confidence somewhere.

Low and highlights of Friday’s 4-0 senior side win.

Saturday Commentary: Manchester 2, Bolton 0

Bolton nearing defeat at Manchester United. The dawning of the Tim Ream eta?

MLS Draft Review

We need to crowdsource you’re feedback here.

Let it rip. Especially you John. On Soopa Doopa and everyone else…

Eastbound and down....

Wednesday Bullets: Friedel-Lando Rd 1, Mosey Edu, Tim Bolton…


• Tim Bolton

Wheater: No Rafa...

Reports say that Tim Bolton deal is etched.

Ream will battle former Middlesborough phenom David Wheater for playing time at Bolton with Wheater getting the first call obviously to replace The Overrated Gary Cahill. Wheater is a little bit like an Omar Gonzalez. Tall fellow, susceptible to speedy play, strong in the air, not the most offensively accomplished.

To this writer, he also appears to have bouts with confidence issue–Ream is of course no stranger to these.

Who you calling yellow, Friedel?!

• Landon-Brad Take I

Landon goes up against Brad Friedel today–finally–in the Prem.

This would normally be the type of game where Everton come out victors. A midweek game, during a grueling early January stretch where everyone’s counting out the Toffees just before they make their second half of the year run.

Not this time though.

The Spurs are home. Big help. They’ve got the motivation of drawing even with mighty United if they get three points here. And they’re relatively healthy.

What to look for in this one?

Two things: 1) The Spurs lone key injury is Scott Parker. Nobody has been bossing the central midfield for Everton this campaign. This is a game where Fellaini should be able to step up, something he hasn’t really done all year and continually 2) with Parker out, can someone get behind the Spurs backline.

Your best candidate there is Donovan and then you make have your Great American Moment.

• “leeds, leeds, leeds” smh


Robbie Rogers heading to Leeds as yet another club takes a chance on a player with all the tools, but none of the calculation. Jared Dubois put it aply on Twitter with this comment, “Robbie Rogers to Leeds. There’s a sucker born every minute…”

Columbus Crew faithful call him, “The Unicorn,” mythical, mystic creature that no one is sure exists.

TSG will say he’s got the Lady Big Hat Effect.

You know what we’re talking about.

A girl walks down the street, flowing blond locks drifting out of a enormous and enveloping chapeau. Legs? Check. Figure? Oh, yes.

And then she comes closer and you realize–again–you’ve been fooled. That hat is distracting from what lies just below it. You move on.

...but true. (Yikes!)

Will Rogers change his complexion at Leeds? (You also of course have the “Lady Big Hat, Big Coat” effect….that’s a player like Edgar Castillo. You’re so desperate to glance at a good looking woman that just one small piece of something. her hair or her chest catches your eye. For Castillo that was of course, “plays leftback.”

If you’re a follower of the US team, it’s been clear for over 4 years now, that Rogers possesses traits to succeed at higher club-level then Columbus Crew part-timer and international team stand-by. Rogers is done in by the same things time and time again, one dribble too many and typically in the wrong direction.

Can he grow in a different environment? Will he grow up in a different environment?

• Mosey Edu

Sochaux with a new bid launched for Maurice Edu? Go eastward young California to the land where Carlos Bocanegra once prowled.

Edu plays, right now, in about 8-12 consequential games a year–whenever ‘Gers plays Celtic and whoever they play in European competition. That’s no way to build a resume at a young age. Move on.

Bold move...finally...

• Boyd move

Perhaps heading westward? Former Rangers player Kris Boyd to sure up the forward spot for the Dynamo. Would be a tremendous signing. One that the management in H-town could finally hang their hat on.


MLS SuperDraft: Everyone Head to The Far Side!

With apologies to Gary Larson,his” take on the MLS “SuperDraft”

Can The Prem’s George Clooney Keep Bolton From Being The Descendents?

John Nyen on Bolton’s season and plight

Bolton's in the EPL "ER" right now...

There are 18 games left to save the season for Bolton Wanderers.

Saving they may need indeed, after momentarily sinking to just near the bottom of the table in the Barclay’s Premier League.

Given that they are Bolton, and given that there probably isn’t a 50-million pound signing coming in the near future, the questions remain:

#1 How did this happen?


#2 Will they stay up?

If we flash back to last season we watched the Wanderers scale the dizzying heights of the Premier League table. Starting out the season with a tie against Wigan, Bolton quickly found themselves on the right foot.

They began with a three game unbeaten streak before losing to Arsenal, and as of December 30th 2011 (20 games in) they had only lost six games. With an evolving midfield of Stuart Holden, Fabrice Muamba, Martin Taylor, Martin Petrov, Lee Chung-Yong and Matthew Taylor, the Wanderers managed to pull in 32 points in 20 games last season. To give you some perspective, that would currently put their squad in 8th place, a good position for the second half of the season. At the time of their 20th game last season, they were within 5 points of the top four in the league.

Currently, Bolton manages to sit third from the bottom with 16 points.

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Given the overall performances this year we could guess that perhaps the early season form of Bolton last year was an aberration and the finish to the season was slightly more indicative of their real position. However, I tend to believe that this is not necessarily the correct answer. With some of the early performances last season and the losses towards the second half of the season it is possible that Bolton has just been a depth challenged, hard working club with a bad luck 12 months. Certainly their recent performance against a poor Everton squad gives hope that Bolton can rise out of the relegation zone.

In the first twenty games of the 2010/2011 season Bolton performed admirably against great clubs and poor clubs alike. Playing against the top teams of that year (Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs, City) they managed five points in the five games that they played . Against the teams fighting for relegation that year (West Brom, Birmingham, West Ham, Wolves, Wigan) they did not lose, and managed 12 points in six matches.

Currently, in 2011/12, Bolton have only managed five  wins and 1 tie, with those wins coming against QPR, Wigan, Stoke, Blackburn and Everton (with one tie against Wolves). The silver lining here appears to be that Bolton is capable of beating the teams which it is currently surrounded by in the standings (current bottom five of the BPL are Wolves, QPR, Bolton, Wigan, Blackburn).

Interestingly enough, the top five in fouls this season are Blackburn, Wigan, Stoke, Everton, Bolton (in that order).

Also, between last season and this one, there has only been a slight uptick in fouls per game, from 10.63 per game to 11 per game. Bolton, it has to be said, are not necessarily a control team when playing. They rely on outworking their opponents, slowing down the attack and taking advantage of goal scoring opportunities when given the chance. This “effort style” was hindered last year by players (like Johan Elmander) who wouldn’t always put their all into closing down opposing players.

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