Posted 2012/02/03 by matthewsf in Uncategorized. 46 Comments
The Super Bowl weekend gets off to a flying start with….Wigan vs. Everton.
Enjoy the rest of the matches….especially the Serie A ones:
Rodallega is still at Wigan and Timmy'll have to make a few saves on him early Saturday...
Posted by matthewsf on 2012/02/04 at 6:43 AM
Arsenal drop even with Blackburn at the 30 min mark on a free kick and come roaring back with two precise passes (Song & RVP).
3-1 in the 41st.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/04 at 7:18 AM
It’s not a case of Arsenal being brilliant – it’s more of a case of Blackburn Rovers being poor and letting Arsenal play – Song looks like a world class playmaker! Plus being down to 10 men. Walcott and Chamberlain have done well [albeit against weak opposition]. #ConfidenceBuilding
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/04 at 7:28 AM
I hope RVP goes off the boil around May.
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/04 at 8:24 AM
im sure there are one or two english thugs out there ready to do the job, and dejong waiting for retribution. timmy howard with a nice save. donovan is going to have to be a little tired come march, but i guess whatever does not kill him will make him stronger.
does anyone else think suarez is going to go gangbusters on tottenham?
Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/02/04 at 8:55 PM
While RVP is clearly on fire, I would argue that he is normally on fire. People forget that because his season totals look lower due to injury. I hope he stays healthy but I heard today that the most games he played in one year was 24 (don’t quote me, I remember it being under 25 but it could be 22 or 23). His health will make or break Arsenal for the next number of years (I think it they miss out on CL he leaves and things start to get bleak – although Ox looks like a keeper).
Posted by Jared on 2012/02/05 at 5:56 AM
Good point. He is normally on fire when healthy which is why it is so unfortunate that he’s at Arsenal. They are completely incapable of keeping players healthy and somehow always seem to either misdiagnose or botch the recovery of players once injured (Wilshere this season, numerous others every other season).
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/05 at 10:35 AM
I believe his last two serious injuries were during international play. I am sure Arsenal’s medical team are just as good as you’d find at any other big club.
Posted by Jared on 2012/02/05 at 11:39 AM
I doubt it. Look at their injury list and more importantly the amount of players who end up being out months longer than initially announced. At Man Utd, it seems they announce a player will be out for 3 months and he’s back in 2.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/05 at 12:47 PM
So length of injury list has a direct correlation to how good the medical team is? That makes so much sense. Here’s me thinking the type of injury is what would govern this. And re. Wilshere, wasn’t the recent stress fracture independent to the original injury?
Posted by John Henry on 2012/02/06 at 10:25 AM
There are other considerations too, George. If you take a look at Arsenal’s record in the last three months of the season over the last 4 or 5 years, you’ll see a significant drop in form. I think the most likely explanation for this is that the players are not maintaining peak condition throughout the season. If not the medical staff, then the training staff.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/06 at 1:37 PM
Or lack of squad depth. Which then becomes a management thing, perhaps…
Posted by Eric on 2012/02/04 at 10:12 AM
Hearing Dempsey isn’t in the 18 today. Any one know why?
Posted by Eric on 2012/02/04 at 10:13 AM
Nevermind. Read something wrong.
Posted by Crow on 2012/02/04 at 10:51 AM
I am thrilled that Dortmund moved back into first in the Bundesliga. It’s amazing considering the injuries to Goetze and Subotic; actually at some point this year it seems that every major player has been injured at some point. I would have never guessed that they would be in first in February after the torrid start Bayern Munich got off to. I think it kind of amusing as well that Schalke are knocking on the door after their poor season last year and ‘Gladbach as well. What happened to ‘Gladbach since Michael Bradley left?
Posted by dth on 2012/02/04 at 9:47 PM
Changed coaches (to a more competent one), and Marco Reus is amazingly good. It’s unsurprising not as many people know just how good he is–Goetze is still underhyped, and Reus has even less hype than he does.
Naturally, Reus will be playing for Dortmund with Goetze next year. Reus/Goetze/Kagawa in the attacking band? YES, PLEASE. I only wish Sahin would’ve stayed with BVB. That would’ve been an insane team.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/05 at 10:48 AM
Not underhyped. The Germans I met when in Munich in September would not shut up about some of their younger players. Or the number of quality goalkeepers…
Just because something is not reported about constantly in the English-speaking press, doesn’t mean it isn’t being hyped.
Posted by dth on 2012/02/05 at 9:01 PM
Should have specified “in the English-speaking press, relative to other young players,” as that’s what I meant.
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/04 at 12:03 PM
its interesting, but leeds had a one goal lead, then a one man advantage, followed up by a two man advantage, then a two goal lead, and they finished off three nil and never made a sub, so robbie rogers has to wait to make his debut. boo hoo.
Posted by Jared on 2012/02/05 at 5:58 AM
Rogers may have to wait a very long time to make his debut considering that they just fired the manager at Leeds.
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/05 at 8:09 AM
that is one way to look at it jared, but another approach might be that a new manager comes in with a fresh percpective and that could work in robbies favor. either way, he was in the eighteen yesterday with a caretaker manager in charge. so that means the caretaker manager rated rogers enough to put him in the 18 over other players you would presume he new better.
Posted by Crow on 2012/02/04 at 2:07 PM
I really think if Terrence Boyd can break through at Dortmund that he could develop into the most productive striker the USA National Team has ever had, although that might not be saying too much. Its almost ridiculous me making any observations because I literally have not seen him play once, but from what I’ve read and just thinking of him playing with guys such as Gotze and Kagawa delivery and running off the ball, I think it is almost the perfect place to learn to hold and link up play, and score goals.
With that being said I don’t think it will be easy for him to move past established players such as Barrios and Lewandowski in the pecking order, and Dortmund usually only deploys one striker. I hope he sticks it out instead of transferring somewhere else, though, and grabs some minutes eventually.
Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/02/04 at 8:42 PM
To me it looked like Fulham played a 4-2-3-1 against Man City with Dempsey and Dembele floating between the 1 and the middle of the 3. Dempsey appeared to play the 1 role midweek (although it was a flatter shape).
While Boyd may be great some day, I really think Dempsey needs to lead the line come February against Italy. Dempsey has been playing that role since Jol and Zamora had their bust up a couple months ago and now with Zamora gone will either play that role or the 9 in a 4-4-1-1.
Also Etuhu sucks. Sidwell better not be out long..
Posted by MJ on 2012/02/04 at 10:59 PM
Any ideas where to get an online stream for the Man Utd/Chelsea game?
Posted by Antonio H. on 2012/02/05 at 12:16 AM
I think Fox is broadcasting live tomorrow
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/05 at 7:40 AM
eric lichaj in the eighteen for a villa today,
Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/02/05 at 9:00 AM
Maybe its the glow of optimism but it is seeming to me like the US could have 10 of the 11 starters on the WC 2014 team (and probably most of the bench) starting for top 4 league sides. This would be a massive improvement from last time around:
Posted by dth on 2012/02/05 at 9:15 AM
Greatest member of greatest generation of any great generation anywhere anytime Chicharito is sitting on the bench. WHY DOESN’T FERGUSON RECOGNIZE?!?
(in the very small category of “things I got right early”, I think Welbeck > Chicharito has to go highly.)
Posted by mbw on 2012/02/05 at 9:01 PM
Might be too soon to claim victory on this one — though you were certainly nearer right, from the vantage point of this time this year, than were most people this time last year.
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/05 at 9:39 AM
dth, chicharito has 23 goals in 33 games for mexico. i think that category might be even smaller than you think.
Posted by dth on 2012/02/05 at 9:42 AM
Goals are overrated. Welbeck > Chicharito.
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/05 at 10:26 AM
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/05 at 10:43 AM
Also, I think Welbeck is a better partner to Rooney and Hernandez, which is a huge consideration.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/05 at 10:53 AM
Great game for FOX to show on their main channel, but why AVB didn’t close up shop when they were 3-0 up is beyond me. Why play an open game and leave gaps? Although I admit, second pen was very suspect.
Posted by Andy Karas on 2012/02/05 at 1:06 PM
been pretty typical of the games between big clubs this year, too. Scores like 8-2, 6-1, 3-5, 3-3, etc are all really exciting, but maybe the absurd openness of English teams this year has something to do with their comparatively poor performance in Europe
pressing was nonexistant down the stretch of this one
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/05 at 10:55 AM
Also, how do the reverse Euro snobs feel about this? Surely this doesn’t help the MLS’s attemp to capture the casual fan?
Posted by John on 2012/02/05 at 12:30 PM
This country is big enough for fans of MLS as well as fans of BPL as well as fans of both leagues. The only problem arises when fans of one league or the other begin to dismiss one or the other without just cause.
Whether “euro snobs” or your oddly named “reverse euro snobs” or “primera snobs” I would hope that all fans keep their minds open to other leagues and other styles of play.
BTW: The biggest league in North America is the Mexican Primera, not any or the Euro leagues.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/02/05 at 12:54 PM
I think “reverse euro snobs” fits the bill quite nicely! You know exactly the type I am tlking about.
Posted by BernieBernier on 2012/02/05 at 1:43 PM
Here is my take on your question which is probably in the minority…
The game helped the MLS greatly. It was exciting but not of such a quality that was clearly superior to the MLS. There were two moments were I said wow that was a great play (Torres to Matta and Matta’s shot and the save by DeGea).
I primarily watch EPL games but that has more to do with scheduled time then it does anything else. The quality of a lot of the games on FSC this year were comparable two good MLS teams. .
Posted by Union on 2012/02/05 at 1:19 PM
Sacha with a tremendous free kick goal today. He needs to be on the roster for Italy.
Posted by Martin on 2012/02/06 at 8:31 AM
I’m just curious as to what your reasoning is for why Sacha, barring injury to others, should be an option for the Italy game now as opposed to any other time?
He is in good form right now but no more so than he has been for most of the season.
I don’t know why JK hasn’t used Sacha recently but my guess it’s not because Sacha wasn’t playing well but rather because he does not see him as a good fit for what he wants to do.
Either that or JK has a long list of other options he wants to find out about and is sure he already knows what he needs to about Sacha.
Posted by Berniebernier on 2012/02/06 at 4:17 PM
I think the crucial question is what does JK’s depth chart look like. We know that Sasha is pretty much AM in either a 4-3-3 and a 4-4-2 diamond. We also know that JK has played Clint there and indicated that he wants Donovan playing centrally. If the AM depth chart looks like Clint 1, Donovan 2 then I am not all that excited about bringing Sasha in as #3.
If we are going to play Dempsey and Donovan in other slots then whether or not Sasha should go is a very different proposition.
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/06 at 10:10 PM
sacha kljestan is going to get minutes in the near future. he has fullfilled the criteria we look for in our international players. dmb looks likely to get minutes also. usa really is going to be very experienced going into qualifing. if we can just qualify for the olympics, everything can start falling into place.
Posted by Martin on 2012/02/06 at 10:39 PM
If a player has “fufilled the criteria we look for in our international players” that is no guarantee he will get capped.. You don’t cap a player just because he is playing well for his club team; you cap him if you think he can do well for the national team. He could be in the running to be considered should problems arise with the regulars.
I don’t know If JK plans to cap Sacha before qualifying but I do know it doesn’t look like it.
Right now I don’t see Sacha displacing any of the likely starters or subs during this cycle. Still, when qualifying rolls around, you may well see Sacha.
Posted by dikranovich on 2012/02/07 at 12:05 AM
i think sacha would do well at fulham, and if deuce sticks around that would be a good situation for the mens team. of course deuce might go to newcastle or some other big club that is going to be playing champions league ball next season. maybe brek shea and deuce end up on the same team.
martin players that can help the national team are going to get called in, regardless of their past performace. sacha is doing well for a good club in europe and that is a benchmark we in america use to gauge talent. sacha gets the call up for the italy game
Posted by Martin on 2012/02/07 at 1:35 PM
I guess I need to make myself clearer.
What you seem to be saying is JK has to play Sacha because he is playing so well that JK cannot ignore him.
I am saying that playing regularly and playing well for a team in a good league does not guarantee you a spot on the field with the USMNT. Sacha has been doing exactly that for Anderlecht since pretty much the beginning of the season and yet JK has not seen fit to put him on the field very much, if at all. He wouldn’t even give him garbage time when they played Belgium in Belgium.
This tells me he doesn’t think Sacha is a good player (unlikely) or that what Sacha does best does not fit into JK’s scheme (?). Another possibility is he knows all he needs to know about Sacha and is using this experimental time to check out other, newer, prospects ( Preston’s fake Americans, Johnson and Williams). In which case we’ll see him as we get closer to Qualifying.
I like him but I can’t see playing Sacha over MB90 or Dempsey. If Torres gets back I could see dropping him for Sacha; but I’m not convinced Torres has a role either. Basically I see no role for Kjlestan that someone else is not doing better.
It does not matter how well you play the manager does not have to play you, especially for a national team.
If JK doesn’t think he needs Sacha he won’t play him.
Posted by KickinNames... on 2012/02/05 at 9:26 PM
Howard Webb mounts a fantastic comeback against Chelsea today. Who would have ever believed it!
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