The Weekend: Live Commentary

Will the Hoops go Matrix on the Chainsaws or will Portland have their revenge? Sunday awaits…

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75 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/08/04 at 9:20 AM

    Whats the word on the team TSG’s EPL fantasy league?

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2012/08/04 at 3:47 PM

      Gotten a few reminders. Will get on it right now.

      Preference?

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      • Posted by Spiritof76 on 2012/08/04 at 8:31 PM

        Cheers! If you’re asking preference on which site, personally prefer the FPL game to Sky Sports. Better participation.

        Can’t help you with the name. Thats gotta come from your heart! (or Fellani’s fro’s heart).

        Reply

      • Posted by cfig on 2012/08/04 at 8:34 PM

        Official Premier League site version for me.

        Reply

  2. Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/04 at 10:19 AM

    To see Neymar dive LIVE, turn on MSNBC now.

    Reply

    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/08/05 at 12:13 AM

      He needs to go to You Tube and watch videos of Klinsmann with Spurs to learn how to dive professionally.

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      • Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/05 at 11:44 AM

        lol. did you know I was a spurs fan or was that coincidence. he just really needs to work on his acting.

        Reply

  3. I appreciate that the athletics has only just started, but if you look at the medals table, and then pro-rata this by the size of the population, then USA and China are under achieving! #London2012

    Reply

  4. Posted by dth on 2012/08/04 at 12:06 PM

    The performances of Honduras and South Korea in the quarterfinal really underscore the distance we need to make up to reach an acceptable level in youth development. Each have different problems (South Korea could use more athleticism and top-tier creativity; Honduras more composure), but overall they’re doing a lot of things we could stand to improve.

    Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/04 at 12:24 PM

      On the theme of Youth Development, I am pleased that the Premier League and Championship have finally confirmed the creation of long awaiting U21 (23 team) League. I think it is basically a league for EPPP Category One Academies.

      Reply

  5. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/04 at 12:13 PM

    What an opportunity to take the lead with the second penalty, even though we have been second best so far.

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    • Posted by dth on 2012/08/04 at 12:24 PM

      Unrelatedly, but not sure about Ramsey on the wing. To me the team looks like it should be playing three central midfielders with Allen, Cleverley and Ramsey.

      Pretty impressed by the South Koreans. Great commitment to pressing, and their movement in creating triangles is really good. Wish I could force youth coaches to watch it, Clockwork Orange-style.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/04 at 12:40 PM

        I agree, Ramsey is much better a little more centrally, like the shape we played in the first couple of games. Their pressing has been good, but we have also been our usual sloppy selves.

        They were good for their goal, but still cannot believe Butland’s technique on that.

        Reply

      • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/08/04 at 8:43 PM

        Wish I could force youth coaches to watch it, Clockwork Orange-style.

        You want our youth coaches to become nauseated when they see good pressing and off-the-ball movement?

        Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/08/05 at 4:44 AM

      That was a pretty bad penalty and then he takes a great one in the shootout. Just put it high takers. I don’t understand why coaches don’t stress that when it comes to penalties. If you can get it 4 feet off the ground and about 2 feet on either side then the keeper almost never saves it. If you put it on the ground you give them too big of a chance.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/05 at 4:17 PM

        That height is also risky as it is a ‘nice height’ for the keeper, so placement becomes even more crucial.

        Reply

  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/04 at 1:11 PM

    Stuart Pearce seems to have taken Charles Hughes’ POMO a little to literally. Shame that.

    Reply

  7. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/04 at 1:31 PM

    Actually very surprised that this game is not being played at Wembley, the home of football.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/04 at 2:35 PM

    David Beckham would’ve scored a few free kicks with the form he is in. unfortunate not to see him nor bale nor walker.

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    • Posted by mbw on 2012/08/04 at 3:08 PM

      He sure would have been licking his chops standing over the one they drew in the 118th minute. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised MLS fans haven’t been more up in arms about Beckham’s exclusion from the team.

      Reply

      • Posted by dth on 2012/08/04 at 4:44 PM

        Daniel Sturridge taking that free kick was the most Daniel Sturridge moment ever. He’s very weak when it comes to self-awareness and tactical ability.

        In that, he’s a microcosm of what we’ll call Anglo youth development–so including countries like the U.S. and Australia. A lot of people like to say the problem is primarily technical, but I don’t think that’s the primary problem. Again, you look at Sturridge–what does he lack technically? He’s not the most technical player ever, but he’s got enough in the toolbag. Instead the problems are tactical and decision-making-based.

        Reply

        • Save yourself some writing and stopping smearing the young players of three countries with Sturridge’s flaws.

          Sturridge is a talented but stupid player. Every country has them. If he gets his head on straight he will be a very good player; if not he will wind up on the scrap heap with tons of other equally talented and equally stupid players.

          Reply

          • Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 6:11 AM

            Smearing? I would say it’s a common flaw of players from these countries. What’s your explanation for why players of these countries are not as good as players from countries like Spain, Mexico, and Germany? And why is your explanation not a smear?

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            • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/08/05 at 7:21 AM

              Careful DTH or the Schmutzie “quotes” will be coming out of the toolbag soon. You’re “asking” for “it”.
              Good valid point on Sturridge. Very talented but limited player due to his football brain. Have to make the same point on Ramsey TBH. How is he taking both of those penalties when you have a killer with ice water in his veins in Bellamy on the pitch. Almost a 90 deg runup to your penalty? Asinine. You take 50% of the goal away from yourself. Ramsey inspires NO confidence for me and tends to constantly overreach in his on field play and in his “taking charge” of penalties. He’s one of the more overrated young Englishman that’s in the overhype mill currently.

            • Posted by mbw on 2012/08/05 at 7:59 AM

              Ramsey’s not an Englishman! I agree with you guys, though; and might add that the aggregation of individual tactical weakness is an insufficient team concept. Look at the top U-23 teams, e.g., Japan and Mexico — greater than the sum of the parts. Britain, not so much.

              Incidentally, I see the same phenomenon at the senior level. For all the talk of a “talent gap,” it remains the case that the USMNT’s first-choice lineup, man for man, is roughly equal to Mexico’s. (Avg. transfer market value, for instance, is $3.8 million vs. $4.0 million). Yet Mexico have one of the top twelve sides in the world and the US is outside the top 25.

            • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/08/05 at 8:19 AM

              So you want to know why young players in the US, Australia and England apparently are currently not as good as the players from the countries you mentioned?

              Most anyone who posts here can answer that though a proper answer would probably take a book. It’s not about money, or population size or tradition.

              With a little luck, Japan or even South Korea, for example could go farther in the next World Cup than the US, Australia or England.

              In short, it boils down to Germany,Spain, and Mexico having overall better focused development programs at this time. No great mystery there.

            • Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 9:10 AM

              Right…and I’m saying part of the reason for those development programs being better is an emphasis on molding tactically-astute players.

              Look at the improvement Michael Bradley’s made. Has he gotten technically any better? No…but he understands the game and his role so much better.

              @mbw: don’t think the talent gap is so much at the senior level, but that’s because we had better talent in the Donovan/Dempsey/Howard generation. At the u-23, u-20, u-17 level, Mexico is absolutely dominant. Barring some sort of outlier set of events, Mexico will have dramatically better talent and compete to win a World Cup.

            • dth,

              I’m sure you observe the youth levels more than I do but you use too broad a brush when you use Sturridge or for that matter Bradley to characterize the programs of thre three different countries..

              The careers of Sturridge and Bradley do not tell a neutral observer everything they need to know about the young player development programs of their respective countries.

              Sturridge is wasting away at Chelsea (is he still there?), desperately in need of more playing time to clear away the cobwebs from his cement head you have noted that he suffers from. He needs to follow Wellbeck’s example and get a loan to a place like Sunderland so we can all see if that is just rust in his head or if he really is just “thick”. You will note Wellbeck is of a similar age more or less, to Sturridge and he is not paralyzed by the same defects you noted in Sturridge.

              And MB90’s career path is probably not an easily repeatable phenomenon. Bradley is far from a typical American soccer pro. Arena had him training with the World Cup team as a teenager.

              By the time MB90 went to Chievo, he had all the skills, tactical awareness etc. Chievo did not buy him as a “development project”. They needed him to be good fairly quickly so they could sell him. At that level, Chievo’s coaching staff expects a player to be able to complete all the required passes. They won’t teach you how to do that.

              And he did not pick that stuff up in one or two month preseason with them. If you recall most everyone expected him to take longer to settle. Instead he was a regular and doing well pretty much from the get go. What Chievo gave him was a situation where, finally, all his talents were utilized on a consistent basis. This allowed him to sharpen his skills and gave him confidence. Once MB90 gets rolling that way he is hard to stop. For whatever reason, whether it was the scheme or the players or the manager, it was not that way in Germany, England or with the USMNT. Now he is in Italy and in the US, JK is moving more towards a slightly more sophisticated tactical scheme.

              You saw the exact same scenario unfold with Holden, another atypical US player, only he never got the chance to take it back to the USMNT.

            • Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 11:04 AM

              Of course they don’t tell everything one needs to know about the development systems–they’re examples. I could just have easily talked about Steven Gerrard, John Terry or early David Beckham. Even a player like Wayne Rooney is not as strong in his decision-making ability as he should be–that is, as consistent. (See his poor marking of Pirlo in the ENG-ITA QF.)

              As to your specific examples: one, simply because Bradley wasn’t bought as a development project doesn’t mean he wasn’t developed. two, as for Sturridge–he’s had 94 first-team appearances since 2009-10, for an average of roughly 30 appearances per season. This is hardly the sign of a player starved for playing time. Can he turn it around? Of course.

              Generally speaking, of course there are exceptions. But exceptions make for a less entertaining domestic league and a lower quality national team. Who’s the exception on Spain’s national team? Pique occasionally, maybe, is not as strong defensively as he ought to be. Sergio Ramos, sometimes. But the collective tactical level is high.

            • Posted by KickinNames.. on 2012/08/05 at 6:09 PM

              BTW- I have to admit that this Mexico team is really enjoyable to watch. Amazing what a difference not having Marquez as a leader does for your team tactics and execution. None of the usual dirty play and really solid defensively. Reyes and Enriques both stood out.
              Enjoyed Salcido playing a larger role as he’s always been a classy pro for both nation and club. Scary looking forward to this crew coming into their national team.

            • dth.
              .
              “Of course they don’t tell everything one needs to know about the development systems–they’re examples. I could just have easily talked about Steven Gerrard, John Terry or early David Beckham. Even a player like Wayne Rooney is not as strong in his decision-making ability as he should be–that is, as consistent. ”

              Yeah you could have but Sturridge was your example not them.

              “Daniel Sturridge taking that free kick was the most Daniel Sturridge moment ever. He’s very weak when it comes to self-awareness and tactical ability.”

              I’m not sure how you draw all that from a free kick but I do know you were the one who insisted on painting three countries with a broad brush when you go on to write:

              “In that, he’s a microcosm of what we’ll call Anglo youth development–so including countries like the U.S. and Australia. A lot of people like to say the problem is primarily technical, but I don’t think that’s the primary problem. Again, you look at Sturridge–what does he lack technically? He’s not the most technical player ever, but he’s got enough in the toolbag. Instead the problems are tactical and decision-making-based.”

              You say he has 30 appearances over two years or so. Not full games, appearances. Probably a lot of 5-10 minute time wasters there. You know what that tells me? Barring the unexpected, his breakout year, if and when he has one, probably won’t be with Chelsea. He has been capped but he is not a regular and did not make the Euro 2012 squad. He is playing for the Under 23 GB team, not England . Instead of a proven frontline guys like Gerrard, Terry, Beckham or Rooney you picked a second line player who has yet to make his mark, to make your comprehensive indictment of the US, Australian and English development programs. All this over a dumb free kick?. He does not sound like a good first choice as an example for the point you wanted to make.

              “Right…and I’m saying part of the reason for those development programs being better is an emphasis on molding tactically-astute players.”

              I doubt there is a soccer player development program anywhere in the world that DE- emphasizes molding tactically astute players. And answer me this, even allowing for exceptions, how did the US produce the very tactically astute Claudio Reyna and Tab Ramos without the benefit of the kind of youth programs you described? i’ll tell you how, they went someplace that let them play and then proved themselves.

              “Look at the improvement Michael Bradley’s made. Has he gotten technically any better? No…but he understands the game and his role so much better.” “As to your specific examples: one, simply because Bradley wasn’t bought as a development project doesn’t mean he wasn’t developed”.

              Any time any player moves to a new club and in this case a new country there will be an adjustment period. And even an old dog can learn new tricks, but all things considered, Bradley basically was a regular very quickly with Chievo. This should tell you that the player you see today was basically all there before he got to Chievo. He’s been prepping to play in Serie A all his life. He just needed the opportunity to show what he had. He got it and he is better today because his confidence is now much higher and his skills are being honed and sharpened all the time. This shows in the increased elegance of his play.

              In some ways it very simple; find a club with a need and fill it. Just like Bolton needed a guy to run all day and tackle everything in sight and then get the ball to somewhere useful. Holden was the guy for the job before he got to Bolton. He just needed Coyle to find him.

              Just like Everton needed a guy to do exactly what Landon did before he got there.

              MB90, Holden and Donovan basically produced right away. They were brought in to produce not “develop”, though I’m sure they all learned more than a little during their time there.

              I don’t think anyone disputes that Brazil, Spain, Germany and lately, Mexico, are producing lots of really good players. What sets them apart from countries like the US is that they all have places to put their outstanding teenagers where they can continue to develop and progress to the next stage. Right now our outstanding teenagers have to go a little farther than their guys but that is getting better and better.

        • Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/05 at 1:12 PM

          I agree. I would’ve had the Welsh captains (bellamy and giggs) taking the pks and free kicks. what nerve Sturridge had to walk up over Giggs for that free kick. You’re in Wales with the Welsh wizard and you decide you’ve got a better chance.

          Honestly though I would’ve brought Hart as an overage player.

          Reply

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/05 at 4:20 PM

            Not a fan of football in the Olympics, let alone overage players.

            Reply

            • Posted by Nelson on 2012/08/05 at 9:00 PM

              the world’s most global game at the most global sporting event deserves to be there.

              although the system is wonky and the refs can be appalling, I enjoy it.

              Personally I like having the Great Britain nations together. How do you feel about this allied team?..and why is it great Britain and not the United Kingdom?

              appreciate the feedback.

            • Posted by Ufficio on 2012/08/06 at 5:33 AM

              It’s GB and not UK because Northern Ireland is excluded. They compete together with Republic of Ireland under the banner of “Ireland”.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/06 at 5:47 PM

              I just the think that the Olympics should be the pinnacle of that sport. It’s clearly not the case with football, tennis, basketball, cycling etc.

              I find it strange tbh. As football and rugby have been the two sports I grew up with, most of my life it’s been “us against them” then every four years I am supposed to forget that. I obviously want GB to do well but it’s not as if I’m waving a Union Jack. Doesn’t feel right. I will stick to my St George’s Cross thanks!!!

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/06 at 5:50 PM

            Giggs being picked after what he did is a joke. They always talk about positive role models but never follow their own advice. It was a disgrace.

            Reply

  9. Posted by dth on 2012/08/04 at 4:50 PM

    Would love to send aspiring #8s to Branko Boskovic School.

    Reply

  10. The Revolution are the opening act at their next game for a boxing event. As in, “hey lets buy tickets to the Revolution game so we can go to a fight.”

    Reply

  11. Posted by dth on 2012/08/04 at 6:15 PM

    TRUE FACT: if you google “tricky winger”, the first image you see is Dilly Duka’s.

    Reply

  12. Posted by dth on 2012/08/04 at 6:44 PM

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/matchcenter/2012-08-04-mtl-v-phi/highlights?videoID=195388

    Can’t say I’m surprised. Montreal’s been thuggish all year.

    Reply

    • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/04 at 7:13 PM

      That was ugly. I’m kind of surprised that more of a bust up didn’t come from it. Jack Mac deserved his card as well although I don’t blame him for rushing to defend his teammate.

      Reply

      • Posted by cfig on 2012/08/04 at 8:36 PM

        I would’ve carded Mac but probably not sent him off, some reaction was certainly understandable after that.

        Reply

        • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/05 at 10:23 AM

          Unfortunately, Mac came in hard and his reaction was just as likely to start an all out brawl as Rivas’ was. Retaliation is often punished just as much as the initial action.

          Reply

  13. Posted by Crow on 2012/08/04 at 8:28 PM

    Went to my first USL game ever on Wednesday- actually first game ever lower than MLS or National Team game= Orlando City vs Harrisburg City Islanders. It was fun to be able to hear the goalies calling out assignments and the banter between the ref and players. On the near sideline there is a chain link fence just a few feet from the line and one time an Islander player made no attempt to stop to avoid “checking” the Orlando player into the fence hockey style. His explanation to the ref was “We’re behind and I’m just trying to get the ball” LOL.

    Anyway, I was very surprised at the level of play. I thought it would be all long balls but there was alot of fluid build up play. Its nice to see the quality of soccer in the USA improving at all levels.

    Also, Jimmy McLaughlin the Union academy kid looked really good for the Islanders. Definitely the best player on the field for either team. I think we’ll see him in Philly soon.

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 9:11 AM

      What position was McLaughlin playing?

      Good on the Union for finding ways to sneak in games on loan for their young players. DC United’s also been pretty good on that front. It’s just smart.

      Reply

      • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/05 at 10:25 AM

        I think we’re going to see more and more of this, especially as USL and NASL continue to expand. I don’t want to go off on a huge tangent about how to improve second division soccer in the US but hopefully the teams at that level will start wanting more and more loaned players. Ideally we’d even see MLS reserve teams competing in those leagues at some point.

        Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2012/08/05 at 11:45 AM

        McLaughlin was playing a standard box to box central midfield role at first. Later in the game he was playing closer to the wing and was cutting in and getting forward to great success. He scored a nice goal (I believe his first with Harrisburg) by literally dribbling through 4 defenders.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 12:25 PM

          Interesting. I’d heard he was a RM being tested out at RB quite a bit. (I’ve only seen him in the Real Madrid friendly last year, really.) He looked like a good dribbler, a good wing prospect.

          Reply

          • Posted by Crow on 2012/08/05 at 2:04 PM

            He was playing more of a RW role in the 2nd half although the game was very stretched and he was cutting in almost 100% of the time. Definitely not playing the role of a true winger. In the first half he was a dedicated central midfielder. He does have very good dribbling skills especially as seen on his goal.

            Reply

  14. Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 4:10 PM

    Portland’s Ole Yeller Jack Jewsbury still starting.

    Brek is back for Dallas. By the way, if you consider the useful players who have left Dallas recently…it’s pretty startling: McCarty, Pearce, Martin Chavez, Maicon Santos…am I forgetting anyone?

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 4:13 PM

      Between the chased-off good veterans and the continuing neglect of academy players, Dallas is trying to enter a fistfight with both hands tied behind its back.

      Reply

      • Posted by John Mosby on 2012/08/05 at 6:14 PM

        So dallas gets a goal from Scott seAly and portlands old man jack jewsberry ties it up. Sometimes you just have to give experience it’s due.

        Reply

        • Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 6:24 PM

          Yeah, it was a nice goal from Jewsbury. He’ll get you that from time to time. Nevertheless his quality on the ball is negligible and his positioning frequently quite poor. Portland have needed a dedicated defensive midfielder for a while.

          Reply

  15. Posted by Eric on 2012/08/05 at 7:00 PM

    Seattle/LA game has be interesting so far. Franklin is simply not an effective winger though. He can’t pass and his dribbling ability when going at people leaves some to be desired. He’s a good attacking back though so I’m not sure why they don’t just use him there. LA would probably be better with Magee or Stephens out there.

    Also, I like the look of Gaul at left back. I hope he’s able to keep developing there.

    Reply

    • Posted by schmutzdeck on 2012/08/05 at 7:41 PM

      If you can’t pass the ball and you can’t dribble it, how can you be a good attacking back?

      Reply

      • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/05 at 8:03 PM

        Attacking out of the back means that Franklin will have different situations on the ball as opposed to being a winger. As a back you make late runs forward or overlapping runs and these usually result with the back getting the ball with more time and space than a winger who will more likely find himself in a tight space with a player to beat one on one.

        Just because he’s ineffective as a winger doesn’t mean he can’t be dangerous as a back coming forward.

        Reply

        • That is all well and good but if you can’t cross the ball and you can’t dribble the ball, what is it exactly that Franklin can do that makes him a dangerous attacking back?

          Reply

      • Posted by Eric on 2012/08/05 at 8:06 PM

        Also meant to say that Franklin can’t cross a consistently as opposed to not being able to pass. Sorry for that confusion.

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  16. Posted by dth on 2012/08/05 at 7:22 PM

    Gonzalez’s injury seems to have added a sense of adventure to his game. He’s had some daring surges into midfield and has become ambitious in his passing.

    Reply

  17. Posted by Eric on 2012/08/05 at 8:05 PM

    LA was shockingly poor against the counter tonight. I’m not sure LA has enough bite from their center mids to help prevent it. Beckham had a tendency, especially early on, to drift out wide right and look for the ball leaving the middle open and Juninho was invisible most of the match.

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    • Posted by mccul105 on 2012/08/05 at 9:10 PM

      Yeah, I hope Bruce goes back to Jimenez at RM. I think Beckham almost HAD to roam out onto the right because of Franklin’s poor play. With Franklin being ineffective and Sarvas on the left there was no wide play and things got too narrow. LA’s best moments came from playing through the middle but because the play became so narrow Seattle was able to get eight men behind the ball and stay compact. To me it seemed like Gaul was the only player staying wide trying to provide service. And thank god Gaul seems to be developing into a decent LB because Todd Dunivant was rode hard and put away wet and I think this extended absence is evidence of that.

      Juninho just isn’t the same player he was last year. Part of LA’s recent success was taking out Juninho and plugging in Sarvas. I think it needs to stay that way for now.

      This is what I would like to see next match.
      ——-Saunders——
      Franklin-Gonzalez-A.J.-Gaul
      Jimenez-Becks-Sarvas-Magee
      —-Donovan–Keane—

      Reply

  18. Posted by dth on 2012/08/06 at 1:00 PM

    Cazorla to Arsenal for 15 million pounds? What a heist. Great move by Arsenal. Get Nuri Sahin and we’re really talking.

    Reply

    • Posted by Jared on 2012/08/06 at 1:18 PM

      They still need defenders unless they plan to win every game 4-3. There is little chance that their starting defenders stay healthy and the backups aren’t good enough. It will be another season of fighting for 3rd at best.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/06 at 6:04 PM

        Hardly a revelation is it? You keep saying it triumphantly as if you’re on to something.
        The amount of investment needed to ensure they finish above both Manchester clubs is very considerable.

        It shows you how far they’ve fallen when many people on TSG suggest Dempsey should be a target. Simple fact is that if you want to win the League, you need players of a higher standard. Do you think the 2011/12 vintage would have got into Arsenal’s Championship winning teams? You’re mad if you’re answer is yes…

        Reply

        • Posted by Jared on 2012/08/06 at 7:14 PM

          It is considerable but it helps if you spend in the right areas. The key to winning the Premier League has been a solid defense. It was the key to Ferguson’s first dominant period, the vintage Wenger Arsenal, Mourinho’s Chelsea and last year’s Man City. Last year Arsenal concede more goals than 5 teams below them in the table. My point was that signing players like Giroud and Cazorla is great but Arsenal’s weakness has been defensive for the past 5 years or so. In order to compete the team has to be built smartly and I don’t think investing up front is the proper area to reinforce.

          Reply

          • Posted by dth on 2012/08/06 at 8:47 PM

            I don’t think contending for a title is what Arsenal should be worried about. I’d worry about Champions League if I were them.

            At any rate, this debate is kind of immaterial. Arsenal’s transfer record recently is pretty poor, even aside from the issues of how many funds Wenger has to spend.* Therefore a heist–an outright heist–like Cazorla for 15 million is a gigantic boon. (How much was Downing? 20 million?)

            (* It’s one of the best bait-and-switches that Arsenal’s managed to turn this into a moral issue. The truth is Arsenal spend a lot of money–but on inflated wages for youth prospects. And their endorsement/commercial money when compared to United is very poor. They really should be able to compete more closely in the transfer market but are choosing not to.)

            Reply

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2012/08/07 at 4:09 AM

              Yes, they could allocate their resources more appropriately and efficiently. And I agree, they need to strengthen their back line. But the reality is, they cannot afford / attract, a top CB – or don’t want to?- because as soon as one becomes available, it becomes an auction. They haven’t had a dominant CB since Sol Campbell. There’s still time in the transfer market but I would hold my breath.
              I guess Bocanegra is available…

              Will be interesting to see how Steve Bould contributes.

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