Posts Tagged ‘Cesc Fabregas’

Touché Tabloids: Fabregas One Ups Via Twitter

Cesc Fabregas is a great follow on Twitter. Earlier this year, I was going to put out a piece regarding how athletes Twitter personalities give us a sense of who they are and help explain the projection of them on the field.

Some of my favorites on Twitter? Fabregas (though I only understand half his tweets), Jay DeMerit, Rio Ferdinand and Nick Rimando (who just seems downright genuine.)

For Fabregas his Twitter profile was: “Obviously mature, seems like a natural born leader.”

So it was funny yesterday when a “report” came out yesterday that quoted teammate Denilson as saying that Fabregas was not a leader.

Here was Cesc’s Twitter reply…classic:

Classic...

Oh Look! I’ve Found a Free Superstar

It’s like having the Get Out of Jail Free Card in Monopoly.

Nay, it’s stronger than that. It’s like having the 1st pick in the NBA or NFL draft. Nope, that player is not a given.

Ah, I got it. It’s like Peyton Manning or a vintage Kurt Warner went on waivers right before your Fantasy Football playoffs and there is no cost to picking them up.

Benny! Essien! On the same team?! The tears are streaming down my face...

What if the USMNT could add one player….any player from the international scene right before the World Cup. Who would they add? Who would you add if you were playing Bob Bradley?

TSG took a look. Here’s are five of our suggestions:

1. Fernando Torres

The skinny: How could we not name a striker here for the USMNT? In Fernando Torres, the USMNT would arguably have the best pure striker in the game today. The selection of Torres as our first superstar we would pick up on waivers doesn’t end on that statement.

The luxury of Torres is not only that he can get goals any number of ways, it’s that he can play in any formation up top. He can come up the pitch to receive the ball to drive to the whole. He can go balls-out and slam home a header or <salivating> he can run off Donovan…wow!

Torres needs less service than probably any other striker. I just heard the collective USMNT fan base exhale, “Hooray!”

In short, he can fit in with less than 150 days to World Cup glory in anyway Bob Bradley needs him. He fits the style of the USMNT team or he can help create the new one.

Fit rating: 100 out of 100 (um, what team can’t fit Torres in)

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2. The big bad “Bison” – Mr. Michael Essien

The skinny: Those of you that read TSG religiously (“We’re watching you.”) know that Chelsea’s Makelele Plus, Michael Essien, is this writer’s favorite player. We tried oh-so-hard to put Essien number one on this list, but we could not ignore the El Nino effect.

The USMNT got a taste of Essien as Ghana shut down the States to advance in World Cup 2006. This time, he’s on the Yanks’ side.

With Essien in the middle, it hardly matters who he is paired with. Imagine Benny freelancing off Essien’s cover. Pairing Mike Bradley would work as well as MB could show his offensive wares up the pitch..

With Essien as destroyer, locking down on errant wingers and strikers and then turning the table to manage possession, the USMNT could afford to take more offensive chances, in turn putting more pressure on their group stage opponents.

Fit rating: 98 (Essien’s counterpart would need to learn real quickly how to be more offensive on the pitch without cluttering another offender’s space. Wait a second…what if the USMNT get Jermaine Jones as well. Two d-backs, still Benny up top, Donovan and Demps to the wings…and Jozy up top….problems solved.)

This clip doesn’t even represent his main skill set!

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Weekend Round-A-Bout: 90 Mins for Brown, Spooky Defense

Our usual Monday morning bullets coming out of the weekend:

• Hull City manager Phil Brown has the support of new Hull Chairman Adam Pearson…for one game that is. Pearson commented that Brown will be skippering the Stoke City game…and that’s the only definite.

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"Psst...shh...I hear Brown's not making it to Christmas time."

• That’s, count’em, 5 losses out of 6 games in October for Rafa Benitez’s Reds–the lone victory a 2-0 defeat over Manchester United last Sunday. With Liverpool heading to Lyon on Wednesday, I’m going to make another contrarian point of view here that: Yes Liverpool are missing a number of players including Steven Gerrard, however the talent compiled at Liverpool and their ability to beat Manchester United with many of those injuries already in place tell me it’s not just a depth thing.

Trailing by a home game already in the Champion’s League, Liverpool typically come up big with their backs against the way; but this might be the ultimate test for them.

• Speaking of Liverpool, you can see the Deuce’s goal that sealed the deal against the Reds here. An independent observation on quality ‘Pool defender Jamie Carragher who pushes the limit on his tackles. Jamie, you’re going to get deserved cards here and there for the style of your play combined with your declining athleticism. Take them like a man.

Cesc: Impressive any way he slices the defense

• Just a gorgeous goal as we mentioned Saturday for Cesc Fabregas. You can view it here. While I think the announcer used a bit of hyperbole calling it one of the greatest goals in EPL history (the circumstance certainly wasn’t there), you can’t deny the talent of Fabregas who so often plays the role of Chris Paul, but could easily be a Kobe Bryant.

• Shout out to the USA U-17 team, who play an aggressive, offensive brand of soccer not normally seen out of States’ national teams. That being said, it is the US defense that pitched another shutout Saturday in a 1-0 win over UAE. By the way, we made a Agbonlahor McInerney reference after 60 or so minutes of the Spain loss, right now, with his tap in Saturday, Jack McI is looking a little closer to Pippo Inzaghi (minus the annoying complaints to offsides officials) by picking up scraps instead of really creating chances.

Who have you been most impressed with on the U-17 squad? Well, TSG will choose a lame answer first of being impressed with the coaching and tactics of Wilmer Cabrera. On the field, we like the left side of the US sqaud with Polak and Shinsky. Though Shinsky has been spotty in possession, we’re a fan of the youngster’s creativity.

Now that the US are through to the sweet sixteen, we’ll have at least one more observation of the up-and-comers.

• Uh-oh: Our Eric Lichaj Watch got off to an inauspicious start this weekend as the American suited up for loanee side Lincoln City. Seven minutes from time, according to this article, Lichaj received a straight red card. That’s all we can comment because TSG obviously did not see the play. Not the first tally we were looking for in our Lichaj Report.

• Spooky defense? That Chivas-Los Angeles game. Ugh…yuck. Observations: (remember TSG is an MLS “novi”, plural for novice(s), we’ll call ourselves “novi”)

Cuesta for Chivas USA should be brought out to the far barn and put out to pasture. As TSG is wont to say, we’re fine with mistakes of execution from time-to-time (that is trying to make the right play and your physical talent not allowing it), but boneheaded plays? in the playoffs? Not fine with this. If you look at Cuesta’s clearance attempt, he was attempting an overhead pass up the field in the box on a tough ball. Just…clear…the…ball. See Bornstein, El Salvador. Never works.

We’re not faulting Omar Gonzales by his lonesome…as much as the entire Galaxy defense for spooky play. The first goal by Santos, with OG defending (those are tough initials for a defender) was just picture perfect. Gonzales rightfully played Santos to take away his left foot, yet the Chivas man just launched a beauty of a bending grass-cutter for the first goal. That’s the shot you want the striker to attempt and is parried harmlessly 19 times out of 20.

Sacha Kljestan looked like a field general for this game, mostly though because no one was pressuring him. Is this the playoffs? With time on his feet, Kljestan was in January 2008 form for Chivas. Keep climbing Kljestan and stay focused on your game; you’ll get another shot.

All in all though a sloppy game with highly disorganized defense; not what I expected at all.

We’ve mentioned it before, but we wouldn’t be responsible to our USMNT fans, if we didn’t mention it again. In Group 5 of our Davies’

robbie findley

Making his case...

replacement piece, is/was Robbie Findley. Yet another big goal for the RSL striker. While it may have been a token call-up before for Findley–El Sal was in RF’s home stadium, and T&T is where Findley’s roots are–now his next call-up would be undeniably meritorious. Big 1-0 winning goal for the RSL striker as Columbus sat back like Costa Rica in RFK in trying to earn the draw away against Salt Lake.

Let it be noted that Findley’s goal was a header as well; one of CD9’s areas of deficiency.

Out of our Group 5 strikers, the pecking order has to be Findley, Rolfe………………………………………………..Adu. Findley on an impressive goal scoring streak, Rolfe netting what was a tougher rebound goal in Chicago’s loss yesterday, and the Subdued Freddy Adu only able to find the net on PlayStation (since he hasn’t been on the pitch for Belenenses).

• And a final note for those curious or pushing DaMarcus Beasley to reclaim a USMNT roster spot. Beasley is barely a spot player for Rangers these days–dressing this weekend, but not playing in the abbreviated game against Dundee United and it seems like his head is elsewhere. Beasley tweets regularly about his new business venture. Not sure he’s in the offing for the USMNT, nor should be.

More later today from TSG. For those new to the column, for some reason we love putting up pictures of the Hull City tiger…I think Mark started it.

EPL Week 3: Now We’re Rolling

"Hey TSG, if I get into the EPL can you throw some press my way?" Damn right Jay!

"Hey TSG, if I get into the EPL can you throw some love my way?" Sure Jay!

(As last week, each Thursday we’ll try to give you our insights on the English Premier League primarily and other global leagues with analogies and dialogue favoring Americans Abroad.)

Wow, we’re at week 3 already in the EPL. This is the week that you discover if data points from the first two week are part of a growing trend or if they are put out to pasture as isolated instances.

Let’s get right to it.

ESPN’s Saturday Game of the Week: Chelsea vs. Burnley

Chelsea is coming off a convincing away win against Fullham at Craven Cottage after clubbings of Hull and Sunderland to start the term. Nice segway here in that Burnley have proven to be 2009 version of 2008 Hull City Tigers who took the EPL by storm and we’re sitting in the top half of the Premiership through December of last year. Burnley can boast wins over two of last year’s top five teams in “Premiership champ” (they should just make that their official nickname now) Manchester United and Everton. Admittedly Everton was in disarray, but nonetheless impressive wins for the recently promoted squad.

I think Chelsea will keep the duo of Anelka and Drogba up top so they can continue forming their partnership, it’s possible you may see Kalou given a start though and also see munchkin Deco as well.

Here’s how I would watch this game. Tune in for the first 15 minutes and get a read on the game. If it’s back-and-forth, grab your oatmeal. If Chelsea looks dominant, check back in at the 30 minute mark of the 2nd half. If Chelsea are not on top by more than 1-0, you’ll know Burnley are for real and the next 15 minutes or so will merit a look-see.

The first heavyweight fight of the season: Manchester United vs. Arsenal (on FSC, 9:30 PST I believe)

Now, this is the game you want watch. Arsenal visiting Old Trafford. Arsene Wenger’s squad has been lights out to start the season, raking both Everton and Portsmouth over the coals the past two weeks. However, they are facing a renewed Red Devil squad after their 2nd half massacring of Wigan last week. If not for that 2nd half, I think you would have had a completely different storyline coming into this week of Man U’s season on the ropes or endless discussion on Ronaldo’s absence. (Alas, Rooney was near the equal of Ronaldo from a focal point perspective).

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