The Jumble: On Lanverton, Big Bird & More…

One, big, happy team....

• Finally got a chance to see glimpses of the highlights last night of the Chelsea-Everton affair.

Love to see Donovan getting service and attacking at will. Perhaps this point was made in the comment section but a wonderful job by Lando of selling the penalty in the 45th min if you watch in slo-mo. Of course, the call was I am sure helped on by Ricardo Carvalho’s less than stellar reputation on contact.

Other bullets from this game:

Neville, abused by Malouda and poor fundamentals (again)...

» Shoddy fundamentals again by Phil Neville as he didn’t position himself correctly (again) and had to make a full hip turn to attempt to track down Malouda on the first goal. Poor Timmy.

» Didn’t see the Landon-Ashley tackle that resulted in Cole going to the Medic! for 3 months. Tried to find a clip. No luck.

• ESPN suggesting that Big Bird Friedel is a contender for lead goalkeep should Big T go down. Friedel is in fine, fine form for Aston Villa and would certainly warrant a discussion. That being said, you don’t disrupt “team” and so I believe Guzan is the odds-on leader to fill Howard role should the unthinkable happen.

One more note–and this is not a Guzan strength by the way–TSG favors keepers tha can come out on the ball–highly important against errant runaway strikers like Torres and Gervinho.

• Stu Holden, with Bolton’s injuries and form, might be in line for a showing in the 18 coming up. Holden as mentioned on the right went 60 minutes. Apparently the Iceman played in the central midfield last evening.

• This one goes out to TSG commentor GeorgeCross whose team Crystal Palace is rumored to an apple of Richard Branson’s eye. Can’t wait to see those uniforms.

• More on Lanverton. Fox Soccer has an opinion that it was a gamble by Landon to sign a deal to secure a loan to Everton this year. I fail to see the logic behind this being a huge gamble for LD10.

Both MLS and Landon stand to benefit from a loan stint overseas. The contract that Donovan signed will only seek to enhance a potential transfer fee. Odd logic, but maybe I’m missing something here. In two years, Donovan will effectively be 30 so his marketability was now….not in two years.

• Continued discussion on Hull City message boards on Altidore, his growth and the lack of service to him.

• Yes, yes….I think now is about the right time to be at least a little concerned that Maurice Edu isn’t seeing the pitch regularly.

More coming, including follow-up and commentary on our “What Is American Brand Soccer?” column….

28 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 12:53 PM

    Donovan caught Cole but there was no malice involved. It is just one of those things that happen in football. C’est la vie…


    • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/11 at 1:21 PM

      There was a picture of the hit up on the Everton FC site yesterday. It look like both men struck the ball at the same time and Lando just got the best of it.

      Of course, my biggest fear is what happens when Lando is on the wrong side of a tackle or hit and is laid up for 3 months. Something I have not been thinking about until I heard about Cole.

      Also, does this mean that Wayne Bridge will now be working with the backline with Terry come June? Very interesting!


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 1:24 PM

        I’m not so sure Wayne Bridge gets the call in here…he may…maybe Lescott (who’s been relegated to the bench) or Wes Brown moving outside.

        England is certainly starting to look a little thin in the ranks in the back.

        Before I hex it, Landon has been pretty resilient….I’ll leave it there….


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 1:28 PM

          Wayne Bridge, Stephen Warnock (Villa) then Leighton Baines (Everton) is the pecking order after Cole. Cannot see Capello playing somebody out of position.


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 1:33 PM

            Lescott has played their before. I like Baines, but I’d be worried if Capello thought he was a starting WC left back ahead of Lescott perhaps. I’m not a Wayne Bridge fan either mind you, but at least he’s got a Cup under his belt and doesn’t make mental mistakes only execution mistakes.


            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 1:44 PM

              Stephen Warnock has had a good season at Villa. IMO Wayne Bridge is only highly rated becasue he was at Chelsea. I haven’t seen too much of him lately so I am unsure.

              I don’t think that the above will lose you the game per se, but in Cole, he is a modern full back who can win the game as he has the offensive game in his locker too. It is upsetting as I really rate Ashley Cole.

              Capello is no mug though, and the one thing I like about him is that he can spot a good player, rather than “doing a Sven” – he picked players who played for the big 4, because ‘they must be good’, and had too many untouchables…

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 1:25 PM

        The UK press are already having a field day. I was getting bored of the Terry saga too – and now this!


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 1:27 PM

          Well, if you think about it…with the Defoe steel by Howard, Landon success and Cole and Altidore running over Terry a bit the other night…that E.A.S.Y proposition may not be so easy…

          I referring to an infamous newspaper headline after the draw that came out that abbreviated the following: “England, Algeria, Slovenia, Yanks.”


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 1:29 PM

          Most people don’t take any notice of the red-tops – especially The Sun (unless you’re looking at Page 3!).


        • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/11 at 1:32 PM

          Can someone say USA 1998? It sure is starting to look like it. It seems that no one comes into a WC clean (i.e., no injuries, no scandals, no crazy 3-6-1 formations, etc.).


  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 12:59 PM

    I would be surprised if Branson got involved in football – he’s pretty shrewd.

    Although we (Palace) did enjoy one of our most successful periods when our sponsor was “Fly Virgin”… Could that be fate?!?!


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/11 at 1:02 PM

      Richard Branson’s Red / Blue Army Whoa Whoa!

      Richard Branson’s Red / Blue Army Whoa Whoa!!!


  3. Posted by Evan on 2010/02/11 at 1:00 PM

    It was a fair challenge. You can watch it here
    That website always has the best and biggest variety of highlights.


  4. Posted by Evan on 2010/02/11 at 1:04 PM

    You can watch it here:

    it was a 50 50 ball and I don’t think it was even a foul. That website has the best soccer highlights.


  5. Posted by B-Mac on 2010/02/11 at 1:50 PM

    Friedel’s form this year has made the situation for the USMNT’s goalkeeping very interesting. If I were to make a power ranking of American goalkeepers right now, it would go:
    1. Tim Howard
    2. Brad Friedel
    3. Marcus Hahnemann
    4. Brad Guzan
    5. Troy Perkins
    6. Nick Rimando

    A class group for sure. If Friedel is only willing to play for the team as a starter, then I would really much rather have Hahnemann in net than Guzan. Hahnemann has really been fantastic for Wolves this year and is much better form than Guzan. It’s minutes, minutes, minutes in GK, so I would be very hesitant to play a guy who has only featured in cup matches.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 1:59 PM

      I’d go with those power rankings B-Mac.

      And I’m going with them only because I think the USMNT needs a keeper in Howard who can move quickly.

      Hahneman has lost a little form lately but folks have to remember he’s playing for Wolves and keeping them in games.

      Perkins, Rimando is spot on.

      I think at this point you actually have to like the back five of the USMNT more than England?


      • Posted by B-Mac on 2010/02/11 at 2:45 PM

        With Ashley Cole’s Injury, that sure does form an intriguing debate. In this exercise, I’ll give Onyewu, Rio and Glen Johnson as healthy with Ashley Cole not. So you have:
        Howard GK, Bocanegra LB, Demerit/Onyewu CB, Spector RB vs. Robert Green? GK, Wayne Bridge? LB, Rio/Terry CB, Johnson RB.

        Well, in that scenario you have the obvious clash between Terry and Bridge, not to mention an extremely fragile backline across (perhaps except for Terry). What the USA has going for it is superior goalkeeping and cohesion across the defense. I think health ultimately decides which side is superior, as an Onyewu-less D is much less intimidating. But given England’s injury problems, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see them forced to trot out a Wes Brown/Terry/Upson/Bridge back line. Now that is a defense I would love to see the US go against.


    • Posted by Evan on 2010/02/11 at 2:14 PM

      Gotta go with Kasey Keller over Perkins and Rimando


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 2:16 PM

        Evan…this is 2010 I might add…. :>

        Perkins is a step above Keller now for sure…I can see him battling Rimando for the right to be 6th in line though…ha!


        • Posted by Evan on 2010/02/11 at 2:30 PM

          I’m fully aware of what year it is. Keller’s form as of last year was amazing and as a DC fan since 2003, I have honestly never been impressed by Perkins. He is very solid and I would take him over Josh Wicks any day of the week, but he only makes the saves he should make, nothing more. He also has a problem commanding the box, often missing on crosses and coming out at the wrong times (see Robbie Rogers 2nd career MLS goal). I am well aware that Keller is only a month younger then Brett Favre but i still think right now he is better than those two. Key word being right now. There is no reason he can’t be ageless like Dino Zoff. Now, none of this really matters because there will never be enough injuries to get this far down the pecking order, but if USA were in the World Cup Final and the choices between the two keepers were Keller and Perkins, to me it would be an easy choice. Keller every time.


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 2:34 PM

            Tongue-in-cheek Evan — didn’t mean to offend.

            I’ll preface against that I favor speedier keepers. I also am not a huge fan of Keller.

            That being said, I think Perkins, though challenged on cross-the-goal-mouth plays.

            One of things I favor and I probably should brought up in my commentary above is repititions. With Perkins, he at least has some repetitions with Bornstein and Mashall in front of him.

            The same with Friedel–he doesn’t have many reps with Gooch, DeMerit in front of him. I’m pretty sure he has reps with DeMerit and maybe one way back in 2005 or something with Friedel.

            So in that vain, I’d go with Perkins, but I’d certainly think about Keller for the experience.


            • Posted by Evan on 2010/02/11 at 2:55 PM

              Haha who was offended? Not me I was just stating my case. I mean I’m a fan of Perkins too and I was super pumped when DC got him back, but I just don’t think he has what it takes to be an international starter which is fine. He’s sort of like Taylor Twellman to me, great at club level, but never really convincing for the US.

              Perhaps I am still a bit nostalgic to the 2005 qualifying run when Keller had those three saves in a row to keep a clean sheet against Panama and a save at Rice-Eccles (spelling?) against Costa Rica that I still think is the best save I have ever seen. I suppose we will agree to disagree, which is fine considering if this debate ever actually comes into effect we are probably screwed anyways.

              As for the reps, communication is always important and getting reps is the best way to improve that, but I’m of the philosophy that if you have an experienced veteran in goal, this will not matter as much. Furthermore, from what I have seen, Perkins is a terrible communicator. Always quiet in goal.

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/12 at 8:10 AM

          Dino Zoff – got to love that call. That 1982 Italy team was a little special as I believe it had 7 players from Juventus – and the back 5 unit of the dominant team in Serie A at the time…


  6. Posted by Bob on 2010/02/11 at 4:46 PM

    Here is the Lando pic challenging Cole from Ives:


  7. Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/02/11 at 7:48 PM

    I think Landon took a risk by signing a 4 year contract before going on loan. MLS probably would not have let him go on loan otherwise. If the contract he signed hadn’t put his price out of Everton’s reach he’d surely be an Everton player permanently. But who knows, after seeing Donovan terrorizing Chelsea maybe Man U will come calling.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/11 at 8:14 PM

      See — I’m not sure I see it that way. First, we’re not sure there isn’t a wink-wink deal in the background. You’re right MLS probably doesn’t let him go without the signature…hence all that hub-bub to the get the signing conference done first.

      But Landon is certainly more marketable now and if he proves just how good he is…like you suggest below…then MLS wins and Donovan wins.

      At 30, Landon doesn’t get the same shot.

      So I see it as the right play as oppose to risky or non-risky — maybe I’m missing something though.


      • Posted by Bob on 2010/02/11 at 9:59 PM

        Here is an interesting take from a Toffees blog. It seems that the fans really want him bad over there. If they don’t sign him and the Toffees start to lose, all HELL will break loose as there is a definite tension on the site about whether LD stays or not.

        I found it interesting that they did not know he was going thru a divorce as the writer feels the only stumbling block is his wife (i.e. soon to be ex-wife).


        • Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/02/12 at 10:20 AM

          With a 4 year contract just penned the transfer fee would be more than Everton can likely afford. If Donovan had not signed the contract the transfer fee would be much lower since he could wait out his contract and do a free. They would have to dig deep which they don’t have a history of doing.


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