Tuesday: Classy Capello Move, JZA’s Future, Etc.

Some round-ups and look-forwards in an otherwise hectic Monday.

A Special One, a special ego...

Tomorrow, we’ll have a massive “Jumble” out broken into multiple columns with five or six guests from diverse backgrounds; looking forward to that.


• Champ’s League Back!:

Chelsea v. Inter

Big one at the Bridge as perhaps the biggest non-player football personality, The Special One, takes to his former pitch. A rousing ovation or a complete razz? Inter represents the last hope for Italy in this year’s go-around; can they survive?

Carlo Ancelotti for Chelsea will have to deal with the weight of injuries rather than the weight of a nation: Essien, Cole, Bosingwa and Cech….all out. Captain Carlo bestows the wickets start to Ross Turnbull.

Even with those injuries, should Chelsea somehow perish in this one, expect the ghosts of Scolari to begin rearing their heads. Mourinho dialed up those mind games on Tuesday claiming he should still be the Blues manager. Eish!

Fabiano: Back on the pitch...

Sevilla v. CSKA

Sevilla hold the scoring advantage, home field and have the return of Luis Fabiano to aid their attack. They should win this one.

Phil Brown placed on "gardening leave" (courtesy, Daily Mirror, UK)

• Hull City terminating Phil Brown; impact on Big Jeezy?

It seemed only a few months ago that Phil Brown was chanting on the mic when Hull beat Bristol in the 2008 Championship playoff to win promotion to the Premiership. Brown described the day as, “the best day of my life.”

However, as we wrote in our weekend preview last week, it appeared Brown had finally lost the plot unveiling “interesting” line-up selections and bearing witness to lackadaisical effort from his side.

While questions for American center around Jozy Altidore’s status, we must remind that his status has less to do with the incoming manager than what Villarreal wants to with the 20-year-old. Jozy has clearly proven he can play this year; the question is does Villarreal sell him outright to a club in the EPl (or other) or do they take him back.

In our mind, it’s going to be difficult, especially if relegation for Hull to afford Jozy permanently. The Hull City faithful are pondering similarly.

Capello: A classy move with Beckham's inclusion

• David Beckham goes Medic!: Out for World Cup 2010

Simple words describe this event….sheer sadness. Whether you are a fan of Beckham or not, he is a phenomenal ambassador for the game able to drive interest in the sports merely by being present. Sorry to see you out Becks.

A classy move by Fabio Capello to offer for Beckham to travel with the England squad this summer. Classy.

Moreso, Beckham, unlike a Craig Bellamy, unlike a Zlatan Ibrahimovic always wears his national team pride on his sleeve. We wrote this piece on the necessary inclusion for Beckham in the England side back in December 2009. Still holds up.

• Herculez Gomez Debate: Why the league you play in matters.

Wow, sparked a bit of a brewhaha by exposing Gomez’s recent goals in this piece Sunday.

I realized that I should really be offering an opinion on why I think it’s necessary to play in a top four league to earn national team respect.

I support Gomez getting a run-out; I just don’t hold high hopes for it happening nor do I have great expectations if Coach Bradley actually makes the effort.

• AEG Chief Exec Leiweke berates players on threat of strike

AEG honco Tim Leiweke has three hundred million reasons why the players shouldn’t strike. A good viewpoint whether you agree or disagree.

• Follow-up from HDC: US Marketing

We’ve got some questions into US Soccer on their marketing budget and endeavors based upon some community discussion post-Honduras friendly. Hopefully, get that back for you soon.

• Caliguiri’s Bomb

Oh and ESPN’s Freelancer-of-the-Week has a decent piece on Paul Caligiuri’s T&T detonation from 1989. They don’t show the goal, so take a look below all you youngsters.

28 responses to this post.

  1. That video is great…it’s like they all had the exact same terrible haircut.

    As someone who’s enjoyed supporting Hull City this season it seems like an odd time to let Brown go. I can understand having done it around Christmas but now seems like a too little too late move, particularly as they’ve actually shown decent form as of late. I’m also very interested to see where Jozy ends up, he’s shown massive development since getting regular minutes and I think in a season or two he’s going to be doing some real damage.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/16 at 12:16 AM

      Having watched Hull–and known and watched the trajectory of the team previously including the love affair of the fans with Phil Brown–it’s tough to see such a revered manager go.

      Having said that–while I defended keeping Brown in the beginning of the season–the team has showed signs of being rudderless and plotless.

      Brown has gotten a fit Bullard back and transfered in Zaki for the season yet the results kept getting worse. By the numbers, Hull are horrific in 2010.

      Staying up in the Premiership is that important in this case to let Brown go…if a new team at the top can shape things up enough to get an extra win or two that may mean the difference between EPL TV revenue and going down to the Championship.

      Gotta make the call in this case.

      As for Jozy, will be very interesting. To me, his game belongs in the EPL or Serie A before La Liga…Villarreal is not exactly flush with cash right now…so they’ll likely look to sell him.

      I could see a team like Stoke or quite possibly, yes, Everton kicking the tires on Villarreal’s expectations.


      • Posted by Haze on 2010/03/16 at 6:29 AM

        They all had MIchelle Akers’ haircut!


      • Agreed on all counts. I think the one thing Hull City has going for them is a reasonably favorable last run of fixtures:

        Portsmouth v Hull
        Hull v Fulham
        Stoke v Hull
        Hull v Burnley
        Birmingham v Hull
        Hull v Sunderland
        Wigan v Hull
        Hull v Liverpool

        Hull v Burnley will be HUGE in terms of relegation, if they can steal another point or two from those home games they’ve got a shot at staying up.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 8:29 AM

          Good point regarding Hull’s run in. Historically and statistically, 40 points was the magic number for safety. I feel that this year will be an outlier, given the way that everybody is dropping points. I reckon that number could be as low as 36.


  2. Love the old SportsCenter video, I remember watching back when it looked like that.

    As for the Phil Brown Photoshop, he looks a lot like Hugh Laurie there. It’s sad to see one of the likeable managers go, but I agree with Matthew, you can’t splash the cash like he did without getting some results.

    While JZA is built like an EPL striker, I think Spain (if the EPL isn’t an option) would be good for him, again. Spain praises the technical over the physical, and Jozy could use some help with his first touch. While Italy is good league, Fat Ronaldo had trouble adapting, and I think Drogs Jr. would as well. I vote for keeping him in the Prem, though going to a club that isn’t a headless chicken. Everton worked for ‘Cakes, but they have an abundance of strikers both young and old and I could see Jozy getting less minutes there. Stoke or Birmingham could be a good fit, but he’d be dealing with hard-as-nails professionals who would eat his children.


  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 6:34 AM

    I agree with the sentiment about it being an odd time (after a defeat to Arsenal) to sack Brown, especially given that they do not have a replacement lined up. My logic is that when the fixture list was scheduled and known back in July, Brown and the rest of his coaching staff would have eyed the list and looked at certain games as ones that they could realistically win points – especially at home. I am not saying that they would have lay down for the bigger teams, but more it would have been a bonus if they got a point from say, United, Arsenal or Chelsea. If you look at their results, against the likes of Wolves, Sunderland, Birmingham, Burnley, Bolton, Wigan, Portmouth, Blackburn and West Ham, they simply have not picked up enough points – home or away.

    Why this decision wasn’t made before is the question that needs answering. The timing is questionable – who can they get at this time of the season to come in and do a job? I cannot see any positives for an Alan Curbishley to come in and attempt to save them – why would he take the risk of having a relegation on his managerial CV? Hull have to be realistic. They have enough trouble attracting playing talent to come to KC , what makes them think that they can buck the trend and get somebody better that Brown (given their resources)?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/17 at 6:20 AM

      And who did Hull City replace Phil Brown with?? Drum roll please………. Iain Dowie.

      And I hate Dowie with a passion for what he did to Palace – hope they go down!!


  4. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 6:44 AM

    I am going to throw this one out there regarding Altidore. What about Arsenal? Wenger has been rumoured to be interested in Cole and Balotelli – why not Altidore? Fair enough that Altidore needs to be polished, but who better than master rock tumbler Wenger, who has a remarkable track record with young unfinished and raw players. He might not get as much playing time, but technically he has to improve (otherwise he won’t get into the first XI)…


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/16 at 7:34 AM

      George: Thanks for thoughts on Altidore….I think we’ll ring up a new column based on it…appreciate it.


    • It would be great for him to be under Wnger’s tutelage, especially with the next World Cup 4 years away. However, after Bendtner’s season do you think Wenger wants to take a flier on an unpolished striking talent.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 9:38 AM

        I was just throwing it out there because of the rumours. Chances are, it won’t happen. The only thing is that Altidore is 20 – if you look at Wenger record, he generally gets them younger (Fabregas, Walcott, Ramsey, Gibbs, Wilshere, Cruise) and moulds them, or older (Pires, Henry, Campbell, Overmars, Petit, Nasri, Rosicky, Hleb, Eduardo), where they already have a certain technical ability.

        Bendtner is having a good season, but I don’t think Arsenal, if they want to really challenge for the Championship, can afford to have a striker who can miss so many chances – do you think Rooney, Drogba, Defoe or Torres would have missed those recent opportunities? I think Arsenal might want more of a bulldog for a different option if Plan A isn’t working – especially away from home, against the Wigans and Boltons on a Tuesday night…


  5. Funny that that old clip gave US Soccer about the same airtime as it does today.


  6. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 10:37 AM

    What does the TSG community think of Mourinho’s cheap attempts to undermine Ancelotti, by constantly referring to Chelsea as “his team”? I do like Mourinho, I think he’s a hilarious character, but his crowing has to stop. And the only way that’s going to happen is if Inter loses.

    Come on Chelsea!

    (Plus England needs Chelsea through to the QFs to make it 3 teams in 8 to ensure we keep our CL co-efficient sufficiently high in order to maintain 4 spots for next year).


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/03/16 at 1:10 PM

      George – It’s just Jose trying to wind up Chelsea. As we all remember from his time at Chelsea, that he relished winding up the opponents and getting under their skin as well as taking the pressure of his players etc… He’s no different than Ferguson…just swarthier!


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 2:26 PM

        I know! But the problem is, he keeps on producing the goods which gives him a platform to crow!


    • Posted by kaya on 2010/03/16 at 1:31 PM

      Mourinho’s absence from Chelski makes it a lot less fun to hate them, that’s for sure.
      Bendtner seems to score a lot of garbage goals… but Arsenal’s passing ability will inevitably produce him the right opportunity. I find Niklas annoying as hell!


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 2:24 PM

      I sort of find it hard to dislike Chelsea, because I have been watching them since the days of Dixon, Speedie, Nevin etc. I just dislike most of their fans who are blind to the hypocrisy re. Man United expenditure. Oh, and the nouveau fans who claim that they’ve supported Chelsea for ages now they’re a ‘big club’…


  7. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/16 at 2:05 PM

    I did not see this Sevilla game playing out this way…WOW!


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 3:03 PM

      Yes, WOW indeed. Only question now is whether Stuggart can produce something special at the Nou Camp and dump the last Spanish team out…


  8. Posted by kaya on 2010/03/16 at 3:26 PM

    This is a much more exciting CL than the last couple of snooze fests. Olympiakos v Moscow in Madrid for the final would certainly be a change.


  9. Posted by kaya on 2010/03/16 at 3:36 PM

    Why does it feel like way more than a year ago that Drogba was yelling something about a disgrace to the camera? Last year I kind of agreed with him, this year not so much.


  10. Posted by pino on 2010/03/16 at 7:26 PM

    Whats with Lucio’s tude? He is on one of the best national teams in the world. Plays his club soccer in a fantastic city but the dude always seems pissed off. All those years in Germany must have left something uncomfortable up his ass or something. He also goes down easier than Drogba and thats saying something.


  11. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/16 at 7:40 PM

    Chelsea had so many warnings tonight, but kept on giving Sneijder too much space to make that killer pass. If Milito or Eto’o could run the line properly, then Inter could’ve scored more than 1, because it was luck rather than judgement that let Chelsea off the hook…


  12. Posted by KMac on 2010/03/16 at 9:26 PM

    You’ll read my 2 cents tomorrow in the jumble…so here’s a hint



  13. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/17 at 9:17 AM

    Hey Matthew / guys, here’s some food for thought:

    I have lots of American and Aussie mates who would love nothing better than to put one over on the old Mother country. But my question is this – do countries of the former Portuguese and Spanish Empire feel these same way about their former ‘monarchy’ (ie Group G’s Brazil and Group H’s Honduras and Chile respectively)? Will this cause them to try that little bit harder because they know it means so much to the ‘separatists’ back home?

    Are there any Brazilian, Hondurans or Chileans in the TSG community that could shed some light on this?

    I didn’t include the French or Dutch Empire as there are no group ‘conflict’


    • We as fans talk about getting one over on the Mother Country, but I don’t think the players see it that way. Most of our professional athletes don’t have the where-withall (sp?) to take a game to that level. Prime example: 1998 World Cup US vs. Iran. I didn’t catch the game, but I can guarantee you that the Iranians brought a little extra juice to that match given our nations’ diplomatic histories. I don’t see it in our players (for good or bad), and I don’t see Sweatpants using that as a motivating speech tactic (he probably couldn’t motivate his way out of a wet paper bag…).


  14. […] GeorgeCross brought up the following question in a post last […]


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