Fun weekend of soccer:
• Attack Party At The Cottage
What’s not worrisome is that Clint Dempsey didn’t start for Fulham. Robin Van Persie didn’t start for Arsenal, nor did Fernando Torres for Liverpool.
On opening weekend, you don’t expect your top attackers to go 90+; they likely can’t.
Better to bring that attacker in later in the game when the opponent’s defense has tired and your side needs a spark and a goal.
What is, however, troubling for Dempsey is Mark Hughes’ dogged pursuit of Craig Bellamy…plus another attacker. Bellamy likes to slot left, so he’s not guaranteed to take Dempsey’s time upon arrival.
However, young Belgium forward-striker Moussa Dembélé–originally earmarked for Birmingham–is also rumored to be taking out a mortgage at the Cottage. With Zoltan Gera another forward, there could be a large committee up top for Duece to battle.
All this said, no goals for the Bolton-Fulham match with Stu Holden coming close and rocking the woodwork.
Given Saturday’s results, I can clearly see why Robert Green and David James played in the World Cup ahead of Joe Hart. Duh…
(Robert Green actually made some nice saves in Saturday’s 3-0 thrashing by the Villians, but my word: is his positioning atrocious!)
Perhaps poor to mention this bullet when Timmy H for Everton and Pepe Reina both gifted goals on the weekend.
• Speaking of Spanish keepers…
How many times does Manual Almunia need to showcase his poor fundamentals before Arsenal actually make a move. You can’t have Mark Schwarzer as your only option. Sorry. 1-1 draw for the Wengers against the Hodgsons.
• …just sneaking in that Eric Lichaj made the 18 for the Villians…I’m perhaps more excited by the piece of American news than Michael Bradley rippling the nets Saturday for Bo’Munchen.
• Tangerine, Tangerine
A few weeks ago we did a profile on Blackpool. If you don’t know much about the west England club check it out.
Ade Whitaker, who wrote the tale, sent us an email yesterday after Blackpool tore apart Wigan at home:
I am on cloud 9.
0-4, who would have thought it – other than the most devout of Blackpool fans?
Roberto Martinez might be a good World Cup announcer, but his Wigan teams are prone to being on the wrong side of blowouts.
• I’m done with you Lee Cattermole-mole-mole-mole and I’m dropping the Sunderland middie from my last place fantasy team.
The Cats will be better than folks give them credit for this year…if they get solid and disciplined play out of Cattermole who is perhaps the one English young player that has some serious bite.
So what does Cattermole–who vowed to cool his hotheadness this year and earned the Sunderland captaincy–do to start the season? Run around like Ricardo Clark with his head cut off and earn two yellow citations from the pitch cops before the break.
You can’t let the extremely team-oriented Birmingham have that advantage, and the Blues–who aren’t going to sneak up on anyone this year–came back to earn the draw.
• Goal of the weekend to David Jones for Wolverhampton in their 2-1 win over Stoke City? The midfielder showing why Manchester United was the first club ever to sign him…at 10-years-old!
• Why no, I don’t think there is a coincidence between Didier Drogba rest (through injury) over the summer and his fresh form yesterday.
That said, West Brom’s defense was shocking.
• All I’m saying is that with Robbie Findley’s shooting like that, I completely understand why Edson Buddle didn’t get a shot singularly up top in South Africa.
• Shoulder Shrug City
Speaking of, the Galaxy go in the Arena and come out victorious. Bruce Arena may have not been on the sideline, but I am certain he sent his team a message before the game. Galaxy a goal to the good against the Red Bulls Saturday.
Here’s a little part of Donovan’s game that I love and rarely gets mentioned. Donovan is just so good as providing the correctly weighted pass to insure that the attacker running on to the ball is going vertically towards the goal as opposed to more horizontally.
And yes, I know Donovan Ricketts came out well to defend Henry’s breakaway, but I caught him beat at least twice on balls that narrowly missed.
Oh–and was Omar Gonzalez really waving at that ball on the cross with his hand?
• Replace Cornell Glen and the Earthquakes win by a few
Had to take in the San Jose-Kansas City game from the home office and I’m sorry but Bobby Convey continues to live up to his nonchalant defensive stereotypes.
When Convey is engaged, he’s very good, but he either gets lazy (a first half pass back to Joe Cannon that Teal Bunbury should have deposited) or isn’t thorough (Convey loped back on defense on a counter and had to foul Davy Arnaud to prevent the mustachioed Wizards man from getting a solid shot on goal. Convey “earned” a yellow for his troubles.)
Otherwise, the game at the Buck was marked by shocking finishing on both sides, especially by notorious “offender” Cornell Glen. He must be considered the Robbie Findley of Trinidad & Tobago.
Liked the play of Stéphane Auvray for the Wizards in this one. Guy can stick a tackle. Any Wizards fans want to let me know if this game was an anomaly or the norm for him?
Oh–and since the Earthquakes won…nice movement from Arturo Alvarez who should have been rewarded on a few of his smart space-opening runs.
• Apologies folks, didn’t get to see the Real Salt Late-Columbus Crew match. Heard it was heated.
• The Netherleagues
Maurice Edu goes 90 for Rangers. Benny Feilhaber plays the second straight game for Aarhus as they are still trying to move him. Sacha Kljestan doesn’t play in Anderlecht’s 4-0 win.
The next Demps? 18-year-old Texan forward Conor Doyle goes 20+ for Derby County today. Well done youngster…(thanks to reader Soccernst for the tip.)