(Quick aside: “American Werewolf in London” was the predecessor to “American Werewolf in Paris”)
The question: Based on the early going, which American is going to have the best year?
GeorgeCross: Perhaps it might not be too much of a surprise, but I really find hard to look past Tim Howard, especially with Dempsey, Guzan, Lichaj not commanding a regular berth in the starting XI, and Spector just not being a great EPL-level player. I think Holden will be solid in The Trotters’ midfield but it’s a big ask to outperform Howard over a course of a *whole* season. What I will find surprising is if Howard is still with Everton next season.
Shaun: Deuce will continue to play well and will be very important to Fulham. EJ too will hopefully make an impact coming off the bench, but it will be Holden who will have the most impact on his team by an American. He’s playing the centralized midfield role and he’s doing it well. Currently at mid-table, Bolton are playing better football than last year and a lot has to do with their hard-working engine room.
Eric, AFR: Stu Holden. Bolton are playing a beautiful brand of football, and credit to Owen Coyle for constructing a perfect mix of youth and experience in his squad. Bob Bradley has told Stuart Holden that he should conserve his energy throughout the 90 minutes. Nope, that’s not the plan in the Premier League. Stu’s endurance is second to none, and his constant pressure provides a presence that has the tone for Bolton’s mentality. With hard work will come class…
Chamo, CO: This is tough, because quite frankly almost all of them have had some early struggles. Friedel wasn’t at fault for the 6-0 drubbing Villa got, but he only recently seemed to regain the form we are so used to seeing from him. Dempsey seems to be getting weened back into the Fulham squad, though with the injury to Zamora Deuce might be expected to fill the void. That said, I think Tim Howard will have the best year, even if Everton doesn’t. Everton would have 0 points instead of 2 if it wasn’t for Timmy.
Corey, CoS: He who gets more playing time, Stu Holden or Clint Dempsey. It’s a long season. Holden has to prove he’s ready to shine from autumn to spring. Dempsey, the pride of Nacogdoches and guardian of Craven Cottage, has to stay healthy. What Fulham lost in Roy Hodgson they retained in a cohesive, gritty squad. Advantage Dempsey.
Matthew, TSG: Stu Holden was our first requested and completed interview here at TSG. In short, we’re big fans. His speed is top 10% for midfielders in the EPL. He maintains possession, but can threaten himself.
Holden may not show up often in the stat sheet this year for Bolton as he plays a linking midfield role more than attacking, but in terms of importance to their team and quality year, Holden will just edge Howard.
Note, TSG is on record as saying that Stu Holden will be the next American to play in the semifinals of the Champions’ League (that of course, necessitates a club move). Let’s see if that one happens.