Notes: Lichaj’s Start, Gooch, Celtic(s), Stu, More

Lichaj...doing some serious clubbing too....(photo credit: Matt Mathai)

The Big Nasty, Eric Lichaj, acquitted himself well in a 2-1 Aston Villa loss to Tottenham Hotspur going up against one of the best wingers in the Prem on Sunday, Gareth Bale.

You can ballpoint it that Lichaj is at least second on the rightback depth chart for 2014 at this point and likely 2011 as well (despite some folks at ESPN suggesting Jonathan Spector already has the starting 2014 spot locked-up. In our best Discovery Channel voice, when you don’t do your research….critics attack.)

Villa faithful give Lichaj MOTM.


• Rumor: Calling this a rumor right now. A friend’s email to us out of Mexico suggests Benny Feilhaber will sign for Cruz Azul this week. Not a “report” until there is another confirmed source.

• While Freddie Ljundberg might head to Celtic in the Scottish Premier League, word is the US star of the 2010 Milk Cup, Adrian Ruelas is set to sign with the storied franchise come the January transfer window. Again, we need confirmation here before this is more than a rumor.

• Multiple reports have Oguchi Onyewu FC Twente-bound in Jan. Not surprising given Twente’s Michel Preud’homme coached Gooch at Standard Leige less than two years ago.

• Stu Holden went 90, again, as Bolton beat-up on West Brom, 2-nil. We chatted with the great tactical writer Jonathan Wilson last week, who had this to say about Holden’s game.

• Arsenal v. Chelsea, Monday….excellent.

• Edson Buddle now linked with Sheffied United as well as Birmingham….getting interesting…

• A little more like it here. At least if Manchester City is going to overpay for player they might as well go young and home grown and create some flexibility. Man City through the acquisitions of Milner, Adam Johnson, Joe Hart and more doing a great job of stockpiling young Brits. Now word comes Mancini wants Andy Carroll.

23 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/12/27 at 12:07 AM

    I think Lichaj (pronounced “LEE-hi” which I just found out yesterday) did more than “acquit himself well.” He put the padlock on gareth bale and used his body well and often


  2. Posted by Alex on 2010/12/27 at 2:15 AM

    Wow that ESPN had some gaping holes, particularly about the play of Jozy. He in fact did score since Sept. 2009. He scored in the game before SA against Turkey. And if anything he does an excellent job grabbing the attention of opposing defenders. That is why I take note of anything that Alexi Lalas said.


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/12/27 at 7:44 AM

      Alex – Friendlies and warm ups are not considered competitive games.

      I feel dirty saying this, but I have to agree with the Lalas statement. Altidore has not proven he can occupy defenders or score goals. His best asset is that he runs well at defenders, but his ball control is so inconsistent that those opportunities are few and far between.

      At Hull, the blame often went to the midfielders as people said he wasn’t getting the proper service, but the US midfield is strong.

      The goals he does score are ones he should (tap ins or one on ones, and even those he does miss).

      This commentary on the young striker might seem harsh, but we (every USMNT fan) have been talking about him and expecting so much for him some and he has not delivered. Here’s hoping that, that changes in 2011


      • Posted by KickinNames... on 2010/12/27 at 11:54 AM

        Excellent summary of the “Altidore problem”. It’s a must that US look at other options at striker leading up to the next cycle.

        Watched replay of Villa-Spurs and Lichaj was quite impressive overall. I don’t think that anyone has shut down Bale quite that well in this season. Composed and strong in a very tough start. With a nice little bit of nasty to add to it. US backline can def use some nasty with Demerit looking like he’s on the way out. Did have a few shaky moments with the ball at his feet but that’s prob adjusting to the speed of EPL full on.


  3. Leander Schaerlaeckens is an idiot and a joke of a reporter. I read all the soccer content I can on the web, and I stopped reading ESPN because of him. Anything he says should be taken with a grain of salt.


  4. Posted by chris on 2010/12/27 at 7:29 AM

    like i said in an earlier post, im a spuds fan. and i couldnt decide if i’d rather have Lichaj tie it up or give the spurs the win. well obviously the win is best. but watching lichaj was inspiring.

    they pulled bale off him! wow

    you said 2nd on the depth chart at RB
    what is that list?


  5. Posted by John on 2010/12/27 at 8:32 AM

    Lichaj really did look professional out there. He had a slight moment at the beginning of the game where he went to ground early again. However, it became clear, half way through the game, that Bale was getting frustrated he couldn’t skip around him.

    Bale tried twice to use his speed to blow around Lichaj to the endline to cross/play a ball in and both times Lichaj stuffed him with the ball running out for a goal kick.

    Really great stuff to see.


  6. Posted by scweeb on 2010/12/27 at 11:26 AM

    So i was just readin on foxsoccer and they said this about Charlie:
    Charlie Davies did not make the 18 for Sochaux, who lost 2-1 to Monaco. Davies was told by manager Francis Gillot this week that he should seek a loan to a lower division club in January to get more playing time
    Just wondering if anyone has any news on his situation


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/27 at 1:08 PM

      Scweeb: TSG is scheduled to interview Charlie in about two weeks.

      From what we know right now, Charlie doesn’t want to go on loan and the coaches do. Since we haven’t seen him play, I can’t tell you if he should or not.

      It’s seems a contentious relationship at Sochaux. The reason Sochaux may want him to go out on loan is merely to defer the cost of Charlie’s contract. Charlie knows–as do many–that strikers that move to lower divisions risk things like injuries, poor service etc that could contribute to the image of him being “not as good as before.” The same situation–without injury–recently occurred with Mike Grella and Leeds (he turned down two loans and ended up–temporarily–at Carlisle United).

      So currently it’s a stalemate. But we’ll see what January brings.


  7. Posted by KickinNames... on 2010/12/27 at 12:01 PM

    Stu seems be living up to the hype. Reminds you a little of a young Lampard when he first came up but lacking the offensive verve that he had. His man-up defending is very impressive and he wins balls intelligently and with purpose with little needless fouling. That’s a skill that sets players apart at this level.
    Not sure if he has the mindset to be a 15-20 goal scorer from MF like Frank but with some seasoning and confidence it will be interesting to watch.
    How long does Bolton get to keep him is the question of the hour….?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/27 at 12:10 PM

      Just bear in mind, Lampard is the principal penalty-taker for Cheslea, so his goal tally is not completely from open play…


  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/27 at 12:14 PM

    For those of us that don’t do Twitter, please can you share what Jonathan Wilson said about Stuart Holden?


    • Posted by dth on 2010/12/27 at 1:48 PM

      “He’s been great this season, one of the real emerging players of the past 4 months”


  9. Posted by dth on 2010/12/27 at 2:09 PM

    Interestingly, Arsenal seems to be going with a 4-4-2-ish look with van Persie and Fabregas nearly level.


    • Posted by FutbolAmerica on 2010/12/27 at 3:22 PM

      Well played by Arsenal. I have to say though, Chelsea are really showing their lack of depth. For all of the money they’ve spent on an excellent starting XI they’re getting no return on their bench players.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/28 at 9:47 AM

      Thought is was a pretty clear 4-2-3-1. Maybe even 4-2-4, with RVP dropping deep, playing the False Nine…


  10. […] Matthew over at The Shin Guardian has heard some fun rumors, […]


  11. Posted by BW on 2010/12/27 at 5:48 PM

    denver post reporting loan talks b/w rapids and villa for rapid’s forward omar cummings


  12. Posted by Nelson on 2010/12/28 at 12:17 AM

    Looking forward to watching lichaj tomorrow. Hope they upset city. Also spector it seems fits a more forward role than rb. And cherundolo I’m not sure will have the speed to handle the wc. so e-nasty is my first spot rb as of now.


  13. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/28 at 8:43 AM

    looks like eznasty maybe is going to slip down the chart a little after today. its alright though, because one game does not a player make


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