Thursday: Nilmar Goes Knife, Gervinho, More


Jozy, promotion by default on his La Liga submarine....

• Happy New Year, sort of

Villarreal striker Nilmar…bad news. Kid is out up to 8 weeks with meniscus damage in his knee.

This should open up playing time for Jozy here in January at El Madrigal for the American.

Rumors may be swirling that someone like Carlos Vela will bridge the Nilmar shelf time, but Villarreal are hurting financially. Can’t see a purchase and only a short-term Landon Donovan-type loan makes sense.

More tests for Holden

Coming off a fine performance against Chelsea, Stu Holden heads to Anfield this weekend to face a wounded Reds side.

Can’t help but remark, again, how Stu looked a little Scholes-y at the Bridge yesterday, albeit it with better closing down on tackles (Essien’s goal-scoring play excepted) and making better forward runs.

I said in May of this year that I could see Holden blowing up at Bolton this year and him being the apple of a big club (like Manchester United) next year. I think that timetable is aggressive, but I think the roadmap is sound.

…oh and who else didn’t like frisky Stuie shouldering Frank Lampard to the ground even after the ref whistled for offsides on the Chelsea man…outstanding…


Commentary follow-up on Holden:

Apologies, perhaps a little ornery today.

"Deal with it!"

TSG trumpets Holden quite a bit. Do we feel a tad of “claim” to him, yeah sure we were beating the Holden drum a year and a half ago. So be it.

On referencing players, we’ve referenced Beckham for Holden’s free kicks and crosses (as has the Bolton faithful mind you) and now Scholes. It’s easier for an audience to grasp references to great players. If I told you that Holden has a little Gaizka Mendieta in him most on this publication probably wouldn’t have a frame of reference.

Do I think Holden is as good as those two…of course not.

On the comparisons to Scholes, first way ahead on the Dax McCarty reference. No brainer. Easy one for Scholes later in his career.

In regards to Holden, it’s myopic to think just because he’s not a spitting image of Scholes that he doesn’t offer the same effect.

Holden may not sit in the hole as much as Scholes, but he has a good feel as to when to push the action, when to switch fields and when to keep it and send it for a restart to the backline–that recognition is something that Scholes is and was very good at.

Next, a knack for a big play. I don’t know how many times just a few years ago someone would tell me the scoreline of a hard fought game for United and it would be 1-0 and 2-1. I’d ask the game winner, hear the Ginger Ninja’s name and think, “Scholes, of course.”

Holden seems to be getting close to those plays. Nailing the game winner at Blackburn and yesterday losing his mark to force a save from Peter Cech on a header.

Playing passing lanes, Holden has proved very adroit at, an area where Scholes excelled.

When I say I can see Holden fitting in nicely at United it’s because he seems like if he were to go to a top 3 or 4 club, United would be the best fit. Not Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenchester City or who’s ever now up there.

Okay I feel better now…apologies for the outburst

• Gervinho inbound?

Lille-ver-Pool bound?

I’m a Gervinho fan, so that’s why this little blurb makes TSG.

Multiple reports this evening have Liverpool hot-and-heavy to land Lille striker-forward Gervinho at the tidy sum of about £11M. Note, Gervinho’s wikipedia page says the deal is done at $12.5M Euros on a four-year contract…take that with a lump of salt obviously.

Perspective for USMNT fans? If that deal does through and on the heels of Yossi Benayoun, 30-years-old and Ramires, 23, to Chelsea for £5M and £16M as well as Dembele to Fulham at £5.5M or Asamoah Gyan to Sunderland at £13.25m….I have a hard time putting Landon Donovan’s current value at more than than £8M (or currently $US 12.5M) on a Premiership move at max.

As for the move by Liverpool who looked very Leeds circa early 2000s on Wednesday, Gervinho would be an ideal player for their system given him flexibility. He could used on the flank oppositive Dirk Kuyt with Fernando Torres manning the middle or he could be used in a two-striker system with El Nino or even as a withdrawn forward. Gervinho would give Liverpool that complementary sniper that they’ve missed since the days of 5-Iron Bellamy and missed on with the acquisitions of Ryan Babel and the inconsistency and eventual sale off the aforementioned Benayoun.

46 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/12/30 at 12:15 AM

    depending on what position puts him at and how much he’s worth, i’d definitely consider snapping him up in a jiffy for my fantasy squad. IF this goes through that is.

    p.s. key word is CONSIDER


    • Posted by John on 2010/12/30 at 8:38 AM

      The only move that would render Liverpool players fantasy worthy is the showing of the door to Roy.

      Roy for England!


  2. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/30 at 6:39 AM

    my guess is that his time at liverpool might end up like that of diouf. what if jamie carriger decides not to talk to poor little gervinho? then there is el nino. i dont know.


  3. Posted by dude on 2010/12/30 at 6:43 AM

    Good news for Jozy. At the very least, he’ll find out if his faith in Villarreal is warranted.

    Also thought Gervinho should have been snatched up after the world cup. Chelsea would have been a perfect fit, this guy is Way better than Kalou.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2010/12/30 at 7:46 AM

      I am afraid that this will be very disappointing news from Jozy. Its great if he get playing time but if we find out what I suspect, Marco Rueben is 3rd on the depth chart then this doesn’t mean much playing time for Jozy and means 0% chance that he gets loaned out (likely a slim chance anyway). Jozy really needs some minutes.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/30 at 8:29 AM

        I disagree, respectfully.

        Marco Rueben has been getting about 20 minutes or so every game. If he moves up there is another striker role to inhabit.

        Further, Villarreal may not want to change having Rueben as the spark off the bench.


        • Posted by BernieBernier on 2010/12/30 at 10:26 AM

          I hope I am wrong. I didn’t think about the spark off the bench angle. Would love to see Jozy getting more minutes. Either way it gives me another game to check out on the weekends (recently I have just started to assume that Jozy was in the 18 but not playing).


  4. Posted by dth on 2010/12/30 at 8:37 AM

    I don’t see what the rush is–in various quarters–to compare Holden to Scholes, one of the game’s all-time greats. Scholes regularly attempts 80, 90, 100 passes per game, and if I’m not mistaken Holden has only gone over 40 for Bolton once or twice. Scholes completes an extraordinarily high percentage of that volume of passes, while Holden’s completion rate is more modest–the typical game, perusing his chalkboards, is in the range of 30/37. Sure, Bolton’s style is not centrally-oriented, but you’d think if they had a Scholes doppelganger entering his prime they’d very quickly move to that kind of style.


    • Posted by dude on 2010/12/30 at 1:39 PM

      I would agree, to the extent that Holden doesn’t demand and command enough. I think he doesn’t have that ego or selfishness necessary to be the team leader, just a very talented, tenacious midfielder.

      I’d love it if he decided to accept that role, but until he does, he’s kind of a question mark in the midfield.


  5. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/30 at 9:53 AM

    if anyone in the us pool is reminiscent of scholes, it has to be the newest member of dc uniteds midfield dax mac. wait til dc united land anelka.


  6. Posted by Jason on 2010/12/30 at 10:06 AM

    Your man-crush on Stu is something of epic proportion. As a long-time United supporter…way before Cantona put the team on his back, I find it pretty interesting that you want to put someone with average abilities on an above average team like United. Love is definitely blind.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/30 at 10:50 AM

      Follow-up above….not personal.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/30 at 11:44 AM

        I politely and respectfully disagree, Sir. I believe you ‘trumpet’ any American player in the EPL regardless of form. I do admit that Holden has had a fine season so far. Only an amoeba would say otherwise. But to compare him to Scholes is more than a little far fetched (in my humble opinion). The thing is that Holden has scored 2 goals for Bolton and 2 for the US and your comparing him Scholes’ ” knack for a big play” or saying “Holden seems to be getting close to those plays” – where is the evidence? Scholes averaged about a goal every 4 or 5 games, where Holden’s goals-to-game ratio is almost half this. Take that header in yesterday’s game – you ask Sir Alex 5 years ago which player he’d want at the end of that cross in the 80th minute, and I bet you he’d say Paul Scholes. There’s a reason why the United faithful sing ‘those’ songs about him.

        Clearly Holden’s defensive game is better. Scholes’ has almost been a running joke for the last 15 years. But Scholes’ game is so superior, whether it’s the off-the-ball stuff, first touch, passing, finishing, technique, composure, agility, anticipation, positioning, influence… so to even mention Holden to Scholes is almost insulting. In pure footballing terms, (as of December 2010) Holden is not worthy to lace Scholes’ boots. And I say all of this as a loather of Manchester United…


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/12/30 at 11:56 AM

          Respectfully disagree there GeorgeCross…I’ve been on and written about Dempsey’s case as well as Jonathan Spector’s. So kindly don’t play the “trumpet” any American card…you’ve come to the wrong publication.

          I’m not alone in commenting on Holden’s ability.

          I’m comparing him to “the effect that Scholes has” and perhaps I could have worded that better. It would be idiotic given Scholes career to say that he’s anywhere near him.

          Unfortunately you are looking — yet again GeorgeCross — through an English lens.

          It’s just so hard to admit some times that American players can thrive and be difference makers in the EPL.

          At least Owen Coyle sees the talent…telling Holden to hold on until he moved to Bolton so that he could be a mainstay in the midfield.

          While Coyle is the main difference maker at Bolton, Holden is probably third — right behind Elhmander on a team that last year finished 14th and now sits 6th.

          Okay, I’m riled up and will bid this debate adieu. Agree to disagree.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/30 at 12:18 PM

          To say “It’s just so hard to admit some times that American players can thrive and be difference makers in the EPL” is a ridiculous accusation. I would say the same about a player of *any* nationality being compared to Paul Scholes, one of the best players over the past 20 years. I think you have an inferiority complex on that one.

          I did not mean to rile you up, just stating an opinion. I sincerely apologise, Sir.


  7. Posted by Jason on 2010/12/30 at 10:08 AM

    I agree with the Dax reference…there is someone with CMF abilities.


  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/30 at 10:34 AM

    Coyle must be disappointed in the way Essien skipped past two challenges (Elmander and Holden) before releasing Drogba.

    And better forward runs? Which Scholes are you comparing Holden to? Today’s Scholes who is 36 and at the twilight of his career or the Scholes when he was in his prime? If you say the latter Sir, your opinion has gone down a few notches in my book…


  9. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/30 at 10:39 AM

    I thought Holden and Muamba had good games yesterday. Holden was unlucky not to get a penalty (against Terry). But he should have done much better with the header – at least work the keeper better than he did…


    • Posted by Cory on 2010/12/30 at 4:43 PM

      He made a good run and timed his leap perfectly. It was a good effort that drew a good save from Cech. Could he have done better with it? Well, I suppose he could have. But to say he should have, I think, is being a little harsh considering he was about 16 yards away from the goal.

      And with regard to your exchange with Matthew, I think you are needlessly trying to be antagonistic. The author is not saying that Holden is Scholes or that he is going to mirror his ability or achievements, only that his play reminds him of a young Scholes. Holden is still young and, while unlikely, it is not out of the realm of possibility that Holden develops into a player of similar quality.

      If you want to disagree with him based on their style of play, fine. But you are arguing against something the author does not propose.


      • Posted by dth on 2010/12/30 at 5:00 PM

        Look, GeorgeCross may have gotten a bit cross upthread, but he has a point (I think we agree).

        Holden is a very good player. Holden should get the chance to play centrally for the USMNT with something resembling a first choice XI. But there’s a long way between Holden, very good player and young Scholes, one of the all-time greats. Holden is a better defensive player than Scholes ever was, but Scholes is a much better passer–even now–and a much better goal-scorer. And for a young player, Holden is pretty old at 25; I’m not sure how much more ceiling Holden has left to explore. He doesn’t make a high percentage of passes so far in his Bolton career, and he doesn’t attempt a lot, two things that decisively separate him from Scholes. Besides the gap in quality, I think it’s an odd comparison stylistically–they’re asked to do completely different things for their teams while they play.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/30 at 11:54 PM

        It was a save that any keeper would make – even me… But that is my point, sort of – an elite player would have put that away, not make the keeper make a bread and butter save. You say that I’m being harsh, but that is what you get comparing Holden to Scholes. I will let you Google their stats and debate this further… To me, comparing Holden to Scholes is almosy comparing Holden to Zidane.


        • Posted by dth on 2010/12/31 at 12:09 AM

          To wit:

          Could you make a similar highlight reel for Holden? No.


        • Posted by Cory on 2010/12/31 at 2:15 PM

          You speak in absurd absolutes. “An elite player would have put that away” – What complete and utter nonsense. An elite player may have put that away, or he may have lost his concentration and have it glance off his head completely miss the target, or the player may have gotten even more power but not been able to keep the ball under the crossbar. It happens to everyone, yes even Scholes. (did you see the shot in the clip where he was about 30 yards away with no pressure and didn’t even hit the target?? I mean surely if he were TRULY an all-time great, then he would have at least tested the keeper, no?)

          I don’t need to google their stats to compare it any further. As far as I am aware, nobody is engaging in a pissing contest about their accolades except you.

          Comparing Holden to Scholes is comparing Holden to Zidane? Now there’s a laugh. When Scholes is a 3 time FIFA World Player of the Year, wins the Ballon d’Or and wins the World Cup and Euros and is a runner up in another World Cup, then you can think about comparing the two. (See what I did there?)


        • Posted by dth on 2010/12/31 at 4:01 PM

          Well, Zidane probably doesn’t think it’s absurd to compare Scholes to Zidane: “My toughest opponent? Scholes. He is undoubtedly the greatest player of his generation.”


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/01 at 9:58 AM

          There was a “reason” why I mentioned Scholes in the same sentence to Zidane.

          Using your logic, I shouldn’t compare Cruyff to Zidane either because one is a World & European Champion, and the other is not. Or even Best & Giggs to Holden because they’ve never played tournament football. (See what I did there?)


        • Posted by Cory on 2011/01/02 at 5:40 PM

          It isn’t my logic, you laid claim to it when you asked me to google stats and accolades between two players with 11 years separating them.

          There’s a “reason” I compared the achievements of Scholes and Zidane; it was to highlight the inanity of comparing players solely based on such measurements.

          It’s not absurd for an author to say “Player X reminds me of Player Y in this way” without being accused to trumpeting Player X solely because his nationality is the same of said author, especially by an otherwise sensible fellow. In any case, I have made my point, and I don’t think there is too much here with which we disagree. Carry on.


  10. Posted by Allan Lindh on 2010/12/30 at 3:05 PM

    Cummon guys, Holden only has a year in the EPL under his belt. So far, for one year in, he is far and away the best US/Scottish player we’ve ever sent over. Work rate, intelligence, seeing the field, technical on the ball, movement off the ball, far and away the best. He is also honest, doesn’t whine, great clean tackles and clearly loves to play the game. Two more years and it’s time to daydream about who he’s as good as. Right now he’s just a pleasure to watch. If his free kicks continue to improve, who knows?


    • Posted by Seybold on 2010/12/30 at 7:57 PM

      Well said. A Yank playing well in the center of the pitch in the EPL is quite a sight. When I see Holden playing at Bolton, I see a player who might be able to control matches from the center of midfield within a year or two. The way Claudio Reyna did. The way no one has for the USA has since then. Not even close.

      Remember how Reyna dictated the 2002 quarterfinal match against Germany, even though we lost? *That* kind of player is what I see.


  11. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/30 at 4:07 PM

    sir cross, you should just admit that americans are starting to get the hang of this game and it is a different landscape than it was twenty years ago. donovan could go to england not to fill a need, but because he is a top quality player. tottenham may not be looking at donovan, who really knows, but if they where looking at him, they could surely find a spot for him in their starting eleven. it is not like tottenham is bayern munich, because they are not.

    it is funny on here, because cross, you are obviously the token brit on this site and your responses are typical of the british fan in general. the fulham message board is loaded with george crosses, but i love it.

    scholes is good, he is better than carrick, that is for sure, but come on, look at the players that have been assembled around this guy. its like sitting at a buffet and being spoon fed by the staff. im sure scholes hd some ups in his day, but im not sure he would have even attempted to get on the end of the ball holden latched on to. plus kevin davies was not ready to strike the ball. holden made a good effort and bolton only looked like scoring until they took holden out, then they were just trying to hang on.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/12/30 at 11:39 PM

      Thank you for the KBE.

      My comment was not about nationality, but about premature comparisons. Holden has played 20 games in an elite league – Scholes close to 700.

      @Cory – I am not trying to antagonise. Just stating my opinion. Comparing 99.9% of players (of any nationality) is a non-starter for me, because Scholes was (is) such a *complete* player.

      @dikranovich – what is so different to 20 years ago? Only two new teams have won the world cup (both European, I might add) since then, and nothing that that I have seen in world football suggests that will change.

      Re. Donovan, he is a fine player, but 10 weeks at Everton is a mighty small sample size, and a shakey peg to hang your argument on.


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/31 at 9:49 AM

        you know what comparision you can make about scholes and holden is that they are both huge favorites of their respective managers. scholes is the player that cn do no wrong in sir fergusons eye. it might only be twenty games, but it looks like holden is in similar sitution with coyle. lets face it, the essien play was world class. if holden was italian he would not have slid in so soon and would have stayed on his feet and kept a body on essien, but he is american and went in for a big tackle, which he was winning very well in this game against chelsea, and as a matter of fact, pretty much all year. hopefully holden learned something from the play. but holden is coyles boy for sure. owen coyle ever coaches liverpool and ill guarentee you holden is his first signing.

        so at least from n american perspective the soccer landscape has changed dramatically. when coaches are courting american players that is a whole new deal on the world scene. domestic leagues the world over are full of internationls from all corners of the world. of course it is no secret the english hold their league in the highest regard and as such, they like to make it difficult for outsiders. more so than the average country in the world. its understandable though. i think of the new teams to win a world cup holland will be tops of the list, but usa will probably be second and by 2014, im sure we will be second favorite, even above portugal. ok, maybe third favorite just behind portugal.


        • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/12/31 at 10:51 AM

          The English make it difficult for outsiders? Really. Please name a top or even second tier league other than the EPL that has more foreigners playing in it? Foreign players come to the EPL, because they’re welcome and if they can play and help the club, nation be damned, they’re loved.

          Most of the big teams play with less than 3 English players in their starting 11. This is not at all indicative of a league that makes it difficult for outsiders. Look at the situation at Liverpool right now where the people most despised are the coach and konchesky, both English.

          What it comes down too, is unless someone comes to their team with a proven pedigree, they’re treated skeptically until they prove themselves and they do, they’re worshiped by fans and media and respected by coaches and players. It doesn’t matter where they’re from. Holden and McBride are examples of this.


        • Posted by David on 2011/01/02 at 11:30 PM

          shsfwebb – that’s true of the top teams, but in general English football is still somewhat hostile to foreign players. just a few months ago, Gordon Strachan publicly blamed Middlesbrough’s problems on the “foreign players” that Southgate brought in. the media is especially xenophobic in this regard. just look at the number of stories highlighting Arsenal’s disciplinary record, pointing out how many red cards Vieira got (but never anything about how Lee Bowyer is actually the most booked player in EPL history), or how Arsenal’s bottom of the fair play table (they were top at the end of last year – how many stories did that get?).


  12. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/31 at 5:29 PM

    shwebb, lets look at this with a little logic. england have a pretty clear criteria for who can play in their league. the home office has guidlines for who can play in the league, and im sure it might not be unlike a lot of other countries who have similar guidlines, but i dont know. the home office guidlines state that a player must be from a country in the top 70 of the rankings and the player must have represented his nation in a majority of its games over the past two years. to me, this sounds like a pretty exclusive list of people who can qualify to even play in england.

    shwebb, historically england lagged behind the rest of europe in terms of taking internationals into their league. my guess is england allowed foreigners to play in their league so that they could compete with the rest of europe. im not sure, but id bet the dutch league has a pretty high number of international to domestic players in their league. then of course a country like france has so mny african immigrants that their league is filled with africans who probably hold two passports. bobby zamora, is he english, or is he a soca warrior. it sure is easier for him to play in england because he holds a british passport.

    englands alright and obviously if america is producing more and better players and players with european passports, more americans are going to be playing in england. i dont know, i think liverpool fans probably bemoan the fact that their two best players are playing below form or injured, but in public, it is easy for them to blame the fulham duo. lets see what happens this weekend.


    • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/12/31 at 7:27 PM

      Bobby Zamora can play in England because he was born in England, therefore gets an English passport. His dad is from T&T so he has the option to play for them if he wanted.

      I think one would be hard pressed to find players who come from a country outside the top 70 (and the euro union) AND have not played for 75% of their home teams competetive matches. Even then, clubs can still appeal and get special permission for said player to play for them.

      That ruling is actually much more lenient on Non-Euro players then the other major leagues. “In Spain, Primera Liga clubs may have up to three non-EU players, while in the French Ligue 1 clubs can have a maximum of four. However, agreements with the EU mean players from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific are not considered as non-EU players in both leagues.” Serie A allows a quota of up to 3 non-euro players. A lot of them have ancestors from euro nations, there for can avoid being in the quota. A lot teams borrow quotas from other teams which don’t have non-euros on them (see Inter Milan).

      The argument often talked about when discussing the ineptitude of the English national team is that they have so many foreign players in their domestic league which potentially stunts the growth of homegrown players.

      I’m very curious as to where you get your “english lagged behind the rest of europe in taking internationals in their league” information. English clubs have had good success through out the european competitions from the beginning. They might not have had south american and african players up until the last 20 years, but that had as much to do with climate and comfort then anything else. Scandanavian players have been playing in England since the 60’s and 70’s. Up until the mid 70’s, the majority of european players played in their domestic leagues .

      The latest numbers i can find for percentage of foreigners stem from the 06-7 season are as follows. Italy 30%, France 34%, Spain 38%, Netherlands 39%, Germany 50% and England 59%.


      • Posted by David on 2011/01/02 at 11:42 PM

        “I think one would be hard pressed to find players who come from a country outside the top 70 (and the euro union) AND have not played for 75% of their home teams competetive matches. Even then, clubs can still appeal and get special permission for said player to play for them.”

        it’s a bigger problem than you’d think. first of all, the appeals system is very hit-or-miss. you have guys like Rafael and Fabio successfully getting work permits without much professional experience, but not Miralem Sulejmani, Ivelin Popov, Levan Tskitishvili, Edu (the Arsenal player – he later procured an Italian passport)… and that’s just from a quick google search. also, Jason Scotland was denied a work permit by Scotland (lol) when he was playing for Dundee…. then St. Johnstone (a smaller Scottish club) got a work permit for him 3 weeks later!

        it’s really inconsistent and subjective, and honestly the EPL should just scrap it. it especially hurts the clubs with smaller budgets, who rely on finding cheap bargains (often from smaller countries, like Honduras with Figueroa / Palacios / Hendry Thomas) just to stay afloat. but the bigger clubs aren’t untouched either – Wenger has said in the past that Arsenal had their eye on Messi and Ronaldinho before they got big, but didn’t pursue either of them because of the WP problems.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/01 at 11:16 AM

      “England allowed foreigners in to compete with the rest of Europe” Shaun already mentioned the European Union, and the key word is Union, ie the integration of Europe. Forget Monetary Union and Political Union… what is important here is that there is “free movement of labour between member states”. The football industry in Europe is not immune from European Employment Law. And this pretty much happened at a similar time to the formation of the Premier League. So, with all this extra revenue from TV rights, and the fact that European players could move without the need for visas, saw natural economic / free market forces take place. Obviously I am simplifying a major piece of European history into one paragraph, but I think you can see what I am saying.


  13. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/12/31 at 8:47 PM

    schwebb, you make some interesting points. yet on the other hand, arsenal have five players on their roster from outside of europe, meanwhile villarreal have six and barca have seven. psv have six player, bordeux have eight and inter milan, they have sixteen players on their roster from outside of europe.

    england have had success in europe and they had great success in the 70s and 80s thanks mainly to liverpool. its interesting that nottingham forest won europe, twice, yet they have since been religated to second tier status. a villa also won europe and that like the jets with broadway joe, is still on their cover page, thirty years on. so england had success, but in the 80s and 90s england dropped behind and it was because they were reluctant to move more towards interntional signings. i dont know, sir cross is the expert on england, im sure he will speak up in the new year


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/01 at 12:11 AM

      Look up Heyels, and the European ban on English clubs. The 10 years before were dominated by English clubs.


      • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/01/01 at 7:10 AM

        sir cross, thank you for the wealth of information. schwebb, i hope you can forgive my naivety.

        it is interesting that england are banned in 85 from european competition. the hand of god occurs in 86 by maradona against, of course, england. then the irony is that maradona played for an italian team at the time, as if to say this is for all those juventus fans. so england do well in 90 reaching the semi finals, then flounder and fail to qualify in 94. then beckham in 98 against argentina again. its like italy and argentina have some sort of agreement. i will admit that tottenham had a great argentine way back in 1982, so as to support the idea that england are open to foreign players. how the hell did odemwinge miss that freaking pk.


  14. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/01/01 at 10:07 AM

    Finally. George Burley has gone – why on earth he was employed in the first place after his disastrous spell at Ipswich Town is beyond me. Let’s get Gareth Southgate or Chris Coleman in.


    • Posted by David on 2011/01/02 at 11:48 PM

      as much as Middlesbrough fans criticized Southgate… I don’t think he was the problem. I mean I think Strachan is a good manager, and Mowbray is a good manager with a lot of experience in the Championship. but they’re both struggling with that team. he definitely deserves another shot.

      as for Burley, that team doesn’t have very much depth (due to their financial problems). I agree he was a strange hire, and you can’t blame the squad for everything – Watford have an even smaller squad and they’re battling for a playoff spot – but it does play a role.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/01/03 at 12:14 AM

        David, spot on on Southgate. I used to think he was overrated, but after watching the team disintegrate without him…I change my tune.
        Had Afonso Alves hit any of his sitters in 08-09 they may still be in the EPL.


        • Posted by dikranovich on 2011/01/03 at 6:24 AM

          maybe if gooch had choosen to go to middlesbrough over newcastle, it might have worked out better for everyone. gooch gooch ghooch. it always seemed like gooch would have a good mentor in southgate, but he went with what he thought was a bigger club.


  15. Posted by dikranovich on 2011/01/03 at 6:46 AM,,10308~491646,00.html

    this is the nottingham forest team that won europe. notice some of the names on this list. ian bowyer has to be the father of lee bowyer. and mrtin oneil, check him out circa 1980. there are sure some big names on this list.


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