Saturday, October 25, 2014

So let me get this straight...

This is the Sunderland line-up today. Jozy Altidore is on the bench.

This was the Sunderland line-up last weekend... ya know... the one beat 8-0 by Southampton.

So, basically, his team gets shellacked and heads are gonna roll, and then he replaces two attackers from the blowout loss. With two players (Johnson, Rodwell) who were amazingly on for five of those goals in just a half hour. Nobody sits in defense. The precious protected midfielders Cattermole and Larsson remain as starters. Buckley, with exactly zero goals or assists in 401 EPL minutes this season remains. Do bear in mind this is a team that has been shut out in four of six league games and conceded multiple goals in half of their eight matches to date. This is a team that cannot (or will not) hold possession, crosses less than four times a game despite overly relying on set pieces for offense and has attempted exactly three through balls all season. Then they all wonder why the strike force has only rung the bell in one of eight games.

Here is the kicker: the best team they have played so far this term is probably Spurs.

I said it last season and I will say it again. Gus Poyet either has no idea what to do here or he is too led by the nose about what others think to do it. Some will say he saved them last season, some will say it was Wickham, and credit goes to the manager for that. Pfft. The sudden desperation of hanging on to paychecks and the midfield deciding to work for the team finally saved them last season. It says here Poyet will not be around for another salvage mission.

I am sure some will think this rant is all about Altidore. In reality, it barely is.

- Greg Seltzer

Friday, October 24, 2014

All The Chips On The Table

Less than an hour from now, the USWNT will kick off against Mexico for a berth in Women's World Cup 2015. Even with Alex Morgan out injured, it is not quite the line-up one might expect.

- Greg Seltzer

Prognosis Negative

For a little longer, anyway. Some folks thought Aron Jóhannsson could return to AZ action this weekend after his reserve comeback on Monday, but I can tell you he is not on the submitted team sheet for their match against Groningen. As the club noted, he will likely have another one or two appearances with Jong AZ before getting back into the Eredivisie swing.

- Greg Seltzer

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Bob Squad

First, check out the banners hung by the Stabæk ultras this past weekend to celebrate clinching Tippeligaen survival. Then, you too can learn how to make your own intimidating Bob Bradley t-shirt, as instructed by a creative Blue Ones fan. Then, go check out this long form article about the coach, written by NSC pal Joe Prince-Wright. 

- Greg Seltzer

Friday, October 17, 2014

Here We Go! - Part Deux: The Embarassening

Yeah, so I have had time to think about the Don Garber response to what I would consider Klinsi's fairly obvious remarks about the potential form issues that occur when a top USMNT player goes back to MLS (and other such matters). Calling a press conference to essentially launch a fit finished with a threat toward the national team coach looks extremely childish and actually may be damaging to the league rep he was trying to protect. Of course, Klinsmann has also occasionally done the same type of hyper-defensive thing when his kingdom has taken on criticism.

Long story short: A certain segment of our bubble really needs to stop being so hyper-sensitive about slights, perceived or otherwise, MLS or Nats. If one absolutely must be stirred over a single quote in this media treadmill we exist on, then light a quiet belly fire to rise up. Do not extend the life of the story by gathering everyone to watch a finger-wag. Fair or not, doing so just does not look good when aiming to be taken seriously.

- Greg Seltzer

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Your line-up v. Honduras

All kinds of weird going on here, by my eye. This should be peculiar, however it goes. Of course, USMNT player ratings will follow the game at MLSS.

- Greg Seltzer