Saturday, August 25, 2012

Edu Edone

Personal terms are agreed (yes, I'm digging for the details) and Maurice Edu is undergoing a medical at Stoke City.

Two done, one to go.



- Greg Seltzer

75 comments:

FirstStar said...

What's the word from Stoke- they see him as a CM only or also a CB?

Greg Seltzer said...

They see him as what he is, a disrupting defensive midfielder. To be honest, I'm still baffled as to why anyone has another idea for him.

dikranovich said...

i really thought ian darke was going to mention NSC when he was just talking about the dubious goal panel, during this swansea v west ham game.

Joosey said...

Why is it unreasonable to think he couldn't or shouldn't play CD? He is big, strong, good in the air, and a good one v one defender. He is more mobile than most CDs to boot.

As a central midfielder, he is a pretty poor distributor, provides very little offensively on a consistent basis, and is often shaky with the ball at his feet, especially under high press (which is obviously a problem anywhere, but more so in the center of the park).

Wideboy said...

Shouldn't it be "two" to go if we include Clint, or is it a done deal that he is not going anywhere this year?

sean said...

Think he's referring to Rangers players.

Greg Seltzer said...

"As a central midfielder, he is a pretty poor distributor... and is often shaky with the ball at his feet, especially under high press (which is obviously a problem anywhere, but more so in the center of the park)."


And so you want to move these attributes closer to goal?

dikranovich said...

good question greg. maybe the point being that a central defender, by having a different position on the field has a different tactical acumen, compared with a center mid, even a defensive center mid.

i really dont see your logic greg, when it is like an ajax precept for players to understand all positions on the field, yet you are so entrenched in this idea of holding to one position, unless your name is JOB, of course.

Greg Seltzer said...

You don't see my logic to play a player who was raised as a pure DM, trained his whole career as a DM and done his best career work as a DM, as a DM?

Defending as a midfielder is not the same as defending as a center back. Thus, reality does not see the logic of suddenly wanting to throwing a veteran midfielder player into defense.

Besides, if we stacked up the top 5 *real* reasons everyone wants Edu put back into defense, most of them would relate to worries about the current central defense depth chart and NOT about how Edu is tailor-made to play CB.

This whole thing is silliness.

dikranovich said...

greg, hold the phone here, do you mean silliness, like fabian johnson at left back silliness, or are you talking more fried fish taco silliness?

Greg Seltzer said...

Even sillier than Fabian Johnson at left back.

Fish tacos are not silly at all, though I much prefer grilled.

jon said...

I can see it from both sides and to be honest I'm baffled as to why Greg is so baffled about why others see Edu's potential as a CB. Anyway, it's not just commenters on here and/or USMNT fans that just saw the Mexico game. People that are paid to watch and analyze the game (like your MLSS colleague Matt Doyle) have been calling for Edu to play CB ever since the Beijing olympics.

dikranovich said...

i like the idea of edu at center back, it allows him to face one direction and it makes it easier to read the game, plus he has great atributes for a center back.

usa has lacked a center back with range, really since the pope days. and it comes down to who a player is paired with. it takes two players that understand each others skillset to play central defense.

Greg Seltzer said...

And I have no clue why. He was not good in the Olympics - which stands to reason as he is not a defender.

I mean, if I said hey let's throw in Zak Whitbread, an actual EPL-caliber defender, for a competitive match, everyone would revolt, saying he had no international experience there. Why a non-defender, who has never trained as a defender and does not play like a defender, is okay to throw back there is beyond me.

I just think people panic too easily. Panic is not the time for random decision making.

Greg Seltzer said...

Playing center back allows him to only face one direction!

I've heard everything now.

dikranovich said...

jon, please, greg is his own man, just because he writes for the same publication as another writer does not mean he is in step with his ideas. thank you

WilkersonMclaser said...

Greg is right -- Edu has done his best work as a CDM/destroyer and that's where he probably ought to remain.

That said, I think the interest in Edu as a centerback comes not only from depth chart issues (though that's certainly what prompted the experiment), but that he's mobile, strong, and possesses a midfielder's sense of possession and distribution (banner CBs in the U.S. have more often been slower, powerful meatheads with height and ability to clear without distributing). With a trend in the USMNT and worldwide towards pacier, more technical CBs -- at least to complement the beefier shutdown artist -- Edu seems a decent enough prospect and his solid outings at the 2008 Olympics and the Mexico game seem to confirm that to some degree.

From my own provincial knowledge, I'd compare the project to Philly's Omobi Okugo, who has been a revelation -- seriously awesome -- at CB because of all those things. He was raised and trained as a DM, but has really shined as a CB. He's got some height and physicality, but he's also got an incredible sense of positioning, nice toolbox of skills, and top notch distribution. Personally, I think he's a great long-term USMNT CB option if Hack decides to keep him there and develop him.

BUT-- with all that said, Greg is still right. Edu may have the gifts to do well at CB, but he's no spring chicken by assoccering standards and shouldn't be expected to learn a new role at a point that should be at or near the peak of his career.

dikranovich said...

greg, you misquoted me, ill take your retraction at your leisure

Greg Seltzer said...

I will when you explain precisely what you think playing at center back "allows him to face one direction" means.

dikranovich said...

lets put it this way, the goal keeper, he faces one direction more than any other player on the pitch.

L.Aguirre said...

At the end of the day it's the coaches who decide where he fits best, not us.

RM said...

Is there any truth to Dempsey going to Man City Greg?

Greg Seltzer said...

Where did you get that?

Dave Nelson said...

Greg - Are you going to reveal anything about Dempsey before the end of the transfer window? Or a potential transfer? Or are you waiting until something is settled with his future?

Greg Seltzer said...

I have revealed things, as recently as a couple weeks ago. :)

Dave Nelson said...

Okay good point, but I mean reveal the whole story!

Greg Seltzer said...

At this exact time, I do not know the whole story (or if I do actually know it, I'm not yet aware that is the case). And I'm not at liberty to discuss the things I know that I know.

Patience, young Jedi.

WilkersonMclaser said...

Greg, I think what Dave is saying is that we want to hear something from someone reliable to make us feel better about this whole crazy situation.

Greg Seltzer said...

I understand. If/when I can, I certainly will.

Joosey said...

My point is that a CD is not as heavily relied upon to find decent outlet passes as a CM, generally speaking. Finding the right pass under pressure is the weakest point of Edu's game, so I say why not give him a shot at CB? What's hurt if it doesn't work? He had a solid game against Mexico, so what's to say he won't continue to do so?

heythisisrobbie said...

Edu is not good enough at CDM. That's why the conversation of a position switch comes up in the first place. If that is his one and only position, he's not quality enough to be a starter for the US.

As a side note, I thought he looked damn good at CB in Mexico City..

Greg Seltzer said...

I disagree on your first viewpoint. When he is just allowed to guard the gate and play away simply, he does well. It's when he's asked to do too much moving forward that problems arise.

The second viewpoint I find a little generous.

AWF08 said...

While disagree with Greg on F. Johnson, I do see his point. I whole heartedly agree with him on Edu. Edu has been a solid starter for Rangers in the DM position for years. That hasn't always been the case with the US.
I think those struggles had more to do with pairings and formation than Edu, though. When paired with MB or Jones in a two man holding midfield role Edu struggled for a few reasons: that the players were too similar and didn't compliment each other, because of that they were often not great outlets for each other in possession, and their 'destroying' often wanted to happen in the same place making one or both out of position or a man marker--which is not a strength or what you want in a holding mid. In that situation, I think Edu deferred a lot to the other players, which hurt his game.
Recently, in some big games I might add, Klinsi changed that formation and set Edu as the loan holding destroyer and set Jones and MB loose as two way mids. All of a sudden, MB and Jones became goal threats, started to help more in possession further up the field, and started to have more effect on the game as a whole (Jones, especially, looked more effective). This also let Edu do his thing in a more natural and effective way. He was able to 'destroy' wherever his instincts told him to--and he was all over the place--showing his range. He was also better in possession because, instead of having someone right next to him and only one other intermediate option going forward, the triangles were more naturally there having Jones and MB more forward (this also meant they had to be accounted for by the other teams midfield = more space). Once that change occured (which is the intended use of a midfield triangle) all three players looked better. Edu now had better possession options, freedom in his defensive role, and a clear/comfortable understanding of his role. All of a sudden he was the player we saw in MLS, who started to good effect for Rangers, and who has been pursued by French and Turkish (and probably some others) clubs as a holding mid. In fact, with everyone healthy and in camp, I'd argue he's first choice in that role for the US (with MB and Jones in the roles described above).

Jolazo said...

Have any of you who are saying Mo should play CB for Stoke actually looked at Stoke's roster? Their strongest position by a mile is CB. They aren't going to take a guy who hasn't played a minute of CB in club football, who is playing in the Premiership for the first time, and stick him in the center of defense. He's a defensive midfielder, and that's what Stoke is bringing him in to be.

Alex Larsen said...

EDU SHOULD BE PLAYING STRIKER!!!!

dikranovich said...

jolazo, maybe we should actually look at the roster and see which is the strongest position, because it might actually be that there is more competition for a defensive mid role, then there is for center back. is cameron playing center mid or center back for stoke?

RM said...

Greg, Eric Wynalda said yesterday on Fox soccer that Man city is looking like his destination.

Jolazo said...

@dikranovich

Cameron played D-Mid in preseason for Stoke. I would guess that is where he will play, at least to start out. But if Stoke were to move one of the Americans to CB, it would almost certainly be Cameron. But no way Edu would beat out Shawcross, Huth or Upson.

@RM

That was just Wynalda talking out of his ass. He has no sources. Just stupid speculation on his part.

RM said...

Jolazo, you may be right. But didnt he claim he was walking to Clints agent?

Jolazo said...

@RM

No. He randomly brought it up at halftime of the Man City game after Aguero got hurt. He never backed it up with anything and everyone else on the panel looked at him like he was nuts. There hasn't even been paper talk linking him to Man City. It's not even a rumor. Just Wynalda trying unsuccessfully to link to completely separate situations.

RM said...

Again, the guy is a clown and you are probably right.

but he said that they had him at the top of their list. When he said it on the news yesterday he was saying it in a manner that he was actually talking to the agent.

dikranovich said...

jolazo, thanks for proving the point that there is in fact more competition for the defensive mid spot than there is for center half.

Paul Poenicke said...

Noteworthy quotes from http://tinyurl.com/cs3glm3:

Edu played alongside Stoke newcomer Geoff Cameron in Mexico last week and Pulis later spoke with their international manager.

"I rang Jurgen Klinsmann and he was full of praise for Maurice," Pulis revealed.

"He said that apart from midfield, Maurice can play anywhere across the back. I watched the tape of their win in Mexico last week and he played well alongside Geoff in defence.

"I asked Geoff about him and he only had good things to say.

"Maurice is not only a good player and a good athlete, but also versatile.

"It's important we have players who can slot into more than one position this season because the squad will be smaller if we move a few on."

Note: this might be a good selling job by Klinsmann, or an attempt to widen his pool for CB. I agree with Greg on this one: let's try to fit talent and experience to the position (CB) before exasperatingly twiddling with any talent or experience for the position.

Beating Mexico in Mexico City is impressive. Long term international success is based on consistent performance and ability, something Edu hasn't shown as a CB yet. (I wouldn't bet on Frodo getting the Ring to Mt. Doom again even after his solitary successful attempt.) Give him time to improve his skills and gain experience at Stoke. If he shows promise as a CB, bring him back--and continue building depth by giving caps to Whitbread and Lichaj, and possibly older players like DeMerit and Spector (only 26!).

Greg Seltzer said...

"jolazo, thanks for proving the point that there is in fact more competition for the defensive mid spot than there is for center half."


Erm... he did nothing of the sort. And here are those two Stoke depth charts:

CB - Shawcross, Huth, Upson, Higginbotham, Wilkinson

DM - Palacios, Cameron, Arismendi

Joosey said...

Five people competing for two spots is mathematically favorable to three people competing for one spot. Furthermore, Higginbothom can hardly be considered to impact the starting 11 any longer, and Wilkinson plays CD about as often as Edu.

dikranovich said...

can we add glen whelan to this list of defensive mids? how about dean whitehead? maybe rory delap. i think you guys forgot about the irishmen.

and if stoke is going to sell any players over these next couple of windows, ryan shawcross is probably at the top of the list, and robert huth is not far behind him.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Joosey: Stoke plays two DMs.

@ dikranovich: If Stoke is going to sell anyone, it will be their captain, who they have already rejected huge offers for in the past? Where do you even get these ideas, let alone the notion to assume them as fact?

Delap is about 400 years old and Whitehead isn't a proper defensive midfielder. I forgot about Whelan, but to be fair, I'm fairly sure the manager would like to also - his presence is likely the reason for all the new DMs brought in.

dikranovich said...

we are going to find out in about 15 minutes just exactly how many defensive mids are going to play and who is going to play where. come on spyder man, give the epl the business.

Greg Seltzer said...

Stoke plays a 4-4-1-1 empty bucket, this is common knowledge.

Whitehead is out suspended, so Cameron is starting alongside Whelan.

dikranovich said...

lol

dikranovich said...

active in the first minute, looks imposing on the pitch with his size, nice range. this is baptisim under fire with arsenals quality, nothing worse than azteca though, except maybe carloza. nice cameron. very active

dikranovich said...

20 mins. in and cameron has been forward thinking with his passes and he has releaved four or five arsenal possessions of the ball. showing very nice range.

dikranovich said...

cameron has stepped into this stoke city team very nicely. spyderman might be hard to remove from the starting lineup. he is only going to get better and it is really a positive development to see an american get right into the mix.

seeing this game, i cant help but think how crazy aston villa was for not seeing more talent in bradley. cameron has a little fellani in him, minus the fro and a couple inches. long legs, break up plays.

Greg Seltzer said...

Heh. So does this mean we can consider you converted to my preference that Cameron be a DM? :D

dikranovich said...

greg, the versatility of the US player has always been one of the great traits.

dikranovich said...

cameron is playing a little higher up the pitch in the second half, and in about the 60th minutes he removed the ball from an arsenal players foot and made a nice lateral pass that should have had more done with it.

Wideboy said...

Looks like Arsenal could use a versatile player that knows how to score goals and take proper free kicks. Someone that can play both winger and forward. Any versatile American players that can score and play several positions still available this week? LMAO!

dikranovich said...

does palacios come on for whelan or cameron, very interesting to see what happens.

dikranovich said...

wow, it was whelan. atta boy geoff

Wideboy said...

Nice stop on Walcott!

dikranovich said...

cameron put in a very solid shift in his opener with stoke city. his motor was running the full 93 minutes. he had a nice bowlers tackle on walcott in the last minutes and he was really making positive passes all day, which is why he remained on the field over whelan.

cameron in his first game is already showcasing his talents. very impressive.

Greg Seltzer said...

Yeah and facing Arsenal in your first competitive game in a good while is a tough test.

dikranovich said...

cameron really displayed nice vision today, and his speed of thought was ahead of where you might think it would be.

the announcers today were very good and offered great insight, such as the point that it often takes players 12 to 18 months to acclimate to the epl. it took cameron minutes.

im not sure, but i think stoke city awarded cameron player of the match, which is a nice intro to the team, but was also well earned on his part.

dikranovich said...

is there a team on this planet with more fight songs than liverpool? i think not. come on kop. put a stop to mancini and his little light blue teamy.

dikranovich said...

borini tries to side foot a nice cross that dempsey hits into the back of the net with his laces on the ball. oh, we are on to the game of the week. liverpool v citeh.

dikranovich said...

if chelsea does not run away with it, this is shaping up to be another very fine epl season. 1 nil liverpool.

dikranovich said...

15 minutes to go, liverpool looks strong. 2-1 on a luis suarez beauty., oh, and here comes david silva.

dikranovich said...

poor poor martin skirtel. pegs one up and pips one back.

dikranovich said...

it happened quickly in the 85th minute, but it was like denero meeting pacino in heat, when david silva and luis suarez battled down in the corner. david silva got the better of the tussle.

Soccertes said...

Greg, any chance you could at least rubbish these rumors of CD to Sunderland? They seem to defy logic, but so does everything else surrounding this saga.

Greg Seltzer said...

If I could, I would. It's all gotten very stealth lately. But I think we all know it sounds quite far-fetched from sources with imagination.

heythisisrobbie said...

It just hit me this morning: DM at Stoke is like a CB anywhere else. Good move for Edu.

dikranovich said...

yo are freaking never out of it when michael bradley is on your team. the man is a gamer, deep down in his core. yesssss.....601

bighurt chavez said...

any word on onyewu transfer, saw levante rumor

Soccertes said...

Wow the Deuce to Sunderland thing is really picking up steam. I have to say if it ends up happening I will lose respect for him. All this BS to move to a lesser team? Of course, the details of the whole thing need to come out and they may favor Deuce but some of the blame for ditching your contract to move sideways (or down) has to fall on the player. How depressing.