Friday, May 31, 2013

Okay, someone is going to need to explain this to me like I'm a four-year-old.

Sorry, it must be asked. I see and hear so many stateside observers, fans and media alike, incessantly declare as fact that Jozy Altidore is just not capable of and/or not suited for playing as a "lone striker"/#9? It seems most of the time, this is part of their explanation for why the striker doesn't score as frequently with the USMNT as he does with AZ Alkmaar. I can't help but wonder what role it is that they think he plays there.

Honestly... somebody... please help a dude far away. My brain is simply not able to process this meme logically. What is the disconnect here?





- Greg Seltzer

70 comments:

Nick said...

I can't remember which former US Soccer star said it last year (maybe Lalas?), but I think people seized upon it because someone supposedly in the know said that Jozy needs a second striker alongside of him.

There may have been something to that when it seemed like our central midfielders would lie particularly deep. It just didn't seem like they were linking up with Jozy effectively at all, but that never struck me as a "Jozy problem" per se.

downintexas said...

The only thing I can think of is they don't want to bash the infalible coach. So it must be Jozy's fault. Not that I'm excusing Jozy, but our tactics are not helping young Josmer out.

Unknown said...

Greg, I wouldn't say it's that he needs a partner, rather he needs a provider - or two. He has that at AZ, but not with US.

Greg Seltzer said...

Preaching to the choir, brother.

Seth said...

The question isn't whether he's CAPABLE of playing the role (he apparently can), but WHY he doesn't play the role with the USMNT. I'm tired of the "limited supply" argument because a) his runs off the ball are poor and b) he so regularly turns over the ball when he DOES get it, I'm not convinced giving him more chances will yield results.

Greg Seltzer said...

There is nothing wrong with his runs, the problem comes when they are not well recognized by teammates. As for your turnover assessment, the stats since Klinsmann took over do not support this view. The guy hardly sees the ball with the USMNT, but his detractors like to ignore this along with many other variables to lay all the blame on him. Altidore is not and has not been the problem with the US attack; he's the victim.

Carl said...

People in the US don't get to see AZ games. Point to any striker who plays alone up top, has no service, and has a coach whose strategic planning routine consists of drawing 4 venn diagrams and a spinning roulette wheel (to decide who will start in central defense), that scores regularly.

Many of the goals I see of Jozy score for AZ start with a play that originates on outside, in which he can exploit lanes that are opened up. If only we had a player who could provide that width...maybe we could find one in LA.

Greg Seltzer said...

As for the Belgium game, fielding two central midfielders against three while trying to play a safe game against a team ready to play football spelled the doom. Nothing else, not even the back line mistakes, many of which came after midfield losses/mistakes.

Jolazo said...

Give the guy a winger or two to play with and stretch field. Stop jamming center midfielders into wide midfield spots. It seems so simple. And yet, it never happens.

Matt said...

Maybe some people get paid by the word, whether it is nonsense or sense...

Seth said...

His runs aren't well recognized by his teammates? Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley, Zusi, Davis, etc. provide plenty of assists with their club teams. I doubt Jozy's "genius" is lost on them...

Greg Seltzer said...

"Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley, Zusi, Davis, etc. provide plenty of assists with their club teams."


Yeeeeah, and Altidore scores even more goals with his club team, who play in a significantly more tactical league than three of those five players you mentioned. Besides, the far and away best playmaker of the five has not been in a USMNT shirt in eons - which is just about as long as Altidore has gone without scoring in the run of play for that team.

downintexas said...

I think I read somewhere that 75% give or take of his goals came from a LD assist.

What I really think the problem is that our D is in a major over haul. I think our mid is over compensating for this. That means less service for Jozy. Klinsman, granted has had to deal with injuries, has yet to decide on a CB pairing. Personaly I believe Gonzo and Besler have earned the spots due to there last two games in Col and Mex.

mark said...

Altidore is the one that misses Landon the most

Alex Larsen said...

I can explain it: they don't know as much as they think they know.

Tony M said...

When I complain about Jozy as a "lone striker" with the USMNT, it is not a complaint about Jozy. I think it is a failure of JK to put in him in a place to maximize his talents. Jozy scores with his feet, likes to take guys on, and id a technical finisher. JK does not ask him to do that or set him up to do that.

The way I put it on another forum (under my nom de guerre Tony in Quakeland) is that JK wants him to be Conor Casey. He wants him to hold up play, bang bodies and score with his head. It's like he wants him to play nose tackle.

So it's not the "lone" part that bothers me. It's the tactical approach he wants Jozy to take. He simply wants him to be somebody else...someone not as good.

SleeStaxx said...

We need some semblance of wing creativity and service... Altidore is starved for it with the USMNT right now... With Donovan out, best hopes lie with Holden getting (hopefully) back to pre-injury form quickly and the possibility of F-Johnson on L-Wing (who has looked exceedingly good at times with passing on overlap runs when playing LB.

TrueCrew said...

OK, Greg, I'll break it down for you.

Let's look at Altidore's skill set. He isn't very proficient in the air, to say the least. He's first touch is, average, at best. His link up play is average. His movement is pretty good. His speed is good but not great.

If he plays for a team (like AZ) that has a wonderful #10, plays three very attacking players up top, and plays in a league where open play is the rule, he scores a lot because of both the style of play at the club, and in the league.

He scores with his feet, and the end of nice moves, and with short, explosive bursts and shots from distance.

For the US, we have the ball at lot less against most good teams. So chances are fewer. There is less space in open play. We have less possession. We lack a true #10 (sorry Clint) and provide little to no effective wing play.
So Jozy is going to score less, period.

But his skill set doesn't help much. He can't play knock down off long balls like McBride or Ching because he stinks in the air. And he's no threat on set pieces for the same reason.

His first touch isn't that great, so while he's strong, he doesn't hold the ball up exceptionally well, nor does he link exceptionally well when he does hold it up (notice all the flicks that led to turnovers when a simple pass would have done just fine).

Speaking of his first touch, it is not excellent, so when he does get a half chance to pull the ball down and do something, he fails. Witness the 5th minute play.

And he has good speed, but he isn't so blazingly fast that the threat of him getting behind opens up space in the midfield.

Hence, against good teams, he doesn't generate much. On a team that has possession a lot in an open game, with good passers all around him, he can score with his feet a lot. If that isn't the case, he struggles.

He hasn't scored a goal from open play without Donovan in what, 3 years?

He needs a partner to play off of. Be it Dempsey, Gomez, EJ, Boyd, Donovan. Somebody.

The fact that you are a soccer writer and this bewilders you is kind of funny.

SleeStaxx said...

haha... truecrew = FAIL...

best nonsense post of the day...


Jolazo said...

Jozy scored at least 5 goals with his head this season for AZ. He can score in the air.

And he can definitely knock down long balls. It may not be where he's at his best, but go watch Bradley's goal against Slovenia in the WC and tell me he can't do a target forward's job.

The problem is on the wings. We don't have a single guy on the roster right now that will run at the outside backs and try to get to the end line and put the ball in the box. The only wingers that even try to do that are Donovan, Shea, and to a lesser extent, Bedoya. Add in the fact that Fabian and Dolo weren't/aren't available and we have no one who's going to take on guys and put crosses into the box. If no one's going to exploit the outside backs, then we are stuck trying to produce all our scoring outside the box, off set pieces, or on the counter.

UnitedDemon said...

The definition of a lone striker in the Dutch league and a lone striker for the US is this: The US expects their target striker to outmuscle and out hustle the entire back line, and score goals off one of the two or three looks he gets.

That's why McBride was a hero. Jozy is not McBride. In fact, McBride always had better service in important matches. He had Reyna, Donovan, Beasley, Chris Klein could get crosses in, even Dempsey toward the end, sometimes Bobby Convey would step it up. The team lived on counter attacks and crosses to McBride, who was extremely gifted with his head, and decent with his feet.

Jozy needs crosses, through balls, balls over the top. He needs supporting players who can move, pass, create space. But he's not McBride, and this team can't get the ball to him. Lazy.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ True Crew: I'm about to head out for a couple hours, but I will gladly address your comments when I get back. Unless other readers would like to continue the demolition first.

Seth said...

I'm on board, TrueCrew.

Andy said...

Jozy's problems are similar to Fernando Torres's initial problems at Chelsea. Both strikers are best when they can run onto balls, not receive it with their back to goal or when fighting of a CB for a header.

Torres reeived that kind of service at Liverpool, just as Jozy receives that service at AZ. Chelsea was used to a Drogba-like player and didn't play Torres the kind of balls that he excels at, so he 'bombed'. Once Benitez took charge, he made changes so that Torres got more of the kind of balls that work for him.

Jozy is in the same boat. AZ is his Liverpool and the USMNT is his Chelsea. Until tactics and/or personel change so that he begins to receive the balls he's effective with, his 'form' won't improve.

Joe Bailey said...

They need a new coach that understands you need wingers to play on the wing. Why is this so hard?

'Oooh the Dutch league has the worst defending, ever... That's why Altidore scores so much there...'

Tell this to... Robben, Van Persie, Huntelaar, Suarez, etc...

'Jozy hasn't scored in like a billion years... He sucks'

So who has been the prolific scorer for the USA these past couple of years? Please who?

'Well what about Villareal, Xeres & Hull, hmm, how many goals did he scor there? Huh?

In Villarreal, he actually has a good scoring rate for the appearances he made on the team. Xerez the coach felt Jozy was shoved on him and he didn't want to use him. Actually Villa wasn't too happy about that which brings us to Hull. He didn't score much there. Neither did any of the center towards that they had there scored much in that year, and we're taking about prime time guys like Vennegor of Hesselink among the cfs. Now guess who was the consistent scorer with Hull? It was a MIDFIELDER, an Irish guy, can't remember his name... But what IS important is that he scored BECAUSE UNLIKE THE FORWARDS HE SAW THE BALL. Why is this so hard to understand? Okay I'll stop ranting...

Joe Bailey said...

Thank you UnitedDemon...

Greg Seltzer said...

Okay, True Crew, let's do this. And let me start by noting I'm a soccer writer that sees Altidore work nearly every week, often from the stands and occasionally in training. ;)


"Let's look at Altidore's skill set. He isn't very proficient in the air, to say the least."

No idea what you're on about. He's got 12 headed goals the past two season, plus a few knockdown assists. Is he top shelf in the air? No, but he's pretty good. And even when he doesn't win one in the air, that body is still tiring the defense.


"He's first touch is, average, at best."


Oh, it waaas that a couple years ago. Not anymore.



"His link up play is average."

See directly above.


"His movement is pretty good. His speed is good but not great."

With ya here.


"If he plays for a team (like AZ) that has a wonderful #10, plays three very attacking players up top, and plays in a league where open play is the rule, he scores a lot because of both the style of play at the club, and in the league."

Did you watch him at all this season? For the better part, AZ had the hardest time creating chances.

Or were you simply agreeing with me on how the US should play? :D


"He scores with his feet, and the end of nice moves, and with short, explosive bursts and shots from distance."

Including that wonder free kick, he scored twice from distance this season. Seriously, did you not see his goals this season? They were of all stripes from every angle and method.


"For the US, we have the ball at lot less against most good teams. So chances are fewer. There is less space in open play. We have less possession. We lack a true #10 (sorry Clint) and provide little to no effective wing play.
So Jozy is going to score less, period."

So, again, you're agreeing he's not the problem then?


"But his skill set doesn't help much. He can't play knock down off long balls like McBride or Ching because he stinks in the air. And he's no threat on set pieces for the same reason."

When was the last time you recall him blowing a good cross in the US shirt?


"Speaking of his first touch, it is not excellent, so when he does get a half chance to pull the ball down and do something, he fails. Witness the 5th minute play."

You mean the play when he received a hard low pass well with Kompany and Vermaelen draped all over him, then one of them managed to knock it just out of his reach as he turned to shoot? If that's your idea of failing, I think we've found our disconnect. Apparently, you think that is something very easy to do.


"Hence, against good teams, he doesn't generate much."

He has 14 goals in 19 games against Ajax, PSV, Twente and Vitesse. Do you really think AZ had a lot of the ball and created oodles of chances in those games?


"On a team that has possession a lot in an open game, with good passers all around him, he can score with his feet a lot. If that isn't the case, he struggles."

Are you referring to Altidore or every striker the USMNT has ever had?



"He needs a partner to play off of. Be it Dempsey, Gomez, EJ, Boyd, Donovan. Somebody."

I'm curious, off what playing history exactly do you base this?


Greg Seltzer said...

One more thing, because this Jozy is terrible in the air stuff is aggravating. If he's so dire in the air and on set pieces, then why did he get a double team after the knockback from beyond one post to the other to free Cameron for the first US goal the other night?

dikranovich said...

maybe it is jozys attitude that is his biggest limitation right now. he can do some nice things, but at the same time, ahh, he really isn't all that.

we want more jozy altidore, and the attitude is piss poor. who does this guy think he is, and he is not 19 anymore. he is not a little boy anymore, but sometimes maybe he still acts like it.

UnitedDemon said...

Did you hear something?

No, must have been bull $%^#.

Rossi said...
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Rossi said...
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Rossi said...

Even if Jozy had a few more opportunities he would still have been neutralized, he's an average forward, Belgium have world class defenders. He'll move to England well hyped by fan boys and fail like so many other forwards from that league. Players like Suarez are the anomaly, you more likely to get Kezman.

Greg Seltzer said...

Suarez is an anomaly among attackers moving from the Eredivisie to the bigger leagues with production, you say? So can I be there when you explain that to:

Huntelaar, Van Persie, Farfan, Dembele, Kuyt, Kalou, Zlatan, Makaay, Van der Vaart, Robben, Sneijder, Koné, Elmander, Tomasson, Van Nistelrooy, Van Hooijdonk, Gudjohnsson, Cruz, McCarthy, Ronaldo, Romario, Bruggink, Hasselbaink, Kluivert, Kanu, Overmars and Bergkamp?

That's just 20 years worth and doesn't even include several guys who just moved on and some like Honda and Dszudszak, who went to places like Russia for the money. In those 20 years, Eredivisie products have led one of the EPL, Serie A, La Liga or Bundesliga in scoring 13 times.

I dare you to now make similar lists and counts for France, Portugal, Brazil, any other leagues you want. And while you do, remember that I didn't even reach to Van Basten and all the stars before him.

WonderKin said...

A lot of frustration that we didn't put up a better showing against Belgium I get it... grow up. Putting a conservative lineup with "proven" guys gives us no way to grow as a team.

Greg I feel your pain brother. These people come up with completely baseless opinions on Altidore. The kid is and is going to be great. Talk to me in three years, until then he just scored 30 goals on a mediocre team (Maher is a beast though) in a league known for producing goal scorers.

The US team problems... First off Belgium probably has top 5 talent in the world right now. They have talent with continuity of playing together as well. The US does not have that continuity. The roster of the game was a mix of 3 generations of players who play on different continents with a couple days to practice. Every time we play with little practice we suck due to a lack of long term continuity. That can't be helped we are in a huge transition.

I think Jurgen gave some guys the chance that they deserved.

Brad Davis, you earned the chance, yep, not starting VI material. Sacha... not better than Bradley... but a depth guy. Not happening Clarence. Bease, not a fluke, you are the man. Graham, you work baby, but you consistently flick to no one... I love the outside of my foot too, but stop using that move to give the ball away. Zusi just does not have the athleticism to take guys premier internationals on 1 v 1. That's this game was about. Probably more of the same vs. Germany.

Tom said...

I would agree that Belgium was quite an opponent. They really do have the hot hand-er-feet. Still, that was a dire performance by the midfield and right + center backs.

Greg Seltzer said...

I am of the opinion that teams win games in midfield. They can certainly lose them in defense or attack, but wins are usually decided by the midfield area.

Rossi said...

First off, not many of those strikers are #9's which is the distinction. Why you would compare Sneijder or Van De Vaart to Jozy is beyond me, that just makes him worse by comparison. A few of those players support my point. Kuyt was prolific in the Eredivisie and had to change his game in England, same goes for others like Bryan Ruiz and Dembele. Why? How they were able to get goals in the Eredivisie is harder when you aren't marked by substandard defenders.

Also to speak of Jozy in the same breath as Van Basten is a disrespect to one of the greatest strikers ever who unfortunately had to retire too soon. Zlatan has more technique in one toe than Jozy has ever seen on Youtube. Highly technical #9 strikers that can translate their ability to any league are rare from that league, attacking mids aren't.

31 goals in the Eredivisie might impress you but I've seen that story many times before. Just this season there are 4 strikers over 20 goals and only one is any good and that's Bony. In your rundown of standouts from the Eredivisie you forgot to mention recent standouts like Bas Dost, Luuk de Jong, Senharib Malki, Bjorn Vleminckx, Dmitri Bulykin, Bryan Ruiz, El Hamdaoui, Marcus Berg, most scoring over 20 goals in the league. John Guidetti went to the Netherlands on loan and managed to walk 28 goals in 23 games.

Athletes like Jozy will get a long way in that league, defenders can't deal with it. If he moves to England he'll have to cope with strength and pace of the game, he'll have a lot less time on the ball. Those goals where he takes 2-3 touches to score won't come as often. More technical players like Bryan Ruiz have noted this is the biggest difference in style. Suarez is unique because his style of beating a marker is translatable anywhere, essentially he runs at players and has very good feet.

I've seen Jozy play a few times for AZ, but the other day I was watching highlights of his goals scored in the Eredivisie and there were moments when you just have to laugh at the quality of defending. Defenders jumping inches of the ground, bunching like school children and leaving Jozy unmarked in the 6 yard box, being duped buy simple one-two's, which is apparently his brilliant link up play.

He does have limitations with the USMNT because of the service he gets but he's not that good.

Greg Seltzer said...

"First off, not many of those strikers are #9's which is the distinction. Why you would compare Sneijder or Van De Vaart to Jozy is beyond me, that just makes him worse by comparison."

Actually, 19 of the 30 names I listed were #9's at the time in question. Besides, I was responding to a comment about Suarez, who is absolutely not a #9 in any way, shape or form. He's a winger.



"Kuyt was prolific in the Eredivisie and had to change his game in England, same goes for others like Bryan Ruiz and Dembele. Why?"


Why? Because, erm, it's a totally different style of play with different squad set-ups. And don't forget different coaches, who prefer some players in different places. But even if Dembele usually plays a midfield role for Spurs, Belgium still plays him as a winger or second striker.



"Also to speak of Jozy in the same breath as Van Basten is a disrespect to one of the greatest strikers ever who unfortunately had to retire too soon"


What are you talking about? Good grief.



"31 goals in the Eredivisie might impress you but I've seen that story many times before. Just this season there are 4 strikers over 20 goals and only one is any good and that's Bony.... "


Let me just stop you right there. See, this is the problem we're having. You say a total of 31 and then magically it becomes 20 when you want to give us your gold star striker ratings (sponsored by Shane Long, no doubt). Stop moving the goalposts so much, you're altering reality.



"In your rundown of standouts from the Eredivisie you forgot to mention recent standouts like Bas Dost, Luuk de Jong, Senharib Malki, Bjorn Vleminckx, Dmitri Bulykin, Bryan Ruiz, El Hamdaoui, Marcus Berg, most scoring over 20 goals in the league. John Guidetti went to the Netherlands on loan and managed to walk 28 goals in 23 games."


Here we go again. No, I didn't. I clearly stated I was not listing guys who just left... because, ya know, they just left. I mean, how many seasons did Shane Long get before he became 31-goal Eredivisie quality?




"Athletes like Jozy will get a long way in that league, defenders can't deal with it."


Heh. Shall I now list Eredivisie defenders and defensive midfielders that have gone to the big leagues over the last 20 years?


"I've seen Jozy play a few times for AZ... "


I wish you'd have started with that. Would have saved me a lot of time and effort.


WonderKin said...

Yep. Geoff is not a right back. Clarence, though savvy is not athletic enough. Besler is inexperienced.

Gonzo, Besler, And Geoff are young enough, athletic enough, and can actually handle pressure on the ball. They just need to become more cohesive at centerback and get our real fullbacks back on the field (not Jurgens fault) . We need those type of guys to play the style Jurgen wants to play. NOT Gooch, NOT Boca, they are great for the bunker-down/counterattack style, not the high press build from the back style. They are going to take some lumps figuring it out.

Michael Bradley and LD solve a lot of problems on offense and possession, so let's hope that is the answer there.

WonderKin said...

You know what screw it! Let's fire JK and hire Tony Pulis. Let's run a 4-5-1. The back line will be Boca, Gooch, w/ Cameron and Besler at fullback. Let's have an all Defensive-Mid midfield. Screw passing on the ground. We are going to borrow whoever the en vogue 100m dash guy is from the US track team. He is going to bring track blocks onto the field and set them up right in center field. We will just kick long balls and tell him to "go get it!" It is going to be an abortion of the beautiful game, but hey we might just pull off a record streak of scoreless draws in meaningless friendlies. Instead of actual goals we can just play highlights of retired or washed up national teamers from the "glory years".

dikranovich said...

or we could just talk about the fascinating preliminary gold cup roster.

Timmy said...

WonderKin-
To steal a stat from Matt Doyle (who apparently got it form bigsoccer), check out the number of shots from the run of play followed by the number of goals over our lasdt 5 games:
Canada 4/0
Honduras 2/1
Costa Rica 1/1
Mexico 0/0
Belgium 0/0

I don't know that JK's version of beautiful soccer, passing out of the back, etc is working.

WonderKin said...

We all know the attack is not clicking right now. All that stat does is prove something we already agree on. The debate revolves around how we move forward from here.

There seems to be two general schools of thought among fans/pundits:

1) Fear and need for safety. We are not good enough to play this style. We need to bring back the old guard and do everything Bob Bradley did.

2) Hope and willingness to take risks. We can do this, but it takes time.

I'm in camp two. You have to stop thinking like a fan and start thinking like a coach or administrator. These friendlies are a preseason-like competition. Winning is meaningless and NOT the first objective though they would never admit that.

How do NFL teams do it in the preseason? I promise you they are not meticulously breaking down the other team on film or coming up with heady game plans to attack the other teams strengths and weaknesses. They are focused on their base offenses and defenses. Their focused on fundamentals. Their focused on learning everything they can about every guy they have and cutting the guys that just can't help at all. It is still early. Yep, still early.

You have to be realistic about what we are trying to do and where we are at in trying to do it.

Bob Bradley almost won the damn confederations cup... peaked to early. How did that translate the next year at the world cup?

A year IS A LONG TIME relative to the soccer world. Chill out. Jurgen HAS done this before. Everything that is happening here already happened in Germany when he was the Manager there. The same fear based mentality about his methods. The same public scrutiny in the friendlies leading up to the world cup. Chill out. Stay positive.

Timmy said...

WonderKin-
I'm in camp 2 as well! I don't know that JK is! He talks a heck of a lot about a beautiful game - passing out of the back, etc. But the rosters he puts out on the field look quite different. Multiple center backs, players out of position, players with little future on the national team (prove me wrong Brad Evans) just because they're safe.

He's floating along on ugly wins/draws (at Azteca, in Italy, etc), but mostly what I see is the same soccer (or worse) than what Bradley was playing.

I'm all for risks. I'm all for trying to build a new system. But I haven't seen much prove that Klinsmann really is in for that.

Nice to see Fabian Johnson on the wing, though!

WonderKin said...

Our fullback situation is not ideal. Jurgen wants the Budesliga boys there. They are not. I personally think that Chandler can kick rocks, from the outside looking in it would appear that he is not very committed.

To completely contradict myself qualifiers are not the times to take risks. When we are playing on contracted fields with 7" grass it may be time to bring in Alan Gordon. When we actually do make the world cup though we need to have developed a team capable of playing a modern style of soccer.

p.s. Please excuse my terrible grammar.

Greg Seltzer said...

Chandler is recovering form injury.

WonderKin said...

Touche, but this is not the first camp he has missed. I have the perception that he only plays for career reasons. I'm not naive I understand every player stands something to gain by making a international appearance. Again, I just perceive Chandler to be more of a mercenary than the other Germans.

I'm not sure how objective this opinion really is. He just gives off that vibe of indifference in interviews and on the field. Johnson and Boyd seem to have a genuine enthusiasm when playing for the US.

Greg Seltzer said...

I fully disagree and this all-too-common kind of stuff bothers me. The time Chandler begged out, he was struggling badly with his club and I believe he acted as a professional for focusing on bringing his play up. The last thing he'd want to do is come into US camp in the form dumps and then carry that over in a World Cup qualifier. Confidence matters.

WonderKin said...

I hope your right. (You definitely could be) He is a viable option at fullback when he is at his best. An option we need. He has put in at least one performance where his effort was unjustifiably scrutinized, so I think I know where you are coming from.

I think there is more to this though. There was also the saga of his indecision to be cap tied. Ok, the German NT is a bigger deal than the USMNT, but there is an accumulation of circumstantial evidence. The mere question of his loyalty is justified.

I take issue with the point of poor form as a viable excuse. Injury recovery? OK fine, but poor form? How many instances of other players in similar situations can be cited as a counter argument. If the team deems you to be in good enough form for a call up... get on the plane.

Greg Seltzer said...

What accumulation of circumstantial evidence? It is all assumption and amateur mind-reading. The large amount of US fans who *still* cynically hold this nonsense against him refuse to believe he's injured when he's injured.

WonderKin said...

Three turned down call-ups (one because "he needed rest"), an atrocious outing versus Honduras, seemingly disinterested body language in interviews, and articles like this:

http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/usa/story/tim-chandler-sends-clear-message-to-jurgen-klinsmann-usmnt-051512

Is it absolute proof? No, but I'm not shaking a magic 8ball here, and after the 5th time I stop giving the benefit of the doubt.

Greg Seltzer said...

First off, if one bad outing is evidence, then I'd love you to name a single US player that isn't suspect by you. Sheesh.

Secondly, I must ask... are you a PHD body language expert? By the odds of it, I'm guessing not, which brings us back to the one incident.

That incident came at the end of his club season, which is typically when players say they "need rest" - in other words, I need more to call this any special evidence. The guy was tired and struggling. And he is not the first guy in the world to beg off a call-up for this reason.

WonderKin said...

It's fairly unusual for a player of his age to snub a call up. It's a big deal, and it brings more attention to all of the other stuff which there is plenty of. Agree to disagree on this one.

Greg Seltzer said...

There is no other stuff. It's assumptive nonsense.

Jay said...

If we hold Chandler suspect for his instance of needing rest after a league season, does that mean we hold Cherundolo suspect now, too?

WonderKin said...
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WonderKin said...

Dolo is rehabbing an injury. He is old and should need rest. He is a proven veteran of two world cups and is nearing the end of his international career. I trust him.

Donovan is a better counter argument, but again, old and proven. I sympathize with his choices.

Chandler is young and has a lot to prove. His call up snub came at the age of 22. His injuries suspiciously coincide call ups. Greg is right that it is assumptive to be suspicious. Call me assumptive until shown other wise.

Greg Seltzer said...

"His injuries suspiciously coincide call ups."


See, this is what pisses me off. Are you actually suggesting that the guy intentionally screwed his knee with three games left in the Bundesliga season to avoid this call-up?

At some point, one simply must consider the possibility that they've reacted wrongly. Seriously, man.

WonderKin said...

This is a quote from a recent Robbie Keene interview where addresses the fact that people fake injuries to avoid call ups.

"I can never understand why players don't want to play for their country, I find that very hard to take in.

"But that's only my personal view on that, people have their own reasons why they won't turn up or say they are injured"

Players lie, and Nurnberg probably doesn't mind. Chandlers two injuries happened in training and required no surgery. A partial ligament tear real or fake is impossible to observe superficially. People play with partial tears, and walk around normally. If he was going to fake an injury to avoid a call up it would have to be one that put him out over half the Summer. It would have to start before the Budesliga season ended. Something like a broken leg would require having a fake cast etc. and who wants to walk around with a fake cast?

His other injury that prevented callup for a one week international break? A strained muscle... didn't miss any club action though.

WonderKin said...

I forgot about the "calf pain" in 2011 for the Mexico friendly from when he twisted his knee in, drum roll please, training.

Again, I fully agree that this is not supported by objective fact. It is completely circumstantial.

Greg Seltzer said...

It's like you are completely unaware of the magnitude of the accusation you're making. Let's not dilly-dally around the it; you are well past simple "Oh gosh, isn't that suspicious" suspicion now.

And let's also be fair in saying that you are basing his shady guilt on how you've perceived it all.

Greg Seltzer said...

Shall we count up how many times each player has had to pull out of camp? I guarantee ya Chandler won't top the chart. Do we then get suspicious of those players, too?

WonderKin said...

Yeah the magnitude of the accusation is large.

I don't think he has any guilt shady or otherwise.

He has done it more than anyone else, and he always is prescribed... rest. and never misses MEANINGFUL Budesliga matches. Nurnbergs last games were solidly meaningless.

I'm not exactly going rogue here. Ives Garlacep, the "armchair analyst", Brian Sciaretta to name a few have all called BS on Chandler.

Greg Seltzer said...

Okay, I'll bite... what was his motivation for skipping US call-ups in this manner?

WonderKin said...

The Major reasons anyone plays in international games is for national pride and international exposure.

"Does he have national pride?" is the question we are heatedly debating.

International exposure when the US plays CONCACAF qualifiers pales in comparison to Budesliga play.

Every player takes the risk of career altering injuries when they play... and then there's the prospect of a vacation.

Furthermore, he probably feels he can waltz back into the National Team picture at any time and take a starting spot... and he is probably right. Which sucks.

Jay said...

Wrong. Cherundolo returned from his knee injury to play the full 90 in the last two games of Hannover's season. He kept himself off the roster to rest.

WonderKin said...

I'm talking about chandler. I already said Dolo should rest and has proven himself to warrant the benefit of the doubt... plus he is old.

Jay said...

Dolo is rehabbing an injury.

Your quote, which is definably wrong. He's already rehabbed his injury, and played in the final two games of the season.

WonderKin said...

Touche' doesnt change a thing. He was definitely seriously injured and missed major portions of his club season. His loyalty is not, and never has been in question and.. he is 34 years old and a veteran of 2 world cups. That is not only accepted, but expected at that age... not 22.