Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Kazzy Man can 'coz he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.

You will need to excuse me. I am trying to ward off sick at the gates, which means saturation belly bombing of nothing but carrots/bananas/chicken soup/V8/toast with honey. I am feeling loopy from lack of FOOOOOOOD. Ahem. In any event, Charles Kazlauskas has bagged his second of the season to knot up Helmond Sport's match at De Graafschap at ones near halftime (the visitors have since taken the lead early in the second half).

I do not know how long it may take, but hopefully we can find video of this.

- Greg Seltzer


paul said...

Anyone know why dolo was subbed out?

Greg Seltzer said...

Offensive maneuver.

paul said...

Ahhhh.... Good stuff.

I've only seen the game stats. My imagination had taken me to worse places.

Anonymous said...

Completely off topic but I think the party is officially over for Jozy at Sunderland.

The fans can stand him. They really, really dislike him. Apparently he was booed off the pitch yesterday.

Although it is still a long way away, I think it may well have ruined him for Brazil too. He is in the funk of all funks and I am not sure how he will get himself out of it. His body language and attitude one the pitch are terrible. He is in an almost constant state of visible frustration and his confidence is completely shot.

What are the odds he moves on from Sunderland in January?

Greg Seltzer said...

First of all, did you read that link you offered? Those fans are dumber than holding a wet sack of hammers over a sleeping baby. Secondly, does any one imagine that Poyet gives a fat rat ass what they shriek and holler?

Beyond that, I am sorry to be the one to tell you that this fearful hysteria is silly. Ruined for Brazil? Funk of all funks? Where were you and the Sunderland fans during the two recent Chelsea games? I am not exaggerating when I say those were probably two of the three best outings for a Sunderland striker in the entire 2013.

Maybe if the utter garbage midfield and the frequently shambolic Bardsley would give Altidore more than 20 touches and .75 chances a game, the fans would have less to gripe about.

Look... this team takes about 60-65% of its shots from over 20 yards away, and most of those do not hit the target. They also seem allergic to passing to an open man in the box or playing any lead balls of any kind in the attacking third. I would love for these Dunderfans to explain how their feeble offense is the fault of the striker. That is akin to blaming a keeper because he gets shelled with 25 shots. For crying out loud, we already went through this same EXACT thing with Altidore in a US shirt. Everyone screaming at the striker was wrong then, too. Now we create more than four shots in a game and realize a forward is on the field to serve, he scores in six straight starts. Magic time? No. It is called a team offense.

I hate to be so blunt and this tail end of my rant is not aimed at you, but US fans need to learn to chiiiiiill. A good start on that educational path is to stop listening to UK observers. Altidore is not playing great this season, no doubt. But if those fans or anyone else thinks he is the Sunderland issue right now (or the second or third), then I am Orville Redenbacher.

dikranovich said...

its funny, but normally people use concacaf opposition to prove that it is not quality enough, but in this altidore case, greg is saying concacaf is good enough for altidore to score in six straight starts against the likes of Jamaica twice and panama, at home.

Greg Seltzer said...

No, that is not what I am saying at all. And even if it was, how cute of you to spin away the four goals in two games against the best teams we faced during that stretch. And people use CONCACAF opposition like Belize and Barbados and Antigua in this manner. I do no believe people say CONCACAF World Cup qualifying hex is some sort of joke, but in the context of certain arguments it is fair to note that it is still not at the level of a World Cup.

Other than that, you nailed it!

dikranovich said...

no, i wanted you to bring up the fact that jozy scored after bosnia took their starting defense off the pitch, or even that the Germany he scored against was not the same Germany he will be facing this summer.

the Germany jozy will be facing this summer is more like the level of talent he is facing in the epl, its not going to be the level of talent he faced in Holland over these past couple years.

in fact, john terry, that will be a treat to watch him try playing in the amazon.

and on the plus side jozy did go from not playing at club Xerox in spains second division to beating spains national team, so we can always hold out hope that jozy will bring something more than he is showing now.

Brian B said...

I should have done this ages ago, but I've completely stopped reading Dik's posts.

The Robbie Findley to Brazil thing put me over the top...

dikranovich said...

such hate!!! what the heck is up with that?

well, certainly everyone has their own idea of what they want from their commentary on such soccer issues.

dikranovich said...

choice quotes on ja, and i aint talking about hali salassi:

"his runs off the ball make no sense"

"his ability to show for the ball and make space for himself in the box is very poor"

"he takes to long on the ball in the box"

"no confidence"

"the Norwich center backs have had no problem dealing with altidore today."

"look at steven fletchers run to the near post. unlike altidore, he looks like a forward who wants to score."

altidore sure seems like he could use some more motivation.

Greg Seltzer said...

Quotes from who? Sunderland fans? I cannot decide whether to say big fat pfft or that you just made points in his favor. If they all liked him, I would then start worrying about his game.

dikranovich said...

we are talking about quotes from someone who watched the game.

Greg Seltzer said...

I watched the game. The commentators even discussed (for about the umpteenth time this season) that Altidore frustration is understandable because Sunderland seems to have no concept of teamwork in attack. Except Altidore, Fletcher and Borini, that is. Hell, flanking Fletcher with the other two is not near the worst thing they could do right now.

Tony M said...

Well, Greg, there's your problem. Basing your opinion on watching the game is clearly asking for trouble.

Anonymous said...

I confess I didn't expect that reaction to my post. Sure, the Sunderland faithful are bitter because their team is horrendous (I know that) and, yes, it is completely true that Altidore (and Fletcher for that matter) have had almost zero decent service. Even so, that doesn't change the fact that Altidore is in a shitty position with a shitty team and playing shitty himself.

Hey, I've watched all of the Sunderland matches too. And as a supporter of the USMNT and Altidore, I am "worried" in the sense that I think this may well have a serious impact on him. Frankly, I think anyone who isn't worried at this point is kidding themselves. Altidore is in a funk. The worst kind - a mental/attitude funk. And him being the primary whipping boy of his club's fans (venting idiots or not) isn't going to make it better. And that was my point about the fans reaction to him lately - not that it is 'fair' but rather that it is only going to get worse and more vitriolic barring him going on a tear. His confidence appears to be severely shaken as it is.

Lastly, I don't need to "chill" about anything. I am not the least bit worked up by any of it. I would be content to have Johannsson and Boyd be our strikers for the WC if it comes to that. I was just making what I think is a valid observation based on the vibe from Sunderland fans as well as Altidore's actual play and attitude.

Now, my original question was - what are the odds he moves to a better situation come the January transfer window? I am assuming 'almost no chance',right?

Greg Seltzer said...

First of all, he is not playing shitty. He is playing from meh to decent in his starts despite being given about 20-25 touches in most games. Can you imagine how tragic their offense would be just without his hold up work?? Fletcher has been largely abysmal, with a passing pct. under 60% and exactly the same number of shots per game as Altidore. Sunderland has scored only five times in his nine starts (in which he has as many own goals as goals, one each), having been shutout five times. They have 11 goals in the 11 starts by Altidore, shut out four times. Long story short, people freaking out is no proof. They do that about everything.

As for all this mental report stuff (and you are far from the only one saying such things), I cannot help but find it all reactionary, overwrought and quite simply a "diagnosis" from TV - which as I noted in a later comment (which I explicitly stated was not aimed at you) is a fairly common (and for me, routinely depressing) thing among many US fans. Stress is a killer, so everybody needs to chill; it is not an insult, it is health care advice against everyone making themselves ill for no good reason.

As for being content with AJ and Boyd as the strikers at WC14, I have many thoughts and feelings. One is to laugh, one is to put my head in my hands, one is to wonder when people realize that club form is not the overwhelming factor in international selection everyone imagines. Boyd has zero US goals and about 250 minutes of intl. experience. AJ has one in about 200 minutes. Altidore, on the other hand, swept the US POTY awards this year, nearly has more World Cup experience than those two have with the team combined, scored four hex goals to key our clinching surge and has 21 intl. goals at the age of 24. Perhaps most pertinently in this moment, the USMNT is not Sunderland! We pass the ball to open strikers. We no longer hit 70 yard long balls to a striker often battling two defenders with no teammate anywhere near him. I mean, how do you think Boyd would be faring on this Sunderland team? I will tell you: he would probably never see the field.

And by the way, one should never combine the phrases "valid observation" and "based on the vibe from Sunderland fans" in the same sentence. At least not with a straight face.

Anonymous said...

Jeebus, you doth protest too much. Even perceived criticism of Altidore is causing you angst. I think you may want to take your own advice and chill out.

You keep defending Altidore as if I am attacking him. I'm not really and I don't need the situation explained to me. I understand the situation, know the stats and I know full well the arguments, from both sides, as to why he isn't scoring more. I know Altidore has been laboring without any service or help to speak of and I understand why that is. As I said, I have been watching too. I am neither defending Fletcher (nor anyone else) nor saying Sunderland would be better off without Altidore. I know he is their best option at striker and I know that him being on the pitch gives them the best chance to win.

None of that is the point as far as I am concerned. My point is that none of that knowledge means a hill of beans if his confidence is shot and his attitude is shit. I am saying there is a problem. That, yes, stress is a killer and Altidore is under a lot of it and that he is not handling it well as is evidenced by his sulking body language, sometimes visible fits of whinging frustration and relatively poor form on the pitch. I am saying that, atm, I do not believe that he is close to being the same player who "swept the US POTY awards this year" and that I do not see how he gets back to being that guy while at Sunderland.

You obviously disagree. Nothing to see here - he is fine as far as you are concerned and will be in great form come the WC.

We will just have to agree to disagree then.

Lastly, I am ASKING (twice already) if you think there is any chance at all that he might be moved during the transfer window?

My guess is no way in hell but here's to hoping.

Feel free to ignore that question but please don't write me another letter 'splaining things to me that I already understand. It is a waste of your valuable time.

PS. I'll grant that it was poorly worded (as most of my writing is) but I was making a valid observation that he is in a funk and that there will now be little to no relief from the fans. That it is only going to get worse for him. NOT, rather, that the opinion of venting, bitter Sunderland fans was somehow accurate.


Greg Seltzer said...

If you do not need these explanations, then why do you keep saying he is in some tragic funk????? He helped set up both goals when the last place team beat Chelsea *less than a week ago*. Meanwhile, somehow you seem to know for certain 1) he is losing confidence on such an epic scale that we need worry about him seven months from now, 2) his attitude is in the trash because apparently he is the first ever striker surrounded by bad teammates to throw his arms up after countless shots into the stands while he is open through a clear passing lane, 3) it is all so bad that he is not the same player (or person, obviously) that he was mere weeks ago & 4) that it is undoubtedly only going to get worse from here. Sorry, my man, but I doth protest just the right amount.

You must understand I am not solely reacting in protest to you, but to all the fans chewing their fingers to the nub over this/downright turning on the guy, and in turn to all the times this happens to all our players. It is tiring.

For crying out loud, I JUST spent months protesting against widespread cries that Landon Donovan is done/is selfish for taking a break/does not care about the game or teams/needs to prove himself to even get a call again/has been lapped by multiple players/is no longer needed by the USMNT/etc etc etc. I am here at this blog for the purpose of giving my various honest takes to readers. In this climate, I can promise you that some of them will be protest-y. But really, I am simply trying to get folks to stop freaking out for no reason.

And, no, I have no idea why Sunderland would up and get rid of him in January.

Unknown said...

how many times does Greg have to drop the mic in one thread people?

Unknown said...

That was an awesome interchange, thanks to both parties for the entertainment.

Bernardinho said...

Y'all better check yourselves before he blows out the PA!

John said...

Good thing Boyd is smart enough not to go to a crappy team like Sunderland.

Greg Seltzer said...

What a strange remark, on many levels. For starters they would need to, ya know, want him and make a sufficient offer...

Anonymous said...

I want to preface the following diatribe by saying I am not at all upset or trying to wind you up. I am actually enjoying the discussion and am just jawing for jawing's sake at this point. And I certainly don't expect a response.

Meanwhile, somehow you seem to know for certain 1) he is losing confidence on such an epic scale that we need worry about him seven months from now,

Your hyperbole aside, yeah I do think he has lost a good deal of his confidence and I am not sure how he recovers it when he isn't scoring, probably won't score much for the remainder of the season, and all the while being constantly trashed by Sunderland "supporters." You honestly think he is exactly the same player he was when all was right with the world and he was banging them in for us every game? Not scoring and, worse perhaps, not even getting many decent opportunities can really have a negative effect on a striker.

Maybe Sunderland will make some good signings in January - someone who can actually cross the ball or place a good through-ball for instance - but I am not counting on it.

2) his attitude is in the trash because apparently he is the first ever striker surrounded by bad teammates to throw his arms up after countless shots into the stands while he is open through a clear passing lane,

Obviously he isn't the first but that type of display is telling. And it should be beneath him IMO. Jozy's a good kid and a solid guy by all accounts. So, I detest seeing that from him. It's one thing to call people out in the dressing room or during film sessions but showing-up his teammates on the pitch is bad ju-ju even if they are shit - heck, especially if they are. Because it can also then send the message to both his teammates and Sunderland supporters that he thinks his shit doesn't stink. That attitude coming from a new player, who hasn't proven a thing yet in that league (especially that he can score) would be rightly perceived as over-the-top obnoxious.

You and I may see it as him being competitive and really frustrated because he cares about winning and that may indeed be the case but, given the situation he and Sunderland are in at the moment, it comes off as completely bush-league. In short, he needs to quit whinging, put his head down, go balls out and just play. Focus on himself and what he can do to make himself and his teammates better. Stay positive is all he can do if he wants to succeed. Otherwise, yeah, his attitude and play are only going to get worse.

3) it is all so bad that he is not the same player (or person, obviously) that he was mere weeks ago

I don't think there is any question he isn't the same player atm. And, yes, certainly some of that is because of who he is surrounded by but his touch is off at times and the speed of the game or perhaps the level of the defense is too much for him given that he is up there without any support most of the time. It wears him out and he gets frustrated and he stops closing out when defending and remains fairly static around the box during the build up, etc. etc. And that's just the physical side. He knows before kick-off that he is in for a shitty day and that mindset affects his spirit and his play.

4) that it is undoubtedly only going to get worse from here. Sorry, my man, but I doth protest just the right amount.

How is it going to get better for him? 'Cause I'm not seeing it.

Greg Seltzer said...

For starters, I am not offended and I am not trying to come off as hostile in any way. I just speak very directly and often like a smartass.

Now, you have a lot to cover on each of these numbers...

1 - Not hyperbole, it is in fact the driest language possible to precisely contextualize the fear. As for striker confidence, well which way does the wind blow tomorrow? Of course he is the same player, we just saw this same effect on his production with the Nats not long ago. He survived. Yes, not getting chances or scoring passes can be frustrating for a striker. Now just imagine how those other nine field players must feel. Yikes.

2) Telling? Shall we start listing strikers in history who did that and were excellent or even legends now so we can be free for the holidays? Beneath him? Oi vey. If a keeper yells at overtly malfunctioning defenders that hurt the team, he is showing leadership. I do not need him to prove he can score bushels in the Prem if he is completely correct in the matter. Somebody needs to rattle that cage. Call me when he is wrong about getting agitated. Maybe that is just me, I dunno. I would be much more bothered by a player moping and sleepwalking all over the field.

3) Not to be rude or act like a jerk, but I am going to go ahead and point to the Chelsea outings again. You wanna know the key stats for those games? He had 37 and 40 touches. That is not a lot for a striker, but it was still nearly twice as many as he had in many other games, including the last one. If they could only manage to get the guy 35-40 touches instead of 20-25, look at the difference it makes for him and the team. I do not know what else to say.

As for what he knows going into a game that effects something or other... cmon. You are essentially suggesting a capability for magic to know this.

4) From what I have seen, even including the most recent game, the last three weeks HAVE been better. Of course, that was a low hurdle, but I never said Jozy has killed it this season. I am arguing he is not the problem in that offense, that they have fared better with him in there (which is statistically accurate) and that he is not someone to start fretting over for World Cup. And I guess that the displays of frustration do not bother me.

Greg Seltzer said...

By the way, just to take you further up the range on Jozy touches in a game, he had all of 48 against Bosnia.

dikranovich said...

the main takeaway from all of this should be that jozy and his form can change, and it will change, because that is his MO.

he doesn't start for a second division spain side, but he works their national team on a larger stage at the 09 confederations cup. its hard to believe that was more than four years ago. wow!!!

I would say jozy's struggles now mean that EJ is an almost certain member of this summers squad. he probably would be anyway, but now, it is almost a forgone conclusion.

dikranovich said...

one thing about a great striker.... they only need one touch... jozy has some work to do, and hopefully that is not in debate, he has a lot of work to do.

any opinion otherwise is just gobblegoo.

Greg Seltzer said...

Great strikers only need one touch! Yeah, and I love you and the check is in the mail. Pray tell, do these great strikers require that touch to be remotely near the area?

Just stop already, we all know you have a bizarre bias against Altidore for no valid reason whatsoever.

dikranovich said...

I guess I expect my male athlete of the year to be a little more productive, and even more so when the chips are down.

this is the time when altidore needs to rise up and play for himself and play for his team and produce.

if we are talking about a Chelsea game from December in May and how he turned terry, that's going to be a little bit of a problem.

Greg Seltzer said...

Well, *your* male athlete of the year received the award for USMNT play, so what he does at Sunderland is irrelevant. As for the Chelsea game, IT IS December.

dikranovich said...

just because a player receives an award based on his merits with the national team, he still carries that award with him on to his club team, and he is expected to play to the level of the award, which he is not currently.

its probably why junior maybe should have received more votes for our male athlete of the year award. you did vote him onto your all time team one off game team.

Greg Seltzer said...

I believe you come here solely for the intent of saying things that make as little sense as possible.

dikranovich said...

well, I guess we should not expect that timmy will let jozy get one past him.

dikranovich said...

oh, wait, nevermind.