Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

AndreiArshavin (Reuters)

Arsenal has been hot on the trail of EPL leaders Chelsea and Manchester United for most of the season, but now the Gunners are feeling the heat from Aston Villa. Arsenal can close the gap on Chelsea with a win against the Villans, but a loss would suddenly drop the Gunners to fourth place.

Arsenal-Aston Villa headlines a light day of action that also includes red-hot DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers facing Hibernian.

Here is today's schedule of matches:

8:30am- Setanta USA- Arsenal vs. Aston Villa

11am- FSC/FSE- Hull City vs. Manchester United

1pm- Telemundo- Catalonia vs. Argentina (Taped)

11pm- FSC- Hull City vs. Manchester United (Delayed)

If you are watching today's matches (or if you want to discuss any of Saturday's action), please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

100 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Goran Hunjak says:

    I understand Man U will have a strong traveling contingent for this one. I predict a 0:2 victory for the visitors.

  2. korey sutton says:

    where is Beasley?

  3. Jarrett C. says:

    Beasley not in the 18 due to a thigh injury sustained in training yesterday. Maurice Edu is on the bench for Rangers.

  4. Goran Hunjak says:

    Right now? Probably having lunch if he’s in Scotland.

  5. Ghent says:

    Arsenal, comes out fighting from the first.

  6. Paul D says:

    Does anyone have a good feed for the Villa game?

  7. Ghent says:

    atdhe.net

  8. austin says:

    hopefully edu can get in a return to his form where he can contribute very highly to Rangers

  9. Paul D says:

    Thanks Ghent. I found a good one on justin.tv

  10. ... says:

    Fabregas! Beautiful free kick, 1-0 Arsenal.

  11. alexandria says:

    Villa need better trainers they got tired way too early, its ridiculous. I have never seen so many way ward passes from a team with good players.

  12. DCM says:

    Nice to see Edu get 15′ today

  13. El Michael says:

    Jozy in starting line up

  14. Misha K says:

    Looks like Jozy is getting the start. Should be a great experience for him.

  15. fenel says:

    I hope he scores. Go on kid, we’re all behind you.

  16. Illmatic74 says:

    Another reason why people should give Jozy a break Gabriel Obertan Manchester United excited young winger is older than Jozy.

  17. mike in nashville says:

    Wow. Fabregas just continues to blow me away. He singlehandedly destroyed a darn good Aston Villa team today. It was amazing how much the game changed as soon as he came on. I can only imagine what Arsenal would look like if it weren’t for that idiot Giorgio Chellini butchering van Persie’s ankle in a meaningless friendly. It will be interesting to see if Wenger buys in January, but Arsenal’s title hopes really do depend on Fabregas not sustaining any major injuries, especially for that stretch in late January when they play Chelsea, Man U, and Liverpool in a stretch of 8 days.

    Anyone know what happened with Luis Gil and his offer to sign for the Arsenal academy???

    And also, I saw that Beasley had a leg strain in warm ups today- any details? Glad to see Edu get some PT today, hopefully he wont have any setbacks and will make the trip this summer.

  18. BrooklynFC says:

    Word…. on the Jozy Tip…. the Dude is the Future, he is still some 6 years away from his prime…. think about the fact that he wont be in his prime for 2014…. I pray we get the 2018 cup so we can have Jozy in his prime playing the world cup on home soil

  19. EA says:

    FYI, Frank Simek got the start for Sheff Wednesday against Newcastle yesterday. The game is on replay on ESPN 360, if you want to see where he fits in with the other USA right backs.

  20. BrooklynFC says:

    you know every world powers fear is for us to get better …. because we have the greatest atheletes in the world and we would completely dominate the game once our best atheletes began to play the game……

  21. GunneRR says:

    Arsenal with a BIG statement today. The Gunners are showing some backbone. They had about 2/3 possession against a strong Villa team, and when Fab came in, he immediately took control of the game. Brilliant!

    Now if Jozy can get a goal and help Hull beat ManUtd, the day will be perfect . . .

  22. ahm says:

    hey jozy AND fagan. i predict good things for jozy (if not hull city today) with jozy actually having a decent strike partner, he’s still not meant to be alone up top

  23. ahm says:

    wes brown if you injure jozy i will hunt you down and make you eat your oddly colored afro

  24. Brian says:

    And just like that….Beasley is hurt again

  25. PetedeLA says:

    Finally. A shot on goal. But it was a good one.

  26. OmarVizquel says:

    Jozy had a nice strike saved right before the whistle. He looks his age and inexperience out there…..but you can see the potential just waiting to burst out.

  27. Gene Vorobyov says:

    Jozy still looks raw, better on the ball at times, but still questionable decision-making in traffic.

    But Hull, overall, is terrible. This is the first chance I had to watch them this year, and they are crap. They can’t pass or cross the ball with any accuracy (hence Jozy or some of their other tall players don’t get a chance to even try for a good header). They are all confused on defense, and Myhill has been gifting Man U balls.

  28. Stephen M says:

    Great shot by Jozy at the end of the half. He hasn’t been playing so well, but he I can definitely see improvement on his touches from qualifying games. Hopefully he can take advantage of his chances in the 2nd half

  29. ahm says:

    i think stephen hunt might be a better left back than left winger. he offers absolutely nothing going forward but is willing to back-track and hustle. he hasn’t had an effective offensive play yet

  30. Jacob A says:

    That’s what we thought of Beasley at the beginning of the year. Worked at home against T&T, after that…

  31. Yusef says:

    DMB out for 2-3 weeks. What a shame. Is it just a coincidence that the US team players historically have major injury issues?

  32. i think jozy has done all right given the service he’s been getting. he’s holding up the ball slightly better and his touch looks improved. i agree his decision making under pressure needs some work. still looks raw, but better.

  33. ahm says:

    haha i don’t mean a starting left back in the prem. i’m thinking he’s a back up full back in the australian league

  34. Heineken says:

    It can’t get more depressing than watching one of our starting 11 for the wc play like this.. what a clumsy dude with no vision…

  35. Jeff says:

    Jozy still looks raw, but you can definitely see improvements. You just have to hope they Hull keep giving him playing time so he can continue to improve. Nice shot at the end of the half.

    … And for people who don’t realize how bad Hull is, they are very, very poor as a team. Although Jozy hasn’t been great by any means, he hasn’t been given many chances to succeed. Unlike Bentner at Arsenal last year, when he was given chance after chance to succeed, Altidore has been deprived of any real chances. I would love to see what Altidore could do on a team like Arsenal, being surrounded by players such as Fabergas, Arshavin, Nasri, etc. (compared to Hunt, Garcia, and Olofinjana).

  36. PetedeLA says:

    I recommend watching them again when Bullard is fit.

    They play like a different team with him in the lineup.

    I’d also say that Hull are better with Jan Longassnamevonhesselink.

  37. Casey C. says:

    Jozy just drew a penalty.

  38. RedLine55 says:

    WHOA!
    CRAZY play… penalty to Hull… good positioning by Jozy after some pretty weak play this half

  39. PetedeLA says:

    Yes, Altidore did something useful!!!!

  40. IMSYE87 says:

    JOZY DRAWS THE PENALTY! HULL EQUALIZES!

  41. Casey C. says:

    And fyi, there are probably two midfield or forwards on Hull that are playing any noticeably better than Jozy.

  42. usa says:

    this announcer is obnoxiously biased against altidore

  43. Nutmegger says:

    Altidore cramping up? I hope that is all it is.

    NM

  44. Azza says:

    “60 minutes, a cramp at 60 minutes??”

  45. RedLine55 says:

    Now jozy hurt… goes down with a cramp. commentators are making fun of him for lack of fitness. “never would have happened after 60 minutes in your day!” ha

  46. IMSYE87 says:

    who the hell is this commentator? you think he was paid to completely trash on jozy altidore today. every second of htis game he is making no hesitation to tell us how terrible jozy is…

  47. jozy has a cramp an is down. the announcers are giving him some stick for it happening after only 60 mins. he’s been on jozy a bit today.

  48. Illmatic74 says:

    I think it is because Jozy Altidore is probably the only interesting player to talk about for Hull City

  49. Kyle says:

    Pretty pathetic to cramp in the 60th…

  50. Nutmegger says:

    He was talking earlier about how much he liked him in the Confed Cup this past summer. Thus far, I haven’t heard him say anything so farfetched as to be construed as anything other than constructive for Jozy to learn from: get better at playing with his back to the goal, make better decisions with the ball at his feet, combine better with his teammates.

    I for one would like to see Jozy do all these things.

    NM

  51. Lewis says:

    Jozy hasn’t exactly had a great game…and to have a cramp after 60 mins is pretty bad, the commentator is making a good point.

  52. ewww says:

    biased? seems to me the announcer quite likes altidore.

  53. PetedeLA says:

    I think they can see that he just doesn’t look that fit (seems reluctant to do any heavy running).

    Of course, next to Garcia he’s a marathon runner.

    But what someone else said, he’s probably the only interesting thing on the Hull team to talk about.

  54. usa says:

    its just the tone in his critiques, he is just scoffing at what is supposed to be america’s promising young striker

  55. darko don says:

    own goal andy dawson… rooney did the work

  56. darko don says:

    2-1 manchester united

    torn between my love for the red devils and my american spirit

  57. ahm says:

    this announcer refuses to give him any break. how bout the absolute shite midfield play huh? not a mention

  58. shutupayouface says:

    he looked to get kicked in the calf during a tackle. it’s not like he was just jogging around and went down with a cramp.

  59. Brett says:

    I’m starting to see why brits don’t like yanks in their football. The commentator is biased? Hardly. If anything both commentators were praising him in the first half, while noting that he is “raw”, which he is. Both were definitely impressed with the shot on target he had just after the first United goal.

    If you’ve watched the game, Jozy has only had a couple of moments to be proud of. His hold-up play is still 3rd rate (in the EPL, in MLS he’d be top-quality) and he doesn’t always make good decisions when bringing his teammates into the play.

  60. usa says:

    that is where i see the bias, because he has actually flashed some moments which have gone without a mention. and the pathetic midfield has gone completely unnoticed. its either a bias or as someone mentioned earlier jozy is really the only player in the first 11 who generates any interest

  61. Illmatic74 says:

    Exactly it is because whoever the commentator s sees the obvious talent that Jozy had. He is so critical because he expects a lot more.

  62. Fred says:

    I think Phil Brown needs to pick a starting forward tandem and stick with them. Part of the problem for Hull is that there is no consistency up top — Brown has four or so forwards that he cycles through, and they don’t have enough time togehter to develop an understanding.

  63. Illmatic74 says:

    Great assist by rooney

  64. Fred says:

    Does anyone else think Berbatov is starting to look like a young Andy Garcia?

  65. PetedeLA says:

    Might also be the fact that there is no creativity whatsoever coming from the midfield.

  66. DC Josh says:

    Jozy has progressed very well with his back to goal. He is still lazy and lacks movement off the ball. He is going to be one hell of a striker for the next 10+ years.

    Hull made this game very exciting, thank you.

  67. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Josy’s best moments come when he’s wider. He had two nice bits of movement, one on the right that lead to a corner and one on the left. He’s got a nice touch for a guy with his size and strength. Letting him get moving towards the defense creates a lot of problems. Asking him to stand in the box and hold up the ball negates that.

    It was a much better second half from him.

  68. DC Josh says:

    due respect, Jozy has fallen off as the game progressed. He is still very young and raw, and has a long way to go. He has the talent, but lacks the desire. He never is a player like Rooney or Charlie Davies, who hustles and has a very high work rate. As the game went on, he got worst.

  69. viva nashvegas says:

    The most troubling part of this game is that jozy is not fit at all. He didn’t chase the ball and cannot hold the ball. Its clear he has not been seeing regularl time. We desperately need him to get productive minutes.

  70. jonk says:

    I don’t know what feed you guys were watching, but the SkySports one I found on veetle barely spent any time commenting on any one player and rather called the game. Anyway, Jozy looked decent enough given the few opportunities he got. It would have been nice if at least one of the free kicks Hull earned hadn’t resulted in abysmal service.

  71. OmarVizquel says:

    The Guardian and Sky announcing crews are merciless when it comes to criticizing Jozy. But it just goes to show that in the Premier League people are used to perfection….no misplaced passes or lead-foot stops will cut it. When it happens it’s fairly obvious. Still, I’m not sure if the Hulls of the world can be expected to afford perfection from their strikers.

    I’m disappointed for Jozy. He didn’t have too much service, but to be fair he had more than I expected. He didn’t capitalize on his few chances and had only 2 or 3 moments with the ball that would cut it against, say, England in the World Cup…

  72. Illmatic74 says:

    We were referring to the broadcast on Fox Soccer Channel.

  73. OmarVizquel says:

    I’d be tempted to say that a fit Charlie Davies would have taken it right to today’s shambolic-looking Man U…..

  74. Ole! says:

    Woo Woo, Chuga Chuga Chuga

    Look at the jozy excuse train running through soccerbyives…

    Chuga Chuga Chuga, Woo Woo

  75. pete says:

    I have to agree with you on this one. The game is blame anybody but the player. We know hull are shite but some how Jozy is above all that and should be playing with arsenal….i don’t figure.

  76. OmarVizquel says:

    I completely disagree about his fitness. He looked fine out there and chased the ball about as much as Torres or Keane do. The announcers had a go at him about his “cramp,” but who knows if it wasn’t a knock. He got about 70 productive minutes against Man U in the Premier League. That’s…..pretty good. Brown showed a lot of faith in him to give a young kid that much. Or perhaps you’d prefer him to get 90+ against the Chicago Fire?

  77. Barry U says:

    We all know Jozy is raw. He is 20 year old AMERICAN playing in the EPL. I put AMERICAN in caps becuase we all know that our youth system is a little behind the rest of the world. So Can he be better? Of course. But to question his fitness and training habits becuase he got a cramp. Really? He got kicked by Wes Brown so maybe not even a cramp. The announcer was stupid with that comment.

    How many times did Jozy or Fagan get a chance to go at goal? 1 or 2 maybe? How many crosses came into the box for them to attack? 1 or 2? That to me is the midfield. Hunt is the only mid that is worth anything IMO on that team.

    Jozy has played better than he did today for sure. But question his fitness and calling him lazy (like some guys here have) is just stupid.

  78. fischy says:

    I agree with that take. Jozy spends most of he game in a walk, or a very light jog that looks really heavy with his legs. A remarkable contrast with the running that Rooney did all game.

  79. sarnold says:

    why does FSC broadcast in ultra low def. i’ve seen iphone videos with better quality than that

  80. OmarVizquel says:

    The amount of times a Hull player turned a good-looking moment into a backpass instead of a cross was driving me nuts.

  81. Illmatic74 says:

    You don’t even have to say American you could just mention that he is only 20. Gabriel Obertan who some consider the best young player from France and someone who has gotten comparisons to Henry and Ronaldo is OLDER than Altidore and he doesn’t look like he is ready to contribute at a high level in the EPL yet.

  82. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I agree with your disagreeing…or something like that. Anyway, I thought Josy had his best moments AFTEER he cramped.

  83. shutupayouface says:

    agreed. i don’t really see people making excuses for jozy, just trying to counter the negative nancy comments on here.

  84. njrepin says:

    jozy wasnt very good

  85. einar says:

    jozy was alright. I liked Fagan and Hunt. But mendy! my gosh that guy is horrible! cant cross and cant pass and cant even defend. so what can he do?

  86. Lil' Zeke says:

    Hell I should be playing for Arsenal. Odds are the ball would carom off my face into the goal once or twice a year.

  87. Stephen says:

    Beasley’s injury is a thigh strain…pretty minor.

  88. jig says:

    so if he’s lazy and doesnt move well off the ball, how is he going to be any good?

  89. jig says:

    the bottom line is that jozy still has a goose egg in the goals column. stop singing his praises so much. at some point, lack of service ceases to be the problem.

  90. John says:

    DMB out again (from the Rangers/Hibernian match report on Soccernet):

    The Rangers boss also looks set to be without DaMarcus Beasley for the next few weeks after he suffered an injury in training that kept him out of the clash with Hibs. The United States international has enjoyed a fine return to form in the last few matches and Smith admits his absence is a blow.

    “He has a tear in his thigh,” said the Rangers boss. “I’m not sure how long that will keep him out – two or three weeks maybe. It’s disappointing in the sense that he is just back in the team and doing exceptionally well so it was disappointing it happened.”

  91. jig says:

    who has ever said that Obertan is the best young french player? That’s laughable. Plus, Obertan is light years ahead of Altidore and is less than a year older.

  92. El Michael says:

    Jozy is by far the best player on an otherwise crappy team. For someone who just turned 20 I think his play has been remarkable to say the least.

    Are there any players younger than Jozy in the EPL ? if so I bet there are not many

  93. El Michael says:

    RE: comments about his conditioning and work rate. He has a disposition that appears that he’s not working that hard…that’s just the way he is. I think he works extremely hard and was causing alot of problems for the MU backs. His conditioning appears good to me.

    If he and Rooney changed teams today I am convinced Jozy would have had at least 1 goal and Rooney would have had at most 2 shots

  94. Gene says:

    I remember Bullard from his days of playing at Fulham. He is a good player. I just don’t think their overall set up is sound — they had trouble passing out of their own half with any degree of confidence. The only guy attempting to make runs consistently was Hunt, but he is more hustle than skill. Garcia had flashes of good play, but there is no coherence to Hull’s game. Next to the them, Fulham looks like a Big 4 team. I suppose that also speaks about how much Fulham has improved, but still, at least today, Hull looked like a Coca-Cola Championship team.

  95. Gene says:

    I did not think the commentator was singling Altidore out (for that, see Harks comments on Dempsey in recent national team games — now that IS singling a guy out for no reason). It’s fairly obvious that Jozy hasn’t been running all that much, either walked or lightly jogged. He cramped up at 60 minutes. So, there was nothing unfair about the fitness issue.

    And he was, as the commentator said, raw. He did have a couple of good passes and earned a penalty for Hull (though he did not look like he was going to put it in — MU player bailed him out by pushing). But he also gave the ball away today a few too many times.

    Hopefully, he showed enough progress to earn some additional time. It’s not like Hull is teaming with talented offensive players.

  96. Jose S. says:

    Harkes was singling out Dempsey because many watching at home (myself included) were noticing the same thing.

  97. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Clint Dempsey is miles ahead of most US players when it comes to tactical knowledge… John Harkes has a personal vendetta against Dempsey, it is fairly obvious… Dempsey plays and succeeds for the most tactically versed team in the EPL… I am going to trust that Roy Hodgson has personally tutored Clint about tactics.. spacial relationships with others on the pitch etc.. unfortunately most our players dont have a clue where to be with the Nats… Jozy was not singled out today… Jozy is just lazy off the ball and rarely makes runs..What was said about him is dead on.

  98. Alexandria says:

    He’s not Lazy, he’s dejected, its tough to make runs when your teammates hold the ball that extra touch and it gets stolen, or when you hold the ball up and turn to get in a good position and your midfield has already lossed the ball. Jozy’s problem is that half way through the game he starts to lose trust in his teammates, and stops working for them, its a bad habit to have but one you see with a lot of young players who feel they aren’t getting the ball in good positions.I think the whole game he was pointing that he wanted the ball at his feet and that pass never came. Wow your man crush on Dempsey is so sweet. But I’m pretty sure Spector, dolo, donovan, bradley, ching all of those guys understand spacing, The nats don’t have a spacing problem, every team plays with different tactics, the Nats tactics are different from Fulham. Just sayin.