Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

Ryan Giggs of Manchester United tackles Fabio Borini of Liverpool

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

The first “Super Sunday” in the English Premier League, a doubleheader of two of the country’s top rivalries, highlights a busy day of soccer action from all over the world.

Liverpool will be eyeing three straight wins to start their league campaign on Sunday, when they host massive rivals Manchester United. The Reds have not started a season nine-for-nine in points in over two decades, and they would love nothing more to meet that mark against the defending champions. New Man United manager David Moyes is very familiar with Liverpool from his time at Everton, but the Scottish manager does not have many fond memories—he never won at Anfield during his time with The Toffees.

The spotlight will be in North London in the second match of the day as local rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal battle it out at the Emirates Stadium. This derby match is a true battle of opposites as a healthy Spurs squad that has received several big signings in recent weeks visits a banged-up Arsenal team that has done little in the transfer window. The Gunners do have the offensive advantage heading into this match as their rivals have not scored from open play in their two 1-0 EPL victories.

In Spain, defending champions Barcelona hit the road to face a Valencia side that is coming off a tough loss to Espanyol. Before the match kicks off at the Estadio Mestalla, Champions League qualifiers Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad square off in a high-profile showdown.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

6am – beIN Sport en Español – Real Madrid vs Athletic Club

8:30am – NBC Sports Network – Liverpool vs Manchester United

8:30am – NBC Sports Live Extra – West Bromwich Albion vs Swansea City

11am – NBC Sports Network – Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur

11am – beIN Sport en Español – Espanyol vs Real Betis

11:30am – GolTV – Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Dortmund

1pm – beIN Sport en Español – Real Sociedad vs Atlético Madrid

1pm – ESPN Deportes – Puebla vs Atlante

3pm – UniMás – Chicago Fire vs Houston Dynamo

3pm – beIN Sport en Español – Valencia vs Barcelona

7pm – MLS Direct Kick – Whitecaps vs Chivas USA

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, Mexican Soccer, Your Running Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

131 Responses to Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary

  1. Bac says:

    I came to one conclusion yesterday….

    With the new NBC coverage, having BeIN Sport, and with college football starting, and the NFL about to start….

    I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TV’S!!!!!!!

  2. Citronomics says:

    Sturridge again for the Red Dragons with an early goal. D line looking shaky though

  3. biff says:

    Fabian Johnson starting at right back today for Hoffenheim for the fourth game of the season, meaning Klinsmann the Tinkerer now has a green light to start Fabian next week for the USMNT as left midfielder and start club attacking midfielder DaMarcus Beasley at left back. Makes perfect sense. Right? Hoffenheim coach is just stupid, I guess, for playing Fabian at the position he has excelled at for the past three years.

    • timmytwoshoezzz says:

      At this point, I think it’s an equally indisputable fact that JK has a pretty good idea what he’s doing too. Beat CR and tie El Tri, and we’re as good as in.

      • TomG says:

        I think Klinsi’s doing a nice job lately, it’s far from indisputable that he will always make the correct decision. This is the same manager who trotted out 3-5 DMs every match despite overwhelming evidence that it was not working. He also denied the quality of MB and left him off the roster for a number of matches. He also refused to play MLS players and reached for solution in evry other league before drawing on the American league. He also famously flamed out at Bayern. I think he has a much better feel for things now and his mind is open enough that he eventually realizes his mistakes but he’s a guy who loves to tinker, loves to try weird and unexpected things and is certainly still prone to getting an odd idea stuck in his head on occasion.

        • Byrdman says:

          I always thought he left him outto give him a chance to sort thru all the feelings of playing for the guy who has your dad’s job. Never any doubt in my mind the MB was the best we had or have in midfield. I thought it showec a lot of wisdom and patience.

          Do you remember who was playing in the back behind the 3 dmids?? I think the results tell you he prioritized defense over flowing football to get results until he had better options in the back. It was terribly ugly, but it allowed us to stay in games. Even allowed our opponents to stay in games too.

          I too am glad 3 dmids is in the past.

          Enjoy the day

          • TomG says:

            I disagree about MB. Klinsi’s comments at the time clearly showed (to my mind) that JK didn’t rate MB. I agree with the rest of what you said.

        • GW says:

          TomG “I think Klinsi’s doing a nice job lately, it’s far from indisputable that he will always make the correct decision”.

          How very kind of you. Mistakes are the best way to learn because it is far easier to figure out what went wrong than what went right. JK has gotten it right when it mattered, during competitive games.

          The US is almost WC qualified and rather easily actually. And they won the Gold Cup, again, rather handily I would say.

          “This is the same manager who trotted out 3-5 DMs every match despite overwhelming evidence that it was not working.”

          So what? Is he doing that now? He gave those guys a chance to show what they could do in games that did not matter and now everyone knows what works and what does not. What harm was done? Did the so called 3 DM’s ruin the WC qualifying? I doubt it.

          “ He also denied the quality of MB and left him off the roster for a number of matches.”

          Or maybe, before JK more than a few of you were certain MB90 could not pass the ball, was a red card liability,and was strictly the product of his dad’s nepotism.

          • JK gave MB a chance to settle in at Chievo; new country , new language, new club and manager new style of play.
          • JK gave Mikey a chance to rebuild his confidence which had been dented by the Villa affair
          • JK gave US MNT fans to see what life was like without the Boss’s son and most of you did not like it.

          So when Mikey came back full of confidence and with a new attitude, all the hypocrites and bandwagon jumpers could now see the light and welcome back the great player that you, of course, always knew was in there.

          Now most of you talk about how he is the single most important US player. Got to love faithful US fans.

          “ He also refused to play MLS players and reached for solution in evry other league before drawing on the American league.”

          That is not consistent with what actually happened. In JK’s first seven games, all in 2011, JK called up:

          Mexico: Seven MLS players and played four: Bill Hamid, Zach Lloyd, Heath Pearce, Kyle Beckerman,Brek Shea, Landon Donovan, Juan Agudelo,
          Costa Rica:Six MLS players and played four Bill Hamid Jeff Larentowicz,Landon Donovan-Robbie Rogers Juan Agudelo ,Brek Shea
          Belgium: Six MLS players and played four: Bill Hamid Jeff Larentowicz, Robbie Rogers ,Kyle Beckerman, Juan Agudelo, Brek Shea
          Honduras Five MLS players and played three Bill Hamid, Jeff Larentowicz Kyle Beckerman; Brek Shea; Juan Agudelo,
          Ecuador: Four MLS players and played three Nick Rimando Kyle Beckerman; Brek Shea,Juan Agudelo
          France:Three MLS players and played two Bill Hamid, Kyle Beckerman Brek Shea
          Slovenia Four MLS players and played three Bill Hamid Kyle Beckerman Robbie Rogers Brek Shea,
          He played no fewer than two and as many as four MLS players in every game

          “He also famously flamed out at Bayern. “

          And that is relevant because???? You should print out a list of managers who have “flamed out at Bayern” . JK is in All World company. Jupp Heynkces just won the fargin Treble and they could not wait to fire him.

          It is an honor to flame out at Bayern; it means you are big time.

          “ I think he has a much better feel for things now and his mind is open enough that he eventually realizes his mistakes but he’s a guy who loves to tinker, loves to try weird and unexpected things and is certainly still prone to getting an odd idea stuck in his head on occasion”.

          What matters is he gets it right when it counts. He may start uncertain but finishes up strong. If you follow the USMNT and read what he has said JK has pretty much done things exactly the way he said he would.so I don’t see where the “weird and unexpected” comes from.

          • TomG says:

            He gets it right when it counts? I don’t think we know that yet. How do you know that? We havent really played a match that truly counts yet and we wont until next year in Brazil. I’m willing to consider his stint at Germany a qualified success. Semis are certainly nothing to crow about for Germany, but it was a young team that he left in good shape for future success. Bayern was certainly a failure, so when it counts, Klinsi is pretty much one and one. You clearly want to excuse every past mistake as somehow part of his master plan but the bottom line is that even great managers make mistakes. It doesn’t do Klinsi any credit to excuse his mistakes and miscalculations. We should treat him like any other manager. To say that we can’t question his decisions and that he knows better about everything is silly. Does he have more knowledge, more expertise and more access to information than us? Of course he does. Does that mean that he’s never been wrong before and will never be wrong again? Of course not. I think it’s crazy for you guys to tell us that we can’t question Klinsi and that he knows better than us. Klinsi isn’t infallible. He hasn’t even proven to be a particularly successful manager yet. I hope he does eventually prove to be so, and hope he does this as th USMNT manager, but I’m not going to judge him until after we see how they do at the World Cup. That’s the real goal and that’s where he will be ultimately judged.

            • GW says:

              “He gets it right when it counts? I don’t think we know that yet. How do you know that? “

              Because, World Cup qualification was not automatic.

              Barring some epic meltdown, the US is going to qualify for the World Cup. That was his first hurdle. If he failed at that then he gets fired and you get to bring in Ben Olsen.

              “We havent really played a match that truly counts yet and we wont until next year in Brazil.”

              Again, the qualifiers counted. So does winning the Gold Cup because with the win, the United States qualified for a playoff match against the champion of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, to decide which team will represent CONCACAF in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. The playoff would be played as a single game in 2015 at a venue to be determined. If the U.S. wins the 2015 tournament, it will qualify directly to the Confederations Cup and no playoff will be played.

              The 2017 Confederations Cup will give the US a place in the best dress rehearsal tournament for the 2018 Gold Cup and that does matter. The USMNT’s run in the 2009 Confederations Cup proved to be a great confidence boost for the US’ 2010 World Cup. So winning this Gold Cup was the first step and yes, it did matter.

              “I’m willing to consider his stint at Germany a qualified success. Semis are certainly nothing to crow about for Germany, but it was a young team that he left in good shape for future success. Bayern was certainly a failure, so when it counts, Klinsi is pretty much one and one.You clearly want to excuse every past mistake as somehow part of his master plan but the bottom line is that even great managers make mistakes.”

              Unlike you I’m not interested in his past jobs, positive or negative. What matters to me is the USMNT .The man was hired and that cannot be undone now. And I don’t see some of JK’s maneuvers as mistakes like you do. Assembling a roster of 23 players from which you will pick 11 to play in the World Cup is a long, complicated process with a lot of facets. JK is the main architect of that process and I see him as juggling a lot of different balls all at once.

              Freezing out Jozy? Well we see how that worked out. Freezing out Donovan? Well we see how that worked out. DMB at left back? Some day DMB will make an error at left back that will lead to a game losing goal and you will all scream about how he should never have been put there and that a real left back never would have made such a mistake and you will forget all the good games he played at left back. I see this as idiocy on the part of the critics.

              “I think it’s crazy for you guys to tell us that we can’t question Klinsi and that he knows better than us. Klinsi isn’t infallible. He hasn’t even proven to be a particularly successful manager yet. I hope he does eventually prove to be so, and hope he does this as th USMNT manager, but I’m not going to judge him until after we see how they do at the World Cup. That’s the real goal and that’s where he will be ultimately judged.”

              I could give a rat’s *** if want to question Klinsi till the cows come home but when you say things that are pure cow manure, like JK did not use MLS players at the beginning, well, some people will point out that you have your facts wrong. And when that happens it dilutes your credibility as a critic. So I’m just protecting your credibility.

              • TomG says:

                Clearly you DO have a problem with me criticizing Klinsi because tou throw a snit fit every time anyone dares question the freat one and it seems to be clouding your recollection of the facts. Just look at the lineups from 2011 and 2012 on US Soccer. It’s simple to count the MLS players in apeach match. I’m going down the list at the start of 2012 and getting 0 MLS players, 0 MLS players, 0 MLS players, 0 MLS players. 1 MLS player

              • GW says:

                TomG,

                “I’m going down the list at the start of 2012 and getting 0 MLS players, 0 MLS players, 0 MLS players, 0 MLS players. 1 MLS player”

                You do need a fact checker. The first USMNT game of the year is almost always the Camp Cupcake game and MLS players are practically mandatory.

                I would refer you to my previous post where I list the MLS players who were called up in JK’s first seven games in 2011.

                As for 2012, I don’t know what you are looking at but here are the lineups of the first four games of 2012. I got them from the US soccer website:

                Venezuela
                Lineups: USA: 1-Bill Hamid; 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Heath Pearce (13-Zach Loyd, 72); 6-Jeff Larentowicz (15-Ricardo Clark, 62), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Graham Zusi (18-C.J. Sapong, 74), 10-Benny Feilhaber (17-Chris Wondolowksi, 62), 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (16-Brad Evans, 88) Subs not used: 12-Nick Rimando, 14-Jeff Parke

                Panama
                USA:1-Nick Rimando (12-Sean Johnson, 46); 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Zach Loyd (14- Heath Pearce, 41); 6-Ricardo Clark (16-Jeff Larentowicz, 67), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Chris Wondolowski (13-Jeff Parke, 55), 10-Graham Zusi (15-Brad Evans, 66); 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (18-C.J. Sapong, 76) Subs not used: 17-Benny Feilhaber – See more at: link to ussoccer.com

                Italy
                Lineups: USA : 1-Tim Howard; 2-Steve Cherundolo, 4-Clarence Goodson, 5-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 3-Fabian Johnson (13-Jonathan Spector, 77); 6-Michael Bradley, 8-Maurice Edu; 7-Danny Williams,10-Clint Dempsey (17-Edson Buddle, 90), 11-Brek Shea (16-Sacha Kljestan, 73); 9-Jozy Altidore (18-Terrence Boyd, 79) Subs not used: 12-Nick Rimando, 14-Michael Parkhurst, 15-Geoff Cameron Head coach: Jurgen Klinsmann – See more at: link to ussoccer.com

                Scotland
                Lineups:USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 71); 6-Steve Cherundolo, 20-Geoff Cameron, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (5-Oguchi Onyewu, 63), 23-Fabian Johnson (15-Edgar Castillo, 73); 7-Maurice Edu (14-Kyle Beckerman, 64), 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 10-Landon Donovan, 18-Terrence Boyd (9-Herculez Gomez, 64), 16-Jose Torres (11-Joe Corona, 68)
                Subs not used: 19-Chris Wondolowski – See more at: link to ussoccer.com

              • Nate Dollars says:

                oh man, GW, ever the klinsmann apologist. some of this stuff is really good:

                sure, he benched michael bradley so that us fickle fans would finally appreciate him; how thoughtful of him. and i’m sure bringing him back had nothing to do with how abysmal our midfield was.

                yes, thank you klinsmann, for benching jozy so that he would finally score goals for the usmnt. no, don’t worry about the goals he scored for us before klinsmann got here; and no, it certainly had nothing to do with him switching the team back to a ‘fast break’ scheme, as opposed to his slow-as-molasses build-up scheme, where only dempsey scored.

                and yes, thank you, klinsmann, for freezing donovan out. his improved play certainly had nothing to do with his (well-earned) time off, and everything to do with a transparent and ham-handed power play.

                and TomG is right: the only thing that klinsmann will be measured by is world cup performance. for us, getting there is about as automatic as you can get (especially with mexico imploding). he’s done well in some friendlies, and he won the off-year gold cup. that’s good, but it doesn’t mean sh!t if we flame out in the world cup.

              • GW says:

                TomG,

                Re 2011 I refer you to my earlier post listing the MLS players in JK’s first seven games of his tenure.

                Re 2012 You need a fact checker. Here are the lineups for the USMNT’s first five games of 2012. I think Buddle was back in LA by that point. Also Cameron was with Houston until the summer of 2012.

                Match: USA vs. Venezuela
                Date: Jan. 21, 2012

                Lineups:USA: 1-Bill Hamid; 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Heath Pearce (13-Zach Loyd, 72); 6-Jeff Larentowicz (15-Ricardo Clark, 62), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Graham Zusi (18-C.J. Sapong, 74), 10-Benny Feilhaber (17-Chris Wondolowksi, 62), 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (16-Brad Evans, 88)
                Subs not used: 12-Nick Rimando, 14-Jeff Parke

                Match: USA vs. Panama
                Date: Jan. 25, 2012

                Lineups:USA:1-Nick Rimando (12-Sean Johnson, 46); 2-A.J. DeLaGarza, 4-Michael Parkhurst, 5-Geoff Cameron, 3-Zach Loyd (14- Heath Pearce, 41); 6-Ricardo Clark (16-Jeff Larentowicz, 67), 8-Jermaine Jones (capt.); 7-Chris Wondolowski (13-Jeff Parke, 55), 10-Graham Zusi (15-Brad Evans, 66); 11-Brek Shea; 9-Teal Bunbury (18-C.J. Sapong, 76)
                Subs not used: 17-Benny Feilhaber

                Match: USA vs. Italy
                Date: Feb. 29, 2012

                Lineups: USA : 1-Tim Howard; 2-Steve Cherundolo, 4-Clarence Goodson, 5-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 3-Fabian Johnson (13-Jonathan Spector, 77); 6-Michael Bradley, 8-Maurice Edu; 7-Danny Williams,10-Clint Dempsey (17-Edson Buddle, 90), 11-Brek Shea (16-Sacha Kljestan, 73); 9-Jozy Altidore (18-Terrence Boyd, 79) Subs not used: 12-Nick Rimando, 14-Michael Parkhurst, 15-Geoff Cameron

                Match: USA vs. Scotland
                Date: May 26, 2012

                Lineups:USA: 1-Tim Howard (12-Brad Guzan, 71); 6-Steve Cherundolo, 20-Geoff Cameron, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.) (5-Oguchi Onyewu, 63), 23-Fabian Johnson (15-Edgar Castillo, 73); 7-Maurice Edu (14-Kyle Beckerman, 64), 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 10-Landon Donovan, 18-Terrence Boyd (9-Herculez Gomez, 64), 16-Jose Torres (11-Joe Corona, 68)
                Subs not used: 19-Chris Wondolowski

                Match: USA vs. Brazil
                Date: May 30, 2012

                Lineups: USA : 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo (2-Michael Parkhurst, 73), 5-Oguchi Onyewu, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 23-Fabian Johnson (15-Edgar Castillo, 80); 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones (14-Kyle Beckerman, 80), 7-Maurice Edu (8-Terrence Boyd, 73); 10-Landon Donovan, 9-Herculez Gomez, 16-Jose Torres (8-Clint Dempsey, 56)
                Subs not used: 21-Clarence Goodson, 22-Nick Rimando

              • GW says:

                Nate,

                So if JK caps Adu and Lichaj you will no doubt hail him as a genius?.

                All this animosity over a failed fullback and a peripatetic American Pele.

              • TomG says:

                Dude, the January matches were from Camp Cupcake which was an MLS camp, so of course he’s playing MLS players from an MLS camp. The only reason JJ was in that camp was because he was suspended. Using an MLS camp lineup to prove that Klinsi played MLS players? Come on, GW, you know better than that. You’ve got to be kidding me. The other matches on your list have one or zero MLS players in each starting lineup which proves MY point. JK is now playing close to half of his lineups with MLS players which shows he has learned and adapted. That is to his credit, but you want to rewrite history to make it seem like he never altered his thinking. You’ve lost your mind. All I said was that Klinsmann isn’t infallible and that he will be judged at the end of the WC cycle like any other manager and you absolutely flipped your wig.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                gw,

                no, i won’t call klinsmann a genius. i would say (in lichaj’s case–i’m not sure why you’re bringing up adu) that he’d be finally using common sense, since lichaj’s no more ‘failed’–and has a better national team cv–than parkhurst (who’s now been called up as evans’ replacement).

                also, where’s the animosity? i’m simply not grasping for any good thing that i could possibly attribute to klinsmann.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      Klinsmann’s opinion > Biff’s opinion

      No offense. I trust his judgement more than my own too, certainly for as long as we remain on one of the longest winning streaks in int’l soccer history.

      • biff says:

        Didn’t you see that interview of his a couple of weeks ago, about how he gets his greatest inspiration and his most effective ideas by reading the comments of biff :-)

    • louis z says:

      so how is Hoffenheim doing in today’s game?

    • GW says:

      biff,

      from US soccer:

      “On current thoughts of where Fabian Johnson fits best: “He played left back in Bosnia because DaMarcus Beasley wasn’t there. I think Beas is set in the left back role and Fabian is set in a winger role for right now. It’s good to know that even on the other side he can play right wing or right back and that gives us some options to pull if needed. Right now we see him very strong on the left wing in midfield and Beas behind him.”

      Fabian has played right and left back and right midfield for Hoffenheim in the past.

      I doubt the Hoffenheim coach, GIsdol, is stupid but if you look over the Hoffenheim roster it turns out that it does not have the same players as the USMNT roster. So my guess would be that since the players are different sometimes a guy like Fabian . who is versatile, will be shifted around and play a different position from where he plays for the USMNT.

      Just because Gisdol and JK are both German, it does not mean they both set up their teams the same way.

      Also the manager, Gisdol is new, having replaced Kurz at the tail end of last year’s disastrous campaign. It is still early in his season and chances are he is still seeing where everyone best fits his idea of what makes sense.

      The only way to get you a real answer to your question is to sack JK and replace him with Gisdol.

      Why don’t you start the campaign?

    • Original Aaron says:

      Incorrect. Beasley played left back for Puebla last week. He played left wing all last season. I’ve never seen him line up as an attacking midfielder for Puebla

  4. Citronomics says:

    Here we go. How does the ref handle Cleverly’s nasty tackle on Coutinho, who did not play the ball out with Jones clearly hobbled on the ground? Probably a fair outcome.

    • biff says:

      well, Giggs should have seen yellow for his nasty tackle and Cleverly’s scissor tackle could have been red.

      • Citronomics says:

        Though Giggs was beat, don’t think his tackle was malicious, and it appeared he got a bit of the ball at least. Cleverly certainly could have seen Red yet I think his tackle was more nasty than dangerous… and can see an argument that because it was deliberately nasty, he is somewhat lucky to still be in the match. With a game this intense, doubt the ref wants to send someone off given the circumstance with Jones on the ground injured.

        As a Red Dragons fan, would love to be up a man but think the overall outcome is balanced (even if not 100% technically correct).

  5. dikranovich says:

    its interesting but victor moses 22, signs a 1.5 million pound season loan, meaning jose does not rate him for much time at Chelsea, yet people moaned when MLS rejected 750k for agudelo, right in the middle of a playoff chase. it just seems to give a good sense of how valuation works. the 750 k was just for half a season.

  6. SoundersOff says:

    Odds on at least United red card? Have to be 99% at this point.

    Could certainly make the argument that they should have at least one already for the Cleverly scissor tackle.

    • biff says:

      I would not bet against that. I will be surprised of van Persie will be able to hold his temper for the full second half. He is such a duck-head.

  7. SoundersOff says:

    I have no idea what Moyes told his guys in their tactical sessions, but he is playing with some real fire. A flat 4 with Giggs going against the Liverpool 5-man rotation? Shouldn’t come as a surprise that Liverpool are owning the midfield.

  8. manicmessiah says:

    They could find better players, but you will not convince me that Michael Bradley couldn’t bring multiple positives to this lackluster midfield performance.

    • TomG says:

      That’s why they’re desperate to sign Fellaini.

      • Citronomics says:

        And Wayne Rooney on the pitch. To me, ManU is better with him as he can play that withdrawn forward or attacking mid.

    • Increase says:

      Oh he could, someone like Vidal would be better than Bradley obviously. I do agree though that Bradley would be amazing compared to Anderson/Jones/Cleverley.

  9. SoundersOff says:

    I think we just moved beyond concern and have gone straight to panic at Old Trafford.

    Moyes on the hot seat already. Team looks like a trainwreck.

    • TomG says:

      Here come the overreactions! Let them fly!

      • SoundersOff says:

        No such things as an overreaction. It’s Manchester United. You don’t get a breaking in period.

        Also, I don’t think you realize how in trouble United is. They are now 5 points back of Liverpool and potentially Tottenham if they win today.

        United’s next game is at Manchester City. If they lose at City, they could be 8 points back already.

  10. SoundersOff says:

    Incredible statistic!

    David Moyes has never a won a game at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, The Emirates or Anfield. In over 40 attempts.

  11. TomG says:

    Man, this season every BPL match ends 0-0 or 1-0 with very few real chances. I love watching matches at a high level, but I also love attacking soccer. This is lame. This league has become insanely conservative. I don’t remember it being this conservative last year. Anyone agree or disagree?

    • Increase says:

      I feel like a lot of teams lack the talents to get in position to school… feels that way watching teams like Stoke. Or even the last 20 minutes of this game. Long balls….

      • TomG says:

        But it’s been the biggest matches that have been the most conservative and boring IMO. Chelsea-Man U made me want to tear my eyes out and this Man U Liverpool match was pretty dreadful. If Spurs / Gunners ends 0-0 I’ll consider tuning out of BPL until the managers get some sack and some creativity.

        • Mike E. says:

          When a player like Nani and Valencia and Welbeck play over a creative withdrawn player like Kagawa that’s what you get.

          Or when the British media hype someone like Ramsey over Cazorla. Or even better Andy Carroll.

          Or Wayne Rooney is benched (I know he was injured today) for a direct to goal striker like Van Persie.

          They shun creative, intelligent players who prefer to pick their head up over bombing down the field in a dead sprint. And player selection reflects that regularly.

          • TomG says:

            Was it this bad last year, though? I don’t remember it being this bad.

            • SoundersOff says:

              Could be a number of factors?

              I would focus on one thing in particular though. Seems a lot of the highly touted young English players are all winger/direct striker type players.

              All the major EPL teams have gone outside England to buy creative Spanish players to make up for the lack of players.

              I’m guessing years back the youth teams emulated the senior teams and we’re now getting the fruition of that strategy.

          • Increase says:

            Ramsey is “Welsh,” but hes good. Not Cazorla good but certainly knows how to play the game well.

    • Jerrod says:

      A low amount of goals doesn’t always mean it isn’t attacking soccer.

      • TomG says:

        No, but the clear lack of anything remotely resembling attacking soccer means it isn’t attacking soccer. I’ve watched all the big matches so far this season and most of them have been insipidly conservative, cowardly defensive affairs.

  12. sly says:

    So this is what top of the table feels like? Nice airy roomy a man can really get used to this.

    Going into an international break. Coming back to face swans. Chelsea 3 games away? Oh I like this. I like this alot. Suarez stays Sakho looks good Toure back. If Alberto figures out how to play top 4 is a possibility.

    Cant relax though. Under 21s looking good under 18s and 16s not so much. Need to stock up.

    • Citronomics says:

      And Sturridge and Mignolet stay on form. Think swans match is a potential trap so yeah… gots to keep foot on the gas petal and maintain the attacking, fluid style of play.

      Cheers

      • sly says:

        We need Borini to be dominant in the league cup. So we have an actual strong second striker. Sturridge is a beast but you cant just count on 1 striker till Suarez comes back.

  13. SoundersOff says:

    Is Kagawa out injured? Because if Nani came on instead of Kagawa… wow.

    • Increase says:

      #freeShinji

      Also Klopp was right. Kagawa is wasted on Manu.

      • Mike E. says:

        Wasted might be an understatement. If he is fit, it is unconscionable that he wouldnt start given the problems they clearly have. And Nani and Cleverly over him?

        What a mess.

        • EspinDOHla says:

          Definitely.

          Free Shinji indeed. Didn’t even make the bench?? That is crazy. I really hope he moves on because ManU (Sir Alex and Moyes) don’t seem to know what to do with the guy.

          • Increase says:

            I think Dortmund players are gunna start being scared to leave… Except for Lewandowski, he could play anywhere.(maybe?)

            I mean Sahin got benched at Liverpool over like… Downing and Henderson. Sahin’s injury seems to have slowed him down but this kinda crap is why England has a bad reputation for intelligent football.

            • GW says:

              Increase,

              What Kagawa’s situation tells you is that different teams play different styles and just because you star for Dortmund, for example, it does not mean you can fit in at Man U.

              It is no insult to Kagawa, rather it makes you ask why did Man U. buy him if they weren’t going to put him in a place to succeed.

              In Sahin’s case, he’s very talented but he and Rogers had what I call a failure to communicate.

              It takes more than just talent. The player has to fit the club and the manager.

  14. TomG says:

    Zalalem on the Gooners bench!!!

    • Todd Marsch says:

      What’s his international status again? I thought I remember him being someone who isn’t going to/can’t play for the US. Is that right?

      • TomG says:

        As I understand, his Dad is in the middle of the US citizenship process. If he gets citizenship before Gedion turns 18, then he can become a US citizen.

  15. Citronomics says:

    @Biff… According to ESPN FC, Hoffenheim is getting pounded. Got an update on how our favorite USMNT attacking LM (couldn’t resist) is doing?

    • biff says:

      ha-ha. Yeah, I’m sure if Fabian would have played left wing Hoffenheim would have won…

      I only saw about 10 minutes or so early second half and the two goals I saw came from a screw-up by a central defender and the second goal from very poor defending on the right, possible Beck. It appeared to me that Stuttgart was mostly avoiding Fabian and focusing on attacking through the center or through Hoffenheim’s right back. Hoffenheim started the season strong but are fizzling rapidly. I think there are some internal issues, with quite a few players who were on the first team last year moved out and training separately.

  16. SoundersOff says:

    Okay, that has to be a poor sign if you’re a United fan.

    Moyes says he’s pleased with how they played.

  17. TomG says:

    Go you Gooners!!

  18. SoundersOff says:

    I love that Wenger doesn’t buy into the media pressure to splash new signings every year. He’s clearly trying to build a long-term team cohesion.

    These guys are so technically adept and aware. It’s fun to watch.

  19. TomG says:

    I don’t think these Brit announcers are even watching the replays or they just ignore them if they don’t fit into their preconceived notions of what’s supposed to be happening on the pitch. That replay so clearly shoed Lloris completely missing the ball and tripping Walcott yet the commentators continued to laud the keeper for making a brilliant tackle. It’s very annoying.

  20. Henry says:

    Any reason why Aron Johansson is on the bench?

  21. Bac says:

    Hoffenheim loses 6-2
    Bradley on the bench today

    Plus with all the fantastic news we got yesterday..

    We are gonna straight up MURDER Costa Rica – I would not wanna be them right now facing the wrong end of an angry beast – I cant wait till next week!!!!!!!!

  22. SoundersOff says:

    How am I supposed to take the pundits seriously with comments like that?

    “Wenger says his team is better despite all the off-season signings by Tottenham. But look at Tottenhams bench! They have depth!”

    Ignore the fact that they’re losing and a controversial foul/good tackle by Loris away from being down multiple goals, Tottenham have great depth because they randomly purchased players and that’s why Wenger is wrong. And to follow that up with, “Arsenal absolutely need to buy more players.”

    Why? This is the pathetic commentating that drives me crazy. They need to buy players! We don’t know who or what or why, but they need players!

  23. SoundersOff says:

    Wait a second… how is that a yellow against Flamini, but Loris’ was an “incredible challenge”?

    Almost the exact same tackle.

  24. Mike E. says:

    Just a blatant dive by Walker.

    Referee also allowing overly physical play by Tottenham against the smaller Arsenal players. Its no wonder so few goals are scored.

  25. SoundersOff says:

    Did they get these commentators out of the Tottenham front office?

  26. SoundersOff says:

    Dang I think Cazorla just broke Capu’s leg.

  27. Tensnake says:

    Kljestan with a goal today.

  28. jones says:

    Just spotted Bradley yawning on the bench

  29. SoundersOff says:

    Bradley benched today.

    • Gary Page says:

      I think the Roma coach is doing the US national team a favor. Maybe not intended as such, but after what has happened with some players this weekend, Bradley on the bench today is probably a good thing.

  30. SoundersOff says:

    Wenger needs to sit down at the press table, throw up his middle finger and say, “transfer this,” before storming off.

    • Travis says:

      He still needs to do something, this team is seriously lacking depth. Their starting XI is as good as anyone’s in the league but when you start looking at that bench it is very concerning.

  31. Travis says:

    These commentators are a joke. In no way did Tottenham outplay Arsenal, Spurs out possessed them but did not really do a lot with it. Arsenal looked far more dangerous with their possession than Spurs did at any point.

    • jones says:

      yes, you can see an obvious chemistry – a spatial/tactical awareness among the players that Spurs and other teams with many new players and musical lineups lack

      • Travis says:

        Walcott and Giroud combined extremely well all game long, they understand each others runs very well

      • Gary Page says:

        I think it will take at least half a season before Spurs start playing to their potential. Consider that today’s starting lineup had Soldado, Chadli, Capoue, Townsend, Paulinho, and Rose starting. None played for Spurs last year and only Townsend and Rose are familiar with the league. Plus, I will be surprised if Lamela gets even 10 league goals even though they spent more on him than anyone else. At least he is fit, unlike Dempsey when he joined the team last year, but he isn’t used to the league. It’s a lot different than Serie A. Now look at Giroud who seemed to be kind of a semi flop last year. Now that he has had a season with Arsenal and is used to the league, he looks like the star he was supposed to be.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Completely agree. Of course, I am a Gooner, but still – Arsenal made the tactical choice to absorb the attacks and counter, And they did it very well. They probably should have one 2-0. As for Spurs, until the final flurry, how many of their shots were taken from way outside the 18?

      Spurs had the ball more, but Arsenal dictated the way the game was played and it worked.

  32. Citronomics says:

    Not sayin he would’ve made the difference today for Spurs but can’t help thinking they could have used Deuce in the final 20 mins with all the pressure on Arsenal’s back line. Dembele and Paulinho didn’t do much to influence the match IMO. And Arsenal’s D keeps a lid on the butterfingers defending in the final moments to preserve the scoreline. Fun match.

    • biff says:

      I only saw the last 20 minutes of the game and no doubt in my mind they could have used Dempsey-Cakes. It appeared to me that AVB never rated Clint and never took him so seriously and it was fun to see AVB sweating on the sidelines. Lamela looked good, though, nice ball skills.

      • John says:

        ALL last year all Tottenham would do is pass the ball around the box with everyone scared to loose the possession waiting for Bale to work his magic. Well now Bale is gone, 3 games with no goals from the run of play.

  33. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Hey, Spurs!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  34. DubStepan says:

    With De Rossi and Strootman back and healthy I have a feeling that Bradley is going to be seeing the bench a lot more.

    • jones says:

      Perhaps, but I could see them fiddling with the formation so we’ll see.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      People have been predicting that Bradley’s playing time will diminish since… he was in MLS. And all he does is keep getting better.

      Frankly, if anything, it may be that Roma is still thinking of selling him. I hope not, but that might have had something o do with it.

      • TomG says:

        +1. Or they might sell DDR to MU, or they might just play a rotation as they’ve really been doing all last season and this.

        • Tony in Quakeland says:

          I asked Greg over at No Short Corners. He doubts it and hasn’t heard anything, but agrees that anything is possible on the last transfer day.

      • biff says:

        I was thinking that same thing, that MB might be on the way out. Some good teams, no doubt, would be glad to have him. The next 24 hours before the transfer window closes will be interesting.

      • John says:

        Sunderland just sold Sessegnon so perhaps they up there offer. Roma would more then double what they paid for Bradley.

  35. Eric says:

    What a goal by Pjanic.

  36. g? says:

    Hate to say it, but MB90 (who just subbed on), does have a tendency to play nothing but really short back/square passes for Roma… Possibly a contributing factor to his recent benching. High completion % isn’t as important when they’re all to the defense/other center mid.

    • nato says:

      recent? only 2nd game of the season. Strootman was injured so Bradley got the start. Bradley will get his time. Either super-sub or occasional starter but rotated

    • TomG says:

      No, he makes exactly the pass he should based on his role and circumstances on the pitch. When hes with a more defensive partner, hes free to make runs and make risky passes, but when he needs to cover for or JJ, he plays safer. He’s in a rotation because Roma has a loaded, loaded, loaded midfield this season. No one said, “Hey, DDR is sitting for MB because DDR blah blah blah isn’t class.” of course not. DDR is class. MB is class, Pjanic is class, Strootman is class. they are in a rotation do everyone stays fresh.

  37. KB says:

    I see a lot of complaints about the commentators in Tottenham-Arsenal having Spurs bias. More than that, I just haven’t been impressed by the British NBC announcers. Their analysts don’t add much. They’re like mid-major college football analyst who say things like “That was a great run from a great kid who’s having a big year.”

    When I watch a game, I want a color guy to 1) help convey excitement and personality of the game, and 2) explain the game within the game. For instance, why couldn’t Arsenal hit the final ball on the counter today? Did they make the right runs? Was their spacing incorrect? How were they aligned on defense to make it so tight? Could you show it to me on the monitor? Those are the things I want a color analyst to explain. And you didn’t get any of that today. And I haven’t heard much of that from their in-game announcers.

    The guy doing most of that for NBC is ….. Kyle Martino.

    • biff says:

      Why do they feel they need announcers with silly British accents? British accents are okay for rock stars, but not at all necessary for soccer announcers.

      • GW says:

        Those are the accents they were born with just like your accent is , presumably, the one you were born with.

        If you don’t like them fine but your dislike does not mean they are silly.

        • JJ says:

          Are you serious with this comment? Read it closer. Think about it a bit. “Accents they were born with” wtf?

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      Kyle Martino is the best color commentator in American soccer broadcasting, He is smart, observant and not afraid to state opinions. And he does it without any histrionics.

    • JJ says:

      The commentators for that game were awful, especially the color guy. He conjured up comparisons to Cobi Jones while I was watching. I also assumed it was somehow the default premier league broadcast, and wondered why the quality went down so dramatically — but these are guys NBC actually HIRED specifically? Someone who a dozen times mentioned the guys on the pitch who were going to play for England in their upcoming uber important “internationals”, knowing full well it’s a US audience?

      And agreed on Martino. He’s fantastic.

  38. Andrew Wallace says:

    Bob Bradley on being the Egyptian coach.

    link to nacion.com