|Inside the Mind of Correspondent Ed
...from inside the mind of Correspondent Ed:
Much has been written on this site about the Manchester United versus Spurs game this weekend, but a few points are beingmissed. First, in light of how many goals have been given up by United this year, it is possible to say -- as someone did -- that United without RVP might very well be a mid-table team? They simply are not very good in the back as Vidic is not near his form (and seems to have lost a few steps), Evra seems pretty mediocre against tough competition, and Ferdinand also appears a bit long in the tooth. Only one of the most annoying players in football -- Rafael -- is having a good season.
FOF is half right regarding David De Gea. Half because he is correct that he was in a tough position for that first punch. Incorrect because those first two saves were largely good fortune. The first being a ricochet that was going to hit him in the feet regardless of what he did; the second, a shot by Dempsey, was poor and pretty much right where he was standing before he jumped the wrong way.
Most telling about United was their setup: triple up on Bale, cede possession, and hope for a counter. This against a team that United shouldn't consider at their level -- this is not Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. The fact that it almost worked for United was largely the result of good fortune, as United could've and probably should've been down big in this one considering the enormous advantages in possession (60%) and shots on goal (15 to 4). In particular, the midfield of Moussa Dembele and Scott Parker simply outclassed their opponents. Strange days at United and not, as Sir Alex has said, one of his best teams. I suspect if things don't change the table will, and soon.
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Well, everyone loves an underdog, and it was exciting to see League Two's Bradford City get past Aston Villa (after getting past Arsenal) to get to the Capital One Cup Final. They didn't look that good at times, but it does prove that the levels down to the fourth division are not always that different, and that in a one or two game series virtually everyone has a chance to win. Hope BC come to play in the finals….
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American Rob Stone on Fox Soccer is beyond annoying; he's now embarrassing. His SportsCenter Announcer Copycat tone reached a horrific zenith after Spurs win when he tried to taunt his English co-commentators with a big "THE AMERICAN!!!!" regarding Clint Dempsey, of course. Ugh. Please get this guy off the air ASAP because he's a tool. He has no insight and fulfills a stereotype of the dumb American who just likes things loud and overemphasized. Here's what Fox Soccer (or any US sports show) doesn't need to do: dumb down the game. Soccer is both amazingly simple and deliciously complex. It's okay to provide more detail as to what defenders are looking for and how a formation has meaning. It's not boring, it's interesting. Look, people aren't watching Fox Soccer unless they're already counter-cultural soccer heads. Do what's interesting and right and your audience will grow. In short, get us some Gary Neville.
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How good a pick-up has Daniel Sturridge been? Seems the Reds are a completely different team with another threat up top. This shouldn't be that much of a surprise considering what he did at Bolton. As for Chelsea, well, you never know what happens to people over there. I mean, they want to can Frank Lampard, and what ever happened to Fourent Malouda? You don't have to start him but the fact that he's been pretty much MIA for a year now is just downright bizarre.
This is farlieonfootie for January 25.