|photo by Auntie K||via PhotoRee|
Jurgen Klinsman's got some choices to make, and not just the obvious ones -- like whether to play 4-5-1 with a lone striker or play a 4-4-2 that involves more of his midfielders in attack. No, instead we're talking about the elephant in the room: Tim Howard. At fault for Costa Rica's third goal on Friday night, Howard has been off the top of his game for several months now. He's still an excellent 'keeper, mind you, just not the best the US has to offer now. We're not advocating for Nick Rimando, but instead talking about Aston Villa's own Brad Guzan. Surviving the baptism of fire that was the Villans' relegation battle last season -- not to mention a massive barrage of shots -- Guzan grew in both skill and international stature. The time may finally be here to give him a shot at the number one kit.
o Could we please, please, please give the January transfer rumors a rest for at least a couple of months? No sooner does the summer transfer window slam shut than the new rumors heat up: Gundogan, Ronaldo and Herrera have all been linked -- or re-linked in all three cases -- with United in the last 48 hours. Call us skeptical, but if United wanted all three of those guys so badly, what would have been wrong with signing them last week...?
o And meanwhile, the United front office has been in major damage control all week, claiming it's outrageous that a club of their stature wouldn't understand complex tax issues, that they never tried to sign Wesley Sneijder -- not to mention a bunch of other silliness. Facts or not, the behavior of the club bordered on the bizarre during this last window, and that can't be argued. We're willing to give the new crew a one-time pass on this one, but we hope it's been made clear: this type of effort will not suffice going forward.
o And if true that United turned down the opportunity to sign Mesut Özil, we're still scratching our heads. Sure, we've got (a clearly unsettled, although possibly not unhappy) Shinji Kagawa and (a clearly unsettled and possibly still unhappy) Wayne Rooney. But we're of the Bill Parcells school of team management, which goes something like this: sign the best available athletes no matter their position. World class athletes pick themselves, and Özil is one of the best attacking midfielders in the world at the current time. People who say he wouldn't make United a better team are missing the forest for the trees.
This is farlieonfootie for September 9.