Friday, September 9, 2011

Please Hold

office phone cropped
Photo by Chris Dlugosz via Flickr

Correspondent Ed takes a vacation from his hectic work schedule to check in and offer some of his typical stunning insight into the international break :

This international competition break has been a bit painful, positioned as it was only three weeks into what promises to be a very exciting season in the EPL. Perhaps it's the success -- or conspicuous lack thereof -- of the American team, or perhaps it's just the annoying figure that is Fabio Capello and his underachieving three lions, but whatever the reason, it just seems that there's too much of these national team games.

Even Sky Sports news seems to be in a bit of a holding funk, pulling the always perky Georgie Thompson for the likes of Vicky Gomersall. Urgh...!

But let's do our best to put all of that to the side, and through the unrelenting din of the hold music, here are a few thoughts:

1. From Top to Bottom. Once the most exciting team in the EPL, Spurs are now in dead last and look in need of a complete transfusion. It's shocking what a difference a few months makes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: while Luka Modric is a great player, he's not worth £40MM, and if he wanted to move to Chelsea they should've let him go. Spurs could probably have picked up Charlie Adam and Gary Cahill with that money, and they still would have had £10MM left to spend. At the  end of the day, while Modric is a creative player, he's a defensive liability and a poor shot. His real value is about £15MM, and an unhappy Luka might be worth less than that.

2. Stay Low. While I believed Andy Carroll would have success at Liverpool, seeing how he dominated at Newcastle, so far he's done little right. Part of the problem is him, but another part is the temptation to always go high to Andy. While he's certainly effective in the air, the big guy has a powerful shot and needs to be more involved with his feet, lest he turn into another Peter Crouch. Plus always playing high can destroy the flow of an attack.

3. Hablo Espanol. It seems that there's a Spanish invasion taking control of the EPL. Arguably the most exciting players in the league are Silva, Aguero and Suarez, just to name a few. Plus in the EPL there's less of the hair pulling and flopping than in the rest of Europe, so you get to enjoy the skill without a Barcelona/Real Madrid girl fight breaking out. What of the future of the game? Will more and more players emulate the shoulder down, fast-paced style of guys like this? Is the new standard being set? I think so.

4. It's Still Grim Up North. A team that's surprised me so far this year is Newcastle. The club sold off all of their best players and decided not to spend a dime of it to bring in anyone new. Still, they've looked very good in the first three weeks, especially at home. Of course, it's too soon to make any judgments, but Alan Pardew seems to be getting all that he can out of the players he has.

5. Liverpool Light. Everton are among the strangest clubs in the EPL, as they never seem to change. Sure, they slowly bleed off players, but yet their roster and their starting eleven stay very consistent year to year. And the results they get are similarly consistent -- bad at the beginning and good at the end. That said, it would be kind of dull to be a fan of a club that consistently has such little ambition. Or
cash. Or both.

6. Hairy. Okay, I'll be the first to say it ,because the boss-man is probably afraid that if he does it will be even more weird than it already is, but Wayne Rooney's new roots look pretty much fine. I admit to being concerned that he'd have the full fake look going on, but instead, he's got the same buzz cut only there's more there to see. While I could never imagine doing what he did, I'm very pleased at least he did it right.

See you next week!

This is farlieonfooie for September 9.

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