round up #32

enough with all of the controversy. this season is starting wear on me.

new york red bulls starlet juan agudelo
wise advise from young agudelo.

between spurs dragging me on a rollercoaster season full of sprinklings of pure joy but far too many facepalms, the madrid-barcelona soap opera, mario balotelli being an idiot, and god awful refereeing… i’ve already reached my drama quota for the season. my poor wrong side XI series of postings has suffered, as all of this drama has distracted my previously made obligations.

i shouldn’t really complain though. with all of this “newsworthy” material pumping out, at least i’m not struggling to come up with things to write about for a change. whether or not that benefits you is another question entirely.

agudelo hype increases 10-fold with his latest goal –
i worry about the hype every time i see agudelo’s name pop up on the news radar. remember when a teenage eddie johnson couldn’t put on an MLS or USMNT shirt without scoring a goal? well it didn’t happen, but for a while, the media and fans hyped it that way. sure, it’s this kind of overly ambitious hype that earns MLS starlets moves to prestigious european sides and puts bags of money into the MLS’s safe. but remember when freddy adu and jozy altidore went to europe and scored buckets of goals? oh yeah, that didn’t happen either.

let’s be honest though, agudelo’s goal was not only a magnificent strike, but also a magnificent thought. MLS and the national team are typically devoid of players that take these kind of half chances. if agudelo can continue to develop as he has (maybe learning a trick or two from mr. henry), perhaps we will finally have our first truly great striker. i’m not holding my breath just yet though.

football transfer trends 2010 –
i love these kinds of links, in large part due to my love for data and statistical analysis. the magical thing about this type of study is that it can give us a sneak peak as to where the world of football is heading. the types of players being purchased can tell us how tactical changes in the game are evolving. where they are coming from can tell us who is doing a good job of developing quality. where players are being sold to can show whether the balance of power in recruiting players is being shifted towards england’s higher wages.

charlie adam losing his sheen? –
i have to admit that when i first learned that harry redknapp’s attempt to recreate his last-minute, vdV-miracle transfer in january was a move for blackpool’s charlie adam, i had to scratch my head. “do we really need him?,” i questioned. in fact, i questioned why so many teams were expressing such interest in the scot. and thanks to this article, i don’t feel like i’m the only one with such thoughts.

adam has no doubt been the pivotal player for ian hollaway’s scappy squad, as evidence by his deserved nomination for the PFA player of the year award.  his long balls and set piece deliveries are as precise as anyone else’s in the league. he has the working man’s look and mentality, which has helped him to grow a fanbase far from the seaside.

but honestly, who is he going to play over for the supposed “big” teams that are interested in him? he’d have to beat out huddlestone, sandro and palacios for the deep lying role at white hart lane (i did not include jenas, because he sucks). at liverpool, he would have to move ahead of meireles, lucas or the emerging jay spearing. and at manchester united, he would have to overcome… carr–… well, fletch–… ok, maybe he could start at manchester united. weird.

getafe team dubai and the initial rebranding
looking forward to the possibility of "stoke city team shanghai"

doubts grow over getafe investors –
as if we needed to add fuel to the fire that is the ridiculousness of the takeover and “rebranding” of spanish side getafe, more and more seems to leak out. never mind the fact that a team in spain will now be marketed “getafe team dubai” (wouldn’t you think that if they have to rebrand, they should call it “getafe equipo dubai” with spanish instead of english?), or the fact that the middle east apparently is trying to take over the world of football.

no, the bigger problem seems to be that spain seem to lack a fit-and-proper provision for ownership of la liga sides. though admittedly, we’ve seen how well that rule has worked in england. balague is a well respected journalist in the spanish media, and if the claims from his site are true, it appears that a porsmouth-esque ending could be in the cards for the madrid-based club. troublesome times ahead?

the strange death of brazilian flair –
as the world turns, so to do football playing styles and systems. and unfortunately, one of many casualties of the ever evolving world of tactics has been the much enjoyed and lauded brazilian flair. as professionalism has increased in the game over the last ten years, the injection of increased speed, power and endurance in the sport has somewhat nullified the trickery and rhythmic displays that were once so potent for the seleção.

what’s really interesting is that we’ve seen this happening at the last few world cups. they’ve brought increasingly defensive and counterattacking sides, showing they’ve had to adapt their play to counteract their more industrious counterparts. and while some teams still fall victim to the thought of playing brazil, other sides have learned that sticking to your guns and playing solidly can earn you upset points.

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