ten words or less #86

toronto fc have officially won the MLS offseason.

Even though we’ve exited the hectic Christmas/New Year’s schedule that normally bombards us with more soccer than we can stomach, the last few days have been ridiculously busy in the world of the beautiful game.

Of course we still had a normal round of weekend fixtures around Europe to deal with. The opening of the January transfer window has also brought a cavalcade of news, ranging from complete fodder to legit breaking news. And of course today we were treated to not only the naming of FIFA’s 2013 Ballon d’Or winner — a very deserved win for Cristiano Ronaldo — but also the unveiling of two massive signings by MLS side Toronto FC in Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley.

None the less, I’ve still managed to survive all of that and pump out a new TWOL for you. So enjoy it, minions.

The top transfers from each country in Europe… and elsewhere. – reddit.com/r/soccer

I could live with these purported USMNT World Cup shirts. – todosobrecamisetas.com

Ten theories for why AVB was sitting Adebayor at Spurs. – dearmrlevy.com

MLSsoccer.com get’s called out on taking the easy route. – hottimeinoldtown.com

Not renewing this guy’s contract seems suicidal. – theoriginalwinger.com

Bob Bradley’s first interview as manager of Stebæk. – youtube.com

Comparing preparations for Qatar as a road to hell? Accurate. – 8by8mag.com

Um… what? – leedsunited.com

US Soccer seems to have forgotten its history pre-1994. – beinsport.tv

Rumor is the next Mercurials will be quite revolutionary. – soccerbible.com

mr. misunderstood

Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado

is it really possible to judge whether or not soldado has been a failure at spurs?

In the steaming hot pile of confusion that is Tottenham Hotspur Football Club at the moment, there are many ongoing debates about the best way to move forward with the club in the aftermath of André Villas-Boas’ sacking and Tim Sherwood’s interim appointment.

Should Spurs stick with Sherwood’s 4-4-2, or should they stick with AVB’s 4-2-3-1? What center back pairing makes the most sense to solve the leaky defense of late? Why isn’t club record signing Erik Lamela getting more minutes? How should the club deal with the continued issues with depth at left back? Who, if anyone, should be brought in this transfer window? Would a bigger name manager make a difference?

But the one debate that seems to be most hotly contested among the Spurs support at the moment is whether or not Roberto Soldado’s £26 million signing can now be deemed a failure.

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WSOTP pod: episode 19

Season 1 Episode 19

sherwood takes charge at white hart lane.

Another podcast, another chance for D.J. to moan about Tottenham? Though that’s not exactly how things work, Episode 19 of the #WSOTPpod does feature his thoughts on AVB’s sacking for… Tim Sherwood? In addition to the Christmas Edition of the pod covering all of the normal Premier League round up, you can also hear guest Chad Hollingsworth (@ChadHoll) of Reckless Challenge talk about the Columbus Crew’s recent affiliation with the Dayton Dutch Lions, a quick jaunt over the Capital One Cup results, and a look ahead at the busy Christmas calendar.

Subscribe to the WSOTPpod on iTunes or Stitcher.

for what?

Sacked Tottenham Manager Andre Villas-Boas

i feel you, andre. i thought we were sticking to a plan, too.

As I sit here basking in the post-apocalyptic glow that’s followed the long-rumored sacking of Tottenham Hotspur manager André Villas-Boas, I can’t help but ask myself one question over and over.

For what?

If the current state of affairs at the club is when Spurs would feel it necessary to pull the trigger, then for what was all this for?

For what reason did Daniel Levy fire Harry Redknapp after a fourth place finish, only to bring in a moderately inexperienced manager with European success already under his belt? It was a gamble Levy had taken and failed at before. Recall that he sacked fairly successful Martin Jol in favor of a disastrously short spell with a much-hyped Juande Ramos. Doing so again was an even bigger gamble — though one I was certainly a supporter of — that was hedged entirely on the idea that a revolution was necessary at White Hart Lane.

For what reason did Tottenham bring in a sporting director, at Villas-Boas’ suggestion no less, after the same system was deemed to be a failure under Damien Comolli? Could it be because some of Comolli’s purchases — namely Bale and Modrić — panned out and provided a sizable chunk of revenue? That could help to explain why Spurs mainly have gone after a group of players that could still be flogged off for significant profits down the line.

For what reason did Spurs sell off their best player and use the proceeds to nearly completely remake the side with seven new signings? Supposedly it was to round out the squad and provide the much-needed depth the club have lacked in recent campaigns. All these new players were hand-picked by the new manager and the new sporting director of course.

For what reason did Levy decide now was the time to get rid of said manager only sixteen games into the season after all of those changes, only eight points off the top of the table and just five points away from the sought-after Champions League places? It’s not like Tottenham are sitting in the relegation places like they were when the Ramos gamble backfired.

And for what replacement did we decide to dispatch AVB for? Former player and manager Glenn Hoddle? The guy’s last job was seven years ago in a wretched spell with Wolves. What about Fabio Capello, who was at the last game? Maybe you didn’t notice, but he is managing Russia, who have qualified for next summer’s World Cup. Klinsmann? He’s also going to the World Cup with the US and just signed a new four-year extension. Maybe Ajax manager Frank De Boer, Swansea boss Michael Laudrup, or Southampton gaffer Mauricio Pochettino? All would have to be bought out of current contracts, something Daniel Levy isn’t a huge fan of. Well, save for the contracts he’s offered that is.

Seriously…. FOR WHAT!?!?

it seems that there is no sense in trying to look that far into the future at white hart lane.

The club have spent the last year and a selling us on the idea that Tottenham under AVB was “a project”. The Lillywhites needed to get rid of Redknapp because he had taken the club as far as he could, and that a new approach would be needed to take Spurs to the next level. Routinely making the Champions League and challenging for league and cup trophies would be possible only if the club went through a revolution. And Villas-Boas was to be that revolutionary. While his Premier League track record wasn’t sterling, he sold the club on his plan to turn them into a power. A sporting director in Franco Baldini was brought in and backed with the money necessary to remake the side for AVB’s system. And those players were brought in; £100 million worth of them, in fact.

I was of the mindset that patience would be necessary, and I was under the impression that like Levy and the board and all of their “project” talk were in agreement, too. All projects take time to bear fruit, and few revolutions start and conclude in a single day. Stumbles would happen and unforeseen setbacks would occur, but the eye would always be kept on the light at the far end of the tunnel. Look at where Liverpool were this time last year, and where they are now. Patience pays off.

Yet here we are, 18 months into the revolution or project, and the man spearheading it has been deposed because Levy and the board suddenly seem to think that the project hasn’t just hit a snag, but fallen completely of course. Instead of persevering on and backing the man you appointed, they succumbed to fan and media pressure.

What then happens to the project André was guiding? Is it sent to the scrap heap along with him, or is a new brought in to pick up where he left off? Judging by the names that have been linked, it went along with him.

So, I’ll ask my question again: for what was all this for?

For the time being at least, the only way any of us can answer it is with a single word: uncertainty.

As Tottenham fans, we’ve been here before. Amidst a haze of overly high expectations once again, Spurs fans have to adjust to yet another knee-jerk reaction from the chairman and the board. If Levy and the rest of them weren’t going to have the balls to stick with AVB and his project, they should have just stayed with ‘Arry. At least then we would have known what we were getting and why we were doing it.

WSOTP pod: episode 18

Season 1 Episode 18

WSOTP Pod - Season 1 Episode 18

your life just got easier: the WSOTPpod can now be had through a new outlet.

In a week that appeared barren compared to the one that proceeded last week’s podcast, there was actually still a ridiculous amount of stuff to cover on this week’s edition… some of it easier to talk about than others. The guys review the Champions League group stage finales and who did and didn’t move on. MLS “hot stove” action has already started up, with the Re-Entry Draft and trades. And Two massive defeats sandwiched the weekend’s Premier League fixtures, one being a goalfest between a Manchester City and Arsenal and the other a lopsided, season changing match contested by Tottenham and Liverpool. The latter convinced Jeremy he would need to bring D.J. a drink to the studio… and it was sorely needed.

Some cheery news? After being requested by more than a few listeners, we’re pleased to announce that the #WSOTPpod is now available on Stitcher! Stitcher Radio on Demand offers iPhone and Android apps, a web interface and select in-dash car radios and easy way to listen to over 20,000 radio shows and podcasts. You can now add us to your Stitcher Playlist by clicking here, or by searching for “Wrong Side of the Pond” in either app.

Subscribe to the WSOTPpod on iTunes or Stitcher.

WSOTP pod: episode 16

WSOTP Pod: Season 1 Episode 16

Sacked Fulham Manager Martin Jol

five weeks of the pod predicting martin jol would get the axe at fulham, and we finally get it right.

The Thanksgiving Leftovers edition of the WSOTP Pod was every bit as stuffed as you’ve probably felt after stuffing your face full of turkey over the last few days. Not only can you hear Jeremy and D.J.’s exciting holiday recaps, but you can also hear them talk about soccer, too. In store as always is a full synopsis of all of last weekend’s Premier League action — including the guys gushing over Everton’s run of form, everyone’s satisfaction with the draw between United and Spurs, and Martin Jol’s long awaited sacking. You can also expect a rehash of last week’s Champions League action, and a preview of the MLS Cup Final… which you can watch with me on Saturday.

Click here to subscribe to the WSOTPpod on iTunes.

WSOTP pod: episode 13

WSOTP Pod: Season 1 Episode 13

Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny Suffering a Head Injury

the second straight weekend with a keeper getting knocked out was enough to convince us to bring in an expert.

Sure, you can expect the normal discussion concerning the weekend’s Premier League action. And yes, you’ll hear Jeremy and D.J. rehash the results of the MLS Playoffs, as well as our thoughts on the upcoming international break. And there’s even discussion to be heard about the NASL and the Cosmos’ victory in the Soccer Bowl — which, come to think of it, isn’t something that’s normal discussed on the pod at all. But with head injuries again making headlines across the pond, the highlight of Episode 13 has to be a guest appearance from Bleacher Report‘s sports injury expert Will Carroll (@injuryexpert) to share his perspective on the reactions to the likely concussions of Hugo Lloris and Wojciech Szczesny.

Click here to subscribe to the WSOTPpod on iTunes.

ten words or less #81

torres fans can take comfort in knowing fernando’s cat-like scratch of vertonghen’s face wasn’t viewed as ridiculous as luis suarez’s bite.

I don’t know if anyone else is feeling this way, but my cup runneth over with football at the moment. I already felt like my cup was full with the increased availability of Premier League coverage this season, but that’s feeling even more full given that the Capital One Cup and European midweek fixtures regularly on the calendar again. The MLS season has reached crunch time, providing a myriad of playoff races to and storylines satisfy one’s needs. And don’t forget: another round of World Cup qualifiers is just a fortnight away, too.

So with my attention span being pulled in a thousand directions at the moment, it’s been a bit difficult to crack out full-length pieces. But worry not, I’ve got you covered with the eighty-first edition of Ten Words or Less. And if I do say so, this one has some delectable links. Also, be on the look out for Episode 8 of the WSOTP Pod to drop later this afternoon, too. Though with both posts hitting you in short order, you might feel like your cup is running over too.

United fan marrying into City family trolls with his toast. – youtube.com

Dunny provides insight into how Generation Adidas got it’s start.
– theoriginalwinger.com

Spurs-Chelsea last weekend was a tactician’s dreamworld. – zonalmarking.com

Hey Geoff Cameron: less about you, more about the team. – espnfc.com

Would you eat — or pay $40.58 for — a Zlatan Burger? – guardian.co.uk

I back academies, but there are decent arguments against them. – latimes.com

For no other reason than tweaked nostalgia, I need these. – hypebeast.com

I’m no El Tri fan, but I dig me some Jorge Campos. – inbedwithmaradona.com

Great insight on year one of the MLS-USL partnership. – philly.com

This seems way more like something Sterling would do. – fanatix.com

ten words or less #76

Paulinho in Tears at his last press conference for Corinthians

for some players, like new spurs acquisition paulinho, transfer season is so intense that it brings them to tears.

The European transfer season is upon us, and players, agents and club chairmen are crisscrossing the globe in search of pay days, pay days and pay days respectively. Keeping up with it is nearly impossible — there are those who try, with some better than others — and not something I plan on attempting any time soon. What rumors are true? Is that source safe? For many fans, filtering through it all every summer can be extremely stressful. And still for others, it’s a time of excitement. But regardless of how you feel about it, one things is for sure: with all of the wheelings and dealings set to go down over the next two months, it’s easy to be left with your head spinning.

So if you’re looking for a little break from the rampant speculation and baseless hype, I’ve kept the transfer fodder to a minimum in this week’s TWOL. 

Want to know why transfer windows are called silly seasons? – sbnation.com

The MLS All-Star shirt is unique, maybe even cool. – foortball-shirts.co.uk

Practice safe sex with Ronaldinho and Atlético Mineiro. – kckrs.com

Peep the excellent Crew fan art of Massive City FFC. – massivecityffc.com

Freaking out about Baldini at Spurs? You shouldn’t be. – goal.com

Buy me any of these and be my new BFF. – hypebeast.com

OKC goes from zero to two clubs: a good idea? – newsok.com

Why Abramovich, Qatar, Abu Dhabi have bought their football clubs. – youtube.com

Nike can turn any open space into a pitch. – mipista.es (WARNING: Spanish)

Orlando plans to join MLS: hectic but well-planned. – scoringthird.com

those that shout the loudest

It’s amazing how quickly the collective mood can change.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale

isn’t the rule that if gareth looks this forlorn, the rest of us should too?

A month ago, I and my fellow Spurs supporters were ready to celebrate the club’s best season in the modern era. Tottenham were on pace for a third place finish, were arguably the favorite’s in the Europa League and we were trying not to talk about the points gap that seemed to be widening weekly between ourselves and the Goons. But now, we were bumped out of Europe by the measly FC Basel, we languish in fifth place in the league, and could be four points behind the scum before the end of the night.

Where did it all go wrong? What can Spurs do to save their season? And most importantly, who can we blame?

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