Arena and the Lawnmower: Why, Bruce, why ...?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Feb. 4, 2:32 a.m.
Bruce Arena's signing of Nigel de Jong is a shameful episode. The most experienced American coach of the lot, with so much to admire about him ... what can have possessed him?
Losing Miazga, Gonzalez, Villafana -- How is that good for MLS?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 30, 1:23 a.m.
Let's see now. Matt Miazga -- we can define him, at age 20, as one of the most promising of the American youngsters -- is leaving the Red Bulls, going to England to join Chelsea. At the same time, Ashley Cole, who, as it happens, once played for Chelsea but is now a 35-year-old who is coming off being a ...
Coming soon: a slimmer, snappier -- and maybe better -- rulebook
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 26, 2:38 p.m.
Right now, I'm thinking that IFAB -- you know, the soccer rule-making guys -- have really done it this time. In the past, I've relentlessly criticized them for being a virtually useless group that does very little, and is composed of the wrong people anyway.
The MLS PseudoDraft and other obstacles that Latino Americans face in American soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 13, 11:24 p.m.
Time for another MLS SuperDraft. It would be better called the MLS PseudoDraft. It might also be known as the Slim Pickings Draft. Most of those involved are college players, and the day has long since passed when a bumper crop, or even an ordinary crop, of pro-ready players might be expected from that source.
A new type of coach -- appointed by the sponsors
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 5, 11:52 p.m.
Keeping up with the changes and additions to the English language -- I'm talking now about demotic usage, the every-day words that we speak and read -- is a topic of much fascination to me.
Good luck and bad luck for the Foxes
Posted by Paul Gardner on Jan. 3, 11:02 p.m.
You hear it often enough: a team should rest assured that, over the course of a season, luck will more or less even out. In particular, hostile (and therefore wrong) referee decisions will be compensated by favorable ones. The accompanying wry grin will wordlessly convey that some of those will be "acceptably dodgy."
Pawson's Pause gives the game away
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 30, 11:32 p.m.
I continue not to understand the negativity that pervades -- though possibly less than it used to -- referee thinking.
Will Computer SAM kill off the soccer pundits?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 27, 9:28 p.m.
Mark Lawrenson was once a top defender. He played for the Republic of Ireland, even though he was born and grew up in England. And he had a seven-year stint with Liverpool. Which puts him up there among the stars, at least in British eyes
The English get a timely reminder from Jurgen Klopp
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 26, 2:12 a.m.
I have a problem with Jurgen Klopp: I find it difficult to take anything he says seriously. His demented sideline antics have more or less forced me to view him as an overgrown child -- so why listen?
Don Garber is right -- MLS deserves more respect. But it doesn't help its own cause.
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 24, 1:44 a.m.
Commissioner Don Garber sounded off recently on the subject of respect, and how he feels that MLS doesn't get enough of it. Maybe "sounded off" is exaggerating Garber's position. He wasn't exactly ranting. It was more of a gentle nudge, suggesting to the American media that MLS "deserves more attention than we get."
Jordan Morris lights up the college final
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 13, 9:52 p.m.
I'm suspicious. Playing the College Division I final on a gloomy damp Sunday afternoon in Kansas City sounds like an NCAA conspiracy -- a continued conspiracy, I might say -- to belittle the sport.
Is Pochettino the man to make the English rethink their soccer?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 11, 3:36 p.m.
I detect signs -- long-awaited signs -- that things are changing in English soccer. I mean real fundamental change. Not the glossy superficial marketing tripe that is constantly fed to us as evidence that something, anything, is new, and therefore must be an improvement. Usually it is just the packaging that is new, gaudily disguising the fact that the product ...
MLS Cup 2015: Portland 2 Columbus 1
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 7, 6:06 p.m.
No, it wasn't a dream final -- these days we don't see many of them -- but it was a game with plenty of drama and enough good soccer to prevent it from ever lapsing into banality.
The Red Bulls and System Soccer
Posted by Paul Gardner on Dec. 1, 12:06 a.m.
You have to wonder -- is Dax McCarty looking to leave the Red Bulls? His postgame comments after the Bulls lost their playoff series to Columbus certainly invite that thought. He told the New York Post: "We just didn't play well the entire series. We were outplayed, out-hustled and out-coached."
The growth of the academies (Part 2): Is there any evidence that they are giving us better soccer?
Posted by Paul Gardner on Nov. 18, 2:17 a.m.
Evidence from a survey by the Switzerland-based Football Observatory (see Part 1) indicates that the number of acceptably skilled academy graduates is declining.