Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Neymar, Look at another Country. Or here's another thought...

After last weekend's game against Scotland, Neymar has been in high demand for Chelsea and Manchester City in England. Probably many more teams in other countries are looking to make him a wealthy man also.

My Opinion:
STAY AWAY FROM ENGLAND!! How many South American attackers have been successful in the Premiership? Alright there is Carlos Tevez, but I will give you time to go through all the almanacs, wikipedia, and google to find other successful attacking players from South America (namely Argentina and Brazil). Even Tevez is an anomaly because he isn't in the mold of most South American strikers. He doesn't mind defending and pressuring from the front which for most players they would not be bothered to do such a thing. Robinho has been a hit with AC Milan but could not crack the side at Manchester City. Probably not given the chance to shine. He could not handle the weather and the life in Manchester wasn't suitable to him like most other players.

English clubs do have a prejudice of South Americans. They are too flashy and too individualistic. Managers often tell these players not to do the things that got these players signed in the first place. Plus the rough and tough English Premier League style doesn't seem to favor players like Neymar. Especially in the winter where it is very foreign for most players coming from South American countries.

A Wild Idea:
If Santos is able to pay the money? Why doesn't he stay in Brazil? There is a thought. Many players go to Europe and find out that it isn't there cup of tea. They want to go back home (ask Carlos Tevez). When Robinho left for Europe, he did not play up to his billing. Then he went back to Santos and started playing some of his best football and got himself back in the National Team. I do not think that playing overseas has the same standard in places like Brazil or Argentina than it does in Australia or the United States for example. Most Australian players are encouraged to go to Europe to improve. Most South Americans don't need that training.

I have to take into account that most of these countries don't have the money to pay the players and it isn't entirely up to the players to go to Europe. However I think if Santos can pony up the money, then why not keep him there. Pele never made the jump to another country until his career was coming to an end. Neymar is a hot commodity but as we seen in a couple of international games, he can hold his own to European competition without the European training.

Maybe he wants the challenge of the European game or his agent wants to cash in on a huge pay-day. I cannot fault him for wanting to scratch that itch, however I hope he is being counseled the right way and doesn't make a decision that stunts his growth. If he does go to Europe, I'd rather see him in Spain or Italy because they won't try to mold him into a robot.

However, I could be wrong about this decision as I've been wrong about many other things. That is why this is just a blog and it is just my opinion...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

About that time to hang that other cleat up.

We were out training and we were talking about one of our friends who was trying out for a team in Wilmington. He is definitely good enough to make the team and start in a lot of the games. However when they offered him a contract, they only gave him $500/month and no housing. I was just thinking to myself: Gee, I make much more than that in two weeks time in my job. They can't even give the guy housing??

That is when I knew that chasing this dream is over for me. I like to have fun when I play football not worry about having to feed myself and competition over starting spots. I mean that isn't even close to minimum wage for a real job.

I just feel like if someone plays in that type of league making almost next to nothing for the next seven years or so. Once the career is over, it is back to square one and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of one's life. It is something I would not want to think about at 34 or 35, I rather have things sort of figured out by then, yeah?

I know what you are thinking. But Dre what if I am able to play well enough to get to the MLS?
I understand that logic. However how many people in the modern MLS makes that leap from Second and Third Division clubs in the US? I don't know the statistics but I don't think that many are successful in their pursuit for that. Especially when MLS is trying to become an legitimate league by bringing in foreign players and developing Academies for those MLS clubs. The chances become practically impossible for those lower level players.

I don't knock those guys for pursuing the dream. Keep on, I am still a wee bit jealous of them. However I know the reality that even if I do make a team (USL Pro or NASL), I would probably be a reserve player. Would not hate that but it would stop me from my pursuits after my last professional kick.

In turn, I had one boot hung up and now I am officially hanging up the other one. I want to play with my people and have fun doing the thing I love. It isn't about getting paid for doing something you love because actually it becomes more of a burden than one realizes (I can explain that to you if you don't understand). I just want to step onto the park, breath the nice Spring air, kick around, and love doing what I love to do without people critique my every kick...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Viewer's Choice =)

Someone actually listened to what I said. I asked on my twitter page if anyone has any ideas that I should write about on my blog and I have found one to write about.

Granted, I am not the most experienced in relationships. I have only really had two and both I can take most of the blame on them. Not because I cheated on them or anything, more because I didn't really have clear ideas on how a relationship is suppose to be like.

For those that don't know me, I use to be very antisocial. In high school and part of college, I never really got out and met many people. Plus most of my high school experiences were spent traveling the southeastern part of the country and playing soccer. It was something I wanted to do so I can't blame anyone but myself for all that.

In fact my first relationship started college, I didn't know what I was doing. I liked the girl a lot but I don't know if I was ready for the juggling act that was necessary. You know balancing out time with her, time with friends, and time for soccer because soccer was all I knew for 13 years before it. I definitely didn't do my best as a good boyfriend at that point in time and I can admit that.

Second one ended more because of the distances rather than anything that went wrong. I didn't see it fair for someone to wait for what I was doing because I was chasing the soccer thing. Going from LA to Atlanta and then eventually to New Zealand (that New Zealand thing was after we split anyways).

I feel something that makes a good relationship is for the two people to have common ground on most things. Obviously you'll disagree with some things that each other say, everyone argues from time to time. The friends that I have who are in relationships have many things in common whether it is personality, style, or other things like sport, video games, etc.

Being with someone that you can't talk to about something you like, I don't know it really doesn't seem like that relationship is going to work out. There needs to be much more substances than just sleeping together and eating.

Me? Right now I haven't found anyone that I like (or likes me) that I can have some sort of common ground with. Granted, common ground doesn't have to be that they have to like soccer or anything like that. It could be that they are comfortable in their skin and don't think they are all that. I like hanging out with normal people who don't act snobbish. It really turns me off in anyone even if there are a friend.

I would not say that I am not actively looking for a relationship but I am letting life flow. I use to get real angry whenever I felt rejected or I've liked someone but the feelings weren't mutual. I am curbing the anger on being rejected and I am letting this play out. I can't rush things and it isn't an exact science. If it was then I would have found a way to figure it all out, right?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Drab Performance

Mancini, Mancini, Mancini.. Your "proven" way of defensive soccer does not work. Getting players behind the ball all the time. Having no service for David Silva and Edin Dzeko. Playing Yaya Toure out of position among other things.

I watched the Chelsea and Manchester City game, I understand that the game is being played in Stamford Bridge and you want to start defending the game first. However with the money that is being spent at Eastlands, the fans and owners want an attacking brand of football. There is no reason why this should not be happening.

I could count about three players who had adequate games in the circumstance. Unfortunately there are all defensive players (De Jong, Kompany, and Lescott). Dzeko didn't have the proper service and David Silva didn't have the correct movement of his players around him. It is frustrating to those that are in the side that they can't do more.

Bringing on attacking players once you have to chase the game isn't the correct option. Waiting until 10 minutes left in the match to bring on attacking options rarely gives you results. Meanwhile, Chelsea becomes proactive and brings on attacking players while they are still in the 0-0 stalemate. Drogba supplies the free kick for David Luiz to score on. Ancelotti out-coached Mancini on that front.

Carlos Tevez could have been a big difference to this game. Dzeko doesn't seem to me to be able to put the team on his back and carry them through a game. He needs proper service to score goals. Tevez makes most things out of absolutely nothing. I can't blame Mancini for that because Tevez couldn't play due to an injury.

I understand punishing Balotelli for getting a needless red card in their Europa League tie on Thursday. He can still turn the game on its head given the starting opportunities. Granted, they run the rest of him becoming hot-headed and getting another red-card but I think these are some of the chances that needed to be made to become a top four side.

I don't know if a top-four finish will be able to save Roberto Mancini. They peaked too early this season and I do not think that he has the respect of the players on the team. Players aren't going to believe in their manager if their manager doesn't believe in the ability of the team to win.

Then again, what manager out there will be able to maximize City's potential???

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Successful and Unsuccessful Transfer

Of course since my ideas are jumbled up in my brain, I decided to post another one of my assignments that I did on my course. So warning to those who don't have any care about soccer, I would just close out the blog and just say when am I going to hear about what is going on in Andre's life. Well I can just give u a brief, "I am working and trying to get on with life." and then that is it.

I had to write about what transfers that I thought were successful and which I thought were unsuccessful and I jotted down my ideas on here.

Warning: These are just my thoughts, you might have your own opinion. Well this isn't your blog haha, but you can give me some of your opinions on my comment page.

Unsuccessful Transfer: Jo, CSKA Moscow to Manchester City 19 million pounds

Manchester City bought a Brazilian by the name of Jo. He was bought from CSKA Moscow for about 19 million pounds. Even though he started at Eastlands when he was 19 years of age, he was undoubtedly a failure of a transfer so far. He has been loaned out to Everton and Galasataray during his time with City and is more than likely going to leave the club with a lesser transfer fee than they bought him with. He has only scored six goals in his City career with only one of them coming in Premier League action. I always have the thought that Brazilians never worked well in England. Whether it was due to the cold weather, style of play, or the English lifestyle, I never felt as if they ever adapted well in England. Also in the next couple of years, they bought better strikers like Tevez, Adebayor, and now Dzeko. Jo did not stand much of a change of succeeding; also they have played him out of position at times this season. Roberto Mancini has had him out wide and further away from goal. He has not officially left Manchester City even though he is on loan; the front office is looking at ways to transfer him for a suitable fee.

Successful Transfer: Cristiano Ronaldo Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United 12.24 million pounds

The most successful transfer I believe is when Cristiano Ronaldo went from Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United. During his time with United, he has become one of the world’s best players. He signed with the club for 12.24 million pounds in the 2002-03 season. He started out slow with the club however he broke out in the 2006 season by scoring 23 goals in all competitions then he surpassed that by scoring 42 goals and leading his club to the Premiership title and a Champions League trophy. He ended that season by winning FIFA World’s Player of the Year. He became the first Premier League player to win the award. He would later move on to Real Madrid after the 2008-2009 season. I believe that it was a successful transfer on Manchester United, not only because of the success he brought to the club, but he was sold for almost eight times of his United transfer when he went to Real Madrid (80 million pounds)

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Life

I haven't disappeared from the face of Planet Earth or anything but I have sort of tried to get around to place to place. I was in Wilmington on Saturday and that was fun even though there weren't many people out that night but all in all it was a good night.

The more eventful happening was the road rage that I was encountering on the ride back home. People giving me the finger and an old man tried to veer in my lane on time. I am like guys calm down, it is a Sunday afternoon. Enjoy the ride, you guys don't have anywhere to go.

I've just been working a lot and playing some soccer in the meantime. I don't really have much going on in the moment. I've been playing a lot of video games and downtime to look up wikipedia information (yeah it has gotten to that point). I am getting comfortable about being at my place even if it is just sleeping, video games, and tv.

Like I said in an earlier post, I have been taking a soccer scouting and operations course so it will speed up the process of becoming a scout. I feel as if that will be a better choice for me. I don't know if I would be the greatest coach but I think I have a good eye to find players since I watch lots of soccer everyday.

So I am having my soccer glasses on at all times and not just watching the game but also watching certain players and certain trends in the game. I've been posting some of my assignments recently. I may post more soon to come.

Other than that, I have a boring life. TV and computer have become my best friends as they talk to me a lot. I am not asking for any attention, I am somewhat comfortable where I am at so I am just going to live life how I can take it and try to make of what I can of it..

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Analyzing Manchester City and Barcelona

I am currently taking this course in Soccer Scouting and Operations. One of my assignments was to discussion in detail two clubs from different countries. Compare and Contrast the teams, the leagues, and what would you do to change teams without making any transfers.

"I chose to describe the English Premier League's Manchester City and the Spanish La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Manchester City was founded in 1880. They currently play their football in the English Premier League. City is in third place behind Manchester United and Arsenal respectively. Their manager is Roberto Mancini, an Italian coach who formely managed Inter Milan. Their history is not the greatest. Their last trophy came in the League Cup in 1976.

However with the new ownership of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan and their influx of money. The Citizens have been able to buy top players like Carlos Tevez, Yaya and Kolo Toure, David Silva, and Mario Balotelli among others. Their aims are to qualify for the Champions League and eventually win the English Premier League.

Their main rival is Manchester United. In recent history, United has gotten on the better end of these derby matches but City has closed the gap competitively against them.

Barcelona is currently leading the Spanish La Liga. They are currently seven points ahead of Real Madrid. They are coached by Barca legend, Pep Guardiola. Barca is lead by some of the best players in the game with Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, and David Villa. They have a high powered offense that could score in the drop of a dime.

Their recenty history has been good. Winning the La Liga several of times and also winning the Champions League twice in the last decade. They also have legendary players like Johan Cruyff, Romario, Ronaldo, Hristo Stoickhov, and Ronaldinho.

Comparing Styles of Play
Manchester City uses a combination of English football and Italian football due to their manager Roberto Mancini. They sometimes boom the ball up field to their tall striker, Edin Dzeko. When they get into big games, they crawl into a defensive shell and pin all their hopes on Carlos Tevez, he is one of the best lone-wolf strikers in the game today.

Barcelona on the other hand, plays free-flowing attacking style of football. They pass and move until they are able to unlock the opposition defence. Barca makes the matches look like practice with their constant movement. They also smother teams when the they have the ball. They pressure all over the field so they can get the ball in a better position so they can score more goals.

The Leagues.
The EPL is a rough and tough league. It is very rapid fire. Most of the better teams are able to get the ball on the ground and start passing around. The worse off teams often try to boom the ball forward and hope for the best. They often bully teams rather than play football.

The La Liga is a bit more calm and relaxed. Most if not all of the teams like playing the ball short and keep it on the ground. That is why Barca and Real Madrid are so good because they have better players that play that high quality football.

In England, the weather is often cold in the winter and mild in the late summer and early spring months. That is why brute force is used because playing short in sometmies icy pitches aren't helpful for the leading clubs.

Spain is a much more Mediterranean climate which is much more warmer than in England. So they can play their brand of passing football and individual players can shine in that style.

What I would change:
What I would do for Manchester City is play with a 4-3-3 formation that would have two defensive midfielders and David Silva has the playmaker who is a part of that three man midfielder. I would like my chances with a Tevez, Dzeko, Balotelli three man attack, when healthy. Balotelli is experienced at playing on the wing and him and Tevez would be comfortable cutting the ball inside and getting their own shots.

What can you really change from this Barcelona lineup? They are almost perfect. The only thing I would change is shelf the 3-5-2 lineup for good. They played this lineup against Valencia on Wednesday and almost got punished for it in the first 25 minutes of that game. The three back was never comfortable, so if I could change anything on that team is that I'd never play that lineup ever again."

Those darn imaginary readers