What The Soccer Guys Are Reading – Oct. 8, 2010

Charlie Davies was playing the best soccer of his life, then life got a lot harder for him after he survived a fatal car crash. Courtesy Longbomb of Wikicommons

Ryan’s Reading

ESPN The Magazine – Alive and kicking –  Charlie Davies as told by Luke Cyphers

Charlie Davies was on top of the soccer World. He made a name for himself playing for the United States National team. He was scoring goals for the U.S. and he was showing that he had what it takes to play with the top level of players in the world. Then a car he was riding in crashed and his chance at playing at the World Cup in South Africa last summer went down the drain. He went through a lot and had an amazing recovery.

Sports Illustrated – Bordeaux’s ’08-09 French title is starting to look like distant memory – Ben Lyttlton

Life hasn’t been easy for Bordeaux lately. The club limped into sixth place last season and a umber of key players from the club’s title winning season just a season before were headed on their way to new homes. Playmaker Yoann Gourcuff moved on to rivals Lyon for a record transfer in Ligue 1. Marouane Chamakh left for Arsenal on a free transfer during the summer. The biggest loss for the club was the appointment of Laurent Blanc as the French National Team coach. The Club lost its leader and craftsman with the loss of Blanc. Things just haven’t been the same for Bordeaux this season, and maybe it’s just the way things are suppose to go for the club.

Sports Illustrated – Why CONCACAF is killing the best rivalry in North America – Grant Wahl

Politics run the world. It’s that simple. CONCACAF has 24 island nations in it that want to play more World Cup qualifying games to better improve their teams skill by playing more competitive games and to allow more chances for an upset. But with the new proposed qualifying match the chances of a U.S.A. and Mexico home and away series is zero. The two best soccer playing countries in North America have one of the biggest and best rivalries in international sports, but that doesn’t matter if everyone doesn’t get a piece of the pie, and those mossing out are sure to get their pieces sooner rather than later.

Joe’s Reading

ESPN Soccernet – Shawncross defends de Jong, Henry

Stoke captain Ryan Shawncross defended Manchester City’s Nigel de Jong despite a challenge that left Newcastle Hatem Ben Arfa with a severely broken leg. Last season Shawncross, who has been criticized by several coaches and players in England for his reckless tackles, broke the leg of Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The young Welshman has yet to return, but Shawncross believes too much is being made of the challenge. Like Shawncross, de Jong has a similarly troubled past with overly aggressive challenges, including a kick to the chest of Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso in the World Cup.

The Guardian – Everton boss Moyes calls for Jagielka cap – Kevin McCarra

It seems like people have been demanding Everton defender Phil Jagileka to earn a place on the English national side for years now, and Everton manager David Moyes recently threw his backing behind Jagielka. English manager Fabio Capello has some decisions to make ahead of next Tuesday’s Euro 2012 Qualifer against Montenegro. While the Three Lions are likely to win without much of a test, players like Jagielka provide consistency and a sense of quiet calmness that England so desperately needs.

Sky Sports – United’s Macheda labels Rooney as ‘working class’

Manchester United brat Federico Macheda recently said that Wayne Rooney has provided invaluable wisdom and advice, but the Englishman is “working class and vulgar.” While no one has ever claimed Rooney is too well behaved, it certainly came as a shock to hear a teammate say say such negative things about the club’s talisman. Perhaps the more important news to come fro Macheda’s interview was his denial of rumors linking him with a possible switch to Lazio. It’s well known that Italy doesn’t like it’s best players to play abroad, but Macheda doesn’t seem too desperate to head back to his homeland.

Kevin’s Reading

The Independent – Billy Beane: The number-cruncher whose methods could revolutionise Liverpool

Billy Beane brought the Oakland A’s back to life at the turn of the century with his number crunching and metric measurements. Beane’s name became synonymous with statistics and breaking the mold of traditional scouting by using those statistics to recruit the best set of players for the right price. John Henry, the owner of the Boston Red Sox and the recent buyer of Liverpool Football Club, has been a huge fan of Beane and his methodology. If Liverpool are to do what the Red Sox have done since Henry has taken ownership, win, then the club and its management will surely begin to start using metrics to find players who fit the team’s mold.

The Guardian – Manchester United reveal record losses of £83.6m

It hasn’t been a great month for American owners in the English Premier League. Tom Hicks and George Gillett have most certainly been pushed out as Liverpool’s owners and now the Glazer family will begin to feel the fire from Manchester United’s fans again after the club recorded record losses after making a record turnover. United is steeped in debt, mush like their rivals Liverpool, but Sir Alex and company have continued winning trophies. The Red Devils haven’t had the best start to their Premier League season, and combined with this troublesome news, the fans of Manchester United will have more to protest

Zonal Marking – Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal: Arsenal suffer from Cole-Drogba combination yet again

Arsenal dominated possession and its chances, but the team put out on the field just couldn’t finish the chances it had when they came. Chelsea finished the few chances they had, and played a tactically strong game of cat and mouse with its London rivals. What match-up did Chelsea exploit to beat the Gunners? The Blues made sure to use former Arsenal left back Ashely Cole in their attack and exploit Samir Nasri’s lack of defending on the Arsenal right flank. As for Arsenal, it failed to use Gael Clichy in same way, which allowed Nicolas Anelka the freedom to attack with no real worries of having to defend, and that was Arsenal’s major downfall.

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