A soccer diary from across the pond

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Soccer Newsday column on Canadian World Cup qualification

Another column on Soccer Newsday:´
I've reflected over the Canadian games against Panama, the results, what they meant, and what a qualification to the hex and to Brazil could do for Canadian soccer.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Where is our Jogi?"

Full disclosure: I watched the Canada game last night (what an awesome result) and then caught the last part of the US game afterwards. Though I still feel the following holds merit:

So. The first US loss to a Caribbean country since 1969. What to make of it?

After a while with Klinsmann as coach, I think it has become clear what his strengths and weaknesses are. He is a great motivational speaker that can bring something out in players on special occasions, but he has also shown clear faults in his tactical understanding of the game. Based on the last part of the Jamaica game and many other games, the US has shown a lacking ability to impose their will on teams and really dominate the game.

If you have such a situation either pick different players or pick a different tactic. There is not even any development in the game of the US. And I think this is down to the skills of Herr Klinsmann. As Germany coach, he was the one to inspire the players to believe they could do it and Joachim Löw, was the one that told them how to do it.

I saw this challenge from the beginning and the exact day that Klinsmann was announced I pointed out the need for a tactically savvy assistant:

And it seems clear that neither Andreas Herzog or Martin Vasquez are the assistant that Klinsmann needs. The US national IS better than Jamaica. They should have won, and with the right player choices and tactical approach it could have been won.

This falls back on both Sunil Gulati and Klinsmann, but in the end it was probably Klinsmann's decision and he needs to realize his own shortcomings.

Fans of the US team should rightfully ask "Where is our Jogi?", because the team needs him.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Christian Wilhelmsson signs for LA Galaxy. Not a DP.

So Christian Wilhelmsson, former Nantes, Roma, Anderlecht and Bolton player, whom LA confirmed is on trial with the club, has confirmed personally to Swedish media that he has signed with the LA side. He had offers from Russia, Qatar and Dubai, but preferred MLS and the Galaxy. He compliments the rising quality of the league and hopes to stay on the Swedish national team. He also says he had offers that paid more, but the chance to play in MLS and live in LA was worth more. Fotballskanalen.se also reports that he won't be a designated player, but will earn $300.000 a year on a 6 month contract with an option for 3 more years. How the hell can LA afford that?

Post script:
I just noticed, that the interview where Wilhelmsson confirms the contract is from SUNDAY the 2nd and the salary article is from last Thursday. Why hasn't LA confirmed anything yet, when Wilhelmsson is speaking openly about it in Swedish media?

Post script 2:
Just to underline: The interview was made the day after the Arena confirmation of the trial, where Wilhelmsson confirms to have signed contract. If it is signed, why isn't LA announcing it?