Any football on today?
No, it’s internationals week. Give it a rest, okay? Read a book.
What’s the big story today?
Sunderland have decided to “fix” things at Sunderland by hiring Gus Poyet, a model of controversy-free management. I jest. That said, Poyet has a good track record, and is a Premier League blank slate. Don’t expect a Southampton esque uptick or anything, but Sunderland are a good team. Here in fact is the real problem, as articulated by the Guardian:
Poyet’s arrival at the Stadium of Light, where he becomes the sixth permanent manager in less than five years – his official title, like that of Di Canio, will be head coach – was confirmed on Tuesday morning.
The club’s owner, Ellis Short, who took more than a fortnight to make an appointment, said: “We analysed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus’s track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward. We welcome him to Sunderland.”
Italics mine. Ellis Short strikes me for a man perpetually being bothered in his US-based office about “this Sunderland business.” “I don’t know, just hire whomever. Last place you say? Season’s still young.”
Any other interesting news today?
A bit slow with the international break, but some stuff. The latest instalment of Harry Redknapp’s book is up on the Mail, and it’s not quite as scintillating as the last entry. Though the self-aggrandizement is all there to see, including his too kind words for himself as Spurs manager, where, to be fair, he did well. His bitterness on Ruud Gullit celebrating Chelsea’s Champions League win in his face (which knocked Spurs out of next year’s CL) is good though:
Ruud Gullit was there and was carrying on right in front of me like a lunatic. He had nothing riding on the game — Chelsea had sacked him, for heaven’s sake — but he didn’t care.
In what could reasonably be described as a dick move to Everton supporters, Lukaku has set out to score more than any other Chelsea forward, which, if one considers that Fernando Torres is often on his own strumming his banjo up front for the Blues, shouldn’t be too hard:
The 20-year-old told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: “The coach decides and as a player you have to respect that.
“I chose to leave and it’s up to me to prove the coach wrong.
“The only thing I can do is play well and score a lot. And then I think people will say that I’m a good player.
“I want to score more goals than the strikers of Chelsea.
“We will see at the end of the season who made the best choice.”
I know you’re on loan, but for now you’re an Everton player. Yes Lukaku, I know you read this blog.
Plus there’s some nonsense on former British runner Linford Christie tweeting out photos of Thierry Henry wearing a Puma Arsenal kit. If that kind of thing is your bag.
Gimme the good stuff
Barça's Víctor Valdés jokes on Spanish TV: “I’d be more afraid of Pepe in a dark alley than a Cristiano penalty”
— AS English (@English_AS) October 7, 2013
And who said NCAA soccer was a giant garbage bag of garbage? Michigan against Ohio State, via Reddit Soccer:
Good stuff to read today?
Quite a lot. Gab Marcotti has a very interesting article up on ESPNFC on youth development plans in the Premier League:
More recently, Premier League teams have floated the idea of having reserve/youth teams in the pyramid. Instead of each other, they would face real, live lower-division opposition. And, of course, they’ve packaged it under the guise of something vital to player development. After all, Germany and Spain are the current flavors of the year when it comes to successful “footballing models” and they both allow “B teams” in their pyramid. So too do France and Netherlands, two nations that were the gold standard of player development before everyone decided it was time to ape Germany and Spain.
His objections are good ones, particularly how lower league football in England is arguably far, far more important and
Former Hamburg player and Newcastle and England boss Kevin Keegan gave an interesting interview to the DFB website, in part discussing his admiration for the Bundesliga:
Many leagues should follow the example of the German model. For example, that there may be associations without club owner. But there is and where to go for many teams too late. In England, the TV money increases, players earn more and more – and the prices for the fans go up. That makes no sense. The prices must be kept or lowered. The tricky for the German clubs is: In Spain or England can, I believe, still earn more. If a player gets offered twice for the same thing, then he usually goes, so it is now once in football.
Finally, the Guardian has the forgotten story of Sandy Young, a brilliant footballer who murdered his brother.