Old Futbol Buffet–Full on Food and Footy

Tons of stuff was in cyberspace after last weekend’s matches. Hard to keep up with it all, especially with a short work week heading into the holiday weekend, but here is some stuff I found after Monday’s post.

The panel at World Football Phone In hit several issues, including the youth policy of European clubs, especially on how it relates on players coming from South America; why Monaco is not liked in France; and Blatter’s comments on racism.

The crew at JuventiKnows are obviously on a high after the Black and Whites performance against Palermo. The team is well organized and playing as team, which Aaron notes. No one player is carrying the squad at the moment, which allows the team a greater chance of success because goals, effort and intensity can come from many sources instead of just one over performer putting the team on his back. They have a tough stretch coming up including Lazio and Napoli, which will test their title credentials.

Jonathon Wilson examines Mikel John Obi’s time in England thus far, which was brought into sharp focus as his turnover led to Liverpool’s opener last Sunday. As a United fan, I didn’t understand the issues surrounding his move to Chelsea instead of Manchester, but years on, it looks like Fergie dodged a bullet. Wilson noted how Mourinho used Mikel during his time at Chelsea, “From the start Mourinho played him at the back of midfield, but he’s never looked entirely comfortable in the role which is, in fairness, usually occupied by older, more experienced players”, but made some pointed comments about Mikel’s performance recently, “He looks slow and ponderous in possession, and it’s not as though his defensive gifts are sufficient to counter-balance the way he slows Chelsea down. His development is desperately sad, given how talented he was as an 18-year-old.

Grant Wahl did his yearly chat with MLS Commissioner Don Garber. While I don’t follow the MLS, I try to get a feel for the issues and stories that the league is dealing with. After reading, I felt like Garber deflected and did not get into specifics, especially in regards to the playoff structure, referring standards and the schedule. The current playoff schedule is a cluster fuck. As for the league the league schedule, the unbalanced schedule sounds like yet another stupid idea from the league. The possibility of not playing one of the teams in the league? Idiocy.

During my drive to Ohio for Thanksgiving I listened to the latest Manchester United Redcast. The giddiness of the early season is gone and the focus has moved to results, with the guys taking 1-0 victories as long as the Reds keep touch with City. Robert and Eddie also looked at other teams and their issues, while discussing the soap opera that is the England National Team.

Ernst Bouwes gave his take on the latest battle brewing at Ajax, with van Gaal being brought in as General Director against the wishes of club godfather Johan Cruyff. Ernst details the tensions within the club, specifically between the two giants of the club’s past:

Van Gaal wrote a model for youth academies in Holland based on the concept of team and personality building, while Cruyff has always put emphasis on a player’s technical abilities at a young age. They are diametrically opposed to each other in almost every department, except that they both have been highly successful at Ajax. Any club would kill to have one such person; Ajax have two, but just don’t know how to handle them. It’s like having to make two Muhammad Alis work together, each with their own group of devoted followers.

It’s a shame that these two can’t work together and bring this club back to prominence, although it looks like the teams will qualify for the knockout phase for the first time since 05-06.

Anyway, no shopping for me today.  Hanging out with the fam, working on the blog, getting sucked into several internet shame spirals.

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