116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What's Beef?

Why is everybody so unhappy these days? After listening to Bruce Arena go the full 90 bitching and moaning about Bob Bradley's interim status (as if Bradley's the first guy to ever be hired on an interim basis), I couldn't help but take a moment to reflect on just how many soccer personalities are beefing these days. Let's start in Madrid, where Fabio Capello has decided to kick-start the blame game in response to Real's disappointing season. The reason Madrid is faltering, evidently, is because two players who never play are holding the club back. Capello's indiscretion in calling out Ronaldo and Beckham at every opportunity is not only tiresome, but it has also enabled club president Ramon Calderon to feel entitled to do the same. Real Madrid is a club with fragile egos, however, meaning the discord must continue. This weekend, it was the players' turn to swipe back at management with no less of a company man than Raul firing back at the Bernabeu hierarchy's unprofessionalism (poll for my fellow USA fans: who'd you rather have: Sensitive Sunil or Ramon Calderon?).
Now that we're all so happy to see Real back to mid-season form (at least off the pitch), we must turn our attention to the Galacticos North at Stamford Bridge, where Jose Mourinho seems quite unhappy with his Chelsea superiors. While we here on 116th Street can't really say we're surprised about this development, we never would have guessed Oguchi Onyewu would be so prominently involved in the breakup. Who knew so much beef had so many U.S. implications? We must truly be living in a new century.
While we're on the topic of anger, the Beckham saga and American defenders, what is Peter Vagenas mad about exactly? This fool really said, "On the one hand you would say more power to him but on the other hand you think why can't I be earning that?" Why can't you be earning that, Peter? Maybe, just maybe it's because you are an unspectacular MLS defender. Perhaps it is due to the fact that you, sir, are not David Beckham. I mainly suspect, however, that you cannot earn $250 million because your last name is Vagenas, which, no matter how you may pronounce it, is likely the most un-marketable, squirm-enducing name I have ever encountered. Not even Danny Shittu would trade places with you.
Notes from USA-Denmark: Fun game this evening, nice to see the USA boys back in action. Jonathan Bornstein has a very bright future. Landon Donovan has no reason to appear intimidated by Denmark's B squad. Chris Albright, I hope that flu passes soon (why did he even play? It was a friendly!). Overall, it was a very inconsistent performance from the USA Men, which was to be expected after such a long layoff. Mastroeni is one of our favorites, but a guy with his experience needs to play with a lot more discipline. Where will this team get its veteran leadership from?


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