Tim Howard, Porto and a (further) Redemption

June 16, 2010

I didn’t see many people note that Tim Howard could probably identify very strongly with England goalie Robert Green.

Manchester United bought Tim Howard in 2003, and was named best goalie in the English Premier League for 2004. However, this gaffe in March 04 Champions League caused him to eventually lose his spot.

Howard has certainly shown up Alex Ferguson for dumping him so quickly in 2004 with his Everton performances and his Confederations Cup and World Cup showings.

Interesting thought though: if Howard hadn’t made the error, it is highly unlikely that Jose Mourinho (Porto’s then-manager) takes the same route to being considered one of the best managers in the world…if he ever arrives.

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US v England thoughts

June 12, 2010

1.  If you were to tell me before the game that the US would get a tie out of this game I’d have been satisfied.

2.  I am not satisfied by the result.

3.  Pobrecito, Robert Green.   That’s not the way anyone wants to get a point, even with an unpredictable ball and a wet field.

4.  England had weaknesses, some of which I mentioned in my preview post.  We knew that coming in.   Glen Johnson is better going forward than defending, central defenders haven’t played together much and Terry is slowing down, Lampard and Gerrard don’t link well, lack of an obvious #1 goaltender, who is the second striker, etc.  One of those bit them in the backside quite painfully.  That said, they do have some phenomenal players.

5.  Capello’s starting lineup.  Emile Heskey assisted the England goal, validating Capello’s choice to start him, and surprising me.  I found it surprising, as I’d have started Peter Crouch against the Americans.   And I remarked to my wife as the game started, “I expected to see James in goal.”

6.  Us Yanks could have had a few goals in the air in the first half.

7.  We were extremely lucky to escape with a point, let’s not forget that.   Yes, there was a long stretch of the first half where we played better, as if we were the favorites and England counter-attacking underdogs.  And yes, we could have won the game.  But all in all, football is a capricious game, decided by who takes their chances, and we were significantly luckier than our elder brothers today.

8.  England will overreact, but they still have a good team.  Italy tied us in group stages in 06 and went on to win the Cup.

9.  I thought this was the worst refereed game of the World Cup to this point; fortunately, it was still a reasonable game for the ref.  I disagreed with several calls, and I think England did experience some luck not to get some red cards pulled out.  Still, given that the Brazilian ref has experienced quite a bit of controversy in the past, we are awfully lucky not to get Jorge Larrionda or Valentin Ivanov, who had the worst two refereeing performances of World Cup 2006.   Larrionda may or may not be biased against the US, but he certainly has had bad performances against them.  I like all the Uruguayans I know, but I don’t like his reffing.

10.  Findley as a starter?  I thought to myself as the game started.  Has to be a tactical move, we’re going to be sending it long alot.  And indeed we did.

11.  I’m happy with the point.  It makes us much more likely to advance.   It still wasn’t very satisfying for me though.


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