Want to have a strong national team? Have a mediocre national league with clubs forced to cut wages. I'm oversimplifying, of course, this is really a fascinating article.
There were three reactions from the Paraguay-Spain game.
You, who delve into the tiniest details of the game, delighted in seeing how Paraguay's defense stymied Spain's firepower. You delighted in the Martino's organization, the tactical brilliance, and the tireless effort put in. Those of you who realize that soccer is not just a game of constant action, but constant thinking, loved every minute.
Others of you focused on Spain, and marvelled at yet more proof that a team can be less than the sum of its parts. You, as a World Cup scholar, have seen many times how difficult it is to make an all-star team play as a team, and you wonder whether Del Bosque can possibly make a cohesive unity out of all that talent in time for the Germany game. While you salute Paraguay for their determination, you realize that Germany is nothing except a faster Paraguay with better forwards. You're expecting the worst on Wednesday.
Me? Um, I kind of nodded off for the first hour, until the penalty kicks. Holy crap, dude! When was the last time you saw that? Holy crap! What was up with THAT?
Oh, that little circle thing over the penalty area isn't just for feng shui? Who knew?
I wish I had made a bet that during this World Cup, BigSoccer posters would have a goal scoring total equal to or greater than Lionel Messi. I'd also like to apologize to the US defense, after having gotten a load of Argentina.
Speaking of the birthday boy - I realize I'm days behind with this, but, okay - Bob Bradley joining Landon Donovan on the Daily Show. Is Bob Bradley now safe?
Okay, now that Capello has been kept by the FA, I suppose every coach is safe. If Capello doesn't deserve to be fired, then no one does. But Bradley was booked alongside Donovan before then, which I find just fascinating.
Was this Landon Donovan giving his endorsement to Bradley? Or does Jon Stewart happen to be one of Bradley's few defenders? Donovan is America's sweetheart right not, but I find it hard to believe he could shoehorn in a tagalong without Stewart's express approval.
Stewart even asked about Onyewu being benched, which probably went over the head of most of his audience - simply referring to "Gooch" without any elaboration, as if people should know who he is. (Fine, so we should.) Bradley ducked the question, but it shows Stewart was paying attention. And I suppose a follow-up about Findley and Clark would have been rude.
Stewart doesn't follow MLS in anywhere nearly as closely, sadly - I cringed when he suggested Bornstein as a replacement for Donovan in today's game, and I doubt I was the only one.
But I'm missing the trees for Nottingham Forest. A friendly interview with an embattled coach, on probably one of the two or three biggest chat platforms in the country right now, with an interviewer well versed in the subject. And no mention that said coach is embattled.
Am I reading too much into this?