Donovan & Hejduk

Discussion in 'Yanks Abroad' started by beineke, Aug 2, 2002.

  1. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well he was the best player at the under 17 World Cup before setting foot on German soil. And if you chart his performances with the Nats, they didn't start getting respectable until after he left Leverkusen. Donovan has stated that his improvement is a function of the Under 17 program and San Jose, and it's not an opinion without some rationality.

    What's decent compensation for a guy you never play? Isn't paying his salary pretty fair?

    Me, I get kind of nervous when Germans start advocating limits on speech. As for investment, Bayern had ample chance to get a benefit out of their investment, but declined. That's life and now things are different. Bottom line is that Donovan is a person and should be able to be free to express his opinions on his own life.

    What is a contract worth with an employee who hates you? Maybe not so much.
  2. Donovan is a professional. If he goes back, he will play his heart out for Leverkusen.

    Toppy is a former player and he understands that Donovan will want to get on the field.

    Leverkusen is light enough up front that there is a real opportunity for Donovan to start, especially if they do well in either the pokal or the champion's league.

    I hope he goes back. I think the Germans will expect it of him as I understand that specific performance is something that is more acceptable under European contract law than US law.

    But, I can also understand that the winter is long and dark in Germany, and sitting on the bench in the cold waiting to get on the field while competing with lots of other wanna be football stars is probably not a great time. I would go in a minute -- beer, wine, sausages, Glucksrad, castles, beautiful women, what's not to like about Germany?

    But here he has the California sun, he's also a star on the best team in America and starting for the nats. Tough call.

    I hope Frankie gets a deal somewhere that he can get playing time. His game and form have clearly benefitted from the time at Leverkusen. If he comes back to the MLS, I hope San Jose gets him.
  3. Deimos

    Deimos Member

    Apr 23, 1999
    Louisville, KY, USA

    Babelfish doesn't know what this is. Can you enlighten me?

    I'd like to see LD go back to Germany.
  4. Sorry. It was a little bit tongue in cheek.

    Glucksrad is WHEEL OF FORTUNE in German. I was a fan for a while when I was over there. I do not even know whether it is still on.
  5. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    Olaf, I have always been impressed by your reasoned and level view of the German football world, but come on, the "negative crap" LD has been saying about BL is very mild for a disgruntled footballer. I've heard worse from guys about clubs they were starting for. (Want to see a guy quietly pissing down a club's neck, do a google on "Matthaeus Football MLS beach injury girlfriend" and see what pops up.) Basically, this discussion belongs on a financial thread. At this point it's all about recouping investments. BL wants to make some money for having been clever enough to snag LD first, which is fair enough. And if LD doesn't want to go back badly enough, he'll break the contract. If BL think they have grounds and if they think there is money to recoup, they'll sue, or at least threaten to and a deal will be reached. But a contract is not a writ of indentured servitude. It is a business agreement you break it at your own legal and financial peril. I'm afraid I find it kinda hard to weep for the guys that hold (and leveraged very nicely into a 95 million US deal, thank you) the patent on Cipro. They're big boys. Landon won't make Calli lose too much sleep - or money.
  6. I think I agree with Olaf -- some of Donovan's comments have not been appropriate. The fact that worse things have been said by football players doesn't mean that he should make negative public statements about a good club where he has a contract.
  7. Chicago76

    Chicago76 Member+

    Jun 9, 2002
    Why can't he make public statements regarding his place of employment? How much of what he is saying is both A) Not true and B) Effectively harmful for BL's reputation and hindering its ability to function as a club?

    None of it.

    If I'm not happy at work, I can make all of the public statements I want about how much I hate my job or how unfair it is. It may make my life at work more difficult or my boss unhappy, but there isn't a lot that can be done. They can terminate my contract if I am not fulfilling my end of a deal or if I'm disrupting the work of others, but they can't do much else. Why should a soccer player be any different?
  8. I just don't think it is professional. He has the right to say whatever he wants (as long as he avoids libel and slander laws and the like).

    I would prefer not to know that Donovan was unhappy at Leverkusen. I am glad that he is happy out here in California, but if he goes back to Germany, I want to think that he is going back to his dream job and that he likes living in Germany and playing in the bundesliga. That makes it more fun for me as a fan to watch him play and to route for him even though he does not play for Dortmund like he should.
  9. Syncope

    Syncope New Member

    Mar 28, 2002
    Shove it. Much to your surprise, and possibly chagrin, we are not Nazis, do not propse a limit to freedom of speech, and most shocking, have not gased anyone. And neither have our parents. While we will forever pay for the sins of our "fathers," people on this board should come to realize that there is nothing inherently evil about our heritage.
  10. BuffloSoldier

    BuffloSoldier BigSoccer Supporter

    Jan 31, 2000
    Northern NJ
    Guys, please--settle down, ok? :)

  11. im_spartacus

    im_spartacus Member

    Dec 13, 2001
    Santa Clara, CA
    You are right the comments made against olafg were unfair and inappropriate.

    Hopefully, in the future we can dispense with making poorly reasoned nationalist generalizations about people, especially posters who contribute as much to this board as olafgb does.
  12. olafgb

    olafgb New Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    That's nice, but there's no need that someone defends me. Offences just show lacking ability to argue; besides that Martin Fischer's roots can probably be found in Germany and considering that the 'c' is still in the name this wasn't too long ago.

    To some of the real arguments:
    @Martin Fischer: Donovan was a top prospect, without any doubt, but a 17 year old is not a complete player. He had the talent, but it requires lots of work to become a pro. And if he had two years without any improvement, then he wouldn't have been able to become that successful in the MLS. Otherwise you would say that MLS' level is below the one of 17 year old talented players. I don't say that BL made him the player he is today, but to claim that the time in Leverkusen just harmed him or stopped his development, is just ignorant.

    For loaning a player you usually pay a decent loan sum. As long as you don't want to get rid off a player it takes more than just paying the salary. BL didn't want to get rid off LD, it was him who wanted to return. And as I said, I doubt that MLS pays the same LD would have earned at BL - and I wouldn't wonder if BL still paid part of his salary as they also did e.g. with Paulo Rink when they loaned him.

    A contract with a player who hates you is worth a lot as the player isn't having control about his own future. Do you seriously want to say that the contract is worthless as he doesn't want to stay in Leverkusen? I guess we have to write the history of law anew in this case.

    @Ethel: Glücksrad is aired on Kabel 1, a rather small channel. I doubt they got good ratings.

    With your remarks on the LD statements you're right. Of course he is allowed to do statements on the employer, but in limits. Saying that they treated him as he never got a chance, the colleagues avoiding him, etc. is very close to this limit. As a regular employee in a company he'd probably get a warning for that. Bayer won't do that as they have no interest in terminating the contract. But I find it hard to act in favor of someone (a loan deal would be a favor to LD) who's not exactly being nice to you. He can be lucky that BL is patient as they could also get him back and put him to the tribune, which would be the same as destroying his career. LD doesn't have the power in this case.

    @freisland: No, money is not the matter. BL wants Donovan back. They were very surprised about all the statements as they planned with him. Now they are thinking about a loan deal, but surely they won't sell him. If he doesn't return now, then it'll be one season later - and if BL insists on it, then LD will go there, he won't risk to be suspended until 2007.

    Something different: I think LD has the wrong agent. In February in Rostock he was still saying how much he liked Germany and that he'd look forward to returning to BL - with the WC nearing suddenly he reminded all the injustice they did to him, which makes it so impossible to return. Reality is that he's trying to get his will by stating this negative things on BL which simply are not the truth. And again, personally I feel it isn't right to reward a player who's acting like him.
  13. Mattbro

    Mattbro Member+

    Sep 21, 2001
    Ethel the frog, apparently you haven't spent much time in Leverkusen!

    What you wrote above is exactly what I was expecting before I moved to Leverkusen. Unfortunately, you are describing Bavaria. Let me give you a brief description of Leverkusen: rain, smokestacks, frigid women, smokestacks, rain and more rain. It rains approximately 400 days a year in Leverkusen.

    I know exactly how Landon feels about Leverkusen. If neither your private life nor your profession has given you any joy in a given environment, then you're not likely to want to go back any time soon.
  14. Mattbro

    Mattbro Member+

    Sep 21, 2001
    I was wondering this myself. I saw that when German TV was interviewing him - I think it was sports Sunday on ARD, right? First the positive comments about Leverkusen, now the negative ones? I'm wondering if it depends whom he's talking to. Maybe he's not so quick to tell German TV exactly what he thinks of Leverkusen. By the same token, he may not be aware how much the comments he makes while in the States are actually reverberating in Germany?

    BTW, Glücksrad now has Miss Germany turning the letters. You should see this girl - I'll see if I can find and post some pictures (if only to ease some of the tension on this thread!).
  15. olafgb

    olafgb New Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Maybe this is intersting you: that's a German forum also discussing the Donovan matter. This topic doesn't find too much interest, but the few posts say this:

    Topic: According to newspaper articles it doesn't look too good that Landon Donovan returns. What's your opinion?

    A1: what isn't looking good there? He's got contract until 2007.

    A2: no transfer! He has been in Leverkusen and will return.

    A3: I think he stays in the USA.

    A4: someone who is shitting in his pants when he's hearing the word 'Bundesliga' doesn't have a chance to succeed here. A pity as it looked that this guy can play soccer. Maybe he'll win some self-confidence in another MLS season.

    A5: I can understand Donovan as he's the star in the MLS and also treated like that. In Leverkusen he wouldn't have a guaranteed spot in the starting lineup. But his theater is in vain, contract is contract.
  16. olafgb

    olafgb New Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Matt, Leverkusen is ugly, no doubt about that. But there isn't more rain than in Bavaria and probably also in Austria. But maybe Ethel was seeing the smokestacks as towers of a castle ;). Frigid women in Leverkusen? I made other experiences, but that's matter of luck I think :).

    I know that Miss Germany is turning the letters in Glücksrad. But I've got to say that I found prettier girls even in Leverkusen.

    Regarding the Donovan interview I don't think that he was lying on German television. Soccer players are lousy actors - see Paul Breitner in 'Potato Fritze' - and you see what they really want to say. Donovan liked the attention he got in Rostock and he didn't indicate that something was wrong at that time. If you're seeking for a beautiful large city next to Leverkusen, you just got to drive a couple if minutes to Cologne; I really don't see your or his problem there.
  17. Brihodge

    Brihodge New Member

    Apr 27, 2001
    Yeah, while Leverkusen is an ugly industrial city, I don't see the problem with living in Köln which is a fantastic city and only 20 min away. The weather things are more or less true though. On the playing field, I really feel Donovan has a chance at some decent time right now. With the amount of games that BL plays and their low number of Forwards (especially with the Franca injury) i think he has a chance, unless of course they'd play Kirsten ahead of him. If they did that and he complained I'd be with him, the guy was great but isn't good for more than 20 min a game now. Ok just my thoughts.
  18. mattgabe

    mattgabe Member

    Sep 20, 2000
    Blacksburg, VA
    What about a surprise double-swoop for the Americans by TSV Alemannia Aachen? ;)
  19. former baller

    former baller New Member

    Mar 10, 2002
    You are the MAN Olaf! Good stuff.
  20. Brihodge

    Brihodge New Member

    Apr 27, 2001
    Well I'd be all for that Aachen is going to have a heck of a time this weekend against Freiburg, and really could even use Frankie and of course Donovan. But with the fact that Aachen almost didn't come up with the money to stay in the 2nd league this year, I don't see that happening. Well I'll still be at Tivoli on Sunday regardless if any yanks are playing hoping for a good start to the fight against relegation.
  21. Mattbro

    Mattbro Member+

    Sep 21, 2001
    Okay, I realize this is even more off topic than the Wheel of Fortune, but Olaf I took the liberty of looking up the rainfall statistics (actually it was something I'd always wondered about, and this gave me a good excuse to do it). Here are the links:



    San Jose:

    In Cologne it rains a third more than in Vienna (not to mention it's more of a steady drizzle up in Olafland, whereas it really pisses it down sometimes in Vienna - i.e. more sunny days down here!). And it rains less than half as much in San Jose as it does in Vienna.

    Bottom line: Landon should stay in San Jose, and Olaf should come down and visit me in Vienna - we'll go watch a Rapid game under glorious blue skies!

    @Olaf: don't forget your sunblock.
  22. olafgb

    olafgb New Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Shocking news that we have less sunshine than San Jose. Maybe you got less rain and it's warmer in summer, but the winter in Vienna is much colder and you have more of this f***ing white stuff from heaven ;).

    Watching a Rapid game... Matt, how deep did you fall?... from Bayer to Rapid... no, rather a bit more rain for me :)

    As the topic once also was Frankie: he scored a goal in the last pre-season game vs a selection of minor league teams from Leverkusen (10-1)
  23. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What we have here is a sentence that is simultaneously very funny, and inappropriate.

    I felt very guilty as I laughed.
  24. Mattbro

    Mattbro Member+

    Sep 21, 2001
    Okay, normally I'm as sensitive to the "Nie deutscher Meister" crap as anyone else.

    But allow me to point out that only one of the aforementioned clubs can claim to have ever won the German championship. :D
  25. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

    Feb 23, 1999
    Kampala. Uganda
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's was a joke. As Superdave says kind of inappropriate, less so since, as Olafgb points out I have grandparents who were born in Germany and arguably just as liable under a collective guilt theory as any of the German posters on this board. I still think that muzzling a person from expressing his views on his own life is dangerous and a little dictatorial.

    Using the word "ignorant" is a much bigger indicator of a lack of an argument than my little joke. What reasoning there is is not logical in my mind. Michael Owen was able to compete in the Premier League at a high level at age 17 and since Donovan is our Owen given the lower level of MLS, I don't think it is ignorant to make even the extreme argument that he was ready to be one of the best players in MLS at age 17 before he set foot on German soil. Of course, the argument that Donovan didn't improve at all with Leverkusen is hyperbole. However, I am not aware of a better indicator of his development than his performances with the Nats and -- using that standard -- the Leverkusen years were very flat years in terms of Donovan's on-field performance.

    Leaving aside the fact that your argument is based on usupported speculation, even if true it does not give Bayer a moral right to LD's services. First, my understanding is that most loans do not involve fees but simply the payment of some or all salary. Second, in the case of players who never, and I mean absolutley never play for their club, I am quite certain that a loan fee is virtually non-existant.

    No thanks. I am quite aware that Leverkusen has the legal right to prevent Donovan from playing until the end of the contract. As an ex-lawyer, I am also aware that legal rights don't always function in the real world. There is no percentage in keeping a player who hates you as he will just poison the environment of the club and provide zero benefit. It's just bad business and most successful clubs don't engage in such practices.

    Are you arguing that (1) Donovan did get a chance? or (2) that he should be prohibited from speaking the truth? Either way, I disagree.

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