Only now, at 12 past 4 on Friday afternoon, have I been able to finally peek my head out of the steaming pile of wreckage that was my work week.
Hello there, readers. Hope you didn’t miss me too much. Let’s get started.
Arsenal save their bacon after nightmare start v. Barcelona. I had this epiphany while in the bathroom, of course, after the match. There are really two Arsene Wengers. One is the tactical and motivational master who somehow convinced his team Wednesday that they belonged on the same field as Barca despite all evidence pointing the other way. The other Wenger is the technical director/general manager Wenger. That is the stubborn one who refuses to see in his team what everyone else in his team what everyone else on earth sees. (Too brittle, no sure goalkeepers, short on strikers, Silvestre, etc.) I realized that I tend to take Manager Wenger for granted as a remorselessly trash GM Wenger. That said, this week’s performance is a real reminder of just how good of a manager Arsene Wenger really is. And on the heels of the miraculous draw and the guts that Manager Wenger’s team showed, even I am going to take a break from destroying GM Wenger.
MLS adjusts DP rules. Chalk this one up as a win for “spend-more” group of clubs as now they’re in a position to really make a run at some names post-World Cup. I talked to someone in DC who tends to “know things,” and he said to expect some fairly big signings after the World Cup and that this move is the reason some teams (like DC United, for example) are hanging on to large chunks of cap space even as this season starts.
MLS’ new website is a total utter disaster. Fake Sigi summed it up the best amongst the million pieces of criticism the new website has faced this week. It boggles the mind that they actually went live with a site that was this chock full of errors and mistakes. All that said, Grant Wahl made a good point on Twitter when he said the article would have even more credibility if he had attached his name to it. I like Fake Sigi and his work a lot, but it’s true that it will get taken even more seriously if he used his name with it. As good as the stuff if, it’s not as if he’s releasing the Pentagon Papers here. I’ve ranted far more angrily about anonymity here in the past, but that isn’t what I am aiming at here. This great piece, and the attention Fake Sigi has rightfully earned from it provides a good opportunity for him/her to “come out” so to speak and say who they are.
DC United’s owner and technical director can’t get their stories straight regarding designated player plans. Should DC fans be worried when the GM says to one reporter that the team “is not going that route” and then at the same function, Will Chang tells another reporter, “We are looking at a number of players who might qualify as a DP. Given the transfer window closing soon [April 15], more likely it would be in the summer window. I hate to put probabilities on something like this, but there are a number of players on our radar screen.” Just saying, that doesn’t look good.
What the hell is going on in Dallas? Attendance was terrible for the season opener, and we all knew things in that organization were not well. But not two games into the season do we see the first angry open letter published on 3rd Degree. This one goes down the usual list of issues with FCD, the mediocrity on the field, the total inability to market the team to the DFW market, but then alleges some amazing things about the stadium there.
How the hell does a stadium run out of food before a game? That’s not even cheapness, just outright incompetence since that food, which would otherwise be sold if it hadn’t run out, would only earn HSG more money. As bad as the situations in SJ and DC appear to be, the situation in Dallas appears to be measurably worse and that’s despite their own stadium. It’s probably time for Dallas fans to stop hoping HSG changes things on their own and to instead pressure MLS to do something about a franchise that is threatening to poison the market for a long, long time.
On to this weekend… where the supposedly half-decent Red Bulls face a real challenge in Seattle. A win, or even a well-earned tie here would push even a massive Metro-skeptic like me to believe this team is heading the right direction. Meanwhile in DC, a big crowd is expected to give the team a second chance after last week’s disaster in KC. But if DC doesn’t win and doesn’t win well against NE, expect attendances to slump back around to the 10-12k mark as fans have tired of the mediocrity on the field and the on-going stadium drama off it. (This week: the stadium’s largest parking lot has been limited in space by apparent snow plow damage.) And Colorado is playing Chicago. Chicago will likely win, no one in Denver will likely care, and that seems to be how ownership in Denver seems to like, so I’ll abide by their wishes.
Oh, and Manchester United is playing Chelsea. Just like with Penguins-Flyers games or Yankees-Orioles games, I’ll just cheer for an asteroid to strike earth at that moment and enjoy my sleep on Saturday morning.
Talk to you after the weekend.