Tuesday Thruballs: Stagnation Station

This is without a doubt the deadest month of the year in soccer. Teams are just

RvP may want to find a new car soon

getting started with their preseason camps, but we don’t have mindless friendlies to raise or lower expectations for the coming season.  There is also the ever exciting merry-go-round that is the transfer market, but

To take your mind off of the dreariness of the offseason, tune in to the annual crapfest that is the MLB All Star Game. If you ever think the EPL should put together one of these, watching the MLB version will quickly end that thought. Add in that you have to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver bloviate about things they don’t understand, and you may as well go watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

If other sports aren’t your cup of tea, there is always MLS. Yes, I hear your groans, but occasionally there is a good match or two on tv. Just make sure you are watching on NBC Sports and not ESPN2. No one needs to hear Julie Foudy providing color commentary. EVER. The folks over at NBC Sports have put together a pretty solid presentation. While some people may not be a huge fan of Kyle Martino providing color commentary from “Between the benches”, he is certainly an improvement on many of the moronic American voices we have heard over the past decade.

The qualities of play in MLS are another matter, but just make sure you watch one of the top teams and you won’t want to kill yourself too often. I would point you to Lorber’s posts on MLS, but he ducked out of that duty without watching more than one match.

One of the biggest pieces of news last week came from Arsenal when RvP announced he would not sign a new contract at Arsenal. Reaction was mixed with the Dutchman getting hammered by Arsenal fans for being “disloyal” while Spurs fans were laughing until they realized they didn’t have a striker. Now it seems like there is no doubt that Wenger needs to change his transfer policy if he wants any hope of winning some trophies.

For 5 plus years, Arsenal has been content to try and develop young talent to make a trophy run. While they have reached a few cup finals, ultimately the club has fallen short in their bid for silverware.  This method will not work when United, City, and Chelsea are all willing to spend money to bring in the top talent in the world.  Until world-class talent is purchased, especially in defense, Arsenal have hit their ceiling.

Because of this I can understand RvP’s decision. No player likes to be at a club that sits stagnant, especially with the talent RvP has. He knows he can start from day 1 for most clubs, and if he wants to win trophies he is going to have to look somewhere else to do it. Arsenal fans can boo RvP all they want to now, but it doesn’t change the fact that their club’s problem has been the same for almost a decade, not because of money-grubbing players.

I know Everton kick off their preseason schedule with a visit to Macambre, so there is always that to look forward too. Enjoy the week and make sure to laugh at any Arsenal fans you see.

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One response to “Tuesday Thruballs: Stagnation Station

  1. Haha, jerks. I am descending into Torres LiveJournal-levels of emo, shoe-gazing, existential angst after the RVP thing. Not b/c I loved him that much (this year was pretty much his only really healthy, productive year). But because of the underlying problems it illuminates at Arsenal and with the EPL. For those interested, I would recommend 7amkickoff.com, which had a very interesting take on EPL clubs finances and some data on just how damaging City & Chelsea’s massive spends over the last 3 and 7 years have been. Very Soccernomics-style stuff, but culled from a very smart, reliable source. Obviously there’s an Arsenal tilt there, but the implications are really just about as dire for Liverpool, Sp*rs, Newcastle, possibly United, and anyone else who wants to believe they have a shot at winning a title and not just clawing for Chelsea & City’s scraps.

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