Tag Archives: Ipswich Town

So much going on

What a busy time.  In case you are the 2 visitors I get to this blog that aren’t my mom, I just moved again.  Ok, it was only cross town but with everything that’s taken place the last few weeks, it may as well have been a much longer move.  Anyway, between that, school and work (can’t forget to pay the bills) I’ve just not had the time to really post lately.  So, I’m gonna share a few thoughts though I’ll probably forget half of what I wanted to say.

  • LA fans who pushed the panic button after the Colorado game should knock better.  LA fans excited after beating SJ need to get a grip.  We still have no clue how good LA will be this season…though without the Trio of Becks, Fish and Landon they won’t be as good…at least we know that.
  • Seattle will more or less keep the Sounders name when the MLS team forms.  My only question is, why this need to add “FC” everywhere.  C’mon now.  At first though had a little giggle when I’d read reports referring to teams as “The FC” but now it’s just annoying.
  • Speaking of expansion, what’s the bet that MLS will keep growing as long as investors are willing to pay the Expansion Fee and build a new stadium?  It’s obvious there’s money to be made with the current structure of things.
  • Anyone who has ever read this blog around the MLS All-Star break know how much I hate the event.  However, the league has sunk to an all-time low by putting the leagues best up against a pile of Wet Spam.  Huh?  Oh, my bad.  It’s West Ham.  Well, maybe I’d watch if Iron Maiden were the half-time show. *
  • Ipswich Town have just about managed to choke away their chance at promotion this season.  Personally, I think another go-around with out the need to sell off their best talent will put them in a better spot for both promotion and relegation avoidance once they go do up.
  • Glad to see Cardiff make the FA Cup Final.  Wish West Brom would have made it as well (Tony Mowbrey was a class player) but ya can’t have everything.  A few weeks ago that call-in show on FSC was asking if we would pay the $25 for PPV to watch the Cup Final if it didn’t feature one of the ‘Big four’.  Well, my personal opinion is that it’s going to be a much better final without any of them.  If it’s not Ipswich (about to hit 30 years since the day) then I’d rather it be a team of players who probably aren’t going to seem many chances at major silverware.  As for this UEFA Cup stuff, well, Cardiff should have some way (either through Wales or England) where it’s possible for them to reach Europe.  What’s fair, well, that I don’t know.
  • Guaranteed, if (and it’s looking more like when) Amando Guevara joins the squad in Toronto, they’ll be lucky to do as well this season as they did last.  You heard it here first…well maybe.
  • Was it just me or was having back-to-back MLS games on FSC and ESPN2 last week pretty sweet?  Granted, it helped (well, for me) that LA was involved (thanks Becks) but still. four solid hours (plus pre/post shows on FSC) was just awesome.  Perhaps that’s something we may see on a more regular basis down the road.
  • Nope, haven’t had time to spring for the MLS PPV package yet.  I should but, well, almost all the LA games are going to be on TV anyway.  I dunno.
  • Hey, does anyone know of a good source for games you can play with a 3-year old to introduce soccer skills?  My boy is able to pass the ball back and forth with me (and he enjoys it) but he needs something more to keep him going longer.  I’m just doing my bit to insure success in 2026.
  • Does anyone else have their DVR set to record “I’m on Setanta Sports”?  Besides Lost, it’s the best show on TV.
  • Oh yeah, Becks got his 100th Cap for England a few weeks ago.  While it’s a great (and well deserved honor) for him, I can’t help but wonder just how bad England have become.  First, they can’t qualify for Euro ’08, and now one of their best players plays for a club in a Mickey Mouse league.
  • Actually, now that I think about it, his goal the other night hardly registered with the anti-soccer media over here.  All those article critical of his injury plagued season last year are staying quiet for now.
  • The MLS Players Association released the MLS salaries last week.  Was there anything in there we didn’t know?  I missed it if there was.  I’m sure everyone will agree that the players at the bottom aren’t making enough.  Now, I’m a firm believer that a team is only as good as it’s weakest link.  If good mid-salary range players are being cast off to make cap space, you are weakening the team…especally in a league that plays matches on FIFA International dates.  Many of those players are ending up in the USL, Europe or following a different career path.  I  hate to see this.  My one hope is that the new CBA which will become an issue soon will help this situation.
  • If you haven’t already, spare a thought for Gretna.  Talk about greed gone wrong.  Dumping millions into a small club in the hope of rewards once the top-flight is reached.  The thing is, will anyone really miss them?  Even the Dream Team writers couldn’t have come up with a plot this good.
  • Speaking of Harchester… That’s just silly.
  • Hey, Santino Quaranta can really perform when he’s motivated.  Took him long enough.  Is it too late for Memo Gonzalez?
  • Is it me or do the MLS stadiums have better atmosphere this season?  KC actually doesn’t seem dead.  Granted, there’s only 10k there but there’s more energy in the stadium.

Ok, enough for now.  I’m sure there’s lots I forgot though.  Hopefully, I’ll have some time to post more soon.

* In case you didn’t get the attempt at a joke. Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris is a huge West Ham fan and was even on their books as a youth player.

You won’t see a better goal

How can you not love it?…too bad it was too little too late.

Had to share…

I just stumbled on this.  Haven’t seen it in a while…worth sharing I think.

Magic huh?   Ya gotta love it. 🙂

Old footballers…

I read the other day that FIFA had finally done the right thing and given World Cup medals to all those who were on teams but didn’t play in the finals.  Reading about it reminded me of the petition Ipswich fans are signing to get Kevin Beattie a UEFA Cup winners medal from 1981.  Beattie was the was the heart and soul of the Ipswich backline back then.  If it wasn’t for him, Town probably would not have made it that far in the Cup that year.  He was fantastic in his prime which I was fortunate to witness.   Beattie wasn’t able to play in the Final (though I’m sure if he were given the chance, he would have) due to a broken arm suffered in the FA Cup Semi-Final against Man City.   Even if you aren’t a Town fan, I ask that you support please “The Beat” and sign the petition.   For you New England fans, he was a teammate of Paul Mariner’s if that helps. 😉
On a similar note–yeah, he’s a former scummer but isn’t it sad to see what can happen to former players who played before the big money available today?

File this one under, “no duh”

In 2000 Ipswich finally reached the EPL via the playoffs after several years heartbreak.  They did this under the guidance of George Burley who’d been in charge at Portman Road for over five years and a squad of players who reminded fairly much the same season-to-season by selling only a couple of players to bigger clubs (like Keiron Dyer to Newcastle) to insure the bills get paid.  Their first season back in the EPL Ipswich finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Cup.  This again was done with much the same core of players on the squad.  That summer everyone in the media (and those the media asked) said there’s no way they can do anything without spending money….that the previous season had been a fluke.  So, Burley and co went out and spent money….and were promply relegated.

I’ve always said, soccer isn’t like other sports where you can just plug a new player in a slot.  The eleven on the pitch need to know each other and how to work with each other.  It takes time for a team to jell.   You can have the best eleven players in the world on a team, but if they don’t know the other ten very well, they won’t be as successful as a team of players who work together as a unit.

I’ve said all MLS season  that the reason LA weren’t preforming well wasn’t because they were bad or that Yallop didn’t know how to coach.  It was because there were far too many player movements.  Too many trades.  Yeah, the finger gets pointed at Lalas but I’m pretty sure he’s just a fall guy for the AEG brain trust.

So now it seems someone else is “getting it.” Well, Duh!!!  I’ve been saying it all summer.

We’ll see what happens in the expansion draft–my bet is that we lose Martino.  But after that, I’m hoping there isn’t too much player movement this off-season.  LA have a good squad of players.  They still just need more time together and more time with Gullit (though I wish AEG hadn’t run off Yallop)

The good news is that AEG has scheduled all kinds of money making friendlies.  I’ll be shocked if we don’t hear more scheduled for after the Christmas break.  But in the long run, if these matches are in the off-season, all it does if give the guys more time together which will hopefully prove beneficial once the season starts.

I’m missing MLS already

I woke up this morning and I’m not sure why but I was thinking it’s a long break until we get some more MLS. It’s not like Baseball which gets in the news all winter–often for the wrong reasons–MLS has little to no news to keep us occupied. At least we still have foreign leagues to fill the void. Oh, and I supposed I should congratulate the Orange Smurfs (AKA Houston) for another title. Personally, I’d love to see Dwayne DeRosario wearing Blue at Portman Road by the time the new MLS season starts. Well, one can dream right?

This MyFootballClub thing is amusing. Based on comments on other blogs, BigSoccer and other boards, I wonder how many of the new ‘owners’ are on this side of the Pond? More American investment. Actually, has anyone seen a breakdown of where the investors are from? Something about the whole thing just seemed odd. Honestly, I never really like the idea of owners getting involved in what goes on match-wise. Off the field stuff? Sure. But let the manager/coach handle players. I guess I’m not alone in this opinion.

As for the matches on Saturday. I fell asleep after the goal in the South Africa-US game. Missed the Israel-Russia game but guess I’ll need to find a way to see the big game on Wednesday. I wonder how England will mess up this opportunity?

Hey, the expansion draft is next week…WooHoo… Pass me some turkey….zzzzzzz.

Catching up on some stuff

It’s been an interesting week on the MLS Coaching front.  Of course, LA now have a Dutch coach….a coach who I idolized as a player.  The guy was awesome.  My hope is that he can introduce Total Football to the HDC.

I was fortunate enough to group up in the Total Football heyday.  While I lived on the other side of the North Sea, Bobby Robson had brought a taste of Total Football to Suffolk in the late 80’s when he signed Arnold Murhen and Franz Thijssen.  The think of love about the style isn’t the obvious, ball movement, it’s the player movement.  Players off the ball finding and creating space so the player with the ball can use them.  That’s what gave me goosebumps when done well.

How will it work in LA?  I don’t know.  I do remember (fuzzy memory again here) back in the Rose Bowl days when LA were getting pretty close there.  I don’t remember if Zambrano or Schmid were in charge at the time.  It may have been ’98.  Anyway, I hope he can bring some of it to LA.  Sampson killed anything entertaining and Yallop was never given the chance to develop it.

Pele has been getting in the news while watching Ipswich go down to Sheffield Utd.  He claims that MLS sold Becks as a goal scorer.  Um, I know I’m getting old (another birthday this week) but I honestly don’t recall anyone saying that.  In fact, I seem to recall everyone explaining to those who aren’t as familiar with the sport that he is a midfielder and is a great passer and freekick taker.  Nothing about goals.  Granted, there were many who made comments about his productivity in terms of stats when assessing his impact on the field this season.  But then again, I’m not sure the average American sports writer can write anything without citing some type of stats.  For me, I saw a different team when he was on the field.  LA were much more organized and seemed to have more direction and flow when Beckham was getting touches.   But what do I know?  I’m sure Pele saw all the matches he played for LA and is more an expert on those things than I.  Beckham, for his part, only said great things about Pele when asked to respond.  What a class act.

Speaking of Ipswich, I loved this result. 🙂

Is it me, or are things in NY (ok, NJ) at a standstill?  (Insert 60-90 day’s joke here.)  Is Red Bull going to pull something amazing out of the hat?  Firing Arena (yeah, I read the statement) just seems a bit drastic.  Now they are making changes to the stadium plan…well, according to Ives who is one of the more reliable reporters–ad the stadium probably won’t be ready until 2010!!!  Now, I’ve sat on this for a few hours and given it some thought.  My conclusion is, this may not be a bad thing.  Granted, there are things in Red Bull Land which need to be addressed.  However, I think this shows a long-term commitment to the team and the league.  Also, I’ve a feeling that Red Bull–who don’t do things half-way–are going to create one heck of a sweet stadium.  I just wonder how much longer the Red Bull loyal can wait?

So, Seattle will have an MLS team sometime in the future–possibly before Red Bull moves outta the Meadowlands.  Drew Carey will probably now get grief from my buddies in LARS but I guess I don’t really blame him.  What’s interesting is where I read something along the lines of the team having fans buy shares of the club and allow them to vote on things.  With Red Bull in NY, Chivas in…err, Chivas, Toronto doing something no other MLS team can–like selling 16,000 season tickets before the previous season is finished.   Back to my point, there’s more investment from people who arefamiliar with how the game is run in other countries coming into the league.  The league isn’t anything like it was in ’96–and I’m not just talking quality of play.  I’m just surprised it’s taken so long for the owners to realize things things.  Maybe I’m not seeing the right picture but things do seem to be headed in that direction.  I just wonder how much longer we’ll have to put up with matches on FIFA International dates?

Anyway, enough rambling for today.  I’ve not been good about writing much lately…I’m blaming school.  However, if you are interested in random comments and the occasional live match comments, check out my Twitter.