Friday, May 30, 2008

Pearson Out, Poortvliet

It looks like Nigel Pearson got a big "thank you for saving us from relegation" today in the form of being shown the door. Southampton announced that they will not renew Nigel Pearson's short term contract that comes due in a month. Instead they will be bringing in Jan Poortvliet. Who? I was wondering the same. Poortvliet's CV has clubs like Den Bosch, Roosendaal and Stormvogels Telstar. Seeing a new gaffer in charge who's biggest club managed is Southampton isn't exactly the sort of thing to get the fans excited.

The Ugly Inside, a Southampton Saints online fanzine, has more on the appointment of Poortvliet at their website.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Clavijo's Mediocrity Marches On

With the Rapids loss to Chivas USA at Dicks Sporting Goods Park, they have yet to win 2 games in a row in 2008. At least in 2007 they pulled off a couple of winning streaks. One was 3 games and the other was 2 games. Not much to brag about? Yep. But so far 2008 hasn't been much better.

This loss really gets my goat. Somehow the Colorado Rapids didn't manage to own this game. Chivas USA was missing an entire backline (Suarez, Thomas, Vaughn, Zotinka). They were playing a 3-5-2 because, well, they didn't really have any other choice (Or did Preki actually trying calling that a 3-4-3?).

They were also missing Galindo, Wicky, Alecko, and Bornstein. Heck, Razov wasn't ready to make a start Saturday night. In 2007 we were told one of the few bright spots was the defense. Folks pointed at their GA and said they were 3rd best. But as I mentioned awhile ago in a post here , I thought there were more problems than the GA was letting on to. We painfully witnessed that Saturday Night when the defense allowed 2 goals despite Chivas USA fielding a 19 year old kid and Attiba "2 brick feet" Harris. With the injuries, the altitude and being away from home Chivas USA had no business tieing this game let alone winning it. This was a game begging for the Rapids to score a handful of goals and to rack up another clean sheet. Somehow the Rapids made sure that wasn't the case.

What will it take for the Rapids to start playing like a better team? Do they really have that much less talent than other teams? Is Clavijo making good use of Christian Gomez? Does Terry Cooke need to start? Is this the last year we see Jacob Peterson in the MLS? Was this just a case of Preki out coaching Clavijo?

But the main question I want to hear answered is this : Why does Clavijo play a 3-5-2 only for the team to turn around and spend 1/2 of their passes trying to hurry up and knock the ball 3/4th of the way up the field in the air? That is, what good is the 3-5-2 when the players are so prone to playing long balls?

Highlights from the game including Tom McManus' incredible 35-yard goal :

More on the Chivas USA - Rapids game:

Catching Up With Southampton

As Saints fans remember all too well, it was only a couple weeks ago they were escaping relegation on the last game of the season. Somehow when they were playing at The Dell and pulling off a last second miracle it's a romantic feat. When it's a relatively big club that just a few years ago was in UEFA and playign for the FA Cup flailing to avoid the drop to League One (div. 3), it's not romantic but down right pathetic.

Tale From The Revolution touches on this subject with their solution being seen as the Southampton needs a big money owner. Obviously this is needed to compete with the ManUtd's and Chelsea of the world. Heck, I don't think too many folks would say I'm going off the deep end to say it's needed to regularly compete for spots in the UEFA cup or just maybe the Intertoto too. Any one year there's always a club or two that make a good run at these that don't have that sort of financial footing. But to regularly do this year after year without a good amount of cash being poured into the club?

Regardless of those high standards, I don't see Southampton needing this to be able to make the step back up to the Premiership. Bristol City nearly did it this year. Hull isn't poor but isn't exactly backed with huge bank accounts. WBA's Jeremy Peace isn't poor but isn't the sort of investor that can poor tens or hundreds of millions of pounds into a club like Chelsea or Portsmouth to force them up. Stoke is owneded by Bet365; not bad but again not a situation where loads of cash is going to be thrown at the club.

That's the thing with this, I don't see why Southampton needs a sugar daddy to make the step up back to the Premiership. It would definitely help with some resources but really Saints are big enough to do it on their own. What they really need is solid leadership from the top down that can carry out the right decisions to help the club move back up. More on that another day, though.

Rupert Lowe is back at the wheel with Southampton. I don't see where this is going to bring the club. We're talking about someone who took the club a few steps forward but in the end took them even further back. It's not just that they were relegated but Lowe set them on the course that brought them were they are today with shaky finances and a team lacking leadership both on and off the field.

At least Glenn Hoddle has not returned to St. Mary's. Setanta had some fun letter Glendda run his mouth about how many clubs he would like to hire him just so he can walk out on them. I just don't see why Southampton would want him back. But if Lowe can get control of things again, who knows what else will happen. It's too bad as Southampton needs to start moving forward again.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Again, Fire Clavijo?

Again, Fire Clavijo?