Comings and Goings

Bruce Arena was quickly snatched up by the Red Bulls as the new joke coach of a joke team in a joke league. After his dismal running of an overrated American squad in the World Cup, I guess he had to take what he could get. He publicly complained right after the Cup that the American players had to go abroad to hone their skills in order to become competitive. He was absolutely correct there. The first thing he’d gotten right in a month. The advice didn’t apply to him, apparently. Sorry Bruce, Europe has all the bog standard coaches it needs at the moment–good luck in Jersey.

I’ve been looking over the transfer lists, but there really hasn’t been much to raise the eyebrows over yet. I don’t really think Chelsea has improved over last year despite dropping even more dosh. Ballack, Shevchenko, Mikel–so what? They’re going to be focused on the Champions League this year, since that’s the coveted bit of silverware they haven’t won. The race might be tighter in the Premier League. They just might end up with nothing. There’s always hope.

The Premiership challenge has to come from the usual suspects, though. There’s no new teams sneaking into the upper echelon yet. I think Arsenal are slipping a bit rather than gaining. Their defense is getting worse by the day. Cambell is gone. Senderos is out. Cole wants to leave. The new stadium isn’t going to be hosting the same quality that has been on the pitch at Highbury the last few years. The Invincibles, they aren’t. Chelsea probably won’t dip far enough for the Gunners to be a factor.

ManU need a few signings–and no, Ole Gunnar isn’t one. He’ll never be quite the same after his destroyed knee. They’re in the process of getting rid of Ruud, but dead set on keeping prissy Crissy Ronaldo (on the same team as his best mate in the world, Wayne Rooney). When they need help, and they do especially in the midfield, they’ve always gone out and got it. They’re still the biggest team in the game. As long as the Glasers keep up that tradition, they should add enough talent to push that London team.

Liverpool might be the strongest of the lot. They trimmed some dead weight. Bruno Cheyrou, the next Zidane, wasn’t and never will be. Morientes, Hamann, Cisse, were all superfluous parts. Adding Gabriel Paletta may help in the back. I’ve never cared for Craig Bellamy (Norwich bloke that he was), but Liverpool might be the perfect spot for him–if there is one. They want a few more signings, but the purse strings seem to be tightening. If they can wrestle away one of the relegated Italians or two–they could be right there at the end.

I always have a soft spot for Tottenham. Especially with Martin Jol coaching now. I always support them, but they only win when I’m not watching. They haven’t really bulked up any over last year, but the pack may come to them. I’ll do my part. I refuse to watch a live Spurs match until October (unless they’re playing Chelski). I’ll give them until then. Can’t say fairer than that.