Monday, August 1, 2011
The Summer Treat
By Bagga Wilks
The American soccer fans get an opportunity in the summer to observe in living color the best European teams in the world. The was the case in Washington, D.C. in a match-up between Barcelona vs Manchester United before an audience of 81,000. The MLS players are also afforded an opportunity to compare their level of competition against some of the best players and top clubs in the world. The summer extravaganzas will serve as a further impetus for the development of soccer in the United States. The results clearly tell us that America’s newly appointed soccer coach, the former German striker, Klinsman, has a long road to hoe to bring up the men’s national team in a comparable position to America’s women national team.
The Pre-Season Drama
Arsenal has not missed a beat from last season. In the Emirates Cup played in their own backyard, they readily gave up leads in the waning moments of the second half. The newly acquired prospect, Gervinho, adds some creativity and striking power to the Arsenal line up but there is much uncertainty concerning Nasri and Fabregas. Clichy is gone but if Gibbs can stay healthy, it will turn out to be more of a plus than a minus at the left back position.
Arsenal has not made the moves that Manchester United has already put in place to have a more creative mid-field. Ashley Young, Welbeck and Anderson are players capable of playing at a high upscale tempo.
In the game against Barcelona, Manchester United was forced to concede possession. But the brilliance of Nasri who could come into full bloom this season, demonstrated the vulnerability of the Barcelona back four. Twice Manchester United broke Barcelona’s back with breakaways.
This was Barcelona without Messi, without Xavi, without Mascherano and without Danni Alves. Nonetheless, Manchester United this season will be an improved team and like last year will covet their share of silverware. Sir Alex Ferguson becomes more solomonic with age while Arsene Wenger’s best years are unquestionably rooted in Arsenal’s past.