Who Wants A Sunderland Refund?

The Premier League was back with gusto this weekend after a long and dull international break that seemed to last a month. The Two Daft Yanks are back to break all the exciting action that proves the EPL is the greatest show on Earth. On this week's episode: Clubs stayed Read more

Garber Strikes Back

The Two Daft Yanks are back after a short break forced by the international break and Chad's relocation to the Rocky Mountains. The TDY Mile High Studios are now up and running along with the TDY Polar Studios so that means the one and only TDY podcast can crank Read more

Derby Fever

The North London Derby, Merseyside Derby and the Faux Manchester Derby all took place this weekend and the  Two Daft Yanks have derby fever! Tune in to this week's podcast to catch derby fever for yourself too (come on you know you want to). On this week's episode: Arsenal and Read more

Who Wants A Sunderland Refund?

Posted on by Chad in EPL, Podcast | Leave a comment

The Premier League was back with gusto this weekend after a long and dull international break that seemed to last a month. The Two Daft Yanks are back to break all the exciting action that proves the EPL is the greatest show on Earth. On this week’s episode:

  • Clubs stayed true to their recent characteristics this weekend
  • Southampton runs riot winning 8-0. Sunderland refund?
  • Harry is at it again in a crushing loss
  • Balotelli’s ticking time bomb about to go off
  • Gary Monk in hot water with the FA
  • And more!

TDY: Who Wants A Refund?

Listen to/download the podcast below or listen on your mobile device via StitcherTuneIn or iTunes

 

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Garber Strikes Back

Posted on by Chad in Podcast | Leave a comment

The Two Daft Yanks are back after a short break forced by the international break and Chad’s relocation to the Rocky Mountains. The TDY Mile High Studios are now up and running along with the TDY Polar Studios so that means the one and only TDY podcast can crank back up again (many hoorays). Now be sure to keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle and fasten your safety belt. On this week’s episode:

  • A TDY Warning!
  • Klinsmann vs Garber
  • Europe 2016 Qualifying
  • A look ahead to this weekend’s Prem action

Listen to/download the podcast below or listen on your mobile device via StitcherTuneIn or iTunes

TDY: Garber Strikes Back

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Landon Donovan’s Final International: Friendly Or Testimonial?

Posted on by Corey in Blog, Controversy, Daftness | Leave a comment

As we get set for the United States’ friendly on Friday versus Ecuador, the US soccer world has concentrated its attention on the match being Landon Donovan’s final appearance. Much has been made this past year over Donovan’s place in US soccer history with his impending retirement both from the national and club game and being omitted from this summer’s World Cup squad. The latter event turned the US soccer fanbase upside down with some deeming it an offense to Donovan and his career and to others a sign of the changing of the guard.

Turn to this weekend and Jürgen Klinsmann has selected Landon Donovan for national team duty for the last time in what is being called a sendoff match. Now, I’m all for recognizing Landon Donovan’s career and service to the USMNT but to do it in an international friendly is a bit amateurish, beneath a national team and belongs as an MLS sideshow.

I’m personally of the opinion that an international friendly, especially one at the start of a new cycle where the side will be hopefully transitioning further into Klinsmann’s playing philosophy, should not be used as a testimonial. Regardless of Donovan’s accomplishment’s and importance to soccer’s growth in the United States, a national team should not be used as a vehicle to celebrate a player’s career. If US Soccer wants to honor Landon Donovan’s career with a testimonial, let it be done by MLS.

But in this age of hype, glitz, and the superstar-based nature of modern sports, “LegenD,” will get a glorified two-hour celebration of his career masquerading as an international friendly. I hope Ecuador has been told they’re supposed to roll over and let “LegenD” give the fans a show. Right? Does this set a precedent of honoring esteemed national team players in the future? Or is it a one off event? What happens if the United States wins a World Cup some time in the future and the American star or captain of that team- does he get a friendly dressed as a testimonial?

The only way an international match should’ve been used for this type of showcase game, if you will, would’ve been if it were to have been played as a B international where the US could’ve played any sort of representational XI it wished to give Landon his two-hour Nike commercial. I call it that because that’s what this game amounts to- a commercial of Donovan’s career.

Yes it’s only one game but the fact it still takes a spot away from another player who will be here in the current qualifying cycle, doesn’t sit right with me. And before someone jumps on my back and labels me a Landon-basher, that’s not what this is about. I appreciate Landon’s career and have been a fan of him throughout his career. However, his time has come and gone and it’s time for us to move on and move on without this international friendly used as a testimonial match. If Landon doesn’t play on Friday then I will take my complaints back but I doubt that won’t happen and I would obviously expect him to start otherwise why go through the whole process of selecting him in the first place.

Just know that this testimonial is basically a bush league move for a nation that wants to move into soccer’s elite. But if Donovan goes off for a hat trick and a brace of assists, I’ll gladly eat crow. But if he were to do that then why would he be retiring?

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So & So Is Being Played Out Of Position!

Posted on by Corey in Blog | Leave a comment

The title of the blog is one of a handful of popular fan cries when their team or preferred player doesn’t play well or they disagree with a manager’s tactical deployment of certain players. It’s a thought I’ve recently spent a lot of time contemplating what does a “natural position” actually mean? And if a player is being played “out of position” is that the same as being ineffective?

Being played “out of position” is a cry I hear a lot for sure in the fanbase of the club I support, Arsenal, about German playmaker Mesut Özil. “He’s a number 10! He should play centrally! He’s wasted played out left!,” are all things said about Herr Özil. While true to an extent does that mean a player of his ilk or type should play in the same position all of the time? Can not a player of his ability and quality be effective in other areas of the pitch because of differing tactical set-ups and formations even if his form suffers or drops of a bit? Is it the same as playing poorly? Obviously there are certain things we have to simplify for the sake of this post but positions and formations are just starting points.

While given that Özil’s performances to now this season have been markedly better whilst playing in his preferred number ten position, this is not the same as always playing worse when in wide areas (or indeed other areas as well). Also, despite worse performances playing wide left so far for Arsenal this season, this doesn’t exclude possible good performances there in the future as he has been effective there for Germany, a fact Monsieur Wenger has pointed out in press conferences.

In USMNT circles, the likes of Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey were often played “out of position.” Both players generally preferred to ply their trade in more central locations in their career but with the USMNT the stars were regularly deployed on the left and right flanks in their national team time. DaMarcus Beasley has even been turned into a left back under Jürgen Klinsmann with arguable degrees of success after playing most of his career as a winger. There are other examples of successes and failures to varying degrees.

While I acknowledge some players obviously are more effective and prefer to play in certain positions, I would just like people to contemplate that if players are never played out of position, then how do tactics and formations evolve? How are different playing positions such as everybody’s new favorite, the false nine, created? How are players fit into differing formations and systems when they move clubs?

So, one of the questions is what leads to success or failure of players being played “out of position?” Is it a failed tactical idea from a coach or player? A lack of application and desire from the player to make it work because he isn’t comfortable there? A bit of both? This along with how to change up tactical plans for particular opponents are the questions coaches and managers face- is there something in player A I can use in a position that isn’t normal for him? But can he be effective there?

What’s also funny about some in the Arsenal fanbase decrying players being played “out of position” is the history Arsène Wenger has of recreating players by playing them “out of position.” Thierry Henry was more of a winger before he became arguably the deadliest striker the EPL has ever seen. Cameroonian, Lauren, was a workhorse type of central midfielder before he was turned into a stout right back. Kolo Toure came to Arsenal as a wide player before he was turned into one of the best center backs in the league over a two year stretch.

Playing players out of position isn’t a guarantee of success by any means and like a lot of plans in sports, they don’t always work. But I have to chuckle at at the idea that it can’t work simply because a player isn’t playing in his “natural” position. That is until the day someone comes out of a womb with a tactics board pointing where he/she wants to play.

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Derby Fever

Posted on by Chad in Podcast | Leave a comment

The North London Derby, Merseyside Derby and the Faux Manchester Derby all took place this weekend and the  Two Daft Yanks have derby fever! Tune in to this week’s podcast to catch derby fever for yourself too (come on you know you want to). On this week’s episode:

  • Arsenal and Spurs draw 1-1 in the North London Derby
  • Everton equalizes late in the Merseyside Derby
  • Rooney sees RED in Manchester United versus West Ham
  • QPR and Liverpool FFP storm clouds
  • Is Burnley doomed?
  • Newcastle falls to Stoke

Listen to/download the podcast below or listen on your mobile device via StitcherTuneIn or iTunes

TDY: Derby Fever 

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