Odds & Ends: Can The World Cup Start Already!? Edition
The best teenage player MLS has ever seen, and as of last night, a high school graduate.
Celtic F.C. appear poised to make Strømgodset IF manager Ronny Deila their new manager. I was a bit perplexed by this choice at first, but it didn’t take long to get behind it. First off, he was a decent player, but not a star. Second, he’s still young (38). Third, since taking over Strømgodset in 2008 he has improved their point total every year (and their position in the table almost every year) and along the way led them to the Norwegian Cup (their first win in 20+ years), a league title last season (their first since 1970), two appearances in the Europa League, and Champions League football next year. More importantly that all of that, however, is that his appointment would break the incestuous managerial cycle that Celtic have been stuck in (with the exception of 1997-1999) for their entire history. What do I mean by that? Of the 17 managers who have preceded him at the club 12 played for Celtic at some point, and 15 were either Irish, Northern Irish, Scottish, or English. Or, most simply, on two- Win Jansen and Jozef Venglos- were neither players at Celtic or from one of the “Home Nations.” Deila will be beholden to nobody. Good.
Celtic are also apparently negotiating with goalkeeper Craig Gordon. It would be great Gordon back in action both domestically and internationally- he was well on his way to becoming one of the world’s elite goalkeepers before two years of injuries laid waste to his career- but Celtic? The guarantee of Champions League football, I guess? Ah well, he’ll realize the error of his ways when County put four past him the first time they play the Bhoys!!
Former Ross County forward Michael Gardyne apparently wants to return to Dingwall after his move to Dundee United after the 2011-2012 season has resulted in his playing almost as many games on loan at Kilmarnock as he has for United. Hmm…okay, we’ll take him.
Kenny Miller, recently of Vancouver Whitecaps and late of Scotland, has signed on with Rangers for a third time and former Portland Timber Kris Boyd is keen to join him there. I wonder how they’ll feel about that the first time the Gers get pumped by Queen of the South?
Speaking of the First Division Scottish Championship, it is believed that the presence of Rangers, Hearts, and Hibs in the division could cause gate receipts to double for many clubs. That’s great until you realize that there will probably be a related drop in gate receipts for clubs in the Premiership. Nothing against newly-promoted Hamilton or Dundee, it’s just that the pool of money and people is a finite one. Or maybe it’s not, I only took one Econ class in college.
Frank Lampard may come to MLS? Anyone but the Revs, please. Anyone.
And finally, word comes this week that a) some of Brazil’s stadiums are not going to be ready for the World Cup and that FIFA is considering a “re-vote” on awarding the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Nothing can be done about Brazil at this point short of everyone who knew this was going to happen- which, by the way, is everyone!- pointing at Sepp Blatter and saying, “We told you so!” We can also hope that nobody gets hurt in or by one of these hastily erected structures. As for Qatar, I’m sure the fine, upstanding citizens that make up FIFA will do the right thing and award the tournament to a more suitable host. Well, that’s what they’ll say they are going to do until a member of Qatar’s ruling Thani family asks for the bribe money back… Relatedly, Qatar says it will sue if the World Cup is taken from them. Que? You’re going use the law to hold on to a tournament that you obtained illegally? Okay, sure.