Judging by his recent Instagram post (thanking the fans and expressing excitement for what comes “next”), U.S. international Jermaine Jones has played his last match for the New England Revolution and perhaps in MLS overall. Jones leaving does not concern me terribly- I think we saw the best of him last season (and the worst of him in his last match) and injury and national team duty interrupted his season this year. Add to that the fact that his salary is about half of the Revolution’s total salary package and it probably is time for him to go. What concerns me is what comes next? Will the Revolution seek out another player of his caliber and pay him accordingly, or will they revert to form and try to sign players on the cheap and hope for the best?
Ross County lost to Dundee United on Saturday and what bothers me about that is not the loss itself, but that it came to such a poor side. Perhaps a “derby hangover” was the culprit, but as County grow as a club so do our expectations of them. In this case, the expectation being that playing against a bottom side should result in three points. Maybe they can steal a point from Celtic this week before closing out the first half of the season on a high note. A tip of the virtual cap to all the County fans who traveled to Tannadice and made the most of the Halloween “holiday.”
U.S. international Eddie Johnson retirement yesterday at the age of 31 as a result of a heart condition. Eddie was one of those players that always left me thinking that I hadn’t yet seen his best and that it wasn’t his fault. He was a reliable scorer with four different MLS clubs and his 19 goals in 63 international matches was nothing to scoff at either. In fact, his success in these two areas led to a move to England (and later a short, more successful spell in Greece) where, at Fulham, Cardiff, and Preston, he never seemed to get consistent playing time. Again, this rarely seemed to be his fault- coaching changes, new signings, changing tactics, etc. always seemed to result in him being the odd man out. One hopes that his heart ailment is manageable and that he’s able to have a second, rewarding chapter in his life.
I was very pleased to read several stories online this week about the resurgence of black (or at least predominantly black) football boots. In particular, that Manchester United has banned the wearing of anything else by its youth sides. Now, if they could just make a rule that said boots have to be made from predominantly leather this crusty old player/fan/coach would be a very happy man.
I’d love to hear José Mourinho thinks about the concept of “karma,” because it appears to have landed squarely on his head in recent weeks.
I don’t know if this is good news or bad news, but former Scotland international Garry O’Connor has landed the manager’s post at Lowland League side Selkirk F.C. after joining the club as a player last year. The 32 year old Edinburger may have wasted more talent than any other Scottish player of his generation. Along with fellow ned Derek Riordan (last seen playing for East Fife) he was part of a resurgent Hibernian side in the early 2000s before a move overseas (Russia) and a move down south (Birmingham City) were brought to a halt through injury, failing to turn up for a Scotland match, and failed drug tests. By his own admission O’Connor squandered almost everything he made as a footballer on “cocaine, alcohol, and Ferraris” and that he is now essentially bankrupt. Sheesh.