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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Jonathan Starling Responds to the Arrogance of uninformed English "Journalists"

Here is the link to the offensive column: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/columnists/martin_samuel/article2343925.ece?openComment=true#comments-form

Here is Jonathan's Letter:

If this can please be forwarded to Martin Samuel, I will be greatly appreciated. I'm going to choose my words carefully simply because you seem to be as ignorant on the American sport scene, yet feel the need to comment on them. After reading your latest column today, I couldn't help but ask myself how stupid you really are as a journalist, more so as a columnist. It's either stupidity or plain jealously and quite frankly I can't figure out which it is. Over the years of reading the various red tops and broadsheets from the UK, it all pretty much reads the same way...everything American is bad while everything we do is just a class better...when it could very well be the exact opposite.However what takes the cake with me is your latest stupidity piece (I can hardly call it a column as it feigns ignorance of the highest caliber) and how you sadly think it's a legit piece of journalism. My questions to you are simply this, why bother watching the league if you could care less about it? Why bother writing a column when all you have done is speak the same lines as the red tops and why you feel the need the need to sink to their level. And ask yourself this question, why does your national Football Association manager still feel the need to recall a player who he said would more or less never get another game again when your Barclay's Premier League is suppose to have all these top class English players (could it be because said top class players are worthless)? Actually while I'm thinking about it, why did the English Premier League feel the need to remove the English from it...could it be because you as a nation are embarrassed at the fact that there are less English players playing in the Premier League than in any other county in the big four, probably more? Reading through this article I agree with the premise of how stupid Alexi Lalas comments were, as do most Americans who read and saw them and agreed with FIFA. However he is right in saying this is not a semi-retirement home as players have to have more fitness (gee what problem that has become for your very own National Team...can't say it isn't a shock) to get through a season with most of the games played between 29.4 and 43.3 C, while traveling thousand of miles on road trips. While you bash Tim Lovejoy, he made a point on his Soccer USA program that (and this is just league matches and remember the Premier League has more fixtures than Major League Soccer) clubs in MLS on the furthest point travels a little more than five times the distance than Newcastle United or Portsmouth do. Care to explain that one as I'm sure you didn't know that statistic.And I laugh at the players who you think are considered stars in this league? What did you do, just glance at the rosters and only pick out those players who were in the Premier League? Because that is simply laughable at best. I go to Shaka Hislop as my primary example. Was the number one keeper at West Ham United (even started in the FA Cup Final) his final season in the Premier League, for 83 minutes kept England without a goal as keeper of Trinidad and Tobago and yet it took two very fluke goals to beat them. And finally on Shaka Hislop, care to explain why he was the number 3 keeper at FC Dallas and only played with number one keeper Dario Sala was suspended, and do you also care to explain why a youth keeper beat him out for the number 2 position? And while I'm thinking about it, can you possibly explain to me why 4 keepers in your league are Americans? While I'm thinking about it, I would almost guarantee no English keepers would even sniff a first team job in MLS, considering the blunders your goalies love to make week in week out. Now I also see you feel the need to take a swipe at Sky Sports News (another thing I notice, you only seem to bash those bastions of capitalism in England? Is it because your too scared to have the BBC revoke your TV license). Sure you can blame the fact Beckham is in the league for them putting up the the records of those teams involved, however they have been doing this long before Beckham was signed for the Galaxy. Sure you may be asking yourself how the hell I know this, that answer is as simple as Americans getting one hour of Sky Sports Through the Night every single night to follow the Premier League. I find it comical though that you are trying to now justify the Welsh Premier League and the League of Ireland as legitimate leagues. If your looking for true stars in Major League Soccer, start taking a look at Jamie Moreno, Juan Toja, Dwanye DeRosario, Cuahuhtemoc Blanco, Christian Gomez, Taylor Twellman (who will be in the Premier League in January, mark my word), Carlos Ruiz, Ricardinho, Jonathan Borstein, Maykel Galindo, Sacha Kljestan, Ante Razov, and let us not forget about Boca Juniors legend Guillermoe Barros Schelotto (who turned down offers from Europe to play for MLS). Now if you did the research, you would find out that oops none of these players at keepers. I avoided them for the simple fact that 85 percent of keepers playing in MLS are worlds better than any keeper England has produced in the last 40 years. While I'm thinking about it, do you care to answer how is it your rivals do much better in world competitions? Let's take a look at Germany, they play a tried and tested system that has survived over the years. Let's take a look at Italy, as dirty as the English think it is, play a tried and tested system. I'll even take a look at France, as boring and dull as it may sound, play a tried and tested system. When is the last time England have had a tried and tested system? Also why is it that England feel they have to take friendlies seriously when 90 percent of other countries use friendlies to see who fit their systems? I'm going to conclude here as I could end up writing a prose that could end up being longer than the drivel you wrote. All I'm going to say is this, would you want Americans judging the Premier League on the merits of Derby County, Birmingham City...and even Watford and Charlton Athletic last season? Would you want Americans judging the quality of the Premier League based upon Manchester City v Charlton Athletic from last year? If you wouldn't want us doing that, why do you care to judge this league based upon the worst team in Major League Soccer at present? Also care to explain why Germany's C team (and could you name more than 5 of them) beat England's A- team at what your nation consider a fortress? Johnathan Starling

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why you guys feel the need to respond to obvious ignorance of nativist and arrogant brits is beyond me, but it was still a nice read.

Hat Trick Peter Crouch said...

This arrogant diatribe by you guys completely ignores the facts that you play a very low end brand of football in your stinking minor league and that you have ruined the best gift and export you have ever gotten with the unprofessional treatment of England's own David Beckham. Shame on Major League Soccer, the LA Galaxy and American Football in general. All poxy rubbish.

Anonymous said...

What a despicible writer that Samuel ass is. Screw him and his website.

Sams Army said...

The English media has made no attempt to understand nor appreciate the talent in our league. If someone sin't English or has not played in English they aren't decent according to the snobbish press. But what exactly has England won? NOTHING. I rest my case.

Rhet said...

Again this will boil down to a debate between eurosnobs and the MLS and US National Team is great crowd. I have no use for either group.

Liverpool John said...

This is flat out insulting to English Football. every word written about the American game is correct and what is even more telling is the fact that Americans are in now way significant in the world's best footballing nation, England. I can count on one hand the number of memorable or meaningful goals created or scored by an American over the past ten years in the Premiership.

Anonymous said...

Very well said. Good letter.

Rhet said...

Liverpool John you are just flat out ignorant.

Zizou06 said...

Lets see if my comment to Martin's article makes it online. I doubt it. So I will post it here.

Ok, England is 12th in the latest FIFA rankings and the US is 17th. I think that the English are just jealous that we are pretty good for a country that considers soccer our 6th or 7th most popular sport.

If the likes of Michael Jordan, Shaq, Walter Payton, Reggie Bush (which I am sure you never heard of) and other great American sport athletes actually played soccer, we would have won five World Cups by now.

But only our players 'that couldn't make the football team (American that is)" play soccer.

So, honestly, when you are playing the US, you are playing against our 3rd or 4th tier of great athletes. But when England plays, you are playing your TOP athletes.

It is kind of like the 10 year olds playing up to par with the 18 year olds. Kind of hurts, doesn't it.


Oh, and Liverpool John, I can count on one finger the amount of World Cups England has won.

While we have made the semi-finals of the World Cup only once, you guys have made it only twice.

For having such a GREAT team, I figured that you would have a few more semi-final apperances. I guess you aren't that great afterall!

Eplnfl said...

Proud to be an American. Thank you BC.

Anonymous said...

MLS is CRAP!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Notice that NONE of the players sought today as the transfer window is closing are American. Many of them are English. The American domestic league isn't even as strong from a competitive standpoint as League One in England. Now considering LA Galaxy are bottom of the table in that league, could they quite honestly avoid relgation to conference in England? I doubt they would.

Anonymous said...

It is truly amazing that when you confront the whiny, arrogant yanks with facts they back down. Enjoy your rubbish league and the worst set of blokes in international football led by the gaffe prone Kasey Keller and the permanent physio patients Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride.

Soccer Guru said...

Good job Jonathan, but the comments here are totally borne out of the same arrogance and ignorance Samuel used in writing his column.

Let me take them one by one.

This arrogant diatribe by you guys completely ignores the facts that you play a very low end brand of football in your stinking minor league and that you have ruined the best gift and export you have ever gotten with the unprofessional treatment of England's own David Beckham. Shame on Major League Soccer, the LA Galaxy and American Football in general.

Beckham came to the Galaxy injured and they have been fairly cautious in playing him. Only when he insisted on being match fit for England did he start to play 90 minutes.

This is flat out insulting to English Football. every word written about the American game is correct and what is even more telling is the fact that Americans are in now way significant in the world's best footballing nation, England. I can count on one hand the number of memorable or meaningful goals created or scored by an American over the past ten years in the Premiership.

Ah, okay, England is the world's best footballing nation Liverpool idiot! Ever hear of Brazil, or perhaps Italy or dare I say it GERMANY!

Notice that NONE of the players sought today as the transfer window is closing are American. Many of them are English. The American domestic league isn't even as strong from a competitive standpoint as League One in England.

Again like your merseyside drunk buddies your world doesn't extend out of England. Danny Szetela is headed to Italy, Freddie Adu, Sal Zizzo and DaMarcus Beasley completed large money transfers to clubs outside of England.

Secondly how do you explain the second worst team in MLS, Real Salt Lake beating Everton 2-0 about a month ago? I'm sure you have no explanation.


It is truly amazing that when you confront the whiny, arrogant yanks with facts they back down. Enjoy your rubbish league and the worst set of blokes in international football led by the gaffe prone Kasey Keller and the permanent physio patients Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride.

Fair play on Reyna even though he demonstrated a skill set that no English player has ever had. But Keller isn't even our second string goal keeper at this point, and clearly you know zilch about players like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu, Sal Zizzo and Robbie Rogers who as a unit could be the next golden generation in American soccer. I certainly hope they aren't as weak as your so called generation led by the immortal Peter Crouch, the whiny Steven Gerrard and the even whinier Jamie Carragher.

The Three Lions said...

Fair play to all. Obviously English Football is superior to American football, but to simply write off the MLS would be a mistake. My Everton club got a fellow named Joe Max Moore from MLS several years ago on loan and he was quite good. We bought him outright and had it not been for some untimely injuries he would have made a nice run at the club. Same for Brian McBride who we brought in from the Columbus MLS outfit. Ryan Nelson who went to Blackburn is another player we were interested in. He was the captain of DC United the champions of MLS.

So while the Premiership is undoubtedly superior to MLS, the American league has its place in the world football landscape producing some nice players and occasionally some very cracking football.

This whole argument fought by Samuel and the snobs across the Atlantic in America is foolish. David Beckham himself is to blame for wanting to play for both club and country when completely unfit. To get into a shouting match when arrogant golden balls is to completely to blame for this is totally counter productive. I suggest this website do a feature on the arrogance of David Beckham, the very ego that forced both Alex Ferguson and Fabio Capello to dump him and the arrogance and selfishness now threatening his new club side and his national team as well.

Anonymous said...

English Football is as Lalas put it "an inferior product" to all else.

Kartik said...

This discussion is crazy. I'll have come comments and some fact checks later on.

Anonymous said...

I must agree with a previous comment that your letter is plainly insulting towards English football, as well as the English way of life also.

Firstly, your comment that "85 percent of keepers playing in MLS are worlds better than any keeper England has produced in the last 40 years" is simply unbelievable. In the last four decades, England has produced some of the greatest goalkeepers in the world - Peter Shilton, Ray Clemence, Pat Jennings, and David Seaman. To come before this lot, England produced Gordon Banks - one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.

Of the 19-man roster named on 3rd September 2007 by the USA's head coach for the upcoming match against Brazil, 14 players in the squad are currently playing their football in Europe. This leaves five players drafted into the squad from the MLS league. Of the 14 players from Europe, 8 players are currently based in England, although not necessarily playing their club football in the English Premier League (take for instance Frank Simek of Sheffield Wednesday and Jay De Merit of Watford). Should Brian McBride not be out injured, I would also have expected his name to be on the roster. And from the five players, which have been selected from the MLS, not one of those is a "true star" of the MLS league. There is no place on the US national team’s roster for Taylor Twellman - a previous winner of the MVP award and one who you feel is ‘one to watch’ for the future. From Taylor Twellman's bio on the official MLS website, it states that, during his brief time in Europe with TSV 1860 Munich, he "Appeared in more than 40 games for the club's reserve side, including qualifying games for the German Cup", and "in 2001, he declined a two-year option with the club" - one can only assume he was fed up of playing reserve team football and didn't have the character to break into the front side.

Personally, I find some of your other comments both immature and inaccurate. To comment on how England have performed in World competitions, and to base your argument on our rivals having tried and tested systems, is laughable. The Spanish national side has under-achieved for several years on the big stage, however, the Spanish top flight division - the Primera Liga - is possibly, technically, the joint best football league in the world, along with Italy's Serie A (although in recent times, blighted by controversy) and England's Premier League. Millions and millions of people in countries throughout the world view the English Premier League week in, week out; and its television rights were sold for approximately £1.7 billion, which is divided accordingly between the 20 competing sides. And to say that England takes “friendlies seriously when 90 percent of other countries use friendlies to see who fit their systems” is a testament to English mentality, in which the English football fan cannot stand to see his team lose – be it at club level or on the national stage. We, as a nation, demand 110% every game from any player who is privileged enough to wear the “three lions” shirt.

And in respect of your comment towards Sky Sports News, I cannot see your direction of argument with this one. As far as I’m aware, no one is bashing the “bastions of capitalism in England” – for whom I presume you are talking of BSkyB. In fact – and I am only speaking for myself on this one though – I would love nothing more than for the television license to be done away with as I do not feel it serves its purpose any more, however, that’s another issue.

Mr. Samuel’s article does not attack American players’ talents or ability in the slightest. However, your comment suggesting that no English keeper could get “a first team job in MLS” is ludicrous at best. The four American goalkeepers currently playing in the English top flight are doing so because they have earned their position at their club – no one is saying otherwise or taking that away from them. However, all goalkeepers – regardless of league or ability – are prone to mistakes, and the problem with a goalkeeper is that he is not judged on the saves he makes, but his mistakes and errors.

Finally, you could hardly refer to the "new Wembley" as a fortress - England have so far played two competitive matches there.

RUScoachjoe said...

I understand from sources inside the US Youth soccer organization that the U.S. has over 3 million registered youth soccer players and that number increases each year. The ratings on TV make soccer the 4th most popular sport media wise in the US yet it gets minimal major media coverage. The MLS has been successful in its expansion and is attracting players from around the world. Though the English may lay claim to inventing soccer, soccer in America is quickly becoming the sport for youth in America. I think what the English fear is the US will take over the sport in several years (I personally think the US is many years away but we are making great advances). This hate US mentality really annoys me.
I have a great deal personally invested in youth soccer as I coach 2 youth teams, strongly stress fundamentals and use the BPL as a guide as the example of how my players should play the game. Yes the PL has been around many years longer and the US has been slow to adopt the game. But the US has numerous sports in this country that are wildly successful. Athletes from around the world, live, train and compete here in hundreds of sports. I think the true reason is fear that one day the US too will dominate soccer.