Saturday, October 30, 2004

Orlando Engelaar

Who? You've probably never heard of him.

He plays in the lowly Belgian league and before that the Dutch league, for a lowly Dutch team, NAC Breda in midfield. His current club is Genk.

But when I have seen him, Orlando Engelaar plays like a man among boys. Tall (almost 200 cm), fit, good movement and accurate passing describe best what I have seen. He is also good holding the back side of midfield and allows players in front of him to talk more risks on the ball and with runs.

I can't understand why he wasn't picked up by a bigger club in a bigger league, at 25 yrs old, he is in his prime and could have held the midfield for a number of clubs which needed it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Cesc Fabregas

Who? That was the first thing I thought. Arsenal? With their resources, they choose to start a 17 year old kid ahead of Edu who had a breakout season last year?

So I watched Fabregas, almost to the point of exclusion of the rest of the Arsenal team, and learned that this is a fabulous footballer. How could the Barcelona youth system let him escape?

Poise, control, timing, and defense splitting passes are keeping Edu firmly on the bench. This is not one of these situations where a younger player is replacing a more established player to gain experience. This is a better player replacing an established starter, plain and simple.