28 November 2006

The Long and Short Version on Freddy at ManU

Is Freddy Adu necessarily doomed to failure if he signs at Manchester United? No, I don't think so. But does it offer Freddy the best path to his own personal success and maturation? Probably not. If Freddy signs up with ManU he's almost certainly not yet first XI material. Which means he might see the occasional FA Cup game, but I strongly doubt we'd see him starting in Premiership games in his first season. Or his second, for that matter. And Freddy, when he's not playing, gets grumpy. I have no problem with "grumpy": a player that isn't grumpy because he can't crack into the starting line-up is a player way too easily satiated. Additionally, we've all heard from players that training is one thing, but the best way to really sharpen yourself is minutes in actual matches. It is possible, I think, that Freddy could prove us all wrong. I just don't find it likely. For two or three years, Freddy will be gaining experience as a reservist, and his skills will develop accordingly.

Now comes word that the DC United camp has issued their views on Freddy at Manchester United. Piotr Nowak is quoted as saying "I think he should go to PSV (Eindhoven) or Ajax or somewhere where they have a tradition of raising young players. " Now, before I congratulate Piotr on offering wise and sage advice, it is worth at least considering the fact that we have no evidence that a team like PSV or Ajax is interested in Adu. Manchester United, if we take them at face value, is interested in looking at Freddy (although we have no idea if they are willing to offer him a deal.) In short, it may not really be an option for Freddy to go to Netherlands (where, I must admit, all that I've seen is beautiful looking soccer.)

In case you're wondering about it, DCU comments are not just confined to the coach. Technical Director Dave Kasper is quoted as saying "Does Freddy want to have to go to Watford on a rainy Wednesday where he'll have 6ft 4in goons on his back all night?" A valid question.

I need to pause here and admit that this is exactly was Alexi Lalas was saying when I linked to his quote yesterday. As I wrote yesterday, I thought he was right, even if he annoys the hell out of me. Why Freddy would listen to Alexi Lalas, who has pretty much made a career of being wrong in personnel matters over the last three years, is a mystery to me.

Regardless, let's assume Freddy has two options in about half a year: Stay in MLS with DC United or move to Manchester United. Right now I honestly think he gets more time, more experience, and a better chance to mature by playing in DC than he does in Manchester. Those are the only two feasible options right now, barring some invitation from the Netherlands. You can say that Nowak hasn't helped Freddy mature enough, and perhaps it is true that another coach could have gotten more out of Adu. But that overlooks the fact that half-a-dozen coaches (That number not picked randomly) would probably have bungled Freddy entirely and he would have been a has-been burn-out already. So, right now, I agree that Manchester United isn't Freddy's best option, and the better value for his time right now is staying in DC. That won't be true forever, or perhaps even for much longer, but this really does not feel like the right move, even if it seems like a dream come true.

That being said, part of me would like Freddy to prove me wrong.

Update: Brian Garrison at An American's View endorses the Freddy to Holland concept. Well, sure, but again the idea of Freddy going to the Netherlands is something that exists, right now, only as a theoretical construct -- we have no reason to think they are truly interested in him. It's a thought experiment posed from Piotr Nowak right now, and one I can agree with while at the same time accepting that it seems to have little to do with reality. The only choices we are aware of are MLS or ManU (and even that assumed ManU makes an offer) so those are really the only ones we should concern ourselves with, up and until the point we hear otherwise. That being said, read Brian's article. It's very interesting and raises some interesting theories about next year's DCU starting XI.


At 29 November, 2006 16:39, Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow.. no comments on the kitten killer
What about Spain for El Fredo?


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