29 June 2007

Erpen for Vanney: Okay, Maybe.

Let's start with the basic disclaimer. I distrust any trade that may approach any move I've made in Championship Manager. And yes, I signed Greg Vanney for the 2006 season. So this move has one immediate demerit against it.

That being said, my initial reaction of "This is stupid" is probably overstating the case. Why? It seems clear that Erpen didn't have a future at DC as a Senior International. So if you can get something for him, rather than getting nothing for him, that's probably a good thing.

Is Greg Vanney an upgrade? I think so. He certainly brings experience and leadership to the team, and he might be able to understand Tom Soehn (himself a defender) quicker, and therefore be able to translate Soehn's desires to reality on the field faster. United certainly needs people who can figure out what needs to be done defensively, and Vanney brings that.

My major problem with this trade is that it doesn't address the big issue I've had with this team... say it with me now: Depth. Yes, Erpen for Vanney may be an upgrade, but it doesn't make us any deeper at the position. Last night we saw a backline that featured a converted wing player (Gros), central midfielder (Simms) and the inexperienced Devon McTavish. Erpen was the only regular starter we had, and that doesn't change with the arrival of Greg Vanney.

So can this move make sense? Goff speculates it's part of a MLS Cup run. Okay, maybe. I'll offer this though: I imagine United thinks they have potential transfer targets from South America defensively, they know who they are, and one of them is probably on the younger side. If so, this move can make a great deal of sense. Of course, that's pie in the sky speculation...

UPDATE: Offside: DCU pretty much says the same thing, and said it before me.

UPDATE 2: Independently, The 3Ps are also pretty much on the "Explain this by doing something else" line of reasoning. That now makes it the conventional wisdom.

UPDATE 3: Okay, the pieces are starting to fill in, and they match what everyone was pretty much guessing at. There are other options. They seem to be defensive in nature.

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At 29 June, 2007 15:47, Blogger Sean said...

Nice post. And it's good to hear that I'm not the only one who (consciously or subconsciously) evaluates deals based upon experience with Championship Manager. Heh.

Oh, and the At A Glance could use updating. I'm just sayin'. ('course, I'm the dude who hasn't posted to his blog in weeks ...)

At 29 June, 2007 16:53, Blogger Sean said...

It's sort of odd another Sean has commented before me, but let me say this:

Football Manager is the far superior manager game.

At 29 June, 2007 17:48, Anonymous Bill Urban said...


The cruical issue is a simple one: Are you any good at Championship Manager?

At 30 June, 2007 04:59, Blogger Sean said...

To answer the, uhh, other Sean ...

When I say "Championship Manager," I'm talking about the one from SI. Yeah, it's called FM now. I've been playing it for about 10 years and I just keep calling it the old name.

At 01 July, 2007 21:42, Anonymous Red State-Blues City said...

An actual comment on the deal. Erpen has been off all season. If DC had a decent defender on the bench, he'd have seen the pine long since. Vanney is a short-term fix at best, but he has the experience to buy them some time. And if Boz goes overseas next season, he'll be good to help develop some younger guys.

At 02 July, 2007 16:20, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it me, or does anyone else think that we just traded Erpen for another team's John Wilson?

Don't get me wrong, Erpen was underwhelming for most of last season and all of this year. I don't mind seeing him go, but not in return for a 33 y.o. Vanney. Just doesn't seem like we got the best value for Erpen. There are teams out there that might have given more. They would have been foolish, but that's not my concern.

Like the post said, this doesn't address the depth issue. I don't have anything against Vanney and he'll probably outplay Erpen for the rest of this year, but that's this year. We're still playing a 4-4-2 with only 2 or 3 proper defenders.

Did we ever find out why Wilson never got on the field before being let go?

At 03 July, 2007 12:51, Blogger stmatte said...

What a fantastic trade an new injury prone, old defender something we can build our future on. If this genius move is what our management spent the last couple of months on you might have to question their capabilities to build a team. It is pretty clear that we need at least 4 defenders and it would be nice if some of them were young enough to last a season or two.


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