The Subtle Admissions of Mortality
In general, I'm trying to wait on player announcements until there is something formal said by the club. That's why we kept Troy Perkins out of the Goodbye list for so long. And, sadly, my knowledge of the Argentine first division is not extensive, so other than the links to Clarin that have been posted in the comments (and my thanks for those) and today's story in the Post, there's not much insight I can add other than saying "how do you pronounce his name properly? Surely it's not Frank O'Niell?"
No, wait, I take that back (actually, I always intended to take it back, but there's a certain narrative tension I get from seeming to reverse myself, even though it's the way I always planned on writing this post.) If we can't offer insight on Mr. Frano Niell, perhaps we can divine something from what is being said or not said by DC? I think so. There's a stand alone paragraph that is either based on statements on background from the DC Staff, or is Steve Goff's own speculation. If it is Goff's speculation, then there is nothing more to be gleamed, but given his own objectivity protestations, I think it is more likely that this is based at least in part of comments from front office or coaches. And that paragraph says:
The pursuit of Niell stemmed in part from the club becoming too reliant on Emilio (20 goals) and Gomez for scoring and Moreno's diminishing influence after 12 seasons.
Why is this interesting? To begin with, it marks the first time I can recall that a United Front Office may be acknowledging the unrelenting passage of time with respect to Jaime Moreno. In the past, most speculation has been brushed aside and left for obsessed bloggers or fanatical message board posters, but now we may be hearing the same concerns from the Front Office. Good, I say. However, the idea of being too reliant on Emilio is, in part I think, because we're too reliant on making plays down the middle, and if the [sole] solution to that is to get a forward, that could be upsetting. The problem, as has been stated many times, is that United doesn't use its width. As a coworker of mine put it "Why take on two defenders when you can take on four?" United must add some wing play and preferably pick up a decent, speedy winger (and convince Christian Gomez to use those wings). But the indications may be that's not how they're looking (yes, this is overreading based on a one paragraph sentence. But c'mon people, isn't that what you want me to do?) Instead they are looking to distribute the scoring balance by adding another forward. Hmmmmm.
In any case, the acquisition looks, based on the numbers from the Argentine media (a $60K loan is not a problem) like a decent and low-risk move. I look forward to getting this deal done (and it's not done until you see the name in the official press release, as Messrs Palermo, Neto, and Veron will testify to) and moving on to the other needs we must address.