Answers Away

As I’ve mentioned, I’d like this blog to be a two-way street and use it as a way for us to communicate in both directions. I asked for any questions you might have, and many of you responded. Thanks to all of you who did. I’d like to do this a lot, so please keep the questions coming!

For those of you asking about my health, I feel better and have been busy as a bee. I’ve been able to do more than I first believed I’d be able to, (with some help from above!) However, it will likely take weeks before there’s noticeable improvement, but I’m calmly confident it will come. He’s done it before. He can do it again. And if He doesn’t it’s because He has something greater in mind. Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes.

What are your thoughts on Barcelona’s signing of Antoine Griezmann?

Ibrahim Embaby

It seems like an obvious move, from his days at Real Sociedad. Although there is an argument that his style is more suited to Real Madrid, he could provide a similar threat as Thierry Henry and David Villa used to contribute to the blaugrana attack. The time at Atlético Madrid toughened him up, and not just physically. He now has a better idea of what it means to carry his team.

I still think they need another striker up front to eventually replace Luis Suárez, but this eliminates the need for a Neymar return in my mind, but I wouldn’t be surprised it it happens anyway.

I don’t see Neymar as a good fit for the Barca mentality, but he might be for the Valverde way. Read into that what you will.

Can you tell us a bit about this new project of yours?

Bryan Ply, Texas

In many ways, it’s doing the same things I’ve been doing for years, but for my own company, VoiceGoals, Inc.

I’m still working with beIN SPORTS and SiriusXM, but many of my announcing duties are now funneled through VoiceGoals and I’m also incorporating my voice-over and narration work. It’s something I’ve been doing for years for other people, but now I’ll be more personally involved.

Over the years, I’ve also had the pleasure of guiding many aspiring announcers in university classes and one-on-one sessions. And I’m also offering my three decades of experience as a consultant to help networks and teams improve their game broadcasts. VoiceGoals allows me to do all this in a more accessible and organized manner.

Will Arsenal ever be palatable with Stan Kroenke owning the franchise? And are the Gunners legally permitted, contrary to popular belief, to sign center halfbacks?

Hal Habib, Florida

When it comes to ownership, some Arsenal fans will never warm to the American billionaire. Just like with Manchester United and the Glazers, many English fans don’t want foreign owners or corporate owners, and definitely not absentee landlord owners. The recent emergence of Kroenke’s son, Josh, has given the Gunners more hands-on leadership. There have been changes with the departure of Arsene Wenger and Ivan Gazidis and the arrival of Unai Emery and Edu. However, Arsenal’s late season stumbles last year hurt. A return to the Champions League would have gone a long way to getting many Gooners back on board.

As far as center-halfs, they have signed Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding over the past three years. And while I rate all of them, the only noticeable difference in the team sheet has been the number of letters used. I think the adjustment period is over though, and barring any significant injuries, there will be a real improvement.

But in addition to needing a good defender, the Gunners need a team leader. Frankly, something that has been missing since Tony Adams retired.

Do you think you could talk Tony Adams into making a comeback? Arsenal needs a captain.


Speaking of the former Arsenal captain, I know Tony would love to come back in some capacity to help get the Gunners back in track. Putting on the old number 6 might be asking too much, but his heart still bleeds red and white. Adams seems busy with his rugby leadership role at the moment, but I believe he’d answer the call if Arsenal asked.

Big fans of you and Ray. Y’all make watching football 20 times more fun when you two commentate. I have one question: What advise do you have for a football loving American, who wants to work on the international stage for the sport behind the scenes? (i.e. contracts, media, event planning, etc.)

David Barrera, Corpus Christi, Texas

Thank you! I’m blessed to be able to do what I do, and working with Ray is always fun. It’s nice to know you like it too.

As far as getting a job in soccer’s inner circle, just as in finding work in any specialized field, I’d recommend identifying and contacting the companies that are already in that business. Get your foot in the door in any capacity. Once you’re in and have proven yourself, you should be able to migrate to a position that you like. If you aim for nothing, you’ll get it every time. Good luck!

Phil, Big Fan! There’s been 2 Billion + spent on La Liga Transfers thus far. Wonder your thoughts on this and also the Neymar drama?

Troy Baker

It does seem strange to see so much money splashed around La Liga. Plus, Real Madrid might not be done, and Barcelona has barely begun! Even though it has a long way to go, recent moves to make television money distribution more equitable are apparently paying off. Spanish teams have the advantage of a talented homegrown pool of talent, so La Liga teams don’t need to spend Premier League levels of money to see a significant payoff.

As far as Neymar, and judging only from outward appearances, he doesn’t want to be at PSG anymore. He wanted to get out of Messi’s shadow and have a team built around him. Now, he’s learning “be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it.” His biggest problem is that there are so few teams out there that can afford him.

Glad you are on a mission in Honduras. My daughter helped build a school on the mainland there.

On a SiriusXM show this afternoon, the guys talked about Bayern, Koman, Mueller, Costa, Lewandoski….and they mentioned a possible new signing at rb, but they didn’t talk about or even mention Kimmich. Why is that? I think he is one of their best players.

Does your doctor have you take Prednisone to reduce the inflammation that causes the Bells Palsy?

Candice van Sickle

That’s great to hear! This is our fifth trip to Roatan. Each year, I wonder if it’s the right choice to go. Once my feet are on the ground, I never want to leave! There are some amazingly, talented and friendly people.

As far as Bayern and Kimmich, it might have been an oversight not to mention him. It’s a similar situation as to when Philipp Lahm was at the Allianz. Kimmich is a world class talent at several positions, but he’s said he wants to slide into the holding midfield spot, and it looks like Bayern could make that happen.

They still have him listed as a defender, though. Plus, they do have others who can play a variant of the 6, like Thiago Alcantara, Javi Martinez, Corentin Tolisso and Renato Sanchez. They do need to fill out the roster, but all in all, a nice problem to have.

And yes, I was prescribed prednisone, an antiviral and lots of vitamin b12 almost as soon as I stepped off the plane. I had a big night last night at a mission event, with another scheduled for tonight. I’ll share some updates on my progress in my next post, as well as reactions to your reading lists and some mission updates.

Thanks for following my blog posts. Please share your comments below.

I’d love to connect with you, whether it’s for work, soccer, or even if you just have a question. Send me an email to and I will send you my first newsletter with some exciting news about my new company and this mission trip.

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6 thoughts on “Answers Away

  1. I agree to your thoughts on Griezzman, he allows barcelona the ability to give coutinho/dembele a chance to do more.
    I still feel Neymar will be smarter to go to shanghai shenhua or guanzhou evergrand in china for the big money, cause china can pay and then win it all in china,meaining the club world up, which will be a bigger mountain to climb than psg winning the uefa cl. After, he can go anywhere, cause all will want him with that chinese popularity.

    I read an article speaking of how beinsports was unable to pay pundits , i dont know the inner finances of beinsports but you, kay, rongen, egan and et cetera all seem to be making moves to strengthen your finances and resettle in the media landscape changes. I wish you well.

    I think the problem when people talk about statian owners is the culture of sport ownership in the u.s.a.
    The sporting environment in the usa is dominated by two fiscal communities of owners. One is a set of leagues led by the nfl for paid athletes, where their structure is designed to totally for profit, not competitive quality or communal relationship.
    While the second group is a set of fiscal investors in listed educational institutions who are able to make profits while they dont publicly pay the athletes whom provide the source to their revenue.
    the statian sporting culture breeds the kroenke’s

    my only desire is a small column or role in a sporting organization where I can be paid for my sporting opinion. I am not looking to be on television or cable or streaming in a video way. Just text or audio, but I am trying to connect to media concerns about c.a.f.
    if you can help guide me or give advice i welcome it.

    LA Liga is fortunate to have this money. To be honest, la liga uses their wealth better than the epl. I agree to you that la liga develop players better. I see it as the owners of midtable to lower table teams in laliga learned about being lesser teams. EPL teams think they are bigger when only a few teams can go into the uefa champions league.
    France/ITaly/Germany/Spain midtable or lower teams comprehend what it means to be one of them.

    In the end, I am glad to read you are doing well and are feeling better. I will enjoy you on call in la liga.

    oh consider attaching disqus to this site. disqus can offer another commentary stream

  2. Hey Phil, I had not known before about your struggles with health — I too have been challenged in the last two years as A-Fib has come my way. I now have a pacemaker, am doing okay, but believe a significant part of my recent well-being is due to my recent avocational interest in futbol… which I have no one to thank more for than you and Ray. Be Well!

    Drew Hart
    Santa Barbara

    1. Thank you for your kind words. And I’m glad to hear they caught your issue in time! While there is a chance this might be permanent, it’s rare. God’s just teaching me patience and humility. ;-/ Stay healthy!

      1. I hope you are having a nice ‘break’ — if there really is one these days! Look forward to hearing your calls soon! Drew

  3. Phil, I love your work. You are the best in the industry and seem like a great guy. Two questions: 1) will beIN ever cover boca v river with the intensity that it covers Real Madrid v Barcelona? It seems like a more intense rivalry and could be a huge hit.

    2) what are your thoughts on the current attempts to eradicate racism in football in Europe? They seem like they aren’t doing enough.

    Hope all is well,

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I love hat I do and am blessed to be able to do it. Glad you like it! And if Boca and River meet up again in the Libertadores, I’d imagine it will get a lot of coverage. As far as being more intense than Real and Barca, it’s a different intensity certainly – and I love them both.

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