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?
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?
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.
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