Thursday, March 11, 2010
Keep The Yank With The Brits
This Saturday, Everton will face Birmingham in a battle between two of the better teams in the EPL. Neither side is in any danger of dropping into the bottom three of the league, meaning they wouldn't be demoted into League One. At the same time, neither team has much of a chance to finish in the top 4 and qualify for the Champions League. So why does this game matter? Because this is the end for Landon Donovan and his 10-week loan to Everton.
Donovan goes back to the States and the L.A. Galaxy to get ready for the start of the MLS season. Everton wanted to keep him for the rest of the season, but they couldn't make a deal with the Galaxy to extend his run, unlike what AC Milan has done with David Beckham. This to me is an extremely short-sighted decision on the part of Bruce Arena and the Galaxy.
Landon Donovan his proven that he fits in with Everton and is good enough as a player in the Premier League. There, his talents aren't being wasted, instead he's only getting better. The U.S. is now a better team because Donovan has played in England and with the best players in the world (including many English footballers who he will face in the World Cup opener). The chances for the USA to do any kind of damage in the World Cup are because Tim Howard is Everton goalkeeper, Jozy Altidore is in Hull City, and Clint Dempsey can return to action with Fulham. That, along with whether Oguchi Onyewy and Charlie Davies can be healthy in June could determine how well the Yanks play in South Africa.
However, that's not the main reason why Donovan should be allowed to play in EPL. It's because he's a Premier League talent and he would be paid like one. He doesn't make nearly the kind of money that he can in England because he's been brought up in this American system. If the MLS had a strike this year, no one would miss it, since all the American soccer fans watch European club leagues anyway. It's a disservice to Donovan to not allow him to finish the season with Everton and hopefully Donovan will leave once the season ends as a December or January transfer. Or better yet, there are rumors that Chelsea would be interested in picking up Donovan next year, which would allow me to officially declare Chelsea as my EPL team.
If you caught the highlights of Everton's blowout over Hull City, you see Donovan score a goal and set up another goal and both times, the Everton players showed how much Donovan meant to that team, which is somewhat true since Everton went 6-2-1 with him in the lineup and moved from second half to first page of the EPL leaderboard. Donovan was thrilled to play there and fans and played showed him the love that he can never receive here, at least in club football. So allow him to stay Coach Arena, at least until April 15 as Donovan asked for. Then when next year's transfer window opens, Donovan could earn the league even more in transfer fees.