Reader Mailbag: Clint Dempsey Transfer Speculation, and the Next Chelsea Manager

Have you ever had a soccer-related question that you’ve always wondered, but have never asked? Now’s your opportunity to put your questions to me, Morgan Green — and The Gaffer.

Here are this week’s questions and answers:

Q: Dave asks …

Why do so many of the Champions League matches shown on FOX Soccer have a delay? It’s infuriating to hear the audio being out of sync with the video especially when you hear the commentator call an incident before you see it even happening before your eyes.

A: The Gaffer: I completely sympathize with you, and I’ve experienced the same thing countless times. Just two weeks ago, during the commentary of the Barcelona against AC Milan game, commentator Rob Hawthorne shouted “Goal!” for one of Lionel Messi’s penalties before the ball even went into the net. Yet again, it was due to the audio and video not being synced up correctly.

I asked FOX Soccer to explain why this happens. Unfortunately, several weeks later, I’m still waiting for a response. I can only presume that the answer is because the audio feed and video feed are beamed separately, and that when they’re synced together, even a one second mistake may not seem like much, but it can have a big impact on your viewing experience. But that’s only an assumption regarding the reason why. Perhaps there are some technical or TV buffs in the audience who may know the answer? If so, please post it in the comments section below.

Q: Daniel asks … 

Roberto Di Matteo
Pep Guardiola
Jose Mourinho
Harry Redknapp
Rafa Benitez

Out of these following names which one has the best shot to be Chelsea’s new manager, or will it be a mystery candidate? Can you maybe discuss the credentials each one has for the spot and why they might reject taking the reigns of Chelsea?

A: Morgan Green: Of the names given I would say Rafa Benitez and Roberto Di Matteo would be the only ones who would take the job, no questions asked. Rafa because he views himself as a top tier manager even though he has lost his shine the past few years and RDM because this is his big chance to make a real name for himself on the coaching scene.

The only other job I could see Harry taking is the England job. He has a good thing going at Tottenham and is comfortable with his surroundings. I’ve seen Mourinho’s name batted around and personally I find it preposterous. Roman Abramovich has tried for several years now to erase Jose’s influence and style at the club and I don’t see him pulling an about face anytime soon. As far as Guardiola goes I think a lot of it has to do with what happens in the Champions League this year. If they pull off a CL and League double then I believe he would be open to taking the job. He will have won everything he ever could at Barcelona multiple times, so a new challenge would surely intrigue him. But Pep does what Pep wants to do (see his yearly contract ‘will he or won’t he’ drama) and I’m not sure that Roman would let that fly. All the managers, less so Di Matteo, have fantastic credentials that could get them a job almost anywhere. I think the main sticking point is Mr. Abramovich — and how hands-on he will want to be under the new regime, that’s the sort of thing that scares off potential candidates.

I still think that there will be a mystery candidate that comes out of the woodwork to take the job, possibly a name like Didier Deschamps. But out of the list that has been given Guardiola is who I would put my money on, though I wouldn’t feel very comfortable about it.

Q: Daniel asks … 

I am a big Man Utd fan. I am just curious what you think they need in order to reload in the summer. Obviously I’ve heard the name of Wesley Sneijder and others bandied about on message boards and other sites. Who might they sell (Berba) and buy?

A: Morgan Green: For me I’d say midfield is where United would need to do the most work to help them reload for next season. The fact that out of all the players they have in midfield and Sir Alex still had to call Paul Scholes out of retirement speaks volumes about their current crop of midfielders. Sneijder would certainly be a fine fit at United but bringing in a quality holding midfielder would help a bit more in my view.

Defense is another area where United are set fairly well, but you can never have too many defenders, especially with Vidic’s injury woes and Rio Ferdinand looking more and more like a shell of his former self. It does look like Berbatov is on the outs again this season, but everyone thought he would be gone last year and he stuck around. I don’t know that him being sold is necessarily a given. I’d say the sales would be more fringe players and backups looking for playing time, players like Lindegaard, Kuszczak, Bebe and possibly De Laet.

Q: Vincent asks …

With Clint Dempsey being in top form this year, what are the odds that he will be with Fulham for the start of next season? And if he is moving where do you think he would go?

A: Morgan Green: I think that the odds are good Dempsey will be playing for a new team by the start of next season. He only has one year left on his current deal and at his age you can’t blame him for wanting play a few seasons in the Champions League before his skills start to diminish.

The £10 million question is which of the top teams are going to be willing to bring him in and give him enough playing time to make the move beneficial for both parties. Manchester United would obviously be a top choice since they are almost always guaranteed Champions League football. But the problem there is where he would fit in United’s pecking order of attackers. Arsenal has been thrown out as a possible destination, but his age and nationality go against the type of players that Arsene Wenger usually brings in. Personally I think that he would be a good fit for Tottenham. The strike force at Spurs is flimsy and will get worse after the season when Emmanuel Adebayor once again returns to Manchester City. Dempsey would be a welcome addition because of his versatility and would certainly be a cheaper option than Adebayor. If Spurs can hold off Newcastle and Chelsea for the final Champions League spot then I would almost certainly expect them to make a run at Dempsey. Newcastle would also be a dark horse for to acquire him as well, especially since they will secure European football this season. But I’ll stick with the safe route and say he ends up playing at White Hart Lane next season.

Thanks for all the questions, everybody. Keep them coming in either through the comments section below or e-mail them to [email protected].


  1. Phillip Badger April 13, 2012
    • The Gaffer April 13, 2012
  2. harry cee April 13, 2012
    • The Gaffer April 13, 2012
      • harry cee April 13, 2012
  3. Daniel Mullins April 13, 2012
    • The Gaffer April 14, 2012
  4. Jason Gatties April 14, 2012

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