An Uncertain Donovan

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by neems, Oct 23, 2012.

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  1. Real Corona

    Real Corona Moderator Staff Member

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    When the accusation is that Donovan is desperately seeking attention, then it directly involves the media and fans.
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  2. lplaksina

    lplaksina Member

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    The only uncertainty in this whole "break" is with many of the posters here.
    Bruce knows what's going on, Klinnsman knows what's going on, the players who matter know whas going on, and Landon knows what's going on.
    he'll be back after he's had a sabbatical.
    We'll all know when, when someone announces it.
    In the meantime, how about them Sharks !!!!!!
  3. Ghosting

    Ghosting Member+

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    Above, I quote your full post. The bolded can be easily interpreted as an implication that Donovan does not give a crap about what his employer and colleagues (players) think. That is the baseless speculation that I was addressing... and all of Arena's comments about the Donovan situation, including the article that I linked, do not support that. If that was not what you intended with that post, that's fine.
    Anytime a player of Donovan's caliber cannot play at his peak ability for his team, it damages the team's prospects. Just because the problem is a mental/emotional one doesn't make it any more in the players control than a physical problem. Donovan's in a no-win situation. If he comes back and his heart is not in it, he hurts the team. If he retires, he hurts the team. It seems to me that having an open honest conversation with his boss and working through the problem in a mutually agreed-upon process is the best solution for everyone involved (even though it still hurts the team).
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  4. TheLostUniversity

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    [1] I won't question what you find "easy to interpret", but I suggest you confuse it with "what Ghosting chooses to assume". The post I was originally responding to made an issue of how Landon does not have to give a crap about what the media thinks. I agreed with that point. Landon does not owe the "media" anything in particular. I was, though, startled that folks were considering that to be the salient issue, when the clear problem was what Landon's extended immersion in indecisive "angst" was doing to the teams he was/is an integral part of: the Galaxy and the USMNT. As the USMNT does not pay his salary, and is not the center of his career as a professional, I focussed on what he is doing to the Galaxy. His actions are hurting his team, and those actions are his full responsibility. [He "owns" them, if you prefer that sort of lingo]. That is not baseless speculation, it is empirical fact. If he does respect his team, and his fellow players, he will not allow this to continue. His life, his choice, his word, his integrity.
    [2&3] It is true that a player of Donovan's caliber damages a team's prospects when he does not play at his peak of ability, as it does [perhaps even more so] when he does not play at all. I do not think the damage of either of the above matches the damage that occurs when everyone around is left in limbo as to which it will be. As you said, if he comes back without heart he will hurt the team, and if he retires he hurts the team, but he hurts the team even more by leaving everything unsettled well into a new season [two more months now???] and so preventing the team from acting with clarity as to what it is facing. As you suggest, Landon may not be in a position to control whatever his mind or heart are confronting, but he is nevertheless fully responsible for his decisions and his actions. It is his life, his choice, his word, his integrity.
    Life is hard, Ghosting, eventually even for more the most cossetted of the privileged. I am sorry if Landon is caught in a time of genuine hardship. But we are fully measured by those decisions and actions which, in accumulation, no matter the surrounding fires which press and confound, speak to the world of what we've chosen to be. Landon, a player I've long admired, is a man I would have expected to, and still hope will, do the right thing.


  5. EruditeHobo

    EruditeHobo Member+

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    If the claims about quashing an Everton transfer are to be believed, he surely owes the Galaxy/MLS less than nothing. As far as his teammates and his coach are concerned, I'd have to know what was actually said between them to speculate on Donovan's current level of respectfulness. But hey, that's just me.

    Frankly I'm starting to not care either way, because if he feels he needs a break he should take it and everyone that doesn't like it can ******** off, respect be damned. He's just a soccer player after all.
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  6. TheLostUniversity

    TheLostUniversity Member+

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    That would be the Erudite Hobo with a Shotgun. ;)
  7. EruditeHobo

    EruditeHobo Member+

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    Please... "blunderbuss". It's snootier.
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  8. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    And I am sure you know what's going on.

    Yet no one in the media has mentioned anything about the real nature of his "sabbatical". And, if everyone in the know knows, then my toes want to knows as well.

    Is this medical? Is it family related? Contracts? High Voltage? Deeds done dirt cheap?
  9. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

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    None of thes things are your business. LD, JK and US Soccer don't owe the fans this information and they owe "you" even less.
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  10. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    As usual, I disagree. The US soccer, much like any entertainment based business, exists for the fans. Unless there's some sort of a medical issue that should remain private, Donovan, the USSF and the LAG owe their fans an explanation.
  11. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

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    Well, You are entitled to your "even-handed" opinion.
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  12. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    When you attend a Broadway play expecting a star turn and the star isn't there, it's customary to issue an explanation. It's common courtesy and respect of the patrons paying good money to see a show. In sports, the NFL, to pick one league, has a fairly high transparency level. Even when the healthy player is not in he game, a sideline reporter usually finds out the reasons for it immediately. Otherwise, the league stipulates that no information is kept away from the fans, aside of the actual game plan.

    If, as explained above, Klinsmann and Arena know the reasons for this "sabbatical" , the fans need to know too before they commit their funds to their favorite team.
  13. Martin Fischer

    Martin Fischer Member+

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    Look, no one is making you committ your funds anywhere. You don't want to go to a Galaxy or USMNT game (assuming you watch soccer that is) without more information, then don't buy a ticket. I am sure the Galaxy, the USSF and Big Soccer can survive.
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  14. Suyuntuy

    Suyuntuy Member+

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    Lando was there for the first two JK camps (friendlies against MEX and CRC). Maybe what he saw was so ridiculous (to him), that he decided it wasn't worth it? How would an intelligent man react to a coach that starts doing crazy stuff?



    "Welcome back, Mr. Donovan."
    "Is the German gone yet?"
    "Uhh... no."
    "Put me back in."
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  15. jond

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    That isn't anything anyone doesn't know. We know he's taking an extended holiday. We know it'll be announced when he returns. We know he's told Bruce and JK he's taking his extended holiday and will be back when he's ready.

    That still doesn't touch whether anyone knows when he's returning, if LD has given return date, or whether teammates in either LA or the NT are fine with it. Players knowing about the sabbatical is different than players supporting the idea of a teammate going on an indefinite sabbatical instead of fighting in the trenches with them.
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  16. jond

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    I tend to agree with this. Don't think fans opinions matter on this, but also think there should be an explanation if there is one and if there's a return date we should know. When selling a product, a star based product, fans on 3/22 should know before buying tickets whether Landon has decided if he'll return by then or not if the decision is already made and people know the answer.

    But lplaksina seems to be implying when he/she says the coaches and players know what's going on, that there's more to it than a simple sabbatical. We all already know he wants a break, so that suggests there's more of an explanation for why his return is up in the air, the people in the know, know about it and we'll find out later.

    Thinking about this, I can't think of another high profile player, or any player in a team sport ever taking a sabbatical like this. It's just weird. People have brought up Favre, Jordan and Barry Sanders, but the difference is they a)retired, didn't have this drag on into a season effecting their teams and taking up a roster spot and b)talked publicly to the media about their decisions. But this I'm not sure we've ever seen before.

    It's weird to me and I'm not sure exactly what to think when people say Landon has "earned the right" to do this. I mean, everyone has the right to not show up and go kick their feet up on the beach, but we've also never seen an athlete do this before across all sports that I'm aware of. So how can Landon clearly earn the right to do something no one has ever done before? We've seen people retire right before a season, in the middle and then of course more often at the end. We've seen people publicly debate whether it'll be their last season. We've seen people retire due to injury mid season. We've seen people say they probably would retire, then show up and give it a go during training camp. We've seen healthy players retire after a season. But I really don't think we've seen this before across all team sports, a healthy player, in his prime, under contract, take more than the off season to decide if he wants to retire, when pre season is under way still not have decided, and still not talk to the media or give any update. Add to that the NT element we don't have in other sports and it's very odd.
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  17. Berks

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    The fact that so many people think he doesn't know what's going on surprises me.

    Bruce Arena is no dope, and is no doormat. He is also one of the best general managers in MLS.

    And the 2nd bolded section would be the veterans that lead the locker room.

    So basically, the only folks who wouldn't know are the media and fans. Sounds about right.
  18. EruditeHobo

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    The NT element is a non-starter, as that's an evolving team with infrequent gatherings, the roster of which is always in fluctuation. Declining a few call ups for the US isn't a big deal at all, it's happened tons of times for lots of different national teams.

    As far as his club team, to be honest I don't really care about the Galaxy, but bear in mind that he's arguably the best player in MLS history. If he wants to consider retirement or take a break, he has that right. Because he's put his time in, and maybe he feels that this is really in his best interest as not just an athlete but as a man. And guess what, at any point LAG has the right to tell him to go to hell... but just because this is kind of unprecedented (which is definitely isn't, not in the strictest sense of the word -- see Brett Farve and Michael Jordan for a couple appropriate examples, and probably more that I can't think of right off the top of my head, not to mention MULTIPLE players that have retired to get out of a contract and then have joined another team for the same season)... that doesn't mean he shouldn't put himself first.
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  19. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

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    What about all the time and effort we've committed to this thread that could have been committed to other threads?
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  20. deuteronomy

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    Fans don't like it . . so
    they want to make it about them, so
    they suggest "Landon is desperately seeking attention"
    cause that is the card they believe is best to play.
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  21. Jeff Bradley

    Jeff Bradley Member+

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    Landon doesn't have to say anything.
    The Galaxy don't have to say anything.
    US Soccer doesn't have to say anything.
    Fans don't have to buy anything.

    Why is this so complicated?
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  22. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

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    You are a sportswriter, how much fun would reading about sports be if the response to every issue was: "No comment?"

    How hard is it to say: "I'm taking a break, and will make an announcement by the end of February." rather than vagueness?
  23. Jeff Bradley

    Jeff Bradley Member+

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    I hear ya, but it's not his obligation.

    On the beat I've covered the most - Yankees - this is what would be known as "blood in the water." Our editors would not take "we'll find out sooner or later" as an answer...and a circus would ensue.
  24. icebreaker

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    Because sometimes saying nothing just gives room to constant speculation and stops an issue from being put to rest. If there is a void of official information, someone will try to fill it with unofficial information. And the Landon Donovan issue will come up again every time the US plays poorly, because he is/was the US most important player. If a German player- no matter how decorated- did something similar to Donovan, the media and fans would go absolutely crazy.
  25. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

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    I'm going to disagree a bit here, because unlike the Yanks, there is still a bit of a "Grow the game" obligation for US soccer players, IMO.

    Yep, if the media looking into whether/when LD is going to play was a 10th as aggressive as the media looking into whether/when Arod is going to play, we would have an answer already.;)
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