A study in contrasting managerial styles. Wenger always seems to be buying players for tomorrow. He invests in youth, and wants to build teams that play a wide-open game with panache and flair. Mourinho rarely stays in one place for more than three years, and that third year is always dodgy (note to Chelsea supporters: Jose is in year three of his second trip through Stamford Bridge). He looks to buy for now, though that usually means buying guys in their mid-20s and nearly the apex of their career rather than buying teens like Arsene does. Mourinho will probably bugger off sometime in December this year when he can't resurrect Chelsea from its moribund start.
A true superstar and, well, not so much. If there is a financial market in which Sergio Aguero's value as a footballer is not even three times as high as Geoff Cameron's value...wow, I'll take three Agueros, please. It's not that Cameron is a bad player; to the contrary, he is one of the U.S. team's best defenders, I think. It's that Sergio Aguero is worth much, much more than that.
Okay, let's go back to a few current/former Man. Utd. guys.
I know that Javier Hernandez was hardly prolific in front of goal. In fact, the more appropriate word may have been profligate. But he's another striker that Louis van Gaal shipped out of town when having someone -- anyone -- as an additional option at striker might have been useful. Sure, the team looked fluid yesterday, but the striker position seems razor thin.
But once Chicharito missed the penalty against Bruges...
....you knew he was on his way out.
On the way in during the summer was Morgan Schneiderlin from Southampton. He appears to be a true midfield spoiler in the tradition of Roy Keane (hopefully without the misanthropic angry side), and perhaps he is being groomed to be the next Carrick. With Schweinsteiger coming in as well, hopefully all three will get sufficient playing time and rest to last the season healthy.
Finally, there's Fraizer Campbell. Campbell was loaned to Tottenham in 2008 as part of the deal that brought the languid Bulgarian, Dimitar Berbatov, to Old Trafford. I really liked Berbatov when he was with United. Campbell had been loaned out before, but that loan was the end of his United Career. He's shown with Cardiff City on this autographed card -- yes, it's a sticker-graph -- but he's now plying his trade with Crystal Palace and has since the beginning of the 2014-15 season.
But it's nice to have a former ManU guy be my first certified Premier League autograph.
Will I start collecting soccer cards? I'm not sure. I have to admit to being drawn to them somewhat. Perhaps I'll try being a type collector with soccer cards and go for one or two cards from every set related to soccer that I can find from around the world. Now that would keep me busy -- just trying to identify the cards to get would be one hell of a chore.
Another oddity that Jack sent my way was one pack of Doctor Who Attax cards. I found one card in particular that I liked:
Because Oswin Oswald is hot. Oswin was played by the quite fit Jenna Coleman, formerly of the British soap Emmerdale and who announced just today that she is quitting Doctor Who to play Queen Victoria (and sorry about the link to The Mirror). Too bad that it appears she is now orange in skin tone -- at least the photo in The Mirror has her looking that way.
Now, what I am is definitely a Brewers collector. Jack added in ton of great Brewers cards in the package. Since he's breaking open packs regularly, he had quite an array of Brewers to send to me. Here's a sampler:
Some great 2012 Stickers, an MLB Showdown card (shockingly, Jose Hernandez is not listed as striking out 1 through 10!), a Topps Attax of Corey Hart, a Donruss Top of the Order of B.J. Surhoff -- gotta love all the attempts at games played with cards that companies have tried -- and my very first ever Upper Deck Exquisite Rookie Signatures Baseball card -- one numbered 65 of 75 of Prince Fielder!
Jack really sent me a great group of eclectic cards, and now has me thinking about a new collection. I'd call that a very successful trade package. Thanks, Jack!