Friday, November 07, 2008

Alexi Lalas Speaks

About the Galaxy, about David Beckham and about Landon Donovan. Los Angeles Times' Grahame Jones has the collection of quotes.

The good:
"I'm a little hesitant to talk about it because I don't want it to appear self-serving or bitter," Lalas told co-host Rob Stone.

"I believe in accountability and I believe in responsibility, and as the president and GM, regardless of what the circumstances were, I'm responsible for it. I paid the ultimate price and I accept that."
I am glad that Lalas sees that it was his responsiblity and his price to pay.

The eh, on Landon Donovan going to Europe:
"If Landon wants to go, he should go," Lalas said. "He's a great player. A lot of people would love to see him. And guess what? The Galaxy can survive without Landon Donovan. He's a wonderful player. He will be a difficult player to replace if he goes.

"I think the bigger question is: What does Landon Donovan cost on the open market? Because what MLS thinks he costs and what the rest of the world thinks he costs might be two different things.

"So just because he wants to go doesn't mean he will be allowed to go."
Lalas is right, I think it is entirely possible that MLS and Donovan will have a very differnt take on his worth than Europe. Donovan and MLS will no doubt want a Jozy Altidore ($10 million trasnfer fee) type of deal, but I am not sure that he will command that kind of price. Altidore is young and if he improves in a way that most people expect he will command a larger transfer fee later one, making a profit for Villareal. Donovan on the other hand, this is probably his biggest contract time (he is 26). If he signs a four year deal, he will be thirty for his next deal and probably won't command a massive transfer fee.

The bad: on Beckham:
When you talk about David Beckham, it's about so much more than what he is on the field, for better or worse," Lalas said. "He's a great player. I think he helps whatever team he's playing for, whether it's the Galaxy or AC Milan.

"The reality is, he's going to do whatever it takes to play with the [England] national team. That's fine. I was a little disappointed with the way that it all came down with him and his folks. I mean, hello, a courtesy telephone call, a little bit of respect to call the coach so that [Arena] knows what's going on, knows that you're being shopped around. But sometimes the tail wags the dog."
Here is where Lalas doesn't admit to culpability. He created the Beckham mania and problem. I think Beckham the player is a straight up guy, but Lalas allowed Beckham's people to run roughshod over the Galaxy and that created more problems for Lalas and ultimately now for Bruce Arena.

Still, interesting.

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