The Week Ahead, Part 1 - Schedule Analysis

As with everything blog-related, you can find this week's post at our new home over at (a part of  We hope you'll join us there.

Cheers - Neal

Barn Door Team - Week 8 Revised

Check out this post at our new blog home, Never Manage Alone.

The original is after the jump, but really you should check out the new version.

English teams watching Brek Shea

So this rumour has made it from Twitter to the larger web.

English eyes on US starlet | Sky Sports | Football | Transfer Centre | Speculation: understands a host of Premier League clubs are tracking American hot-shot Brek Shea.

The FC Dallas ace is regarded as one of the best young talents in America and is already an established member of Jurgen Klinsmann's USA side.

The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have all been credited with an interest in the attacker who can play out wide or up front.

Liverpool and Manchester City are both believed to have watched Shea in action over the weekend as he created the only goal in the USA's 1-0 win over Honduras.

Shea is a really exciting player. He's a bit of a late bloomer and is just now finding his feet, so to speak. He was unplayable for the first half of the MLS season and looked an MVP candidate alongside Thierry Henry at the All-Star break. His performances have tailed off as the season has gone on, however.

For Neal's sake, I want him to go to Arsenal where he can play on the left of a front three. He would also give them some height up front, which would offer their attack a different dimension.

That being said, it wouldn't surprise me if he moved to Bolton or Fulham, teams that already have an American in place.

Wenger As England Manager?

Perhaps because it is an international week. Perhaps it is because reporters are tired of writing about Arsenal's demise on the pitch.  Perhaps they are tired of digging into the books and trying to figure out how many years it will be until the long-term, and now out-dated, deals made to pay for the new stadium will be keeping Arsenal's football revenues from growing at the same pace as their peers in the league.  Perhaps it is because the England team are having a fairly easy run of qualification and with Capello already known to be on his way out there isn't much else to write about this week.  Whatever the reason, there is a rumor making the rounds that Wenger might be the perfect blend of "foreigner, but not really" to lead the England team into Brazil 2014.

To which my reaction is "What?!?!?!??!?!?"

Barn Door Team - Week 8

It's international week, but that doesn't mean we're not already looking ahead to the next gameweek in ten days time. Here's my team, assembled over the course of last weekend.

There are injuries here, and some questions. Look for changes, and the (surely faulty) reasoning to come.

First XI - What We Learned During Week 7

This column is getting long enough in its own right so I'm not going to write much of a preamble this time around.  Before we get to it though, I'm going to solicit feedback on two aspects of the column.  I've added what I'm thinking will be regular fixtures under #1 and #2 .  I have been mixing fantasy and reality comments in this column thus far this season.  That isn't going to change but I want to make sure I'm doing enough fantasy stuff since that's generally why you're here reading.  The other thing I've added in at the end is related to my other sports interests.  Is it entirely self-indulgent, yes it is.  Should you care? You tell me, that's why we have a comments section.  I hope you like the new format additions.

The Barn Door Live - Week 7