John Doyle

San Jose GM John Doyle has a go at MLS disciplinary committee


I know not everybody agreed with me on yesterday’s verdict about the MLS disciplinary verdict on Rafa Marquez. And fair enough.

I know for darn sure that San Jose Earthquakes GM John Doyle didn’t agree with me.

“I’m very, very disappointed that Rafa Márquez only received three games, and that we lose Shea Salinas for eight weeks,” Doyle told reports yesterday.  “I think that’s terrible for Shea, because he was playing great for us. And then the fact that Marvin Chavez – for him to get a game’s suspension for that, I don’t think that’s right, either. I totally disagree with the (Disciplinary) Committee.”

So let me say this one more time, perhaps putting it another way:

Rafa Marquez is an unpopular figure around MLS. I get that. But if we’re assessing fines and suspensions based on popularity that’s a super-icy-dangerous-slippery slope.

What Marquez did to Shea Salinas makes him a stinker, for sure. But the injury was kind of a freak thing.

Meanwhile, a tackle like Marvin Chavez’s on Roy Miller could be a career ender. Chavez got one game.

Marquez got a stiffer fine because Salinas was injured, and I think that’s fair. Marquez won’t miss as much time as Salinas, and that falls under “unfair” in the life sense, but eye-for-an-eye or week-for-a-week suspension justice is another super-slippery slope.

Here’s the bottom line: Anybody now complaining about the disciplinary committee’s tough job has lost all right to ever say “This league needs to protect its players.” Because that’s exact what MLS is doing now.

I’ve beat up on MLS for so long for not taking action just like this. Is the science exact? Hardly. But the movement is in the right direction. They won’t always get it right, and the consistency requires constant adjustment – but it’s still better than the previous status quo.

Jurgen Klopp coy over links with Liverpool

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25:  Jurgen Klopp manager of Borussia Dortmund speaks during a Borussia Dortmund press conference, ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group D match against Arsenal, at Emirates Stadium on November 25, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
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Based on all the reports, it seems like a matter of when, not if, Jurgen Klopp will be named the next manager at Liverpool.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss had been heavily linked with the Liverpool job even before Brendan Rodgers was fired, and now that Rodgers is out, Klopp’s name is once again grabbing all the headlines.

While some reports state he could be appointed manager by the end of the week, nothing is official yet as Klopp is still in Germany, unemployed as of today.

[ REPORTS: Nigel Pearson approached by Sunderland ]

Klopp was approached by a reporter from German news outlet Bild in Leverkusen, and was asked about the vacant Liverpool job. While he did not confirm he was in talks with the club, he didn’t deny the links either.

There’s nothing to say. Neither a definite yes nor a definite no. I’m going home now.

It is believed that a deal between the club and the manager is in the works, with a few details still needed to be worked out before anything is made official.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League Playback: Rodgers gone, but not forgotten ]

One of the biggest roadblocks in the deal is Liverpool’s use of a transfer committee when buying new players, while Klopp is supposedly keen on having full control over the team’s signings. The club has said no moves are made without the manager’s approval, although it is reported that Rodgers was limited on what players he could bring in, having multiple moves shot down by the committee.

Former Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is still in the running for the vacant position, but at this time, Klopp is the out-and-out favorite to take over.

Reports: Sunderland reaches out to Nigel Pearson

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - APRIL 11:  Nigel Pearson, manager of Leicester City during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Leicester City at The Hawthorns on April 11, 2015 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Sunderland is without a win and without a manager, as the Black Cats are in desperate need of some help.

After manager Dick Advocaat resigned following Sunderland’s 2-2 draw against West Ham, the club has been searching for a replacement to help lead the club off the bottom of the table.

Reports out of England state the North East club has approached former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson, who has been out of work after being fired over the summer.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Pearson knows what it takes to win with a team in a relegation battle, as he led Leicester to a 14th place finish last season after sitting bottom of the table at Christmas. Still in last place in March, the Foxes won seven of their final nine matches to stay up in the Premier League.

However, Pearson was sacked over the summer after having a fall-out with the Leicester board, and it was well-documented that he had a tumultuous relationship with the club’s owners.

It is being reported that Sunderland’s technical director Lee Congerton approached Pearson about the job, but that club owner Ellis Short would rather bring former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce on board.

[ REPORTS: Liverpool could appoint Jurgen Klopp manager by end of the week ]

When you look at Nigel Pearson, he is a polar opposite of Dick Advocaat. Advocaat came to Sunderland towards the end of his managerial career, with experience winning titles with major clubs throughout Europe. However, he had never managed in the Premier League, and had no experience with a club fighting for survival.

Pearson, on the other hand, is fresh off a relegation battle and his fiery attitude may be what’s needed to turn Sunderland around. While Pearson may not always see eye-to-eye with the media or the board, he is fiercely loyal to his players and is a no-nonsense type-manager.

With the Premier League on an international break, Sunderland has a bit of time to figure things out, but expect Pearson’s name to continue to be linked with the job.