Is Jozy Altidore’s Premier League experiment nearly over?


Since February 15, Jozy Altidore has seen just 45 minutes of action for Sunderland – against Arsenal where he was subbed off at halftime.

With news today that Jozy Altidore was not only left out of the 18 against Hull City in Sunderland’s FA Cup journey, but also completely absent from the team bus, things are going from bad to worse for the American.

(Note: manager Gus Poyet revealed Altidore picked up an injury in training, explaining his absence)

Today marks the third time in as many cup competitions for Sunderland that Jozy has not only found himself not in the starting lineup, but out of the 18 altogether.

In his second attempt at making a name for himself in England’s top flight, it’s a dose of painful irony that the potential finishing blow to Altidore’s season comes against Hull City, the team he made his first attempt with.

Managing just one goal for Hull in 28 Premier League appearances and two in all competitions back in the 2009/10 season, things are looking eerily similar this season for the 24-year-old.

Namely, his goal tally – one in 24 Premier League appearances and two in all competitions. Sound familiar? See previous paragraph.

As a result, it would appear Gus Poyet’s patience with Altidore has run dry.

So, barring a miraculous late-season flurry of goals in their final 10 Premier League matches, he will finish with the same disappointing numbers he found himself stuck with four seasons ago.

Will that be the end of Jozy Altidore at Sunderland? The Telegraph‘s Luke Edwards seems to think so. It’s possible he could get himself another season at the Stadium of Light, but he would certainly have to earn it.

But remember – Kenwyne Jones somehow continues to find a job, and that in and of itself should give Jozy some hope.

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.