Monday, February 27, 2006

Bruce Arena: Give Adu more time, Give me a Premiership club

US national coach Bruce Arena (pictured) believes DC United's Freddy Adu needs to be given more time to develop before he moves to the English Premiership.

Freddy Adu is 16 years old. He is making good progress. However, the expectations are a little unreal. He needs time to grow both on and off the field of play.

How many times of young players, of any sport, been called the next great thing only to end up forgotten by age 23? Arena doesn't want this to happen to Adu and is giving him the most direct advice possible.

This really could be a break out year for Adu, but he will need to stay focused. If he spends too much time entertaining the good life and not worrying about his play, he will find himself in the "what could have been" file a decade from now.

Arena also admits to his desire to coach in the Premiership along with some of the managers he admires.

I admire Jose Mourinho and Rafa Benitez. They are well-educated, forward thinkers and modern-day managers.

They understand how to prepare teams and are detail-oriented. They understand the value of team spirit and are skilled in psychologically preparing their teams and players.

I do have aspirations to coach in Europe. I would love to have an opportunity to manage in the Premiership. As with any manager or player, moving to a new club or country requires a period of adjustment. However, I believe with the right club and the right time to adjust, I could be successful.

It will be interesting to see what Bruce decides to do after the World Cup. I'm sure he loves coaching the US team, but after eight years on the job, it might just be time to do something else. A move to Europe would be hard to pass up and if the US has another good Cup, I'm sure he will have a few offers.

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