Half-Time Orange For Thought; Redemption Song, Bradley Wright-Philips Comes Full Circle

Bradley Wright-Phillips is now the leading goalscorer in the history of the New York Red Bulls franchise, beating the long-held record of 62 goals, set by Juan Pablo Ángel, and confirming his place as one of the greatest players in the club’s history. All thing’s said, BWP has far surpassed the accomplishments of your average Manchester City youth graduate, which is less of a slight and more of a compliment to both he and the club; having waited for his turn to fully display his genuine level of ability, Bradley is now proof of what happens when you trust the process and enjoy the journey along the way, which is a Millennial teaching moment in its own.Click To Tweet

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Dissected with the attention to detail of a legendary Masterchef 2nd season casting outcast , your good mate Uncle Bob serves up his weekly Half-Time Orange For Thought; a mental morsel for the sports fanatic with a healthy appetite for wholesome consumables. We at GSV have reluctantly declared ourselves accountable for any digestion difficulties that may or may not occur. Enjoy!

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As Millennial’s, we’ve been programmed to subscribe to the culture of instant gratification and the pursuit of instant success, much to our peril;  Bradley Wright-Phillips is a name many older football loving Millennial’s will be familiar with, a footballer who’s kin have blessed at least two generations of football viewers with impressive offensive displays. There was a school of thought early on in his career, which believed that Bradley could go on to become as prolific as his father, Crystal Palace & Arsenal legend Ian Wright; Bradley, the younger of the Wright-Philips brothers, showed early signs of his potential when he top scored for the Manchester City reserve side in the 2003-04 season, the teenager begun to get more looks in at 1st team level, yet he ultimately failed to break into the setup and was moved on at the age of 21.

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The £500, 000 transfer to Southampton in the Championship on July 5th, 2006, with half of the transfer fee funded by a supporter who won a Coca-Cola competition prize, was seen as a way for the lad to fight his way back to the level many felt his potential dictated he should be playing; Wright-Philips wasted no time repaying some of that good faith from the club, netting on his debut away to Derby County and ending his debut season with 11 goals in all competitions. 14 goals over his next two seasons with The Saints wasn’t enough to save the club from relegation into League One, and Bradley saw himself released, as the club looked to rebuild in the third tier with financial constraints.

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A second shot at the Championship with Plymouth Argyle came on July 15th, 2009, when he penned a two year deal with the ambitious club, a knee injury affected spell saw him limited in effectiveness during his 37 games in 2 seasons, scoring 17 goals and briefly regaining fitness and form to be elected into the PFA League One Team of the Year for the 2010 – 11 season. A move back home to London with Charlton Athletic, saw him form part of a side that won the Football League One title in swashbuckling fashion in the 2011 – 12 season under Charlton legend Chris Powell. As the club begun to decline due to in-house instability, Wright-Philips would spend a 15 game loan stopover at Brentford in early 2013, prior to being released yet again, as Charlton continued to try rebuild their roster with limited stability in management; Wright-Phillips would finish with 22 goals to show for his 42 games in 2 years with the club.

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When most 28 year old footballers would’ve settled for the security of playing in the lower divisions and hopefully tasting promotion or a cup run or two before they retire having amassed a decent reputation as a professional, Bradley Wright-Phillips gambled on his ability to score goals and joined a highly ambitious New York Red Bulls outfit that was looking to become a major role-player in the ever expanding MLS. Signing for the club on July 24th, 2013, BWP provided the late season push New York needed to claim the 2013 Supporters’ Shield trophy, their 1st major piece of silverware. Wright-Philips would go on to form an impressive partnership with Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who brought the best out of BWP as a finisher and helped coax the brilliance out of him; Bradley netted an MLS league record equalling 27 regular season goals, as he stormed to the Golden Boot Award in 2014, his 1st full season in the league.

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Doubters begun to emerge, as goals dried up after Thierry retired from playing, yet BWP gradually reacclimatised to the change in system and personnel at the club, to continue leading the line and scoring goals at an impressive rate; 17 regular season goals in 2015, and a handy 4 in the Playoff’s, saw him firmly establish himself as a genuine MLS star, and one of the most lethal finishers the league has ever had. Wright-Philips would further cement his legacy, and silence all doubters, when he narrowly beat David Villa to the MLS Golden Boot Award in 2016, scoring an impressive 24 regular season goals for the Red side of New York, becoming the 4th player in MLS history to win 2 scoring titles, joining Taylor Twellman, Jeff Cunningham & Chris Wandolowski in that elite bracket; notching up a number of records on the way, BWP’s 44 goals between 2014 & 2015 equalled Stern John’s record for most goals over a two year span, the Trinidad & Tobago legend amassed his 44 over the 1997 – 98 seasons.

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Bradley Wright-Phillips

Bio

Full Name: Bradley Edward Wright-Phillips

DoB: March 12th, 1985 (31)

PoB: Lewisham, London; England

Nationalities: English, Grenadine, Jamaican, Trinidadian & Toboggan

Caps & Goals: England u/20 | 5 Caps

Position/s: Inside Forward, Advanced Forward, Poacher (Left, Right, Centre)

Preferred Foot: Right

Height: 1,73m

Club: New York Red Bulls Football Club

Jersey Number: #99

Contact Expiry: December 31st, 2017

Market Value: R 254m

Previous Clubs: Manchester City Football Club (2004 – 06) | Southampton Football Club (2006 – 09) | Plymouth Argyle Football Club (2009 – 11) | Charlton Athletic Football Club (2011 – 13) | Brentford Football Club, Loan (2013)

Development Academy: Manchester City Youth Academy (2001-2004)

Honours

PFA League One Team of the Year: 2010 – 11| Plymouth Argyle Football Club

Football League One Champion: 2011 – 12 |Charlton Athletic

MLS Supporters’ Shield: 2013 & 2015

MLS All-Star: 2014

MLS Best XI: 2014

MLS Golden Boot: 2014 & 2016

New York Red Bulls Player of the Year: 2014

Castrol Index Top MLS Player: 2014

Fastest MLS Hattrick: 27 Minuets

The Numbers

Career Record Club Games Goals Assists
  League All Comps League All Comps  
Man City 32 40 2 2 0
Southampton 111 121 22 25 8
Plymouth Argyle 32 37 17 17 1
Charlton Athletic 82 87 31 31 11
Brentford 15 17 5 5 1
Totals   272 302 77 80 21

 

MLS Record Season Games Goals
  Regular Season Playoff Regular Season Playoff
2013 7 2 1 1
2014 32 4 27 4
2015 34 4 17 1
2016 34 2 24 1
Totals   107 12 69 7

 

The Grand Stand View

Bradley Wright-Phillips arrived in the MLS as Ian Wright’s son and the younger brother of Shaun Wright-Phillips, yet he has gradually established himself as his own man and a genuine MLS legend in the making; his scoring exploits may go unmatched for a few seasons to come, BWP broke the MLS record for the most goals scored in a three year period, with his 62 strikes eclipsing Chris Wondolowski’s 2010 – 12 run. Wright-Phillips is now also the 1st MLS player to have two 20+ goal seasons in the history of the league, while his 1st full season with New York saw him equal the league record for most goals in a single regular season, equalling the 27 co-held by Chris Wondolowski & Roy Lassiter, and at 31, he has time to set a few more records and elevate the benchmark even further.

The legend of BWP may still have a few more pages waiting to be writ, yet the Manchester City youth protégé has risen to fulfil his potential as a genuine star and one of the best English imports to Major League Soccer, which is saying a lot, when one considers the David Beckham’s, Steven Gerrard’s, Frank Lampard’s and Jermain Defoe’s that gone across the pond to try their luck in the expanding league with increasing pull and marketability. Bradley Wright-Phillips is now the leading goalscorer in the history of the New York Red Bulls franchise, beating the long-held record of 62 goals, set by Juan Pablo Ángel, and confirming his place as one of the greatest players in the club’s history. All thing’s said, BWP has far surpassed the accomplishments of your average Manchester City youth graduate, which is less of a slight and more of a compliment to both he and the club; having waited for his turn to fully display his genuine level of ability, Bradley is now proof of what happens when you trust the process and enjoy the journey along the way, which is a Millennial teaching moment in its own.

 Written by Mallele Chidi PeTje III (@MCPeTjeIII) for The Grand Stand View (@GSVDaily)

Half-Time Orange For Thought; Juxtaposed Truths, Arsenal’s Invincibles vs The Unpredictable’s

Talent identification, and the development of that potential into ability, are some of the traits that have stood Arsène Wenger apart from most gaffers throughout his illustrious and lengthy career; opting to punt for potential over proven players is a very uncertain science, one that Le Prof has practiced with varied results over the years, most Arsenal fans will go on record to say that there is a Christopher Wreh or Philippe Senderos for every Robin van Persie or Kolo Toure he unearths. Click To Tweet

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#TheBootRoom

Dissected with the attention to detail of a legendary Masterchef 2nd season casting outcast , your good mate Uncle Bob serves up his weekly Half-Time Orange For Thought; a mental morsel for the sports fanatic with a healthy appetite for wholesome consumables. We at GSV have reluctantly declared ourselves accountable for any digestion difficulties that may or may not occur. Enjoy!

Arsène Wenger is rightfully regarded by many as a football maverick, one of the few managers in the modern game to habitually go against the grain, in the hopes of improving his team and himself as a leader. Much has been writ about his more recent teams, decision making and a perceived lack of appetite to be as ambitious as he was when Arsenal were considered one of the best sides in the fraternity. Arsenal have recently shown glimpses of returning to being a formidable team that can compete for major honours, while also playing some of the best football you can find on any given matchday, anywhere where the beautiful game is played.

Talent identification, and the development of that potential into ability, are some of the traits that have stood Arsène Wenger apart from most gaffers throughout his illustrious and lengthy career; opting to punt for potential over proven players is a very uncertain science, one that Le Prof has practiced with varied results over the years, most Arsenal fans will go on record to say that there is a Christopher Wreh or Philippe Senderos for every Robin van Persie or Kolo Toure he unearths. The barometer for Arsenal sides will always be The Invincibles, a team that was a testament to how quality players could combine to form a top class side, which played the Beautiful Game the way it ought to be played. We will compare the current Arsenal side to the team all future Gooners’ sides should be endeavouring to better, juxtaposing players and roles, while assessing where the team has and still could improve, as they aspire to return to the top of the domestic and global game.

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The Invincibles (2003/04)    
Position

 

# Name 03/04 Arsenal Record GSV Grade # Name Overall Arsenal Record
GK 1 Jens Lehman 54 Games Upgrade 33 Petr Čech 47 Games
RB 12 Lauren 47 Games Potential Upgrade 24 Héctor Bellerín 67 Games, 3 Goals
RCB 23 Sol Campbell 50 Games, 1 Goal Comparable 20 Shkodran Mustafi 10 Games
LCB 28 Kolo Touré 55 Games, 3 Goals Comparable 6 Laurent Koscielny 192 Games, 17 Goals
LB 3 Ashley Cole 47 Games, 1 Goal Downgrade 18 Nacho Monreal 110 Games, 1 Goal
Ball-Winning Midfielder 19 Gilberto Silva 46 Games, 4 Goals Potentially Comparable 35 Mohamed Elneny 19 Games
Box-To-Box Midfielder 4 Patrick Vieira 44 Games, 3 Goals Potentially Comparable 29 Granit Xhaka 10 Games, 1 Goal
Right Midfielder 8 Fredrik “Freddie” Ljungberg 44 Games, 10 Goals Comparable 14 Theo Walcott 248 Games, 61 Goals
Left Midfielder 7 Robert Pirès 51 Games, 19 Goals Potentially Comparable 17 Alex Iwobi 22 Games, 2 Goals
Trequartista 10 Dennis Bergkamp 38 Games, 5 Goals Comparable 11 Mesut Özil 95 Games, 18 Goals
Centre Forward 14 Thierry Henry 51 Games, 39 Goals Potentially Comparable 7 Alexis Sánchez 78 Games, 37 Goals
Bench              
Goalkeeper 33 Graham Stack 5 Games Upgrade 13 David Ospina 22 Games
Right Defender 45 Justin Hoyte 3 Games Upgrade 2 Mathieu Debuchy 13 Games, 1 Goal
Central Defender 5 Martin Keown 15 Games Downgrade 4 Per Mertesacker 149 Games, 5 Goals
Central Defender 18 Pascal Cygan 24 Games Upgrade 5 Gabriel Paulista 28 Games, 1 Goal
Central Defender 27 Efstathios Tavlaridis 3 Games Potential Upgrade 16 Rob Holding 3 Games
Left Fullback 22 Gaël Clichy 22 Games Comparable 3 Kieran Gibbs 130 Games, 2 Goals
Ball-Winning Midfielder 17 Edu 48 Games, 7 Goals Potentially Comparable 34 Francis Coquelin 79 Games
Midfielder 15 Ray Parlour 38 Games Potentially Comparable 8 Aaron Ramsey 192 Games, 28 Goals
Central Midfielder 57 Cesc Fàbregas 3 Games, 1 Goal Comparable 19 Santi Cazorla 129 Games, 25 Goals
Right Midfielder 39 David Bentley 8 Games, 1 Goal Upgrade 15 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 111 Games, 8 Goals
Auxiliary Midfielder 54 Quincy Owusu-Abeyie 3 Games Potential Upgrade 31 Jeff Reine-Adélaïde 4 Games
Left Midfielder 9 José Antonio Reyes 21 Games, 5 Goals Potentially Comparable 9 Lucas Pérez 3 Games
Forward 11 Sylvain Wiltord 20 Games, 4 Goals Comparable 23 Danny Welbeck 36  Games, 8 Goals
Forward 25 Nwankwo Kanu 24 Games, 3 Goals Comparable 12 Olivier Giroud 140 Games, 60 Goals
Forward 30 Jérémie Aliadière 15 Games, 4 Goals Potential Upgrade 32 Chuba Akpom 4 Games

 

Written By Mallele Chidi Petje III (@MCPeTjeIII)

Wunderkind Watching | Presenting, The Paramount Percy Tau

Percy seems to have been blessed with the ability to dribble his way out of a room overcrowded with groupies and bandwagon jumpers, unscathed and largely unperturbed, such is his ability to get by people and create even more space for himself and his teammates to manoeuvre in.Click To Tweet

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Wunderkind

:  a child prodigy; also :  one who succeeds in a competitive or highly difficult field or profession at an early age

: someone who achieves success or shows great talent at a young age

The transition from playground hero to national superstar is one that only a lucky few get to undergo & complete; child prodigies can be found in every crevice of our beautiful country, yet one does not always get to witness a child prodigy excel and show signs of great promise at a tender age, as coaches are often under pressure to get immediate results and habitually punt for more seasoned professionals, as they seek to attain some much needed job security. Football remains one of the greatest tests of talent in the modern age; a field where hard work beats talent, when talent refuses to work hard, and having talent alone is not enough to truly flourish in the craft.

With measured development and sound off-field guidance, a wunderkind can develop into an elite level footballer with the gifts and aptitude to excel as a professional; wunderkinder do not always become the true stars that their potential levels would have suggested they’d develop into, yet that will not hinder us from watching the best u/23 lads in the game and giving you an informative, enlightening and educational scouting report on some of the best young footballers in the land.

#TheTalentScout

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Percy Tau

Bio

DoB: May 13th, 1994 (22)

PoB: eMalahleni, Witbank; Mpumalanga

Caps & Goals: N/A | South African u/20 & u/23 International

Position/s: Winger, Inside Forward, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Advanced Forward, Trequartista (Left/Right/Centre)

Preferred Foot: Left

Height: 1. 78m

Club: Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club

Club Jersey No: #22

Market Value: R 726 000

Mamelodi Sundowns Career Club Record: 29 Games | 7 Goals | 6 Assists

Development Academy: School Of Excellence, Mamelodi Sundowns Youth Academy

Previous Club: Witbank Spurs | 2015-16 (Loan)

The Scouting Report

Mental: Percy Tau is a one in a generation calibre player; a gifted young footballer who is blessed with all the tools required to develop into an offensive force to be reckoned with in the modern game, Percy utilises his great anticipation to predict and react quickly on the field, and often get the better of his marker based on his ability to foresee what may develop 2 or 3 moves prior. Born with the natural ability to see openings where many see obstacles, Percy uses his high creative ceiling and impressive flair on the ball to attempt the unpredictable in an attempt to exploit the openings he sees. Percy Tau would be a pretty decent prospect, based on his natural ability alone, but the lad is where his is today due to an innate desire to actually add more to his game, in an attempt to fulfil the great potential he has within him; that desire is very evident in how his off-the-ball movement has improved in leaps and bounds, since he first burst onto the scene as a highly touted teenage prospect.

Physical: Most mobile and tricky footballers today are rightfully lambasted for their inability to ride out challenges and aim to gain the advantage offered by the space they create, before looking to play for any foul that could have been committed on the run; Percy Tau is one of those players that seems to make a habit of going against the grain, the nimble midfield playmaker shows a great degree of balance and guile, to make the most of the attacking spaces his mobility and trickery allow him to create when running with the ball. As with most gifted footballers today, Percy is a good athlete that brings a refreshing burst of pace to the game, with his acceleration allowing him to build up speed quickly and often leave his marker eating a trail of dust as he speeds off. Getting regular game-time at the professional level has been pivotal for Tau in his overall development curve, playing consistently while on loan to Witbank Spurs in the second part of the 2015/16 season, Percy added a few new strings to his bow; an improved level of endurance, gained from getting regular minutes under his belt,  has allowed him to become a player that continues to add value to the side, even as the game wears on and opposition defenders tire of being run around by the lad.

Technical: The first thing most people will marvel over when you mention Percy Tau’s name, is his breathtaking ability to weave magic with the football at his feet; the youngster is well versed in the dying art of facing a player, taking them on, and eliminating them from play with purposeful dribbling and technical proficiency. Percy seems to have been blessed with the ability to dribble his way out of a room overcrowded with groupies and bandwagon jumpers, unscathed and largely unperturbed, such is his ability to get by people and create even more space for himself and his teammates to manoeuvre in. Great technical gifts are often wasted on a footballer who can’t control the ball, and allow all those other blessings to come to the foreground; Percy Tau has a Velcro-like 1st-touch, which seems to afford him even more time to cast his spell on the ball and produce one of his now trademark moments of brilliance. Playing in the infamous Mamelodi Sundowns “Shoeshine & Piano” style of football has allowed Percy to add a good grasp of the passing game to his arsenal, affording him with more of an end product to his overall game; such improvements are further proof of how Percy Tau stands a great chance of converting his potential into regular displays of ability at the elite level, and go on to become the superstar he promises to be.

Comparable To… Delron Buckley (4/5 Tsamaya’s)

Written By Mallele Chidi Petje III (@MCPeTjeIII)