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Red Bulls Paper Revue: December 13, 2021

Gerhard Struber and Bradley Carnell turn down Manchester United, Patryk Klimala eyes next year’s Golden Boot, and the citizens of Morristown haggle over the new training facility in this week’s links

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CF Montreal v New York Red Bulls
Gerhard Struber will not be leaving New York for an assistant coaching job, even with Manchester United.
Photo by Ira L. Black - Corbis/Getty Images

Welcome to the Red Bulls Paper Revue presented by Once a Metro.

You’re going to be okay. I think. I hope. Maybe I’m not the person to make that prediction. Figure your own life out instead of coming to me with problems.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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Manchester United tried to hire Gerhard Struber, but the manager decided to stay in New York.

While flattered by the pursuit, the issue appears to have been the idea of a demotion. According to writer Jonathan Shrager, Struber “views himself as a head coach.” Jordan Davies shared similar insider info, claiming the Austrian “does not want to drop down… to [an] assistant [role].” There was little reason for the temporary move to happen when compounded by Manchester’s reluctance to hand over a “hefty compensation fee.”

Struber is staying in New York, at least until a club offers a head coaching position and pays the release clause. Perhaps that will never come to pass and he will see out his contract through 2023. Nothing is certain and the world can sometimes spin in funny directions. (It actually doesn’t. That would be catastrophic for life on this planet.)

If history is repeating, this would be late-July of 2020, after Barnsley avoided relegation from the English Championship. The manager received interest from Watford but chose to wait for the right opportunity. Following a disappointing transfer window, New York paid his release clause.

That is, if history is repeating.

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Struber was, of course, not the only Red Bull employee connected to an assistant position with Manchester United. The hero of 2020, Bradley Carnell, also considered moving to England to work for Ralf Rangnick. The gegenpressing innovator was responsible for his initial arrival in New York.

However, the details and circumstances weren’t right this time around. “Look, it would be a dream move for any coach in the world to be involved at Manchester United, but I currently find myself in a situation where there are a number of challenges in the way of a move away from the USA at this stage,” Carnell told Soccer Laduma. “At this stage, I am very flattered to be linked with one of the biggest clubs in the world in Manchester United, but I remain focused on the great work I am doing in the United States and Major League Soccer.”

If I had to point to anything in that quote that seemed curious, it would be Carnell pointing to the work he is doing in the United States and Major League Soccer. There is no mention of New York, but perhaps that is a conversational quirk. Please, please do not worry too much about things like that, especially during the holiday season.

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International players (and coaches) tend to do wrap-up interviews in their home nations. Patryk Klimala spoke with Polish outlet Super Express, discussing his up-and-down-and-up-and-down season with the Red Bulls. His comments should perk up the ears of fans.

“My goal is to be top scorer next season,” said the striker. “I also want to win the MLS Cup. As I have already mentioned, I entered the team ‘on the march’ without any preparation period, after a year and a half of sporadic playing… I believe next season will be even better. New players are to come to the team to ensure quality and raise the level. I am an optimist and I hope that we will achieve success together… I absolutely do not think about [Europe]. I have an important contract in New York. I feel good here and all I focus on is scoring goals in the MLS and fighting for trophies in the USA… I believe that the upcoming season will be a turning point in my career.”

Klimala was attracted to MLS by the Red Bull brand and wondered whether this would be a long-term home. He enjoys living in “a quiet and peaceful town in the suburbs” and feels “much more anonymous” than in Poland or Glasgow. However, despite the new surroundings, his goal is to compete with the national team at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

There are a few players on the Red Bulls who were on the shelf for a bit before heading to MLS. Dru Yearwood, for example, was in the Brentford reserves for a year, which makes his recent adjustment seem much more reasonable. As a striker, Klimala perhaps faces stricter criticism but the challenge of working back from a layoff remains the same.

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I wouldn’t bet on Andrew Gutman coming back to New York.

Not for any particular reason, but Atlanta United is likely going to need a left back next season. The Georgia club has received “quite a few inquiries” about George Bello, the “very athletic” national team defender. If he departs, then the club has an experienced and capable player ready to step into the role.

Not every loan results in a permanent move, but a reasonable person can assume that a Gutman purchase option would have been exercised.

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Some Morris Township residents aren’t excited for the new training facility.

A virtual meeting reportedly saw “27 callers and 109 listeners pepper the governing body with opinions and questions for more than three hours,” according to Marion Filler of the Morristown Green. Residents are worried about “access to the site” and a traffic increase. Red Bulls general manager Marc de Grandpre made an appearance, claiming that noise from the facility will be limited and the club will “work with professionals and take their input” on any necessary modifications to the plans.

I don’t know. Read the whole article. The situation sounds dicier than the Tropicana’s craps tables, but that’s local politics

***

Released by the Red Bulls, Mathias Jørgensen is at a crucial stage in his career.

The 21-year-old striker spoke with Bold and Tipsbladet about the eternal question that faces all of us, determining where to go next. He is open to joining a club in the Danish Superliga or 1st Division, hoping to find “the best connection” with opportunities to “develop the most.” There is already some interest, but negotiations are in the early stages.

“I have to get going again and play some football,” said Jørgensen (through the magic of Google Translate). “That is clear. I need to find a place with time and space so that I can play so much that I can show myself a little bit again. It’s not because I’ve rolled over in playing time for the last three years that I would have otherwise hoped… I also have to show myself what I was shot at three years ago. I have to show I still have those qualities and have put more on.”

Had the Red Bulls tried to keep him, he might have put his foot down. “As I look at it right now, I would not have stayed because I could well see where things were already pointing towards this summer when I came back,” said the striker. “As the last six months have gone, I have been clarified that it should not continue. This has been seen in the maps.”

Currently, he is letting his agent “handle things,” waiting to start the search until after the official release, “out of respect” for the Red Bulls. Putting his best foot forward, Jørgensen quickly returned to Denmark – leaving his girlfriend in the United States – hoping to “improve the conditions for negotiating with clubs.” There should be significant interest, as every manager thinks they can unlock the true potential of a former young star.

***

Jesse Marsch may be gone from Leipzig but the evaluation continues. DW was quite critical of the organization, claiming that the manager was “at least in part, set up to fail.” Oliver Mintzlaff instead points to an issue of fit.

“We have a squad that is certainly among the three or four best in the Bundesliga,” said the sporting executive. “But it has emerged that it’s not the perfect fit between coach and team, and that’s of course really disappointing… We came to the realization – and not just us but also Jesse when he came to us and said, ‘I don’t know whether I am the right coach for this team, if my philosophy fits with this fantastic squad’ — and this realization matured more and more.”

Marsch being hoisted on the petard of “all press and no possession” is somewhat curious. During his time in New York, his team ran a more restrained system (at least in my eyes), conducive to the existing roster featuring a cast of veteran players. The reputation, core ethos, and refusal to do anything else other than run and shoot must be a recent affection, perhaps picked up at Red Bull Salzburg where the margin for error is greater.

I really don’t care about any of this, but I get anywhere from five-to-ten more clicks on an article if Marsch is mentioned. That amount doubles if I write about “MANCHESTER UNITED TRANSFER RUMORS”. I’m also a big fan of “WHY DIFFERENT MORPHEUS IN NEW MATRIX?” and “SPIDER-MAN NO WAY HOME MOVIE SPOILERS”, subjects that are near and dear to my heart, highly relevant to the content of this website.

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Reports out of Italy state that Robert Lewis, manager of The JRL Group, is leading a bid to purchase 60 percent of Cesena FC. According to Corriere Romagna, is considered the “director of the operation,” expected to “become the CEO” and “manage the company directly” from Emilia-Romagna. The club competes in the third-tier Serie C, playing home matches at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi.

Lewis is, according to various stories, the father of a recently released New York Red Bulls player. I won’t give away any hints. Okay, maybe one: he is a goalkeeper.

***

Has Anatole Abang played his final match for Keşlə Futbol Klubu (soon to be Şamaxı Futbol Klubu)?

The out-of-contract Cameroonian striker went out with a… well, you know… against last-place Səbail, scoring a goal in the 46th minute and getting sent off in the 61st minute. “I do not believe he would do such a thing because his mind is elsewhere,” said manager Sanan Gurbanov. “Yesterday our second goal was scored by Abang. Those episodes were just aggression… His contract with the club expires in the winter. It is unknown whether he will stay in the team.”

Abang was also fined a reported “200 manat” by the Disciplinary Committee for being sent off. That is approximately $117.65. According to Futbol Press, the striker has “concrete offers” from Neftçi Peşəkar and Zirə, both in the Azerbaijan Premier League.

I get more joy out of following Abang’s career than anything else in my life.

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Former Red Bull Ambroise Oyongo is back on the field. The Cameroon international suffered a devastating injury while on loan at Krasnodar last spring. He made his first appearance of the season for Montpellier, playing 19 minutes in a 4-0 victory over Stade Brestois.

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Staying in France, former reserve-team attacker Junior Flemmings is signing with Toulouse. Les Violets sit at second place in the Ligue 2 table, engaged in a fierce promotion hunt. The 25-year-old will arrive as a free agent following the conclusion of his contract with USL Championship club Birmingham Legion.

***

Jan Gunnar Solli dropped his new track “Remember Me” with vocalist Kurt Nilsen. The former Red Bull spoke to Bergensavisen about working with “one of his favorite artists.” This could be a significant step in a decade-long journey.

“It shows that I operate seriously,” said Solli. “It has been a 10-year process to get here. I also have a lot of other exciting things to look forward to, and I hope this puts me a little on the map, and that people understand that this is something I work hard on.”

The midfielder-defender-musician also took aim at the local industry, claiming to have received “incredibly little support, in fact nothing.” However, Solli will continue to “keep the wheels turning” and is “bubbling over with enthusiasm.” With one hit song under his belt (released in 2019, “Dear Mama” has 4.3 million plays), the next one could be right around the corner.

***

I think the heart of one Kevin Thelwell just skipped a beat.

Former Celtic manager Neil Lennon sat down for an interview with ESPN. He discussed his excitement for Scottish football and reflected on his current position in life, enjoying the longest hiatus of his career. However, the draw to return to the technical area is growing stronger.

“Hopefully the right team will come along, whether that is here or abroad,” said Lennon. “I love the Spanish game; I enjoy Major League Soccer, too. I’ve had a good rest, I feel fresh, and I’m excited about whatever challenge lies ahead.”

Will the Red Bulls head of sport be able to pass up the opportunity to bring another Celtic figure into the club? We’re having fun here. We like to have fun.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Imogen of Imlaystown.

Unlike the Red Bulls, I got away with all of my crimes scot-free.

Thank you, Imogen. I hope none of those were felonies.

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Do you have a story you’d like to submit to the Paper Revue? Email us at bencorkOAM@gmail.com or send a DM to @Once_A_Metro on Twitter.