Soccernet Chat: Ask Janusz Michallik!
Janusz played 44 games with the US National Team from 1991 to 1994 and won the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 1991 and US Cup in 1992. He won indoor National Championships with Louisville and Canton in 1986 and '87 respectively before enjoying a career in the MLS with the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution.
Janusz holds a United States Soccer Federation 'A' coaching license and coaches with Connecticut's Olympic Development Program (ODP) and Youth Player Development Program (YPDP). He is currently the National Director of SoccerPlus FieldPlayer Academy, the Director of Coaching for FSASoccerPlus Premier Football Club, a soccer analyst for ESPN and serves on the Board of Directors for the US Soccer Foundation. A member of Connecticut Soccer Hall of Fame, he is married to Marzena and has a son, Daniel.
Janusz won't be stopping by until 2 p.m. BST (9 a.m ET) on Friday but you can send your questions now and we will save them for his arrival.
Janusz Michallik (9:13 AM)
Hi, everyone. Sorry for being late this week. We've just finished another edition of ESPNSoccernet Press Pass, and I'm ready to take your questions. Keep them coming in.
Janusz -- If Benitez succeeds in snatching Aimar away from Valencia, how will the Argentinian fare in the more physical English game? And could he share the Liverpool midfield with Gerrard, Xabi and Didi Hamann?
Janusz Michallik (9:16 AM)
I think Aimar is a good enough player to play in the English Premiere league however, if you consider what happened to Diego Forlan at Man. United it makes you wonder. Look what happened to Forlan in Spain he's had a great season while struggling in England just the year before. The only thing I can say is that Pablo Aimar would be familiar with Benitez and that could help his transition into English football.
imeh junior, calabar nigeria
hi , i just wondered if micheal owen and martins obafemi had been giving more playing time for real and inter respectively if the would have changed the fortunes of thier teams.
Janusz Michallik (9:20 AM)
I am not sure if one player by virtue of playing more can change the fortune of their team, howver you have to feel that Michael Owen has done a wonderful job for Real Madrid during his limited playing time. I do think that Owen will stay in Madrid and will get more playing time. As far as Martins, the story really is the same. Although he did get plenty of starts it seems to me that Christian Vieri is on his way out of England. Perhaps you will finally see Obafemi Martins playing along side Adriano next season.
Alex, Sydney NSW
With a squad containing Buffon, Nesta, Cannavaro, Zambrotta, Gattuso, Pirlo, Totti, Camoranesi, Cassano, Vieri, Del Piero, etc. What do you think of Italys chances of winning the World Cup in 2006?
Janusz Michallik (9:24 AM)
The list of players you mentioned is very impressive, isnt it? And I will say, what I always do when confronted with a question of which team is going to win the World Cup. The list of countries capable of winning the biggest trophy in world football is always the same I feel that only countries like Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, and perhaps, England this time around; are capable of winning it. They have the skill and mentality to win it all. It makes no difference to me how you play leading up to the World Cup it is all about the three weeks every four years that matters. Italy in my mind will be one of the favorites to win it all.
Andrew (Melbourne Australia)
Janusz, we love your work down here. How come you went all the way to Istanbul but didnt get to commentate on the final? How do you think Van Bommel will fit in at Barca? Why has Van der vaart gone to Hamburg, do you think he could have gone to a bigger club or stayed at ajax?
Janusz Michallik (9:31 AM)
Andrew, as you know, I went down there to do the ESPN Soccernet Press Pass and had a great time, not only doing the shows, but being able to watch my beloved Liverpool in the most incredible comeback in the Champions League history. I think that Tommy and Derek did a great job calling the game and I knew from the beginning what my job in Istanbul was. As far as, Van Bommel at Barca, I think he will have no problem adapting to Spanish football as he is, in my mind, one of the best and most versatile midfielders in the world. He does not always stand out, though when you look at the stat sheets at the end of the game, he is always involved. Lets move onto Van der Vaart going to Hamburg which in my opinion, is not a huge surprise. He's had his problems with coaches at Ajax and if you watch Dutch football you will know that there really isn't a place on the field for both Van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder. Considering the fact that Van der Vaart is young and not willing to sit on the bench- a move to Hamburg is probably the right thing to do. He does have the quality to play for big clubs in the future, but at this time Hamburg is a big enough club for him.
Hello Janusz. Your thoughts on whether Souness is good enough to manage the Toon Army. Cheers.
Janusz Michallik (9:37 AM)
I have been very harsh on Souness in the past as I did not think that he did a great job at Liverpool and Blackburn. He comes across as a very tough coach, but if you look at all that happened at Newcastle this year with the likes of Craig Bellamy, Dyer, and Bowyer you wonder if he can keep the dressing room happy. I think he still deserves the benefit of the doubt. However, I would not be surprised if he was one of the first coaching casualties in the new season.
Chris, New Zealand
How do you rate liverpool's chances of contesting for the premership title in the next couple of years?
Janusz Michallik (9:41 AM)
Chris. it will be tough to stay away from all the Liverpool questions considering the great final we just saw. I think Liverpool will always be mentioned when we talk of contesting for the premiere title and you have to feel confident with the job that Rafa Benitez has done in his first year at Anfield. I guess we will have to wait and see what type of players he will bring in this year, but I think that Liverpool will be back to their glory days from the seventies, perhaps it is wishful thinking on my behalf.
Anthony Latz(Christchurch NZ)
Dear Janusz Liverpool deserve to defend their champions title. How hard is it for UEFA to accept it.Gladly take the calification road even if it means beating La Valette from Malta or Jeunesche from Luxemburg ,well known powerhouses from EUROPE!!
Janusz Michallik (9:45 AM)
I couldn't agree with you more on this one, as my bias has been obvious for years. However, at the end of the day if it does not happen, I will understand it. Rules are rules and Everton has earned the right to be in the Champions League, the FA has made the right decision in that regard. I hope that even if Liverpool does not get into the competition next year UEFA in their wisdom, will change their rules and have the winners of the competition be able to defend the trophy in the future.
Sashi Arulsothy, Melbourne
Hi Janusz, It's been a great season in Europe and now it is a time to rebuild teams. Who do you think Arsene Wegner will purchase for the mighty gunners? With young players like Van Persie is would Robinho be good at Arsenal? Thank Janusz.
Janusz Michallik (9:51 AM)
Fear not, Arsenal supporters I think that you have a great squad that in my mind, will win the premiereship next year. Players like Van Persie, Fabregas, Seneeros have been getting invaluable playing time towards the end of the season, and this experience will pay off next year. Considering the fact that the players like Gaillberto Silva, Thierry Henry, and Ljunberg will be healthy there is enough of youth and experience to worry the likes of Chelsea, Man. United, and Liverpool.
justin (Toronto, Ontario)
Am i the only that noticed dudek cheated during the champions league penalty shoot-out. he cleary advanced before the ball was even struck. why wasnt a bigger deal made of this, and why didn't milan point anything out?
Janusz Michallik (9:55 AM)
Justin, you are not the only one that noticed Dudek moving off the line. As a matter of fact, he moved early on all the penalties taken that night. As he is my compatriot I do not want to be too harsh on him, he did break the rules, but the referee thought otherwise. I was very surprised that Milan players did not talk to the referee about it, but at the end of the day I am sure that Dudek and Liverpool will not complain. I have seen other goalkeepers do that and get away with it as well.
Jeremy (Brooklyn, New York)
Hi Janusz, as an Arsenal fan I feel that Chelsea's 300,000 pound fine and three point penalty was pretty soft, especially for a team that has an owner who is a billionaire...Roman probably spends that much on any given weekend. Don't you think there should be harsher penalities for tap-ups?
Janusz Michallik (10:00 AM)
As I said on the program today, to me the fines dished out are a joke. When you consider that Chelsea is ready to spend 65 million pounds on Adriano, a 300,000 pound fine seems like nothing. It is a slap on the hand, nothing more, and no real message has been sent to anyone. This is a very very serious matter, but in my opinion the biggest fall in the whole saga lies with Ashley Cole for allowing himself to be put in this situation. If you are an Arsenal fan, you have to question his loyalty, and if I were Arsene Wenger, I would sell him immediately. As for Chelsea, Jose Mourinho has been breaking rules all along so this does not surprise me at all.
who do you think steven gerrard will play for next season
Janusz Michallik (10:03 AM)
Just a couple of weeks ago, I thought for sure that he would be a Chelsea player next season. However, with what happened in Istanbul you would be hard pressed to see Gerard not playing for Liverpool. He has just become a Liverpool legend, and I think he should stay there for life. Then again, I also thought that Michael Owen would never leave Anfield. Just goes to show how much I know.
Jaafer Futuwi, Bremen,Germany
Who is the most expensive,Adriano, Thierry Henry or Sheva?
Janusz Michallik (10:08 AM)
Tough question here, as the players that you mentioned are all great and we don't really know how much money they will cost. If the reports are true, Chelsea offered 65 million pounds for Adriano, but I also thought I heard that Real Madrid is ready to offer 75 million pounds for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. At the end of the day, you don't know how much the market can bear, I can imagine that any of the three players you mentioned, could be worth alot of money to any team for as long as the clubs are willing to spend. It's hard to calculate the price of success. Not long ago I thought it was mind boggling that Man. United spent 30 million pounds for Rio Ferdinand.
Janusz Michallik (10:10 AM)
This will be all for today, thanks for all your questions. It's great to see so many knowledgeable people out there, alot of your questions are thought provoking for me and I hope that you continue watching us on ESPN Soccernet Press Pass, Janusz.