So the wife is out watching “The Time Traveler’s Wife” with the girls, which meant I got to spend the afternoon sitting around the house in my Newcastle United jersey and basking in another win in the Championship, this time against Crystal Palace. Oh, hey, it’s Bolton at Hull City. Talk about a heavyweight matchup. That said, the shots of American stud Jozy Altidore sitting on the bench after arriving in England on Friday morning were enough to catch my attention.
About an hour later, Hull and Bolton are playing one of the most boring games in recent memory. For an American equivalent, it would be like watching the Raiders play the Lions. Just awful, awful football. I mean I get why some teams in the Premier League just kick the ball as far as they can and hope the lone forward can do something with it. It’s not like everyone is loaded with talent and Bolton and Hull are two of those types of team.
Anyway, Phil Brown finally wises up and puts Jozy on the pitch in the 60th minute. Twenty-eight second later, Altidore drops a beautiful assist to Kamel Ghilas and it’s 1-0 Hull. That’s pretty much the way it would finish, though Hull were totally transformed once Altidore came on. Ghilas and Altidore caused all kinds of hell for Bolton in the last thirty minutes and should have scored at least two more goals. Jozy missed a wide open net on one and Ghilas hit the post on a reboud from another Altidore shot. Suddenly, Hull didn’t suck anymore. The fans were even chanting “USA! USA!” on every Altidore touch. The roof would’ve come off the place if he’d scored.
I don’t want to make Altidore’s first appearance seem too perfect. He wasn’t great on the ball and definitely should have scored the shot he missed, but damn if the kid isn’t a game-changer even as the lone forward on a bad Premier League team. He’s only 19 and exactly like Dwight Howard was his rookie year in the NBA. Raw, talented, and physically gifted. You know he’s gonna be great.