Time for Rennie to kick the players where it hurts

October 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2011 | 4 Comments

New Vancouver Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie is holding a camp this week to evaluate the 2011 Vancouver Whitecaps squad.  While the Major League Soccer playoffs rage on, the Whitecaps sit on the sidelines contemplating the fact they were the worst team in the league this year.

Putting all cliches about being an expansion team aside, the players have to take responsibility for this.  Rennie must make the players take responsibility by looking them in the eye and telling them they are failures, and that being  failure is not good enough for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

We fans deserve better.  We fans were third in overall attendance this year.  Our players were last. Can you imagine how the crowds will grow if we had a Whitecaps team that was competitive and winning regularly? We have given our loyalty and have not been rewarded by the players.  It is time they showed the commitment we have.

Professional sport is about striving to win, and all too often this year, especially on the road, the Whitecaps players have looked happy just to show up and lose.  Sadly and shamefully, this same attitude seemed to infect the players a number of times on home turf as well, especially against Portland at the BC Place opener, and the last match against Colorado.

The only player to look as though he really cared this year and showed it is Eric Hassli.  While he was criticized for marching straight to the dressing room after being subbed off in the match away to Portland, at least he openly expressed frustration at the team’s losing ways in a manner we fans could relate to.  Hassli is far from a perfect player, and he has his flaws, but he wears his emotions on his sleeve for all to see which is why we love the man.  Even Hassli has not played up to his potential, however.  Is it to much to ask such a big tall man to score some goals with his head?

Other players, who are supposed to be among our best players, have disappointed.  I put Jay DeMerit and Davide Chiumiento in this category.  I hope Rennie tears a strip off of both of them.  DeMerit made far too many mistakes in a position where we can’t afford him to, and Chiumineto refused to get involved in anything so dirty as defence.  The Portland loss was his fault when he simply refused to tackle the player who intercepted a pass that was meant for him.

Rennie’s first training session with the players will be his first chance to set the tone for the future.  First impressions are very important in this regard.  Rennie must establish his leadership and get the players to both like and fear him.  Players play best for coaches they like and admire, but they must also be motivated by fear of the coach.

Rennie must take a team of losers and turn them into players who are hungry to win and angry at themselves for being so easy to play this year.  Any player who does not respond in this way must be cut, no matter how large his salary or reputation.

The 2012 season begins this week with Rennie’s first training session with the 2011 squad.

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4 Comments »

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  1. Well said.

  2. Soehn Out!

  3. hey vagenas what does the scouter say about this articles awesome levels
    ITS OVER 9000!!!!

  4. Agree 99%. I believe camillio also showed he cared and unlike hassli he ran for 90 minutes.


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