Kenny Miller joins Scottish experiment at Vancouver Whitecaps

July 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2012 | 9 Comments

With the signing of Scottish international Kenny Miller, the Vancouver Whitecaps’ Scottish experiment is well under way. We now have a Scottish Coach, a Scottish assistant coach, and two prominent Scottish international players. You mights say to yourself:”two international players, fantastic.” Think again.

While Scottish football and its players were undoubtedly of a very high quality during the sixties, seventies and eighties, the game in Scotland more recently has been in steep decline. Since the last time the Scots made it to the World Cup in Italia 90, Scottish football has been in a downward spiral to the lower levels of quality in European football (Editor’s note: this statement is wrong! Scotland qualified for the 1998 World Cup, finishing last in their group after losing two matches and tying one. My apologies: Whitecapsfan).

While there is no doubt that the Scots are great managers, the players are now substandard in world football. While two of the LA Galaxy’s designated players came from the English Premier League (Keane), and from Spain’s La Liga (Beckham), two of the top three leagues in the world, our guys Miller and Robson toiled way in the second level of English football. None of us had ever heard of Eric Hassli before his arrival and he seems to be lapsing into further anonimity as this is being written.

I still feel the Whitecaps need a Latin American midfielder, (Juan Roman Riquelme, where are you?), who can pass the ball going forward. The MLS has some class midfielders, notably Chavez of San Diego, Ferriera of Dallas FC, and Morales of Real Salt Lake, for instance. These terrific midfielders have one thing in common: none of them is Scottish. They all come from the Latin American world, a large part of the globe which Bob Lenarduzzi has always refused to admit exists. Even back in the North American Soccer League days when each team’s roster was stacked with foreign players, the Whitecaps signed players almost exclusively from England, Ireland, and Scotland.

So far I have not seen great skills from Barry Robson which can touch the class of Chavez, Ferreira and Morales. His skills as a footballer look rather ordinary. He has no assists in four games. One thing you can never fault is the never-say-die attitude of the Scottish player, however, and there is no doubt Robson kept going against Chicago last Saturday night even though he was absolutely exhausted.

I would prefer a slightly lazier fellow with a magic touch on the ball however…

Rather than turning to a footballing nation in decline, the Whitecaps should be looking at the vast array of footballing talent that exists in Latin America. Then perhaps we could actually put this new striker Miller through for a few goals.

I, for one, am very luke warm on the Scottish experiment as far as players go. In my view we are simply not matching the quality of designated players playing on other Major League Soccer clubs.

Now that they have the chance, lets see if Robson and Miller can prove me wrong. I sincerely hope they do.

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9 Comments »

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  1. Didn’t Robson give a through ball to Mattocks that resulted in a goal a game or two ago?

    • He did put Mattocks through, quite right. I must say he hasn’t played poorly, just not to standard you would expect for a designated player.

  2. Pretty poor article in all. Scottish football is in decline but it doesnt mean that just because someone is from Latin America they are automatically better than a scottish player.

    Robson I have never really rated as a player I think he will do ok in mls.

    Miller has a good record in the SPL, championship and a decent record in the premiership. He also has scored international and champions league goals.
    He’s not really a goal scoring striker and will play more as a number ten doing alot of running despite his age.

    One last word before you slate a full footballing nation please get your facts right. Scotland qualified for the world cup in France in 1998.

    • I would trade Miller, Hassli and Robson for Seattle’s Rosales, Fernandez and Montero any day.

  3. Tired of seeing different lineups and players each time I go to a match – and sad to see excellent or best players disappear or not given any playing time. Scottish players now? Never heard of them. Also tired of seeing one and only one goalkeeper.

  4. I don’t quite understand where this article is coming from? Two players is hardly an invasion on the roster.

    The point indicating that the club not interested in South American players is bogus. We already have two, Bonjour and Camilo.

    I also don’t understand the comparison of one small country with 5 million against a whole continent in terms of skill,

    Riquelme has left Boca as he is no longer interested in playing. In general it’s going to be difficult to persuade any aging skilfull players with other club options to join the caps while we don’t play our home games on natural grass.

    It’s also expensive to recruit the establish type of midfielder you are looking for us to aquire. I recall that the galaxy had a $10million USD offer for Andres D’Alessandro turn down a few yrs ago.

    The decent South American leagues are still able to attract their returning players from Spain, Italy, Germany and England. See the recent moves for Ponzio and Maxi Rodriguez.

    If Rennie can use Carl Robinson ex agent’s connections to bring in DP’s to this market who in my opinion are better than most other clubs DP’s such as Saborio, Koevermans, Castillo, Puppo & Minda

    I say we should give any new player time to settle in, then you can provided a qualified judgement.

    • I don’t consider Camilo a latin American: he is Brazilian; Bonjour is a superb acquisition but he is a Center back, not a midfielder. I am talking about Latin American midfielders.

      • I’m not visiting your blog to point out holes in your post but there are four defined subregions for Latin America, of which South America is the largest. Both Brazil and Argentina are in that region so I’m confused by the response to the above comment

        I agree we should not limit our scouting network and the club actively work with Latin American scouts. Bonjour was found through the clubs scouting network and Rennie has been shown a number of potential targets. though none of the Calibre of Riquelme.

  5. Your geography is right but your football is not. Brazilians footballers are not Latin Americans. They are from another planet, or perhaps heaven. If we can get a midfielder like Socrates, (please take a look at my post on his recent death) I will be very happy. thanks for your comment!


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