It is about time the Whitecaps got some bad press

October 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Whitecaps Season 2012 | Leave a comment

I have always been surprised at how the local media, in particular the Vancouver Sun and the Province, have handled the Vancouver Whitecaps with kid gloves since their first season in Major League Soccer. Only on the rarest of occasions was their any real criticism of the team. The Whitecaps managed to keep the press on message and had the journalists reporting news via press releases given by the club.

With the Whitecaps disgraceful loss to rival Portland Timbers last sunday, there are signs the attitude of the press has changed. In the wake of the debacle at BC Place which saw our intense rivals carry off a trophy in our park, two of the Sun’s soccer writers openly questioned the desire and ability of the players and their coach Martin Rennie. I feel this is a healthy turn of events. The press have been giving the Whitecaps an easy ride for too long.

The fact is that the Whitecaps have a winning tradition in soccer and have never been a team that is just happy to be there. Under the Whitecaps name, Vancouver has fielded serious teams that were competitive and had the chance to win championships, as the team did in 1979, 2006 and 2008. Anything less than a seriously competitive team is not acceptable.

The press needs to remind the players who play here and the coaches that coach here what standard is expected, and all levels of the club must be committed to being competitive with a chance of winning championships. While some think people are overreacting to the loss on sunday, I do not believe they are, because that effort fell well below the standards and history of our club.

It is about time the press in Vancouver started asking some serious questions about the commitment of the club and its players to success, because the results justify such an approach. While criticism may be hard to take, it is essential for the health of the club.

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