Robbo impresses with first press conference

December 17, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Posted in Vancouver Whitecaps, Whitecaps Season 2013 | 3 Comments

After thinking about Carl Robinson’s introduction as head coach the other day I have to say I was impressed by his performance. He looked a bit nervous at first but spoke frankly and candidly, which was refreshing after former coach Martin Rennie’s polished business speak. Robinson (AKA “Robbo”) tiptoed skillfully around the awkward questions about being less than first choice for the Whitecaps.

Robinson used a great combination of emotion and football knowledge to impress. He was able to talk about his family and the loss of his father which showed great warmth and maturity. His discussion of the Darren Mattocks situation was skilful and strategic. He focused on the positive and brushed off the negative. Dealing with Mattocks will be a huge challenge of “man management” as they call it in England.

After listening to him speak so honestly and frankly it is easy to see why the players speak so highly of him. It is clear he is a very effective communicator. Robinson is able to speak from the heart in a manner we never got from Martin Rennie, who came across as a bit slick and cold.

The key challenge for Robinson will be making the transition from being the guy who helped guys on the reserve team respond positively to the bad news of not playing to being the one who actually gives the bad news.

If Robinson needs advice he has built up a great group of mentors overseas whom he can call on.

What I found most exciting were his comments about the need for the Whitecaps to get more goals from midfield, and his admiration for Latin American players. Does this mean we might get a proper playmaking midfielder in the Whitecaps squad? We haven’t had one since Davide Chiumiento left town midway through the 2012 season.

If Robinson gets his wish, the playoffs may well be attainable in 2014.



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  1. Agreed. What’s not to like about this man? Knowledge, ability, humility, humanity, and wit. A perfect blend. I don’t think he tiptoed around the awkward questions as much as he kicked their ass off the table. “A great opportunity for me” and “proud to be considered in the same company as” (to paraphrase, of course) was spot on. He will not be short of challenges though. Besides the one you mention another will be establishing the right blend of youth and experience in the side to satisfy the loudly touted “youth must be served” movement both within and outside the organization without prolonged losing waking up the hyper-negativity which lurks barely beneath the surface of any Vancouver sports association. I think that the Whitecaps chose well and I look forward to seeing Carl Robinson’s fingerprints begin to appear on this franchise soon. And isn’t it nice to be able to get back to talking about football?

  2. Bring back Teitur!

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